Friar Jack's Musings About Francis
October 4 is the feast of my favorite saint, Francis of Assisi,
founder ofthe Franciscan Order. There are many things to love
about Francis. I wroteabout one of them in the following excerpt
from my book "Lights:Revelations of God's Goodness,"
published by St. Anthony Messenger Press.
Perhaps my own attraction to nature made me curious about St.
Francis'habit of calling his fellow creatures "brother"
and "sister." The littlesaint went happily about the
Italian countryside, calling out with affection, "Brother
Sun" and "Sister Moon," to "Brother Fire"
and "Sister Water," to "Sister Swallow"
and "Brother Cricket" and so forth. Whatsecret instinct
or intuition, I wondered, led him to this easy, familialrelationship
with all creation? What fueled his vision of the universe asone
happy, interconnected family?
First, I believe that Francis had an uncomplicated yet deep
sense of thecommon goodness of all creation because he saw it
coming from the samegood creator. This, of course, made
him a brother to all: If the marigoldand the wolf had the same
father in heaven that he did, then, quitesimply, they were brother
and sister to him.
More than this, it seems, the meaning of the Incarnation hit
hisimagination like a bombshell. Somehow he realized that when
the Wordentered the world of creation and became flesh, everything
was profoundlychanged. If God became a part of the created world
in the birth of JesusChrist, then the dignity of all creatures
was raised to a dramatically newheight.--from "Lights:
Revelations of God's Goodness," by Jack Wintz, O.F.M.,
p.61. You can learn more about this book in our online catalog.
FRANCIS, PETS, YOUTH - ALL BLESSINGS IN OCTOBER!:
AmericanCatholic.org celebrates the Feast of St. Francis of
Assisi (Oct.4) all month with a newly revised feature, "St.
Francis of Assisi: Loverof All Creation." This feature
includes stories of St. Francis, a nationallisting of pet-blessing
ceremonies (blessings in 36 states to date!), somesample pet
blessings for "do-it-yourself" blessings and a pet-blessinge-Greeting
to send your blessing to friends and family-and pets withe-mail
St. Anthony Messenger Online features "The Forgotten Art
of Blessing" bySascha T. Moore. Blessings are an important
part of our faith. It's timewe made them an important part of
our lives. Visit here to discover waysto bless pets, teens,
the elderly and even shoppers! http://www.AmericanCatholic.org/messenger/oct2000/feature2.asp
Come visit a NEW place where Catholic youth can explore faith
issues, askquestions and find answers and develop further understanding
ofCatholicism. AmericanCatholicYouth.org features a new question
and answereach week, as well as daily inspirational sayings,
each linked to a newe-Greeting. The "Two or More Gathered"
section features links to dailyreadings from the liturgy and
easy to understand explanations of Catholicworship. Stop by
and ask a question: http://www.AmericanCatholicYouth.org
ENCOUNTER FRANCIS AND CLARE :
Consider reading a contemporary pilgrimage diary this month.
Sun and Moon Over Assisi: A Personal Encounter with Francis
and Clare" by GerardThomas Straub. Traverse the charming
Umbrian hill towns, including Assisi,tour its churches and examine
the art of Giotto found there. Perhaps you,like the author,
will let Francis "inflame" your imagination.
REDEEM HALLOWEEN AND SEND AN E-GREETING:
Send an All Hallow's Eve e-Greeting and its companion, the Catholic
Updatearticle, "How Halloween Can Be Redeemed," a
popular explanation of theChristian roots of Halloween, and
the colorful tale of Jack O'Lantern.http://www.catholicgreetings.org/Create.asp?card=11.
ST. ANTHONY HELP ME FIND...:
Search through all of AmericanCatholic.org's resources for more
FRIAR JACK'S CHOSEN SITE:
Check out http://www.ofm.org.
This is the international web site of theOrders of Friars Minor.
There you'll get an insight into the breadth ofFranciscan ministries
around the world. Francis wanted his friars to goout and be
among the people in the marketplace--the Internet is themarketplace
of the 21st century!
As always, please E-mail your suggestions and comments to:mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.As
Francis was fond of saying, Pax et bonum! (Peace and all good!)
--Jack Wintz, O.F.M.
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