PSYCHE, NATURE and PRAYER
Francis of Assisi’s “Song of Brother Sun”, as interpreted by Eloi LeClerc in The Canticle of Creatures, illustrates concretely the points I have tried to make above, and the kind of poetic prayer, imaged from nature, that is the thesis of this paper, as well.
In The Canticle of Creatures, LeClerc presents a portrait of Francis of Assisi as poet, visionary and dreamer, man passionately in love with God and nature, who celebrated this love and these dreams in a “Song of Brother Sun” just shortly before he died. This song of God's praise is clothed in images of creatures: images drawn from nature.
Song of Brother Sun
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.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made. And first , my Lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and light you give to us through him.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendour. Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars; In the heavens you have made them, bright, and precious and fair.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water, so useful, lowly, precious and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten up the night. How beautiful he is, how gay! Full of power and strength.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our mother, who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces various fruits and colored flowers and herbs.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon for love of you; through those who endure Sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace,
By you, Most High, they will be crowned.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death, from whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those She finds doing your will! The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks, And serve him with great humility.”