Spring is the time of year when all of Creation seems to rise up and shout, "I’m alive!" The barrenness of Winter made us wonder if we would ever again see green. It seemed a stretch of the imagination to believe that anything could survive beneath the cold, cold ground. But then comes the thaw and the whole world around us begins to be charged with a new bolt of life. Out from the hard surface we’ve tromped over all winter little sprouts poke up their noses to remind us that life is stronger than death, that nothing can keep a really good thing down, not even ice and snow.
The cycles of Creation are marvelous. Each year they treat us to an unbelievable drama, an endless story book display that produces a new picture on each page. No matter how often we turn the page the scene is different each time causing us to wonder how the artist could possibly come up with such an awesome array of splendor. Give the truth that Creation’s artist is none other than God, we immediately know of the limitless ability of our Divine Creator.
Francis, the simple little man from Assisi knew all of this implicitly. He sensed the interconnectedness of all creatures without the aid of scientific research. He sensed the interdependence that drew all creatures together as members of an earthly family. He affectionately called each creature by the name of Brother or Sister. He recognized each as siblings of a gracious Mother whose home was the Earth. He spoke with tenderness to insects and plants. He encouraged the birds to sing out their prayers of praise to God and he acted as mediator in times of misunderstanding and stress between humans and animals.
It is no mystery as to why he has been chosen as the Patron of Ecology, why his intuitive grasp of the circle of life is what we need today. It has taken us centuries to uncover the beauty, the wisdom, the thoughtfulness that engineered this massivecathedral of intricate artistry and magnificent craftsmanship. Only a meditative reflection on Francis’ "Canticle of the Creatures" can begin to bring us to see what he saw, to feel what he felt in the presence of such grandeur. Should we ever be able to truly experience what he had come to know then all of creation might rightly be "reborn".