FS #76: Nature in Franciscan Spirituality, Part 6 – Jun 05 – Homily – Fr Terrance

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Fr Terrance gives the homily at Bloomington, IN, on Jun 05, 2024, where he explains how St. Francis viewed nature through a mystical lens, seeing all creation as a reflection of God's wisdom and urging us to live in harmony with it. This is a continuation of his series on Franciscan spirituality and the subsection, "Nature in Franciscan Spirituality," emphasizing the Franciscan understanding and appreciation of nature and how it should lead us to God.

He explained that nature holds meaning for those with a pure and sincere spirit, like St. Francis, who viewed the natural world through a mystical lens. This vision aligns with the gift of knowledge from the Holy Spirit, which helps us rightly judge creatures in their relation to God, as described in Romans 8:21 - Creation will be set free from corruption - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/romans/8?21.

Bl. Thomas of Celano, St. Francis’ biographer, noted that Francis had a profound understanding of creatures, seeing them as reflections of God’s wisdom, power, and goodness. St. Francis believed every part of creation, including the sun, moon, stars, wind, water, fire, and earth, carried its own meaning of God, revealing His attributes. He described nature as a clear mirror of God’s goodness.

The 19th-century scholar Bl. Frédéric Ozanam highlighted how Francis saw eternal relationships uniting the physical and moral orders, and the mysteries of nature with those of faith. St. Bonaventure said that Francis rejoiced in all of God’s works, seeing them as a means to rise to divine love and follow the Creator. Bonaventure emphasized that Francis’ joy in creation transformed into praise and adoration of God.

Through Christ, Francis restored the harmony between man and creation, which original sin had disrupted. This harmony allowed Francis to command creatures, and they, in turn, obeyed him. Examples include the hare of Greccio, the sparrows of Aviano, the birds of Bavagna, and the wolf of Gubbio, who all found solace and protection in Francis. Creatures recognized Francis as a faithful herald of God, echoing the voice of Christ who calmed storms and raised the dead, as described in John 11:43 - Jesus called Lazarus forth from the tomb - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/john/11?43.

Father concluded by asking Our Lady for the grace to live in harmony with creation, following the example of St. Francis.

Further Reading
CCC 2415 - Respect for the integrity of creation - http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2415.htm
CCC 2416 - Animals are God's creatures - http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2416.htm
CCC 299 - God creates an ordered and good world - http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/299.htm

This is a continuation of his series of homilies on Franciscan Spirituality - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNN151zTIO4&list=PLejh_e0-LN4xgMllKrzSasL2Hljd5BHom
and the subsection "Nature in Franciscan Spirituality."

The material for this series comes primarily from Ciccarelli, Marciano M., "I capisaldi della spiritualità francescana" in Italian, which translates as "The Cornerstones of Franciscan Spirituality." No English translations of this book exist at the time of this recording.

Ave Maria!

Mass: St. Boniface - Mem - http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=29
Readings: Wednesday 9th Week of Ordinary Time - http://usccb.org/bible/readings/060524.cfm
1st: 2ti 1:1-3, 6-12
Resp: psa 123:1-2
Gsp: mar 12:18-27

More on the Readings: https://airmaria.com/r?m=1086&r=1615

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