The Canticle of the Creatures is St Francis’ great song of love, praise and thanksgiving to God. Written late in his life when he was blind and following a period of deep despair, it is both an outpouring of joy in creation and the distillation of a lifetime’s hard-won wisdom. In it he calls us to join with the sun, moon and stars in the praise of God, and also to praise God through our lives, forgiving each other and living together in peace.
Written in the 13th century, it is full of wisdom we urgently need today. In a time when we often experience a lack of connection between ourselves, other people and the world around us, the Canticle can teach us to ground ourselves both in the beauty of the natural world and our place as a part of the family of creation.
In this reflective day we will explore the Canticle’s beauty and wisdom, its origins in St Francis’ own life, including his sense of himself as a ‘Troubadour of the Lord’ proclaiming a love song in praise of his Beloved, and how its beauty and wisdom illuminate his own thinking, faith and relationship with God. We will also reflect on its profound ecological and psychological insights for us and our world today.
Br Sam SSF was until recently the Brother-in-Charge at Hilfield Friary in Dorset, and now lives in the Franciscan community in East London. He is much in demand as a retreat leader and speaker, and is co-authoring a book about St Francis’ wisdom for our own times for Canterbury Press.
The day includes reflective worship, lunch and other refreshments and takes place at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine in Limehouse, East London (www.rfsk.org.uk). We are very grateful to St Katharine’s for their hospitality in co-hosting our reflective days.