March 22,2017: A Lesson From the Birds

~by Susi Pittman


Saint Francis lived a beautiful life in harmony with creation. He acknowledged all things as wanted and loved by God. He executed the love of divine providence by respecting creation for the dignity and stability that God instilled in it as a particular good.

One of the most infamous and popular moments in Francis’s life is recorded as the sermon he gave to a flock of birds. Francis and his friars were traveling along the road, when Francis looked up and saw the trees full of birds. Francis ran eagerly toward the birds and asked them to listen to the word of God.” The sermon overflowed with Francis’s love for creation and its Creator:

My brother birds, you should praise your Creator very much and always love him; he gave you feathers to clothe you, wings so that you can fly, and whatever else was necessary for you. God made you noble among his creatures, and he gave you a home in the purity of the air; though you neither sow nor reap, he nevertheless protects and governs you without any solicitude on your part.

The birds acknowledge the great Saint by extending their wings for Francis’s blessing.

If only we could be as responsive to God as the birds were to Saint Francis.

Lent is the time to cultivate a closer relationship with God the Creator. It is a time to grow in trust that God DOES see and hear everything you speak to Him. He knows your inner being intimately, nothing you have done, are doing or will do will escape His knowledge.

Lent is a time to realize that like the birds, God DOES provide for us, He protects us, guides us and governs us, but we must say YES to God in prayer, in our actions and our ability to love and forgive. For unlike the birds, which God has created to respond to Him as a creature without free will, like a one-way street, we must remember that our relationship with God is a two-way street. God must be invited into your moments, your decisions, your life! He makes no man a slave, but looks for us to turn to him and call him Abba—Father.

Francis felt that it was important for all creation to praise and love their Creator. How much more so should we open our arms wide in praise of the Creator who allows us to freely choose to love and follow him.

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Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; a member of the St. John’ s Catholic Writers Guild;
a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the National Wildlife Federation, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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