Saint Francis Knew the Thread that Held Us All Together
“Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” —St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis saw the world for what it was and chose to be grounded in faith, being a beacon of light for God to pour His love into, and then St. Francis had the burning desire to share His love with the world. St. Francis is known as the patron saint of animals and ecology. He called all creatures brothers and sisters, the sun, “brother sun,” and the moon, “sister moon.” He understood the inner workings and incredible divine interconnection between all and saw the love of God as the thread that held us together in delicate and divine balance.
St. Francis would preach to the animals. In one story, he was able to talk with a wolf, and he asked the wolf to stop attacking the livestock of a nearby village. The wolf never went back into that village again. He received the stigmata of the wound of Christ in his hands. Today, a statue of St. Francis is above his tomb in Assisi; the statue shows the stigmata in his hands. To this day, a live dove sits in the palm of St. Francis’ hand, on that statue, as a symbol of the love that surpasses time and understanding. As one dove leaves, another dove comes in exchange, never leaving St. Francis alone.
St. Francis knew how to cross the lines of differences and bring the unifying force of love into every situation. He walked across the battlefield and approached the opposing side. The battle was over land and differences in faith. He went up to the Muslim leader, and with LOVE in his heart, he invited him to come together and experience the possibility of unification among diversification. Wow, we need to learn that now!
He also walked into colonies of lepers and the untouchables, prayed with them, and LOVED. He never caught leprosy, which is a true miracle.
St. Francis, inspire us, pray for us, and remind us to ask God, “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.