St. Francis: Then and Now

via Elaine Breckenridge

The previous day used to be the banquet day of St. Francis of Assisi. All through the weekend, throughout denominational strains and right through the sector, his existence and legacy had been celebrated. Annual puppy and animal blessings had been held. St. Francis is so compelling that you’ll stroll right into a Lowe’s or a Walmart retailer, or any selection of plant nurseries, and purchase a statue of his likeness. The place can we see him maximum? In gardens and embellishing birdbaths. There are a large number of accounts of him preaching to birds. 

Francis straddled the 12th and 13th centuries, loss of life in 1226.  Born right into a rich circle of relatives, he used to be a wild adolescence keen on partying. He served within the army for a little while. Whilst at the highway it’s mentioned that he met a leper whose look had a profound impact on him. All through that point, he fell unwell, had desires and visions, and skilled a conversion to Christ. Following a spoil along with his father who disowned him, Francis renounced his father’s wealth. Starting up his garments, he passed them to his father stating his marriage to “Girl Poverty.” 

What’s continuously overpassed or forgotten about Francis is his overall id with poverty. For years he used to be homeless via selection, taking care of side road individuals who had no longer made that selection. He ministered to the unwell, particularly lepers. Most likely we want to be planting statues of Francis in puts the place the city deficient are. Statues of Francis positioned close to soup kitchens and homeless shelters would remind us of his id no longer simply with animals however with “the least of those.”   

Francis, like Jesus, cared about reforming and mending a damaged global. One biographer says of St. Francis, “His existence and his dating with the sector – together with animals, the weather, the deficient and unwell, in addition to princes and prelates, girls in addition to males, represented the step forward of a brand new type of human and cosmic group.” (Richard Rohr)

A brand new type of human group and cosmic group. Any such imaginative and prescient may well be referred to as God’s shalom. Theologian Walter Bruggeman says that shalom is the central imaginative and prescient of the Bible wherein “all of advent is one, each creature in group with each different, residing in team spirit and safety towards the enjoyment and well-being of each different creature.” To care in regards to the well-being of each different creature used to be on the center of the imaginative and prescient of St. Francis of Assisi. 

Murray Bodo wrote a non secular and imaginative biography of Francis and mentioned this, “God used to be all over and God’s presence charged advent with an influence and glory that made the whole lot shine with attractiveness and goodness in Francis’ eyes.” (The Adventure and the Dream.) 

For Francis, the Earth used to be alive. And the earth is alive. This can be a group of existence depending on different existence paperwork for lifestyles. All residing organisms on the earth breathe, inhale and exhale the similar air. We proportion the opposite components of water, earth, and hearth. The Earth does no longer belong to us, we belong to it. 

I feel if Francis used to be amongst us nowadays, his central message can be one among repentance.  He would remind us to suppose and stroll in a brand new course, letting move of the concept that humanity is upper, better, and extra valued than or break free the remainder of advent. He would remind us that no longer simplest is advent excellent; it’s sacred as a result of this can be a manifestation of God.  He would invite us to higher take care of God’s gorgeous advent, this Earth, our fragile island house.  


“Earthrise,” the primary identified image of the Earth from the vantage level of the moon, used to be taken via astronaut William Anders at the Apollo 8 undertaking in 1968. We’ve the power with our personal eyes to peer a global without boundaries, a radiant however susceptible gem floating in area. But, with out the power to view the Earth from this viewpoint, Francis had a cosmic consciousness of the inter-dependence, the “Oneness” of all residing issues.   

Even supposing the banquet day to have a good time the lifetime of Francis has come and long gone; his imaginative and prescient stays. There’s all the time time to honor his legacy via a conscious apply of seeing existence thru his eyes. Believe considering the sacredness and wonders of our cosmos, the galaxies, stars, and the planets. Spend time with each and every of the weather, vegetation and animals. Give thank you for the techniques they nurture and take care of us. Follow paying attention to the Earth, and seeing God in advent and in all of humanity. I shut with this prayer as I will be able to believe Francis reciting it.    

“Earth-maker God, because the hand is made for containing and the attention for seeing, you’ve gotten formed us for pleasure. Grant us your imaginative and prescient that we might to find it all over— within the sunlit faces of our global, within the wild flower’s attractiveness, within the lark’s melody, in a kid’s smile, in a mom’s love, within the face of a steadfast guy.  Our society is ever stressed all the time yearning yet another factor to do, looking for happiness thru an increasing number of possessions. Educate us to be at peace with what now we have, to embody what now we have been given and won, to understand that sufficient is sufficient till our striving ceases and we relaxation content material in you by myself.” 

A Holy Island Prayer Ebook via Ray Simpson


Walking in Wonder through Advent Come stroll with us in Marvel throughout the Introduction season. Sign up for Christine and Lilly for a digital retreat on November twentieth, 2021 from 9:30 am-12:30 pm PDT. Save the date and watch this area for extra main points to return!

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