Thursday, October 7, 2010

St. Francis: A Role Model For Nature Lovers

In the pantheon of my favorite saints, Francis of Assisi (feast day October 4) ranks in the top five. From childhood I was attracted to him primarily because of his love for animals and nature as a whole. Colorful picture books emphasized Francis’ care and concern for all of life—and I felt drawn to the gentle saint largely because of this focus. Think how Francis would react to our current efforts to preserve and conserve the earth and its creatures. He surely would be in the forefront of those who have been alerting us these past years to the need for respect and care of the world around us. (Wouldn’t he make a grand keynote speaker at some of our Earth Day events!)

Living on this monastery campus for the past 40 years, I am gratified by how far we have come in learning to appreciate and nurture the soil, the trees, the flowers and the wildlife around us. The campus we share alongside the College of Saint Benedict is beautiful, generally well cared for and much appreciated by those who walk the varied paths all around us. In particular, we have a lovely woods on the south end of the campus that invites us to even more appreciation of nature.

Many Sisters like to walk to the woods, some on a daily basis. Others of us go there periodically and revel in the peace and quiet, while also enjoying the amenities of the lodge. (Francis would be pleased.)

PS. (I Can’t resist) Q: Who is the patron saint of e-mail?
A: St. Francis of a cc.
photo: Yesterday's potato harvest from the Sisters' CSA garden, Common Ground Garden. Connecting people to local food producers is one way the Sisters' continue to promote sustainability and a connection to the land.

No comments:

Post a Comment