St Francis

Today is the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, one of the most well-known Christian saints. He lived 1182-1226. His kind and radiant spirit has inspired many and continues to inspire.  He is well known for his love for all of God's creatures and creation, his work for peace and his simple life of poverty. 

Francis found that following Jesus takes humility and sometimes suffering - he turned down the rich inheritance he would have received from his father's textile business. Francis and his band of followers, the Friars Minor, chose instead to wear peasant’s tunics, serve the needs of lepers, restore ruined churches, and sing God’s praises, letting the whole world be their cloister. These words are taken from some direction he gave his followers, his "early rule": 

Therefore,
let us desire nothing else,
let us want nothing else,
let nothing else please us and cause us delight
except our Creator, Redeemer and Savior,
the only true God,
Who is the fullness of good….

Therefore,
let nothing hinder us,
nothing separate us,
nothing come between us.

He found a special closeness to God through nature and legends surround his legacy of talking to the animals, honoring plants and trees and joining the birds in singing God's praises. Francis is often remembered through the Blessings of Pets on this day.  Here's a blessing often used that you might want to share with your pets:

Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.

We'll be looking for you tomorrow at 9 or 10:30 am as we pray that nothing will separate us from God. 

Grace and peace, 

Vikki


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