Yesterday I accompanied Bishop Paprocki for the celebrations marking the 175th anniversary of the founding of the parish of St. Mary of the Assumption in Sainte Marie, Illinois, a town founded in 1837 by French Catholics seeking religious liberty.
As we made our way from the sacristy to the doors of the church for the procession, I joked to the Deacon, "If Saint Francis were with us today, I think he'd add one more verse to his Canticle of Brother Sun: 'Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Air Conditioning.'"
The Deacon answered, "Would it be 'Sister Air Conditioning' or 'Brother'?"
It was a fair question that caught me a bit off guard (I know; by now you're wondering, "Where's he going with this?"). I said that Francis addresses the sun as "brother" and fire as "brother," and then it suddenly occurred to me: No where in his Canticle of Brother Sun does Saint Francis praise the Lord for snow or cold.
The Poverello is wiser than I ever knew.
At least, he doesn't give praise for snow or cold explicitly. He does, though, through Brother Wind, give praise for "every kind of weather," which, I suppose, could include cold, but that would be a stretch, because he qualifies this praise for every kind of weather "through which you give sustenance to Your creatures."
One of these days I need to work on a little theological query as to whether winter is a direct result of the Fall of Adam.