All Creatures of Our God and King
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power. -Psalm 145:10-11
This inspiring hymn of praise, found in nearly every hymnal, was originally written in 1225 by one of the most interesting figures in all of church history. Giovanni Bernardone, better known as Saint Francis of Assisi, was a mystic, medieval monk who spent his lifetime as an itinerant evangelist, preaching, and helping the poor people of Italy.
Saint Francis was born in Assisi, Italy, in 1182. After an early indulgent life as a soldier, he reformed his ways dramatically at the age of 25, and determined to serve God by imitating the selfless life of Christ in all that he did. Although his family members were people of considerable means, Francis scorned the possession of material goods, denounced his inherited wealth, denied himself everything but the most meager necessities, and devoted himself completely to moving about his area as Christ's representative.
"All Creatures of our God and King" is from one of Saint Francis' writings entitled "Canticles of the Sun," said to have been written one hot summer day in 1225, one year before his death, while Francis was very ill and suffering the loss of his eyesight. Throughout his life, Saint Francis made much use of singing and believed strongly in the importance of church music. In all, he wrote more than 60 hymns for use in the monastery. This beautiful expression of praise is one that has survived the passing of several hundred years.
Prayer for Today
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is discord, unity.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is error, truth.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is sadness, joy.
Where there is darkness, light.
O divine master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console.
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving, that we receive.
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned.
It is in dying, that we are born to eternal life. Amen.