|Posted by St. Alban's Episcopal Church on September 27, 2022 at 4:25 PM|
While it is a bummer that Hurricane Ian will force us to be indoors for our annual Blessing of the Animals this year, we can look at it as a reminder of the power of nature. This seems fitting as we prepare to celebrate St. Francis of Assisi.
Indeed, Pope Francis invoked his saintly namesake when he issued his powerful papal encyclical on climate change in 2015. That encyclical warned of the link between global warming and more frequent extreme weather events. And here we are, ready to celebrate the beauty of God’s creatures, with a big storm about to roll through.
Francis’s poem “Canticle of the Sun” shows his powerful faith and awe at the great goodness of God’s creation. As we prepare to bless some soggy pets this weekend, may these words inspire us to do a better job caring for this fragile earth, our island home.
We pray for those in the path of Hurricane Ian. May God’s peace abide with all who are in danger.
Yours in Christ,
Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honour, and all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendour!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather through which
You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no living man can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those who will
find Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord,
and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.
-Canticle of the Sun, attributed to St. Francis of Assisi