Faith is All You Need
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Faith is All You NeedBe an instrument of peace.
I’ve been blessed with a long career as a teacher and lecturer, speaking in close to 50 countries around the world—Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South America—from Copenhagen to Singapore. People in Singapore ask, “What’s life like in Copenhagen?” and I say, “It’s just like it is here.” I say that because I’m not speaking to people from Copenhagen or Singapore; I’m speaking to human beings. Life is life for us all. People are all one and we all want the same things—a life of peace, a life of harmony, freedom from tyranny, and closeness to God. We share these desires because we share a connection to the Divine, we are all one. That’s something I both believe and know.
Recently, I got to realize a dream and returned for a third visit to the Italian town of Assisi where Saint Francis began his ministry of love and healing. My companions on this trip, a community of family, old friends, and new friends, were joining me for a tour of some of Europe’s most sacred sites—Assisi, Lourdes, and Medjugorje.
I was speaking to our group in the Basilica of Saint Francis when something happened to me that has never happened before in my 40 plus years of giving public talks. I was reading a passage from Nikos Kazantzakis’ powerful story about the life of Saint Francis. In the passage from the novel, Francis is instructed in his prayers to do something that triggers his deepest fear—to touch a person with leprosy.
In 13th century Europe, lepers were required to live apart from the rest of the populace and to wear bells to warn people of their approach. Jesus asked Francis to walk up to the next leper he saw, embrace him and kiss him on the mouth. Francis came upon a young boy with a leper’s bell. He embraced and kissed him and wrapped him inside his robe to escort him into the village. When Francis opened his robe to reveal what was inside, the boy was gone. He realized that the boy he met was not a leper or any member of the community—but Christ himself in one of what Mother Teresa would later call “one of his distressing disguises.”
Reading the words of this story to the audience, my eyes filled with tears and I began to sob. It was a complete emotional breakdown on stage—an unprecedented experience for me and one I had no control over. As I cried on, the fellow members of our journey to the miraculous stood up and extended their hands toward me. They were crying, too.
Saint Francis used faith to overcome his greatest fear and saw the fear dissolve into love. For us, too, faith conquers fear. When we realize that we are never alone or separate from God, our fear disappears. By simply recognizing our connection to Spirit and to one another through Spirit, we raise our consciousness to the level where love replaces fear.
During the days of our journey together, our community of 157 people from all continents and all age groups (18-84) became a family. Saint Francis wanted to reach his community with the message of Christ-consciousness, harmony, peace, and love. He saw himself as related to everyone and everything—from the animals to the stars. We are all brothers and sisters and our desires for a peaceful world are one and the same. The first line of the Prayer of Saint Francis, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace,” tells us what we need to do if we are going to realize the dream all of us share. When we experience our true oneness and the dissolving of fear into love, our obligation is to spread the love and create a global community with the knowledge of our shared vision.