Editor's note:

Today (Octo­ber 4) is the Feast Day of St. Francis.

In cel­e­brat­ing St. Fran­cis of Assisi this week, our minds are recalled to this sweet poem, writ­ten in the mar­gins of a monas­tic primer in the 9th cen­tu­ry, about the twin pur­suits of a monk and his cat, Pan­gur Bán. There is some­thing of the touch of Fran­cis about these lines — a gen­uine respect and appre­ci­a­tion for this lit­tle cat, a fel­low crea­ture who is as assid­u­ous­ly focused on his God-appoint­ed task as the monk him­self! If you have ever enjoyed the plea­sures of work­ing in the com­pa­ny of an ani­mal friend, today’s post is for you!

(Trans­lat­ed from the Irish by Robin Flower.)

—Renovaré Team

I and Pan­gur Ban my cat,
Tis a like task we are at:
Hunt­ing mice is his delight,
Hunt­ing words I sit all night.

Bet­ter far than praise of men
Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pan­gur bears me no ill-will,
He too plies his sim­ple skill.

Tis a mer­ry task to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Enter­tain­ment to our mind.

Often­times a mouse will stray
In the hero Pan­gur’s way;
Often­times my keen thought set
Takes a mean­ing in its net.

Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
Gainst the wall of knowl­edge I
All my lit­tle wis­dom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pan­gur then!
O what glad­ness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our task we ply,
Pan­gur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Prac­tice every day has made
Pan­gur per­fect in his trade;
I get wis­dom day and night
Turn­ing dark­ness into light.

Join the 2020-21 Renovaré Book Club

An inten­tion­al way to read for trans­for­ma­tion. Cur­rent­ly under­way and runs through May 2021.

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