Francis of Assisi was a patron saint who lived from 1182-1226. In creation, Francis saw the beauty of God. In doing so, he felt at one with creation. Legend tells us that one day he was traveling through the countryside when all of a sudden, Francis noticed a flock of birds of various kinds. Francis bolted after the birds. They waited for him to get close by, but they did not fly away.
Fascinated by their behavior, Francis preached to them, “My brother and sister birds, you should praise your Creator and always love him. He gave you feathers for clothes, wings to fly and all other things that you need. It is God who made you noble among all creatures, making your home in thin, pure air. Without sowing or reaping, you receive God’s guidance and protection.”
The birds then allowed Francis to touch them with his tunic. He blessed them by making the sign of the cross. After this incident, Francis called many animals to praise God.
Settle Yourself and Release
Find a quiet place outdoors. Take a few deep, slow breaths. Close your eyes. Notice your breathing. Listen intently to the sounds of nature. Then open your eyes and look around for a bird to watch. Observe it as if you had never seen this creature before.
Encounter: Reflect on the Word
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6: 25-27
Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, Three in One:
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
(Verse 6 from the hymn by Francis of Assisi, “All Creatures of Our God and King”)