St Francis and the Recovery of Nature

Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.

Romans 1:20

It would be a grave error to assume that St. Francis’ contempt for material possessions in any way implied disdain for the material world. Quite the contrary, St. Francis’ love of nature was as earnest and as profound as any the world has known. He gave sermons to the birds; he blessed fish, birds, and a frightened trapped rabbit; and he is reputed to have made peace between a wolf and the town of Gubbio. After centuries of trying to dispel nature worship from Europe, with Francis Christianity returned to a revivified understanding of the natural world as a participant in the life-giving breath of the Creator. Francis considered all of Nature’s creatures, all of Nature’s impulses, as his brothers and sisters, as manifestations of the same compassionate vitality that had created human nature.
Canadian Heritage Information Network, The Provincial Museum of Alberta,

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