With a Song in my Heart – 40 Days of Sacred Songs
Day 32 – Thursday after 5th Sunday of Lent
To Listen: Laudato Si’
Laudato si’, O mi’ Signore,
Laudato si’, O mi’ Signore,
Laudato si’, O mi’ Signore,
Laudato si’, O mi’ Signore.
Yes, be praised in all your creatures,
Sun our brother, Moon our sister
In the stars and in the breezes
Air and fire and flowing water.
Thank you for the earth our mother,
She who feeds us and sustains us
For her fruits, her grass, her flowers
For the mountains and the oceans
Praise for those who spread forgiveness,
Those who share your peace with others
Bearing trials and sickness bravely
Even sister death won’t harm them.
Life is but a song of worship
And the reason for our singing
Is to praise you for the music
Join the dance of all creation.
Praise to You, our God and Father
Praise and thanks to you, Lord Jesus
Praise to you, most Holy Spirit
Life and joy of all creation!
From the Scriptures:
I will now call to mind the works of the Lord,
and will declare what I have seen.
By the word of the Lord his works are made;
and all his creatures do his will.
16 The sun looks down on everything with its light,
and the work of the Lord is full of his glory.
17 The Lord has not empowered even his holy ones
to recount all his marvellous works,
which the Lord the Almighty has established
so that the universe may stand firm in his glory.
18 He searches out the abyss and the human heart;
he understands their innermost secrets.
For the Most High knows all that may be known;
he sees from of old the things that are to come
19 He discloses what has been and what is to be,
and he reveals the traces of hidden things.
20 No thought escapes him,
and nothing is hidden from him.
21 He has set in order the splendours of his wisdom;
he is from all eternity one and the same.
Nothing can be added or taken away,
and he needs no one to be his counsellor.
22 How desirable are all his works,
and how sparkling they are to see!
23 All these things live and remain for ever;
each creature is preserved to meet a particular need
24 All things come in pairs, one opposite to the other,
and he has made nothing incomplete.
25 Each supplements the virtues of the other.
Who could ever tire of seeing his glory?
Pope Francis, when he called his encyclical on the Creation ‘Laudato Si’ set the fur flying in the Vatican. Not because he wrote an encyclical about the care of Creation but, for the first time ever a Papal Encyclical had a title that was not in Latin but Italian! It appears that some members of the Curia have plenty of time on their hands… The Pope in using Italian put his words firmly in the hills of Perugia and out of the mouth of the person who first spoke them, Francis of Assisi.
Francis of Assisi’s ‘Canticle of the Creatures’ has been sung in many forms down the ages but perhaps, as our young people lead the way in reminding us to care for our Mother Earth, they are finally beginning to take root and produce fruit. If ‘All Creatures of our God and King’ are to lift up their voices to praise the Creator then we, the pinnacle of creation, need to be much more diligent and proactive in caring for the world around us.
In the beginning, when the LORD God made the man and the woman, he placed them in a garden called Eden – an earthly paradise. And it was there that God gave us our purpose ‘to help the garden grow and keep it safe’ (Genesis 2v15). It seems that we have failed abysmally at both of these tasks and we need constant reminders to give thanks for all God’s Creation which, if we but listen, call us to praise our Beloved with every fibre of our being.
This is a lifelong task, (St Francis took continually added new verses to the Canticle and only wrote the final stanzas on his deathbed) and will be costly. Not just in terms of wealth, we have become used to cheap food and an easy availability of energy, but also in terms of changing our attitude to everyone thing around us. We literally need to ‘wake up and smell the flowers!’ This doesn’t happen at speed nor quickly, as the Japanese Theologian Kosuke Koyama reminds us we worship a God who, like us, walks at Three Miles an Hour. But it will never happen unless we take the first steps. After all we do want our children to have a world to inherit don’t we?
God of life and love,
whose Son was victorious over sin and death,
make us alive with his life,
that the whole world may resound with your praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1) Do something Franciscan. Go barefoot for a day. Have a day when you only walk. Pray through this full version of the Canticle of the Creatures. (My choice will be to watch the movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon in Holy Week).
2) Choose to ‘go green’ in one area of your life as an act of Praise to God.
Reprise: On Eagles Wings
In this pilgrimage of faith found in music this song is one of the most lasting memories of our time in Halesworth. Sarah Gallop (now a professional Soprano) sung this song as part of Wenhaston Girls Choir and it is one I listen to whenever I feel a little bit down. It’s included here as a ‘thank you’ for a wonderful young women who, come September will have sung at the weddings of all three of our sons. Music brings life – thank you Sarah for giving your music and your friendship to us again and again.
(Sadly this recording is not by Sarah but perhaps my writing about it may give her a gentle nudge…)
You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord
Who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord, “My refuge, my rock in whom I trust!”
And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand
The snare of the fowler will never capture you
And famine will bring you no fear
Under His wings your refuge, His faithfulness your shield
You need not fear the terror of the night
Nor the arrow that flies by day
Though thousands fall about you, near you it shall not come
For to His angels He’s given a command
To guard you in all of your ways
Upon their hands they will bear you up,
lest you dash your foot against a stone
Today’s Bonus Video has to be the title song from THE movie about St Francis of Assisi…
Please Note: These reflections are also published on my blog: suffolkvicarhomes.com on Twitter as @SuffolkVicar, and on my public Facebook page Rev Andrew Dotchin
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Prayers are adapted from the Psalm Prayers in the Common Worship Psalter. material from which is included here, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2005
Scripture quotations are copyright © New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
These Reflections, ‘With a Song in my Heart’ are copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2022