Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Habit of Prayer Part II
Saint Bonaventure says: ‘Francis firmly enjoined that the grace of prayer should be desired above all things by every religious man. He believed that no man can progress in the service of God without it, and he exhorted the friars, by every means in his power, to seek this grace.''
How wonderful is Franciscan prayer! It seeks the union of love; it is indeed the exercise of that very union of love. But in addition to this, the purpose of Franciscan prayer is to honor and glorify Almighty God. We Franciscans need look no further than our Seraphic Father to find out how this is done. In his ‘Canticle of Brother Sun,’ Saint Francis gives us the key to the hymns of praise that he would have all creatures sing to their Creator.
Concerning this Canticle, he says: ‘I wish to formulate a new hymn to the Lord, for His glory, for my consolation, and for the edification of my neighbor. It is to be based on His creatures which we use daily, without which we cannot live, through which the human race so often offends its Creator, and for which we are continually ungrateful. God has generously given us these creatures, yet we do not praise our Creator and Giver of all good things as we should.'' By means of this Canticle of Brother Sun, our Seraphic Patriarch wished all his sons to become ‘priests of creation,’ singing the praises of God on behalf of all created things. He wished them to lead an intimate life with God and all creatures in a union of love. We know that ‘only one thing is necessary’: to love and thus to live in union with God who is Charity, Unity, and Love.