I love the song, All Creatures of Our God and King, with lyrics inspired by a poem written by St. Francis of Assisi. I’ve always loved it. Below is a modern rendition of the hymn. It really illustrates the beautiful reality that all of creation is sustained by the grace of God.
All of creation praises God by its existence and by each created thing living as God intended it to be. In every creature’s uniqueness and in every creature’s very existence, in that ‘something comes from nothing’ truth, God is present and the very presence on this earth (another created thing!) is proof of His power and of His love.
And then, mankind, the pinnacle of creation, is made steward of it all. Such a privilege and great responsibility God has given us. When we care for God’s world – every person in it and every other creature on it – we praise God. Let us consciously, though, praise Him in word as well as deed. Let us thank God, with all our heart and soul, for all the blessings of this world, including this world.
God does not need us. He chose to love us into existence. Gratitude is the only and proper response. He wants relationship with us. How amazing. God, who is the sheer act of Being, who is not some supreme being, but To Be itself, who created all of this from nothing, created us to commune with us. You and me and every other person ever conceived were and are desired by the Eternal Father.
How can we not be grateful? Thanksgiving and praise should be part of every day for the human being who is the only one of God’s creatures who comprehends his or her own existence and can contemplate that, and so many other things.
Philosophy? Mathematics? Poetry? Love? Brotherhood? Compassion? The ability to reason? The decision to take on responsibility? Those sorts of things are in our exclusive domain. No animal, plant, or mineral can contemplate or experience those things. And that sense of responsibility to care for creation, every bit of it, comes from the part of us that is divine. We are made in the image and likeness of our God. Our creativity, our capacity to love, our desire to bring children into our families to express our love beyond ourselves and our mates, those are Godlike qualities.
We should rejoice, adore, worship, serve, offer thanks to our God, our Creator. We can go a step, a significant step, beyond other creatures in praising God with our existence. For, though we have life like the other created things, we have been endowed with so much more that can make this world a better place, even a Heaven on Earth, if we desire it.
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