N is for Nature

N is for Nature

I was baptized as a Roman Catholic when I was a baby, probably because my mom’s family was Catholic. We only went to church on Easter and Christmas, so it’s fair to say I was not raised in a Catholic environment.

By the time I was eight, I was attending a strong Protestant church with my stepmother’s family. So, what I’m saying is I know very little about Catholicism. I know even less about the saints of Catholicism. The only saint I know even a little about is Saint Francis de Assisi and what I know of him, I like him. I identify with the person he was said to be when it comes to nature.

I feel closest to God when I’m in nature. More than in any other setting, my heart is filled with gratitude when I am surrounded by trees, rocks, sky, animals… things not made by people. Saint Francis de Assisi was said to have been a man very much in tune to nature. He believed nature was made to praise its creator. He believed in protecting it and was said to have a unique bond with nature and animals.

He wrote the following hymn, which wasn’t published until 400 years after his death. I’ve never heard it before, so I don’t know how it sounds, but I do love the words. Enjoy!

All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing:,
alleluia, alleluia!
O burning sun with golden beam,
and shining moon with silver gleam,
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

O rushing wind so wild and strong,
white clouds that sail in heaven along,
alleluia, alleluia!
New rising dawn in praise rejoice;
you lights of evening find a voice:
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Cool flowing water, pure and clear,
make music for your Lord to hear:
alleluia, alleluia!
Fierce fire, so masterful and bright,
providing us with warmth and light.
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Earth ever fertile, day by day
bring forth your blessings on our way;
alleluia, alleluia!
All flowers and fruits that is you grow,
let the his glory also show;
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

All you who are of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part;
alleluia, alleluia!
All you who pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on him cast your care;
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
alleluia, alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, Three in One:
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

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