THE CANTICLE OF THE CREATURES AND THE COMMUNION OF THE SAINTS
In early October we celebrate the Feast of Francis of Assisi (October 4), one of the best-known and most beloved saints of the church. Francis is the patron saint of ecology, and there is much in the traditions and lore of Francis that connects him in beautiful and poetic ways with what his medieval world thought of as the “Great Chain of Being,” a notion somewhat similar to our modern idea of the Web of Life.
Even as we continue to work and weep over the devastation of Hurricane Ian, Francis (and our Anglican tradition of incarnational Christianity) reminds us that, in the big picture, we are part of the natural world, and that nature is for us, just as we are meant to be for nature: God in Genesis makes us co-gardeners, stewards of the natural world together with the Lord. October begins with Francis’ feast, which reminds us that we are connected to the Earth, and ends with All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween), the eve of the celebration of All Saints’ Day, which reminds us that we are connected to the saints in Heaven as well. Thus this time is one to celebrate, and meditate on, our connections: to Earth, to Heaven, to God, to one another, to our beloved St. Catherine’s Church. This is a time to reflect upon our experiences of deep belonging.
In support of this reflection on our connections and belonging I offer you the first part of St. Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures:
Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing,
To You alone, Most High, do they belong, and no human is worthy to mention Your name.
Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor; and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.
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 whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who 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 our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.
May the strength of your connections and the deep power of belonging sustain you in joy even as we continue to pray for and work for those who suffer in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Together in ministry,
Fr. James +
Sunday 8:00 AM
Sunday 9:00 AM
HOLY EUCHARIST WITH MUSIC
Sunday 10:00 AM
Sunday 10:00 AM