MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Days of Celebration: St Francis

I've been waiting for a good opportunity to add another verse to the praise song 'This is a Day of Celebration' and the widely celebrated St Francis Day seemed an excellent opportunity to publish it.

As indicated by the profile picture at the bottom left of this blog, Pam and I have followed some of the St Francis trail including several visits to the amazing Basilica in Assisi and Francis' tiny chapel enclosed in another great Basilica in the valley below Assisi.


But for me, the most fascinating of our visits was the bike-ride we took around the Spoleto valley which runs almost due south of Assisi. Riding down little used 'strada bianca' (white farm roads), gave a sense of the attraction Francis found in nature as a gift of God. Throughout the few days of the ride there was also, at night, a vivid illustration of the closeness of the starry firmament - though now, of course we are richly blessed by much more understanding of that firmament.


So here, on this day, seven hundred and eighty six years after Francis' death, is a further verse for my earlier published song that could be used on any Saint's day - and certainly during the upcoming All Saints'-tide at the beginning of next month. In fact the song, as it is written, is more appropriate to All Saints with the placement of the apostrophe in the first line; so it takes the view that on any Saint's festival, we do, in a real sense, commemorate all the Saints of God through the celebration of the particular Saint.


Finally, before the celebratory verse itself: it is a sobering thought that we celebrate personalities in this twenty-first century for far less compelling reasons than looking at the lives of Saints as examples - often ordinary people in all sorts of places who have risked and still do risk 'a hostile world'.


Ah well! Here's the verse, the full praise song can be found at This is a Day of Celebration which incorporates this latest verse



This is a Day of Celebration - verse for Saint's days

This is a day for Saints’ remembrance,
Women and men who’ve loved the Lord
And by their lives drew others to Him,
Risking a hostile world.

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'