"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68


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Wednesday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
Life of St Francis of Assisi known as the “Compilation of Pérouse” (c.1311)
§ 43

“Give thanks to God”

Two years before his death the blessed Francis was already ill, suffering especially from his eyes… He had been fifty days or more without being able to stand the sunlight by day nor the brightness of the fire by night. He remained continually in his cell, in the gloom at the interior of the house… One night, while he was thinking about all the trials he was enduring, he felt sorry for himself and said interiorly: “Lord, help me in my infirmities so that I can have the strength to bear them patiently!” And suddenly, in his mind, he heard a voice: “Tell me, brother: if you were to be given a great and precious treasure in return for your sufferings and trials…, would you not rejoice?… Be joyful and happy in the midst of your infirmities and trials: from now on live in as much peace as if you were already sharing my Kingdom.”

The next day he said to his companions…: “God has given me such grace and blessing that, in his pity, he has deigned to assure me – me, his poor, unworthy servant still living here below – that I shall share in his Kingdom. Therefore, for his glory, for my own consolation and the edification of my neighbour, I should like to compose a new “Praise of the Lord” for his creatures. Every day these serve our needs; without them we should not be able to live, and humankind greatly offends the Creator with them. Every day, too, we fail to acknowledge so great a blessing by not praising the Creator and Dispenser of all these gifts as we should…”.

These “Praises of the Lord”, which begin with: “Most high, most powerful and good Lord”, he called the “Canticle of Brother Sun”. For indeed, it is the most beautiful of all creatures, that which, more than any other, we might compare to God. And he said: “At sunrise everyone ought to praise God for having created this star that gives light to our eyes by day; in the evening, everyone should praise God for that other creature, our brother Fire, who enables our eyes to see clearly in the darkness. We are all like blind men and it is through these two creatures that God gives us light. That is why we ought to praise most particularly their glorious Creator for these creatures and for those others that serve us each day.”

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