HERMITAGE AND SOLITUDE
Praised be my Lord God with all creatures,
and especially our brother the sun,
which brings us the day and the light;
fair is he, and shining with a very great splendor:
O Lord, he signifies you to us!
Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon,
and for the stars,
which God has set clear and lovely in heaven.
Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind,
and for air and cloud, calms and all weather,
by which you uphold in life all creatures.
Praised be my Lord for our sister water,
which is very serviceable to us,
and humble, and precious, and clean.
Praised be my Lord for brother fire,
through which you give us light in the darkness;
and he is bright, and pleasant, and very mighty,
Praised be my Lord for our mother the Earth,
which sustains us and keeps us,
and yields diverse fruits,
and flowers of many colors, and grass.
Along the pathways here are several caves in which the friars sought solitude with God. Bronze statues of Francis and two other friars capture their absorption in the earth and sky as though through nature to find a path to the Transcendent.
In an individualistic era like ours, it can be difficult to see how some guy living in a cave and talking only to God can affect me in even a small way. But what if every thought we have actually does vibrate throughout the entire fabric of being, and we aren't such individuals as we thought? Then in solitude we would not be so alone. Instead we would have the contemplative experience of realizing our connection with everything. Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Fire, Sister Water, Brother Wind, Mother Earth. Brother You, Sister I. And the same Breath in and through us all.
|Brother Francis gazing at the sky.|