Meditation Monday – How Delightful it is

by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

On October 4th we celebrate St Francis Feast Day, one of my favourite celebrations of the year. Yesterday we took our puppy Goldie to church for an animal blessing and heard about how St Francis called the sun brother and the moon sister. He loved the animals, even those we find offensive.  When a hut in which he took refuge for a night proved to be infested with mice, after an initial expression of displeasure, Francis welcomed his “brother mice” with joy and hospitality. That is a little of a stretch for many of us, but I think that some of his other attributes were even more of a stretch.

When he abandoned his father’s business and embraced poverty and service, the townspeople called him crazy. For years he wandered through his native city following a path that no one understood.  He gave away his worldly possessions, embraced lepers, welcomed women and walked a path that most of us would find impossible.

I sometimes wonder if we like to focus on Francis blessing the animals at this time because that gives us a warm fuzzy glow. The thought of embracing his life of poverty and hardship is much harder for us to consider.

Yet Francis seems to have lived life with a child like zeal and love for God that most of us lack. His delight in the beauty of nature, and open embrace of those at the margins disarmed many. His aching heart for peace and reconciliation set an example that puts most of us to shame. What I wonder would Francis say today about our response to those who are oppressed or the victims of natural disaster.  How would he respond to the victims of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rican, to those impacted by the earthquake in Mexico or to the black NFL players “taking the knee?” Would he think that compassion fatigue is an acceptable response?

The challenge of St Francis feast day is to find a new perspective on the world – Francis perspective of open embrace, enthusiastic love, generous giving and joyful abandonment to God. Perhaps if we look through his eyes we would indeed see our world transformed as God wants it to be.

What do you think?

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