Today is the feast of St Francis, celebrated by Anglicans, Lutherans, and Catholics, and believers of all who see the protection of our environment important.
Francis, whom I consider to be the original “Ecotheologian“. A person who understood that creation was the first bible. St. Francis, during his life, lived in a pivotal period when Western Civilization began to move into rationality, functionality, consumerism, and perpetual war. (And it seems we are still there) Francis just did things differently. It was a time for Francis when he came to understand the world as the wondrous economy of grace, where God does not do any counting, but only gives unreservedly, as in direct contrast to what he saw in the world around him, in the Roman Empire and other organizations. Francis said in effect, “There is another way that is much better!” Francis displaced his followers and himself into a world where their hearts could imagine very different things, and they had to pay attention to something other than comfort or convenience. They had to come to an understanding of the world, and the Universal Christ is in all things.
As people of faith, philosophical understanding, and conviction for a better environment, I wish all of you a Blessed St Francis Feast day, and even though the Prayer of St Francis was not written by him, the prayer was first written in the French Catholic newspaper, La Clochette, in 1912. It was written in a time of fear when war was imminent, politics was unpredictable, and what people needed most from each other, their church, and their faith was hope.
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.