Encouragement for the Journey 22 September 2013

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 22 September 2013

Encouragement for the Journey

Bright yellow daffodil

Greetings fellow traveller, 

This week the theme of Season of Creation continues. Today the focus is on possibly, the most well-known and admired of all Christian saints: St Francis. He was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182, died in 1226.

Reading accounts of his life, one is confronted with a man who was in advance of his years. He leaves a legacy that offers current world dwellers a challenge: the love of nature, the love of animals, the sense of social compassion, and a sense of the spiritual dangers of affluence.

The legacy of his ecological – spiritual legacy comes through in the gracious inter – connectedness of the whole of creation, beautifully expressed in his Canticle of Brother Sun; see today’s liturgy.

His extraordinary sense of empathy with all of creation, which embraces an almost romantic poetic imagination, draws people to this most unlikely poet and Christian saint.

You may be wondering why St Francis. Why do we need to listen to a man who lived in the 13th Century as a monk anyway, surely we have made technological advancements in our world, that the voice of St Francis is no longer needed.

Unfortunately, a triumphant technological worldview sees our world as some vast machine which can be manipulated and exploited for the benefit of the insatiable appetite of human beings in search of more, never knowing, when enough is enough.

St Francis’s life and message still challenges us how we may wish to live, with care and responsibility to creation, along with the power of simplicity.

St Francis recognised that power of the heart is greater than the power of the mind that the power of the unseen is greater than that of things seen, that the power of simplicity, of giving is more significant than the capacity for acquiring more and more. With that message, he is still relevant for us today.

Meanwhile, let us be instruments of peace

Alf