And the earth was waste and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
A story of a Franciscan friar.
It has been years ago but I will allways remember. I was sent to attend an International Conference on Worl Peace which was held in Melbourne Australia. The Conference lasted about a week or so and at the end i was advised to stay and take my tow weeks annual holiday as i may never get the chance to visit there again. I stayed for a while in one particular Franciscan house which was but a few minutes from a beach and so every morning after prayers I would go for a walk on the beach before breakfast.
I noticed very often one of the young brothers would come down with surf board and take off onto the waves. I stood in admiration as he so skillfully rode the waves. Sometimes when he was coming back I would chat and we became friends.
One morning he asked if he could talk with me. He said he ahd to go for a retreat in another house and his spiritual master hd told him. “You will leave your surf board behind”!
He was very sad because of this and I said, “well its only a week and when you come back it will still be here”.
He looked at me and said “brother you dont understand, that board is my prayer book. Its like telling me to leave my breviary behind.”
He began to explain to me, “when I am out there on the surf, its my best prayer. It is there where I enter into communion with God. When I am riding a wave, through my feet I can feel the power of God’s energy
flowing through the water. As long as I feel that and stay connected in my prayer, the sea supports me and carries me and I never fall. This is my prayer because it is not something just intellectual, it is a communion of my very soul with God’s Spirit”
At that moment I thought of St Francis and his love of nature and how he praised God:
Most high, all-powerful, all good, Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor
And all blessing.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy
To pronounce your name.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made,
And first my lord Brother Sun,
Who brings the day; and light you give to us through him.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars;
In the heavens you have made them, bright
And precious and fair.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all the weather’s moods,
By which you cherish all that you have made.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
So useful, lowly, precious, and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
Through whom you brighten up the night.
How beautiful he is, how gay! Full of power and strength.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our mother,
Who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces
Various fruits and colored flowers and herbs.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon
For love of you; through those who endure
Sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace,
By you, Most High, they will be crowned.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
From whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin
Happy those She finds doing your will!
The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks,
And serve him with great humility.
–St. Francis of Assisi
Nov 26, 2009 – Uploaded by sheltonjon
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