O Oriens : Come, Shine On Those Who Dwell In Darkness and the Shadow of Death.
A reading from ‘The Life of Saint Francis’, by Thomas of Celano.
Fields and vineyards,
rocks and woods,
and all the beauties of the field,
flowing springs and blooming gardens,
earth and fire, air and wind:
all these Francis urged to love of God and to willing service.
Finally, he used to call all creatures
– by the name of ‘brother’ and ‘sister’
and in a wonderful way, unknown to others,
he could discern the secrets of the heart of creatures
like someone who has already passed
into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
O good Jesus,
with the angels in heaven
he now praises you as wonderful,
who, when placed on earth,
preached you as lovable to all creatures.
His highest aim, foremost desire, and greatest intention
was to pay heed to the holy gospel in all things and through all things,
to follow the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ
and to retrace his footsteps completely
with all vigilance and all zeal,
all the desire of his soul
and all the fervour of his heart.
Francis used to recall with regular meditation the words of Christ
and recollect his deeds with most attentive perception.
Indeed, so thoroughly did the humility of the Incarnation
and the charity of the Passion
occupy his mind
that he scarcely wanted to think of anything else.
O Radiant Dawn, splendour of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
Be sure to visit us tomorrow for O Rex Gentium…