With Earth Day coming up this Friday (it’s even on the freebie church calendar along with all the saint of the day and what Sunday of Easter happens this week, and Passover, even) I’m looking back at an Earth Day post from 2008.
Saint Francis of Assisi has apparently come to be considered the Patron Saint of Earth Day, ecology, and all things “green.”
But the green movement does Francis no justice when insistence is placed on “green for green’s sake.”
The only thing the Francis was interested in for its own sake was God.
Yes, he had a great reverence for Creation–the earth, nature, the sun and moon and all the animals, plants and trees. But his reverence was born from his awe of the power and creativity and genius of God. To Francis, every bit of God’s creation reflected God’s glory–and that is what made creation something to be revered. Francis saw God’s glory, power, creativity and genius in everything and everyone, and strove to act accordingly. …
Let us remember that while it’s great to reduce waste, recycle or reuse what we have, and try to create less garbage, the reason we do this is to treat God’s creation with care–to be good stewards of what we have been given.
It’s not enough to be “green.” We should also be grateful.
If you want to know what St. Francis of Assisi was really about, read When Saint Francis Saved the Church by Jon M. Sweeney. You’ll find that his priorities were very different from the picture of him painted by environmental activists who claim to be acting in his name.
Saint Francis set out to save the Church. Not the earth.
The fine print: Link to Jon Sweeney’s book is an Amazon affiliate link. Your purchases through my affiliate links help support Franciscanmom.com.
I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!
On the heels of Pope Francis’ visit to the USA, here’s a way to keep your young children enthusiastic about serving the Church by helping others. CCC of America has bundled its Saints and Heroes video about St. Francis of Assisi with a fun activity poster with puzzles and word games about Saint Francis on one side and a commemorative Pope Francis mitre to fold and wear on the other.
The video, in English, Spanish and French, clocks in at just over 25 minutes and presents the story of St. Francis’ change of heart and eventual founding of the Franciscan Order in a way children 8 and under can understand. One of the best moments came in the middle of the video, when Francis’ mother tells him that “God comes first–only He can tell you your destiny;” then Francis prays in the tumbledown chapel at San Damiano and is given the commission to build up the Church. (Of course, he misinteprets this at first, and the video shows how he later learns the true meaning of his mission.) Francis is shown preaching the Gospel, especially the Beatitudes, and being kind to strangers and to the poor.
As my own children are teenagers and young adults, I brought the movie and poster to church to ask my friends’ sons, who are are just the right age for the movie and activities in this bundle pack, to share their impressions of the video and poster. Their favorite part was the word-search activity on the back of the poster.
This movie would be an excellent addition to a religious-education program as well as a family video library.