St. Francis and the Song of Brotherhood and Sisterhood

By Eric Doyle, Ofm | Go to book overview

6
The Weather

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Wind
and through Air and Cloud
and fair and all Weather,
by which you nourish all that you have made
.

Practically all the words connected with the weather in the English language are notable for their beauty. It is one of the weather’s most intriguing features how it has managed to evoke from the accompanying human spirit so many charming words with their attractive sounds. They possess a loveliness all their own, whether appearing to the outer and the inner eye as symbols, giving form to invisible ideas; or resounding in the outer and the inner ear, making the mental word incarnate in a sound: rain, hailstones, snow, sleet, snowflakes, raindrops, sunshine, drizzle, rainbow, cloud, wind, thunder, lightning, storm, frost, mist, gale, ice, fog, dew.

The weather and weather-words are frequently mentioned in the Bible. Christ’s own references to weather signs are well known and incidentally, from experience and according to the best meteorology, are quite correct! When asked on one occasion by the Pharisees and Sadducees for a sign from heaven, he replied: “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather; for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’” (Matt. 16:2-3). The words of Christ say exactly the same as our proverb:

Red at night, sailors’ delight;
red at morning, sailors’ warning.1

As the Pharisees and Sadducees were able to read the weather signs, so they ought to have been able to read the signs of the Messianic times which were being performed in their midst: the blind received their sight, the deaf were given their hearing, the lame were able to walk. In one of his more forceful discourses recorded by St. Luke, Christ said to the people: “When you see a

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St. Francis and the Song of Brotherhood and Sisterhood
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Editor’s Preface vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Contents xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - St. Francis of Assisi (1182 — 1226) 9
  • 2 - "The Canticle of Brother Sun" and the Value of Creation 41
  • 3 - The Most High Lord—Our Brother 61
  • 4 - Brother Sun 79
  • 5 - Sisters Moon and Stars 89
  • 6 - The Weather 101
  • 7 - Sister Water 111
  • 8 - Brother Fire 123
  • 9 - Sister Mother Earth 135
  • 10 - Peace, Pardon and Suffering 151
  • 11 - The Mystery of Death 171
  • 12 - Evil in the World 187
  • 13 - Thanksgiving, Humility and Service 201
  • Conclusion 213
  • Notes 217
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 230
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