Susan's Thursday morning note November 10,2022 St. Francis of Assisi song at the end of his life & St. Francis de Sales Prayer and Quotes
Good morning! Perfect hot coffee. The angel of dawn has arrived gently peering through the pane after a night of strong winds. Willa Cather describes a night unable to sleep with this sentence that I love so much, “His mind could not find a comfortable position to lie in.”
In searching for one of my favorite choruses on all of creation singing praises, Canticle of the Sun I found a canticle of the same title written 800 years ago by St. Francis of Assisi. His love for creation written throughout his entire canticle, believed to have been finished right before he died. Below the words of each I have written out favorite quotes by St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis de Sales. To help us focus our minds as we enter this week of giving thanks. For noticing. For gratefulness. For taking time to reflect and sing praises for the beautiful word. Life. For the opposite beautiful words bringing meaning to life. Eternity and the heavens.
Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1224 written near the end of his life) Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honour, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce 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 splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness. Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful. Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance. Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure. Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong. Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs. Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they will be crowned. Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them. Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve him with great humility.
Quotes by St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words. (St. Francis of Assisi) The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today. (St. Francis of Assisi) O holy and unending eternity! Blessed is he who thinks of you. Yes, for what do we play here in this world but a children’s game for who knows how many days? It would be nothing whatever, if it were not the passage to eternity. On this account, therefore, we must pay attention to the time we have to dwell here below, and to all our occupations, so as to employ them in the conquest of the permanent good. (St. Frances de Sales) We should seek not so much to pray but to become prayer. (St. Francis of Assisi) Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. (St. Francis of Assisi) All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle. (St. Francis of Assisi) Blessed is the servant who loves his brother as much when he is sick and useless as when he is well and can be of service to him. And blessed is he who loves his brother as well when he is afar off as when he is by his side, and who would say nothing behind his back he might not, in love, say before his face. (St. Francis of Assisi) Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew. Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say continually: The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart has trusted in Him and I am helped. He is not only with me, but in me and I in Him. Make friends with the angels, who though invisible are always with you. Often invoke them, constantly praise them, and make good use of their help and assistance in all your temporal and spiritual affairs. (St. Frances de Sales) Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly. (St. Frances de Sales) The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God’s loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him, and if sometimes you are put out, and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure. (St. Frances de Sales) Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even when your whole world seems upset. (St. Frances de Sales) If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master’s presence. And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord’s presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed. (St. Frances de Sales)
Thank you again for letting me enter your Thursday. Helping me to find words for us all to think about again this week. Helping us keep our perspective on what is eternal. On what will matter in five years. Ten years. Perspective. Constant training of our minds. Century old prayers and thoughts above. Training our minds to have thoughts and writings of those we respect in the forefront of our minds. Patience. Inner peace. Courage. “If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master’s presence.” Tonight we will again have the chance to write in stone our epitaph for our moments passing through our sand timers today. Will the writing be worthy of the carver’s time? Will we focus our minds on what matters. Time. The winds constantly blowing time away. Will we mentally hold moments? Look into eyes. Look to the heavens. Drop mentally to our knees. I hope you can enter the doors of our store soon. We promise a reprieve from your own story and books await you that may change your life. Susan
Latin for this week: sol, solis – sun sol lucet omnibus – the sun shines on everyone ad maiorem Dei gloriam – To the greater glory of God Works Cited: Cather, Willa. Lucy Gayheart. New York. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1935.