Reverence and respect for nature is a Franciscan perspective that is part of our lives, As good stewards, we choose to find ways to protect nature’s resources so they are available to all people – and to the children of future generations. Wherever we work and live we promote healthy responsibility and concern for earth’s resources. To do otherwise would make us poor stewards. This perspective may not always be popular, but it is part of our identity as Franciscans. Once again we look to things that concern the common good and not exploitation for personal gain.
Dear God. I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon. The crescent is very beautiful and perhaps that is all one like I am should or could see; but what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing. I do not know you God because I am in the way. Please help me push myself aside.
~ Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal
Through penance he recognized his sinfulness and need for conversion. Through poverty he became aware of the human tendency to possess, as he realized his radical dependency on all things. Through humility he realized his solidarity with all creatures. Through compassion he came to feel for the things of the earth, including the tiniest of creatures. Creation became a ladder by which he could ascend to God, not by transcending creation but by embracing it as brother. For by embracing the good things of creation, Francis came to embrace the whole Christ who is the Word of the Father.
~ Ilia Delio, Franciscan Prayer
Jesus was crucified, in part, because he did not come to preach a word that kept things the way they were, but instead was sent to proclaim the in-breaking of God’s Reign, which is about the establishment of justice and not the earthly status quo of injustice and violence. In other words, Jesus was not sent to be a “nice guy,” because nice guys don’t rock the boat nor do they upset people by challenging the way things are. And, oh, how Jesus upset certain people who had so much to lose because they had gained all — power, wealth, status, etc. — at the expense of others!
~ Daniel P. Horan, OFM, Jesus Was Not Such A ‘Nice Guy’
In his book Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis says that, “In commanding us to glorify him, God is inviting us to enjoy him.” He describes our efforts at praise while on earth in this way: When we carry out our “religious duties” we are like people digging channels in a waterless land, in order that when at last the water comes it may find them ready…. There are happy moments, even now, when a trickle creeps along the dry beds; and happy souls to whom this happens often.
~ Daria Sockey, The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours
“Do you mark all this well, King Caspian?”
“I do indeed, Sir,” said Caspian. “I was wishing that I came of a more honorable lineage.”
“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”
~C. S. Lewis, Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
~C.S. Lewis (Found on the website of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity)