"God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good."- Genesis 1:31
|Mosaic at St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa. Photo by Esther|
"Saint Francis of Assisi was named the patron saint of ecology in 1989 for good reason. We might say that Francis saw with the eyes of God. He saw that all of creation was good, very good. Francis treasured each part of the created world that he viewed-from lofty Mt. Subasio where Assisi nestles to the tiniest worm creeping along the dusty road never his hometown. Francis believed that ll creation was God's gift and was therefore to be treated as a treasure. In 'The Canticle of the Creatures" Francis praises God for all creation-the sun and the moon, the stars and the heavens, the wind and air, water and fire, flowers and fruits and herbs. Francis' heart overflowed with gratitude for all God's gifts.
Francis was following Jesus who also treasured creation to such extent tht he used creation images as the basis for explaining spiritual truths to those who flocked to him. He spoke of seeds and sheeps, figs and fields, pearls and plants, wheat and water. He spoke of these elements of creation to bring people closer to God."
Prayer for a Dying Pet
"Loving God, our beloved pet and companion, __________,
is on his/her final journey. We will miss ________ dearly.
We thank you for the gift that he/she has been to us.
Give us hope that, in your great kindness,
you may restore ___________ in your heavenly Kingdom
according to your wisdom,
which goes beyond our human understanding."
by Friar Jack Wintz, O.F.M
A Pet Blessing Prayer
"Blessed are you, Lord God,by Friar Jack Wintz, O.F.M
Maker of all living creatures.
On the fifth and sixth days of creation,
you called forth fish in the sea,
birds in the air and animals on the land.
You inspired St. Francis to call all animals
his brothers and sisters.
We ask you to bless these animals gathered about us.
By the power of your love,
enable these creatures—our sisters and brothers—to
live according to you plan.
May we always praise you for your beauty in creation.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen."
St. Francis and the Birds
St. Francis has often been linked with birds and other creatures. Many of us are well acquainted with the statue of St. Francis on the birdbath and with the illustration of birds flying around the saint's head or standing on his shoulders. Such images inspire us to love the whole family of creation. We may also be familiar with St. Francis' Canticle of Brother Sun, in which Francis praises God through "Brother Sun" and "Sister Moon," through "Brother Wind" and "Sister Water," through "Brother Fire" and "Our Sister Mother Earth" and her "various fruits with colored flowers and herbs."
St. Francis loved the larks that flew so gracefully through the sky over Assisi, his hometown. Perhaps you have also heard stories of this brown-robed friar preaching to the birds, releasing Brother Rabbit from a trap or letting Sister Raven serve as his "alarm clock" to awaken him for early-morning prayer.
There are many of us human beings, moreover, who know what it's like to have, as companions, a beloved dog, cat, rabbit, gerbil, parrot or canary. There are others who may not have a pet, but who enjoy walking through the woods or along the seacoast where there are all kinds of creatures of land, air and sea to admire and to contemplate.
"Loving Creator, bless all your creatures—
human and non-human alike.
Instill in us a spirit like that of St. Francis
so that we, too, may show love, respect and care
to the whole family of creation. Amen."
Canticle of the Sun by Marty Haugen
Sources:Thanks to Mary Jane for sharing Father Jack's e-newsletter with me.
Father Jack's Espirations
To Live as Francis Lived