October 4, 2017: St. Francis & Murray Bodo

~by Susi Pittman

All created things are simply something loved by and wanted by God. No one knew this any better than Saint Francis of Assisi who emptied himself to the will of God and celebrated his love for the Creator by his very being. Francis believed that all of creation was God’s gift to man and was therefore to be treated as a valuable treasure, called to a dignity given it by the Creator.Nowhere is Saint Francis honored more than at the “hearth” of the Catholic Church. Each year around the October 4th feast day of Saint Francis, Catholic churches across the country celebrate a special ceremony called The Blessing of the Animals*, that remembers Francis’ love for the “lesser brethren and the gift of creation.” The stories of Francis’s involvement with the animals are legendary. Perhaps the greatest truth that Francis embraced and then emanated towards all who met him was that true happiness comes from loving Christ and feeling His love. Francis was a man who saw that “all that the Father gives” enters into being through Christ and Francis forever lost his heart in the love of Christ.

Out of my love for St. Francis of Assisi, I would like to recommend a marvelous Franciscan Friar who is my inspiration for this love…his name is Murray Bodo. At the age of thirteen, he read a book on St. Francis and lost his heart and found his vocation. Here is a short video presentation of Friar Bodo’s Experience:

The book that Friar Bodo wrote, that I fell in love is titled, Francis: The Journey and the Dream. This book is not a biography of St. Francis, but 77 vignettes of the life and thought of this great saint. It is a book to be savored. It is poetry and prayer in words and it leads us to reflect on our own path in creation.

The spiritual wisdom in this book will change your spiritual life forever. You can get his book from his personal WEBSITE. Francis: The Journey and the Dream is now 40+ years old. Yet, it is as fresh today as it was when it was written. Absolutely timeless!

Friar Bodo is a servant of God in an extraordinary way and this quote from his website will give you a little insight into his mission:

The way of St. Francis is for me the way to Jesus. He has been called the Mirror of Christ and so he is for me. Francis and Jesus, Jesus and Francis are at the heart of all my ministry and writing, whether or not they are mentioned specifically. They inform who I strive to be.

Catholics today need to reacquaint themselves and their children with Saint Francis of Assisi, a loving and great saint and seek ways to serve Christ through responsible actions in addressing our world’s ecology and environment. Our faith teaches us to love God with all that we have and are, and to love our brother as ourselves. Francis called all of creation his “brothers” and “sisters.” We are commissioned to be good stewards of the earth and all of its creatures. The global awareness of changes in the natural realm from climate change to species extinctions are telling us all that we must correct our abuse of this planet. We must start today, each of us individually, to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle and responsible mode of ecological sharing with our global family at large.

We can become the NEW Francis in our walk in life and herald a new cultural mind-set to bring back into perspective the joy of working for the good and survival of all mankind and all the gifts of creation, because after all, we are children of God and creation is a relative in God’s larger family.

*Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers by Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, NCCB/USCC, 1989


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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