Wednesday, October 3, 2007
St. Francis of Assisi
October 4th is the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi
Sermon to the Birds
"My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your Creator, and always in every place ought ye to praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty to fly about everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple rainment; moreover He preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, that your race might not perish out of the world; still more are ye beholden to Him for the element of the air which He hath appointed for you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth you, and giveth you the streams and fountains for your drink; the mountains and valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nests; and because ye know not how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore your Creator loveth you much, seeing that He hath bestowed on you so many benefits; and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praises unto God." Saint Francis of Assisi - c 1220
These words come out of a beautiful context. Saint Francis eventually felt torn between a life of solitude & prayer, or one of continued preaching. He asked Saint Clare for advice. She told him to keep preaching. When the messenger came to St. Francis with Saint Clare's words, he was deep in the forest. Immediately after hearing her advice, he started running down the road. The first living thing he came to was a flock of birds. He started preaching to them. His words still make an impression nearly 800 years later.
If you want to explore Giotto's painting which wonderfully reflects this event check out this link.
Tonight we are having pasta for dinner, & biscotti for dessert (rumored to be St. Francis last food request on his death bed.) We'll be saying the "Canticle of the Sun" and "Make me an Instrument" prayers together as a family. On Saturday, our dog, Sara, will be blessed for the first time at the pet blessing service at our new parish. Are you doing anything special at your house to recognize this great saint?