Integrity of Creation ... A Franciscan Response
The Franciscan view of nature flows out of the nature mysticism of Francis of Assisi, the first known person in the Christian tradition to exhibit explicit reverence for all of creation. For Francis, his union with nature enhanced a mystical experience of God, finding Him in all Creation.
The clearest illustration of the Franciscan view of creation can be found in Francis' Canticle of Creation.
"All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made."
This hymn praises the elements of fire, air, water and earth, which are seen as the components of all life forms.
In the Canticle, Francis expresses the intrinsic goodness of the Created World, the interdependence of all life and his passion for beauty and peace. Francis calls for a fraternal model rather than a model of stewardship in creation.
St. Francis represents a watershed in the development of the Christian views of nature; for him peace, justice and ecology were all intertwined and irrevocably linked together.
Today, Franciscan men and women continue their founder's work by focusing on the change of hearts and minds needed to live in balance.
At this time, we are challenged to move away from "Bird Bath Franciscanism" to stretch beyond the superficial and romantic view of Francis depicted in flower garden statuary. Francis is much more ecologically radical!
As Franciscans, our aim is to seek a balanced life, bringing together issues around world justice, peace, spirituality, social action and environmental concerns.
We seek to live in solidarity with the poor and marginalized, living a simple life-style. Our ministries continue among those whom society rejects or degrades.
We seek to live in harmony with ourself and others, conscious of our fragmentation and brokenness. Finally, in a world of ecological fragility, we are challenged to review our part in ecojustice and so play our part to reverence our planet earth.
FOR OUR SISTER WATER, VERY USEFUL, HUMBLE,
CHASTE AND PRECIOUS BE PRAISE MY LORD!