Franciscan saints & blesseds: October 2009 Archives
Poor and humble in Christ's way,
Let us sing of good Saint Francis,
Heartfelt homage let us pay!
Leaving home and wealth behind him,
Francis heard the Savior's call,
Serving God as poor and needy,
to care for all.
Preaching Jesus and His mercy,
Francis made the Cross his boast,
Loving Christ within the Manger,
Praised His presence in the Host.
God in mercy gave him brothers
Joined in poverty and grace,
Vowed to serve Christ in obedience,
Freed by chastity's embrace.
What was hidden from the learned
To the simple has been giv'n:
To the child-like are revealed now
All the truths and joys of heav'n.
Preaching only Jesus' Gospel,
Francis sang of endless care
Which God, author of creation,
With each person wants to share.
Most high God, all good and mighty,
Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
With Saint Francis we would love You
And with Christ-filled lives attest:
From You, Lord, comes our salvation!
As did Francis, help us live
Lives of peace and true devotion,
That we thanks and praise may give!
87 87 D, suggested tune: Nettleton
James Michael Thompson, (c) 2009, World Library Publications
Blind Francis, waiting to welcome Sister Death,
Worn though he was by ecstacies and fame,
Had heart for tune. With what remained of breath,
He led his friars in canticles. Then came
Brother Elias, scowling, to his side,
Small-souled Elias, crying by book and candle,
This was outrageous! Had the friars no pride?
Music at deathbeds! Ah, the shame! the scandal!
Elias gave him sermons and advice
Instead of song; which simply proves once more
What things are sure this side of paradise:
Death, taxes, and the counsel of the bore.
Though we outwit the tithe, make death our friend,
Bores we have with us even to the end.
(Phyllis McGinley, 1950)