Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Canticle from a Jubilee Journey.

I just returned from a wonderful vacation, an Amtrak train vacation through parts of our country that I had never seen (and I few that I had seen).  As many of you know on August 16 I will celebrate 50 years a a professed Franciscan, my golden jubilee.  My province of the order gives us a little more time and money for vacation on that occasion.  Instead of traveling overseas, which I have had the good fortune of doing several times, I thought of seeing parts of our own country that I had not seen.  Also I love trains and thought that viewing areas by train rather than flying over them would be a great way to accomplish this.  I was not disappointed.

   I wanted to share this experience and decided that rather than some type of travelog I would express myself in a different way.  Inspired by St. Francis Canticle of the Creatures, though not imitating it slavishly, I have composed my own canticle with pictorial accompaniment. Though I do not, as did St. Francis,  address the various aspects of creation and all of God's wonderful creatures as brother and sister I certainly more and more are becoming aware that I am the creature, not the Creator, and that I am brother to all of creation.

Canticle from a Jubilee Journey

Most High and Glorious all good God. To You be praise for all the awesome beauty and grandeur of your creation and for the men and women who enhance that beauty.

Praised be You my Lord for great cities that house your people and that give expression to the highest aspirations of men and women, cities that show forth great tall buildings and that display wonderful works of music and art, not to mention hospitals and medical centers that bring healing to so many.

And may You be praised as well for farms and fields that produce food in abundance to feed your people.

For majestic high mountains be praised as well, mountains that show your mighty grandeur, mountains that send water into your streams and rivers, waters that quench our thirst and keep us clean.

For wide open plains so splendid in their vastness may you be praised, reminders that we creatures are so small in relation not only to our planet, but to the universe and above all to You, our great, glorious and Most High God. 

Be praised as well my Lord for vast and arid desert places, places that remind us that You alone can fill the many voids and dry places that we find in our own lives.

And above all dear Lord, be praised for people, men and women made in your image and likeness, people of every race and religion, people of many styles of life all of them made in Your wonderful image and likeness.


And Yes, dear Lord, we must sadly admit that we don’t always reflect the goodness and beauty that comes from You alone.  We abuse your creation and we create divisions among ourselves that lead to hatred, division and war.   

Help us to remember Lord who you are, to trust in your great love and to seek your mercy, for only then will we know the peace that You alone can give.

So then Lord, be praised when by your grace we heal our divisions through forgiveness and restore the beauty of your damaged creation. 

All praise, thanksgiving and glory to You, O Lord, for all the blessings that have come my way in 50 years of Franciscan life 


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