Saint Francis knew, it seems, the inner power God invested in the words that sprang up spontaneously from his gratitude for the assurance of God’s kingdom. Then when Father Francis came to die, he sang the final stanzas of his Canticle, knowing full well the words would give him hope and courage to make the passage into the kingdom that already dwelled within him, a mirror of the kingdom he was about to return to.
Praised be you, my Lord, through our Sister
Bodily Death from whom
no one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Blessed are those whom Sister Death
will find in your most holy will,
for the second death
can do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord, thank him
and serve him humbly
—from Murray Bodo, OFM, author of the book Francis and Jesus