Praise to you Most High God,
all creation You have made,
Your Providence cares for us,
enduring Love always stayed.
Your Goodness, Power, and Your Might,
light Wisdom always there,
Your Glory, Love, and Your Light,
show a cross we must bear.
You have taken St. Francis our shining star,
who gave Your rules for our way,
his perfection was to guide our correction,
now we see not what he did say.
Years near forty times a score,
since he walked the earth,
still our modern leaders think,
without his words we near rebirth.
Rules now by him not written,
govern what we are to do,
ravaged lie his holy ladies,
avoided sirens to his high virtue.
Guidance from those who know him not,
words bent wild from his say,
empty shown of what he had known,
fully modern to fit our day.
Unlike the glorious words of Your Son,
glosses were added to passages fixed,
when he wrote at Rieti the meat of our Rules,
what now we accept Francis would nix.
Books and money bound together,
echoes both of our minds,
destroyers of a simpler way
proud glimmers of these times.
What would Francis ask today,
"How tell I the people of my name?",
so slight the difference to be seen,
from others not professed the same.
Houses, clothes, and pillows too,
beds and pleasures everywhere,
history shows where Francis goes,
these things he rarely shared.
Strength for me does come from we,
fraternal communities on the way,
still Francis blessed my life at home,
in favor of distant play.
Led and pushed secular to be
"We are not monks you know",
on every day need we pray,
and refuse a lusty show?
Poverty and fasting ravaged,
from simplicity we are free,
most abstain from what Francis said,
Only obedience has held the tide,
and keeps his Orders free,
from high error as Rome said 'yes',
to what modern ministers flee.
Wronged the true remnant every day,
others cry over their voices,
"You can't love what Francis wrote,
and not the modern choices!"
Why can't it be seen in the modern lights,
the walkways all paved and new,
lifestyles led oft sanquine red,
everything so very askew.
The need is real there is no doubt,
we have to change and now,
as Francis chose so we choose,
look only forward from the plow.
And as he knew may we know too,
what he said we must recall,
the glory of Orders are Rules alive,
to praise my God and my All.
Sweep wide, pierce deep, Spirit of God,
the voice of the troubadour again clear,
his words we take to his day we remake,
lives led in joy, not fear.
There is yet another delay it seems,
the Mother of God is near,
incredulous we seem to be these days,
that Franciscans should hold her dear.
Yet she arises as foretold,
crowned countenance bright, message bold,
from mother fires strength to change,
ancient fervor growing cold.
Hearts must alter Her voice cries,
or your world will be no more,
for you my children have forgotten,
to do penance as before.
None before the Wounds ever bore,
save He who died for you,
Poverello's toil sealed forever,
don't alter his vision, for it is true.
Who has told you times have changed,
has my Son come again unknown,
neither call dead the words He said,
nor those His chosen have sown.
Among those called by her sweet voice,
these she surely bade,
true Franciscans who hear her now,
having found the way he made.
Awake sleeper, see this dawning,
the original Rule come from afar,
souls afire, bright their life,
shining through Morning Star.
Into the battle of spirit on flesh,
spring forward with the frayed,
self does die as penance draws nigh,
through proud demons rage unstayed.
Praise to you Most High God,
all creation you have made,
your Providence cares for us,
teach us again how Francis played.
Brother Not, sfo