World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Pope Francis has asked all Catholics, indeed, all peoples, to pray for the care of Creation.  He asks that we first offer praise and thanks to God the Creator for the precious gift of this earth.  Then, we should pray that He sends His Spirit into our hearts, to inspire us to care for this gift He has given us.  Pope Francis composed a prayer that he included in his encyclical “Laudato Si’,” that could provide a good starting point for our reflections.  I am also including below, a prayer, a hymn, by St. Francis of Assisi.  He is joining with all of Creation, in giving praise to God.  May we all do the same this day.

Francis and Brother Sun

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, 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 bright, 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.

Care for Creation – A Franciscan Perspective

Francis and Brother Sun

The Canticle of Brother Sun

Most high omnipotent good Lord,

Yours are the praises, the honor and all blessing.

To you alone, Most High, do they belong,

And no person is worthy to mention you.

Praise be you, my Lord, with all your creatures,

Especially Sir Brother Sun,

Who makes the day and through whom you give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor,

and bears the signification of you, Most High.

Praised be you, my Lord, for Brother Wind,

And for the air-cloudy and serene-and every kind of weather,

By which you give sustenance to your creatures.

Praised be you, my Lord, for Sister Water,

Which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be you, my Lord, for Brother Fire,

By whom you illumine the night,

And he is beautiful and cheerful and robust and strong.

Praise be you, my Lord, for our Sister Mother Earth,

Who sustains and governs us,

And produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be you, m Lord, for those who give pardon for love of you

And bear infirmity and tribulation

Blessed are those who endure in peace,

For by you, Most High, they will be crowned.

Praised be you, my Lord, for our Sister Bodily Death

From whom no living man can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin.

Blessed are those whom death will find in your most holy will,

For the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give him thanks

And serve him with great humility.

(Translated by Fr. Regis Armstrong OFM CAP)