Many churches in the United States celebrate the Feast of St Francis of Assisi on and around October 4 each year. The feast commemorates the life of St Francis, who was born in the 12th century and is the patron saint of animals and the environment.
It's a popular day for pets to be "blessed". And that is what we'll celebrate next Saturday, October 14 at 10:00 am on the grounds north of the parking lot. This is not only time to remember the efforts of St. Francis for the care of animals and the environment as part of God's creation, it is also a time of humility as we recognize that, as human beings, we are called to care for God's creation.
What people may remember most is the prayer attributed to Francis. In light of the tragedies happening around our country and the world at large, the most recent being the shooting in Las Vegas, we are reminded of the evil that continues to rear its ugly head in this country specifically. With all the commotion regarding gun regulations and freedoms, we must keep in sight that regardless of what laws exist, there will always be the propensity for evil. We must do more than pray and hope. We must also act! How, remains the mystery. If you are inclined to write to your political leaders, do so! If you are inclined to get involved in community efforts that match your convictions, do so! What we cannot do is to complacently do nothing.
Praying and being hopeful will always be a staple for any Christian to do. Francis' prayer never loses its power: Please pray this often:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. AMEN