|"Bless the Lord..."|
Only moments before I had finished my Morning Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, which on Sunday morning includes portions of that beautiful canticle of praise from the Book of Daniel, a canticle sung by the three young men in the fiery furnace: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego [Dan 3:28-68]. Among the verses in that canticle is the following:
"Bless the Lord, all beasts and cattle, sing praise to Him and highly exalt Him forever" [Dan 3:59].
At one point during my lifelong spiritual formation, I wondered about this canticle in Daniel, questioning its reference to inanimate objects, plants, and animals as sources of blessing and praise. I even recall a theologian once almost laughingly ridiculing this canticle as a symptom of the naive, primitive understanding of the early Hebrews. I suppose I laughed right along with him.
But then I gradually learned to look beyond myself and became aware of all that surrounded me. Unlike that theologian I actually began to grow up. I came to recognize the greatness of God's Creation, a Creation so vast, so complex, and so varied that each unique element, by its very existence, blesses and praises its Creator.
And, after looking at the above photo, who can deny that even this humble squirrel, probably standing on that picnic bench begging for a treat, praises the Creator simply because he is, because he has been given the gift of life?
Today, when you pray, thank God for His Creation, and for making you a part of it.