Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A world for praise

My favourite image of St. Francis of Assisi is the true story of when he was walking in the woods and felt so happy and bursting with joy that he picked up two sticks and pretended they were a violin.

Francis was a saint of music and of joy. His Canticle of the Creatures was composed when he was physically broken, blind and plagued by the mice that ran over him as he lay, desperately ill and moving towards his own meeting with Sister Death. At a time when most people would concentrate on themselves and their own illness, his thoughts were of heavenly things and of gratitude towards the God who was his all. Unable to bear the sunlight he loved, with even moonlight too bright for his diseased eyes, he sang, exhorting Brother Sun to praise God the creator. Francis congratulated Brother Fire for its light and warmth, when that very light and warmth had been used with agonising and useless results in the hope that cauterising his temples would bring a cure to his eyes.

For Francis, the whole of Creation was a sign of God's love for the world. I remember that when I saw Victoria Falls for the first time, all I could do was to wonder how anybody could see the magnificent cascade and still say that there is no God.

Lord, open our eyes and our hearts to see your love and your beauty in this world of ours.

God bless,
Sr. Janet