Friday, October 4, 2013

Blowin' in the Wind: St. Francis of Assisi

(Blowin’ in the Wind is a regular feature on my blog highlighting an assortment of nature writings – hymns, songs, prayers, Bible readings, poems or other things –pieces I have not written but that inspire me. I trust they will do the same for you.)

OK, friends, I made a mistake in last week’s blog! I had mentioned I’d be putting up something from my nature journal this time, but then looked through some notes I had written for myself to remember to do something special on October 4, so the nature journal entry will have to wait.

October 4, in Roman Catholic tradition, is the Feast Day of St. Francis, their patron saint of animals and the environment. Though I am of another Christian tradition, Francis still stands out for me as a hero of the faith, even an inspiration to my own love of God’s creation.

Back in January I wrote a blog entry about a great hymn based on Francis’ Canticle of the Sun, the hymn All Creatures of our God and King.  Hit this link if you’d like to see that post, which includes a contemporary rendition of the song by the David Crowder Band. But as I said, our more modern hymn is based off of the song text attributed to Francis as Canticle of the Sun, written in the year 1225. I have sometimes used Canticle as a closing prayer of praise when I have led Stations of Creation,” a resource about which I blogged in August. It is a wonderful prayer, simple and profound at the same time. I thought I would like to share it with you on Francis’ feast day.

Canticle of the Sun, A Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Most high, all-powerful, all good, Lord!
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor and all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips
are worthy to pronounce Your name.

All praise be Yours, my Lord, through all that You have made,
and first, my Lord, Brother Sun, who brings the day and the
light You give to us through him. How beautiful is he,
how radiant in all his splendor! 
Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.

All praise be Yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars;
in the heavens you have made them, bright and precious and fair.

All praise be Yours, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and fair and stormy, all the weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

All praise be Yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
so useful, lowly, precious, and pure.

All praise be Yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You brighten up the night.
How beautiful he is, how joyful, full of power and strength!

All praise be Yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth,
who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces
various fruits and colored flowers and herbs.

All praise be Yours, my Lord, through those who grant 
forgiveness for love of You, through those who endure 
sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace. 
By You, Most High, they will be crowned.

All praise be Yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
from whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Happy those she finds doing your will!
The second death can do no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give Him thanks,
and serve Him with great humility. Amen.

May this prayer be a feast of praise for you as it is for me.

~~RGM, October 4, 2013

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