Sunday, October 7, 2007

Preach to every creature

Speaking to the Soul Preach to every creature --
Francis led a life of exceedingly great joy and a life of constant praise of God, a life of blessedness in the midst of the fecund goodness of God’s creation, celebrated most forthrightly by his “Canticle of the Creatures.” As a citizen of the peaceable kingdom, transported there by his vision and his prayers, Francis could thereafter call every human, however different or distant, and each of the creatures of nature,however alien to human sensibilities, his brother or his sister. He could be a troubadour of a higher order, constantly rejoicing with friends and foes alike, and with birds and oxen and even wolves and worms. The mandate of Christ had claimed Francis’s soul profoundly: to preach the Gospel to every creature. This he made remarkable efforts to do, in deed most often and in word whenever necessary.*

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*From “The Spirituality of Nature and the Poor: Revisiting the Historic Vision of St. Francis” by H. Paul Santmire, Ph.D., in Tending the Holy: Spiritual Direction Across Traditions, edited by Norvene Vest. Copyright © 2003

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