St. Francis’ Canticle of Creation is believed to be one of the first works of literature written in Italian. It is a beautiful affirmation of Francis’ theology that all of the earth is God’s gift to humankind, worthy of our care and respect. S. Rose Raymond Wagner helps us celebrate our favorite Saint’s feast day with her reflection on this timeless prayer.
A CANTICLE OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
PRAYED WITH FRANCIS’ CANTICLE OF BROTHER SUN
Reflection by Sister Rose Raymond Wagner
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.
We praise you for this, our community of sisters and associates, through whom many gifts come. For to you we belong and to one another, sealed with the promise of our life, our love. We praise you and bless you and give thanks.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made.
And first, my Lord through Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and 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.
We praise you, our God, for the radiance and splendor of the light which comes to us each day in the sharing of our lives together; the light of the understanding and the compassion we give and receive, by you and by those who call us into being and growing. We praise and bless you and give thanks.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sisters Moon and Stars;
In the heavens you have made them
bright and precious and fair.
We praise you for sisters and brothers who light up the darkness, provide brilliance in the blackness, spark of light when night prevails. Thank you, Lord, for all our sisters and brothers whose courage has been our guide, whose
undying love for community, for those in need, for all our brothers and sisters has sparked a hopeful energy in us. We praise and bless you and give you thanks.
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.
We praise you for the countless ways you cherish us – through the caring and concern of our sisters and brothers when we are experiencing the storms in our lives; through the support and strength we are for one another as we journey through the bright, fair days and the dark shadowy nights of our lives. We praise and bless you and give you thanks.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
so useful, lowly, precious and pure.
We praise you for moments, cool and clear, spent in the refreshing gatherings we have, sister to sister, friend to friend. As quietly and humbly as a constant stream, our faithfulness to one another may bear gifts of life…we thank you for those who pour water over the feet of one another, over our feet in the gift of loving. We praise and bless you and give you thanks.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten the night,
How beautiful is he, how splendid! Full of power and strength.
We praise you for the warmth of friendship and the power and strength of your love, evidenced in those who enable us to recognize and cherish our own beauty and potential. Our desire to grow in love is a fire within us, beautiful, splendid, full of power and strength. We praise and bless you and give you thanks.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our Mother,
who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces various fruits and colored flowers and herbs.
We praise you for the nurturing earth of those who welcome us, of those who embrace us, of those who provide us with opportunities toward growth. All blessing is yours in the fruits that we are, with our freedom to be the colors you made us. We praise and bless you and give you thanks.
All praise be yours, my Lord, for those who grant pardon
for love of you.
We praise you for the gift of forgiveness and the joy of reconciliation which restores harmony and peace and enables us to know and accept that we are at the same time fragile and lovable, broken and embraced, sinful and beautiful.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who endure sickness and trial.
We praise you for those of our members who bear the burden of sickness and trials. We walk on a road well worn by those whose endurance made history, whose ministry through hardships was graced, whose intercession after death brings us life. Blessed are those among us who are sick, who are patient with limitations, who witness to a life of faith. We praise and bless you and give you thanks.
Happy those who endure in peace.
By you, Most High, they will be crowned.
We praise you for the great gift of those whose lives reflect gentleness and serenity.
They teach us the joy of surrender to your will and your love for us. They are truly “sister” and “brother” to us, channels of your peace and blessings on our journey.
We praise and bless you and give you thanks.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no mortal can escape,
Happy those she finds doing your will.
The second death can do no harm to them.
We praise you for those who Sister Death has found ready for you. There are so many whom we miss and yet we believe are with us in many ways unseen. May each of us, like those who have preceded us, create a better world for those who come after. May each of us find peace in our final going home. We praise and bless you and give you thanks.
Praise and bless my Lord and give him thanks, and serve him with great humility.
We are all called to cherish, love and respect creation, but how do we implement this? Samantha Panchèvre, the author of an article in National Catholic Report, “EarthBeat,” stories of climate crisis, faith and action, suggests several steps for taking care of our common home. Take a moment to reflect on these ideas and then put them into action so future generations can experience “a creation” to cherish, love and respect.