“In contemplation God teaches the soul very quietly and secretly, without its knowing how, without the sound of words” (Chapter 39, The Spiritual Canticle).
In the spirit of St. John of the Cross, this blog reflects on the contemplative experience and the poetic experience, sometimes separately and distinctly, sometimes in common, as mutually enlightening.
I will also post to this blog, from time to time, my own poetry, with a short interpretive note attached.
~ Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD
Three Genuflections – Part 3 of 3
Sat, Sep 21 2019
3. Canticle of St. Francis of Assisi
1. Most high, all-powerful, benevolent Lord!
All praise and rejoicing,
Honor and sublimity are Yours!
To You alone do earth’s wonders belong,
And no mortal dares profane them.
2. Oh, praise to You, Lord our God, for all Your creatures:
First, for our dear Brother Sun—
He gives us his radiance by day,
Filling each hour with his light:
Boundless, and in brilliance unstinting,
He bears Your very likeness, O Lord.
3. And for our Sister Moon,
Wearing her wreath of stars—
With wonder at her spectacle
We praise You, O Lord.
4. And for Brother Wind,
Who bestows fair skies or stormy weather,
Driving heaven’s varied moods from day to day—
By him You nourish the earth
And its countless greens and golds:
May harvesters praise You with song, O Lord.
5. And Sister Water, without whom we die—
Though freely given, she is really priceless,
Refreshing all irrepressibly
As she glides forth clear and pure:
With hands and hearts washed clean
We praise you, O Lord.
6. For Brother Fire,
Who brightens the blackest night—
With such beauty and vigor,
Unconquerable, his lance advances,
His breastplate flickering bravely:
Amazement lifts our praise to You, O Lord.
7. And Mother Earth,
Who cradles us in her arms,
Feeding us with her rich fare—
With flowery fields and fern-strewn forests
She fills our souls:
Our very lives praise you, O Lord.
8. For those who love with Your own love,
Seeming unburdened as they bear up
Under sickness or sorrow—
Happy those who so journey in peace
As You lead them home to You:
For Your care for us we praise You, O Lord,
9. And for our Sister Death,
Whose coming is unstoppable—
Stern her look for those ill-prepared to meet her,
But a friend for those who welcome her readily,
They whom the Second Death shall pass over:
With trusting hearts we praise you, O Lord.
10. Yes, all Your creatures
Praise and exalt You, Lord—
They give You unbounded, unceasing thanks,
Serving You with their whole heart, each in its way:
AS ONE WE PRAISE YOU, O LORD.
Written by Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD