December 8. St Francis in his Canticle of the Creatures tells us of the all-important life-giving elements of nature that give praise to God.   

Canticle 2. Praised be You, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, who is the day and through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor; and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

Canticle 3. Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.  

“Each morning the planet turns towards the sun, soaking in its warmth and suckling its life energy.   Every second our great generous sun offers up four million tons of itself transformed into radiant light and energy for all life to use.  Green plants absorb it, convert it into food and energy which too is provided for all life, human, plant and animal. All life depends on energy, and all energy has the sun as its ultimate source. With St Francis we revel in the miracle of Brother Sun, whose  life-giving energy courses through our bodies, warming our hearts, as it ignites our dreams, our fuels and our work in the world. “ From Care for Creation. p 58      

The sun’s gifts of light and warmth, absolutely essential for survival for life on earth have been impacted by human-induced climate change.  So much so that our focus is often on its dangers rather than its benefits.  When considering the solar system as a whole, the moon and the stars, we can ask, “Is the universe still seen as a source of amazing wonder and  beauty or as another element to be colonized and appropriated for our use? 

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: Have you commanded the morning since your days began and caused the dawn to know its place that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth and the wicked be shaken out of it?  Job 38:12-13.  

Pope Francis:  We need to grasp the variety of things in their multiple relationships.  We understand better the importance and meaning of each creature if we contemplate it within the entirety of God’s plan.  LS 86. 

For reflection and sharing:   As family members research, read up and share on God’s discourse with Job. Check out and sing the song Brother Sun and Sister Moon. Are the sun, moon and stars recognized for their beauty, giving glory to God?