If you read the Divine Office you become quite familiar with the Canticle from Daniel 3:57 which gets heavy rotation (liturgical payola involved?). It contains such phrases as "Cold and chill, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever, Frost and chill, bless the Lord. Ice and snow, bless the Lord, Mountains and hills, bless the Lord."
Now being a resident of Florida these passages normally don’t speak to me, so I pondered what if Daniel had been exiled to Florida instead? What might he have written in those circumstances?
Heat and humidity, bless the Lord
praise and exalt him above all forever
Gators and geckos, bless the Lord
Lack of mountains and hills, bless the Lord
Swamps and wetlands, bless the Lord
Thunderstorms and hurricanes, bless the Lord
You Manatees and all water creatures, bless the Lord
Birds of the air and tourists flying South, bless the Lord
Fireants and giant cockroaches, bless the Lord
But – are you sure you looked carefully? Perhaps your Bible is missing that part… (wink, nudge) Ah, I think it’s in the part attributed to “Deutero-Daniel” which always makes me think of heavy hydrogen (deuterium). Or that Newhart show: “Hello, I’m the prophet Daniel, and this is my brother Isaiah, and my other brother Isaiah.” Or maybe you’ve stumbled onto the lost “Gospel of the Everglades” (hee hee)
But actually, your extension of the “Canticle in the Furnace” is excellent – and frankly, as a scientist, I have urged such extensions…
“Lanthanum and Praseodymium, praise the Lord.
All you rare earths, praise the Lord.
Nand and Nor, praise the Lord.
All you Boolean functions, praise the Lord.
Addition and subtraction, praise the Lord.
All you Abelian and non-Abelian groups, praise the Lord.
Quark and Galaxy, praise the Lord…
Indeed – why don’t we do this more? Aren’t all these things created by God, and so are good?
And the litanies could likewise be extended (e.g. of Loreto: “Queen of scientists, pray for us; Queen of historians, pray for us, Queen of athletes, pray for us…”) or as someone has done very elegantly for the humility of bloggers.
Please God, someday, we of the modern high-tech world shall get serious about the thanksgiving we owe to God for all the wonderful things we have been able to discover in this cosmos, and put to GOOD use…
Indeed: let all things, large and small, praise the Lord, give glory and eternal praise to Him.
And, as you might expect, there is a Chestertonian reason for this:
“The greatest of poems is an inventory.”
[GKC, Orthodoxy CW1:267]
Punch ballots and hanging “chads”, bless the Lord.
You have Geckos?!!!
Like the little insurance lizards?
Are they tasty?
My cats think so.
Get yourself to God’s country where frost, snow, ice, mountains, hills and the like are commonplace and then the canticle will speak to you. 😉
LOL Jeff..good one :). Its a beautiful canticle and good additions 🙂
I suppose when (if?) we get to heaven, we’ll finally discover what the point of those cockroaches was, right?
I believe this excerpt below is from the extended hurricane season editio:
Palm Trees and Blown Off Palm Limbs, bless the Lord.
Flying Debris and landscaping, bless the Lord.
Missing Weather Vanes and Garbage cans, bless the Lord
Batteries and Bottled Water, bless the Lord
Home Depot and Lowes, bless the Lord
Window shutters and plywood, bless the Lord
Canned Goods and Mighty Flashlights, bless the Lord
praise and exalt him above all forever.
Where I come from, we don’t go in for all that liturgical inculturation stuff. Next you’ll be wanting dynamic translations of Scripture adapted to the Floridian cultural context and milleu, and you’ll be doing mass with beer and pretzels instead of bread and wine. And then where will it end?
Mass with beer and pretzels!!! I could get a shipload of folks, or should I say an ark-load of folks, to come to church with those two items on the menu. Maybe our beloved Bavarian B16 will authorize the beer and pretzles. After all they’ve been eaten by monks for hundreds of years so there is a precedent established. Budweiser and a hot salty pretzel with mustard Bless the Lord!
You need to submit this, or a longer version thereof, to The Wittenburg Door. Check it out–http://www.wittenburgdoor.com
I’m a regular contributor there, myself, and they’re a great magazine. 🙂 Your wit would be perfect for that publication. Since you’re doing it anyhow on the weblog, you might as well get paid for it!
Roaches are geckos’ favorite prey; you might want to convince your kitties to eat the annoying “wild” parakeets instead if you have to put up with them up in Jacksonville.
As for “tasty,” we have a lot of iguanas here in South Florida that proliferated from people turning them loose after they got too big as pets–they breed like rabbits. The folks from the islands love them.
As to tasty reptiles: “I wish I was in Tijuana eating barbecued iguana” (I know this shows me to be an old coot. So be it.)
Fireants and giant cockroaches, bless the Lord
May God bless and keep the fireants and cockroaches… far away from us!
Fr: “The Holy Grail”
LAUNCELOT: We have the Holy Hand Grenade.
ARTHUR: Yes, of course! The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch! ‘Tis one of the sacred relics Brother Maynard carries with him! Brother Maynard! Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade!
How does it, uh… how does it work?
???: I know not, my liege.
???: Consult the Book of Armaments!
MAYNARD: Armaments, Chapter Two, Verses Nine to Twenty-One.
BROTHER: “And Saint Atila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, ‘Oh, Lord, bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow thy enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.’ And the Lord
did grin, and people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large –“
MAYNARD: Skip a bit, Brother.
BROTHER: “And the Lord spake, saying, ‘First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less.
Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shalt be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thou foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.'”
Since I’m in Minnesota?
Blizzards and Hailstorms, Bless the Lord
Snowblowers and IceMelt, Bless the Lord
Black Bear and Coyotes, Bless the Lord
Misquitos and May flies, Bless the Lord
Flat and Flatter lands, Bless the Lord
Lakes and more lakes, Bless the Lord
And then a few more lakes, Bless the Lord
Praise and Exalt Him Above All Forever
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