A New Canticle

Today, I heard a wonderful new prayer – one of the most beautiful I have heard in a very long time. This prayer, written by Sr. María Laura Fernández, a postulant with the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, was graciously shared by her during a formation round-table with Fr. Jack Rathschmidt, OFM Capuchin. As Maria’s prayer was read in Spanish by various members of the Franciscan Institute, I was immediately captivated by the effortless sense of humor, the freshness of tolerant understanding, and the intimate joy of knowing and trusting in a God of infinite goodness and love.

Love and praise is abundantly overflowing in this prayer and, for me, it taps into a wellspring of joy that is at the core of St. Francis’s view of Creation. How blessed are we to have such talented and inspiring Religious still writing, crafting, and creating new prayers, expressions of joy, praise, and thanksgiving? My sincerest gratitude to Sr. Maria for her generosity in sharing this beautiful prayer.

Here is her lovely Canticle in both English and Spanish…

Praised be you, my Lord, for your boundless sense of humor. With your laughter you enlighten our days and your witty ideas move us to share your happiness with others.

Praised be you, my Lord, for the wonderful gift of life. You called us to existence just because of your great love and our little love will never be enough to answer back to such condescendence.

Praised be you, my Lord, for the brothers and sisters that you bring to our way. How enjoyable is to feel your nearness through them and always learn from one another! Please let us grow in brotherhood and come together also with those who suffer because of loneliness, poverty, sickness or sadness.

Praised be you, my Lord, for the body you have given us. How remarkable way of communication! Our senses catch everyday all your wonders and so much sweetness overflows our heart with joy. We feel cold, we feel warmth, we feel ALIVE. And definitely hugs are one of your best inventions.

Praised be you, my Lord, for the shared meals; because every time we sit around the table with another human being, not only our energies are recharged but also our spirit is fed with the joy of brotherhood.

Praised be you, my Lord, for the music and for the sweet melodies that soak into the bottom of our being and transform us from the inside. Grant that our whole life may be turned into music to delight all those who surround us.

Praised be you, my Lord, for the ability to love that you have sown into our heart. Let us be instruments of your love, so that we could spread your tenderness in our work as well as in our recreation times.

Praised be you, my Lord, for the diversity of cultures, religions and opinions. Meeting face to face with what is different allows us to contemplate your immense wisdom, motivates in us a sincere openness to dialogue and reminds us that there are many distinct pathways that lead to you.

 Praised be you, my Lord, for nature and all the beauties that inhabit the whole universe. Your footprint is engraved in all what surrounds us, from the most majestic landscape to the most insignificant little creature. Everything tells us about your love and a deep gratitude springs up from our heart.

Praised be you, my Lord, for every chance to encounter you. How delightful is to know that you always jump out to meet us not only in the seven sacraments but also in the thousands of sacraments that you offer us at every moment! We will continue discovering your presence every day until our sister death (as the ultimate sacrament) takes us to the definitive gathering with you. Thus, we will continue enjoying your love and we will join your laughter for ever and ever.

Amen.

_______

Alabado seas, mi Señor, por tu infinito sentido del humor. Con tu risa iluminas nuestros días y tus ocurrencias nos empujan a compartir con otros tu alegría.

Alabado seas, mi Señor, por el maravilloso don de la vida. Por tu inmenso amor quisiste llamarnos a la existencia y nuestro pequeño amor nunca será suficiente para responder a tan gran condescendencia.

Alabado seas, mi Señor, por los hermanos y hermanas que pones en nuestro camino. ¡Qué lindo es sentir tu cercanía a través de ellos y aprender siempre los unos de los otros! Por favor ayúdanos a crecer en fraternidad y hermanarnos también con todos aquellos que sufren por la soledad, la pobreza, la enfermedad o la tristeza.

Alabado seas, mi Señor, por el cuerpo que nos has dado. ¡Qué admirable vehículo de comunicación! Nuestros sentidos captan diariamente todas tus maravillas y nuestro corazón se embriaga de tanta dulzura. Sentimos frío, sentimos calor, sentimos VIDA. Y definitivamente los abrazos son uno de tus mejores inventos.

Alabado seas, mi Señor, por las comidas compartidas; porque cada vez que nos sentamos a la mesa con otro ser humano, no sólo se reponen nuestras fuerzas sino que además se alimenta nuestro espíritu con el gozo de la fraternidad.

Alabado seas, mi Señor, por la música y las dulces melodías que penetran hasta lo más profundo de nuestro ser y nos transforman por dentro. Concédenos la gracia de convertir nuestra vida entera en música que deleite a todos los que nos rodean.

Alabado seas, mi Señor, por la capacidad de amar que has puesto en nuestro corazón. Permítenos ser instrumentos de tu amor, para que comuniquemos tu ternura tanto en el trabajo como en los tiempos de diversión.

Alabado seas, mi Señor, por la diversidad de culturas, religiones y opiniones. Encontrarnos con lo diferente nos permite contemplar tu gran sabiduría, nos invita a tener una sincera actitud de diálogo y nos recuerda que son muchos los caminos que conducen a ti.

Alabado seas, mi Señor, por la naturaleza y todas las bellezas que habitan el universo. Tu huella está impresa en todo lo que nos rodea, desde el paisaje más majestuoso hasta la criaturita más insignificante. Todo nos habla de tu amor y hace brotar de nuestro corazón un profundo agradecimiento.

Alabado seas, mi Señor, por cada oportunidad de encontrarnos contigo. ¡Qué alegría saber que sales a nuestro encuentro no sólo en los siete sacramentos sino también en los miles de sacramentos que nos regalas a cada instante! Queremos seguir descubriendo tu presencia todos los días hasta que la hermana muerte (como último sacramento) nos lleve al encuentro definitivo contigo. Y así podremos seguir gozando de tu amor y reírnos contigo por los siglos de los siglos.

Amén.

 


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