Thursday, December 27, 2012

St. Francis Preaches to the Birds

A dear friend of mine recently gave me a generous and thoughtful gift; a beautiful golden embossed picture of St. Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds.  After hanging it in a place of honor in my home, I spent some time learning about the story behind the picture so as to enhance my prayer whenever I would look upon it.  I came across the words that St. Francis spoke to the feathered creatures and found them to be not only very touching but also a great source of inspiration to prayers of thanksgiving.  He said:

"My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your Creator, and always in every place ought ye to praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty to fly about everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple rainment; moreover He preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, that your race might not perish out of the world; still more are ye beholden to Him for the element of the air which He hath appointed for you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth you, and giveth you the streams and fountains for your drink; the mountains and valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nests; and because ye know not how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore your Creator loveth you much, seeing that He hath bestowed on you so many benefits; and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praises unto God."

Now as another year comes to a close I find a fair share of difficulties and worries, not only in my own personal life but also in the common life of our country and world, that are sure to cross the threshold of tomorrow and remain for quite a while, and my heart and soul feel weighted with sorrow and frustration.  It's hard to fly with the freedom of the winged birds when the heaviness of heartache holds me back.

So I gaze upon that lovely image of holy St. Francis and I imagine him speaking to me like he spoke to the birds, reminding me to always thank God my creator for my many blessings-for my family, my home, my job, my health, my friends, my faith.  And realizing that I am greatly blessed, I understand that God will always see to it that all of my spiritual and material needs are met, that I will have just enough but not too much, that He will always be with me in all times, places and situations and that His love is strong enough to billow me up as I strive to take flight toward His will for me regardless of how weary I may become, and for that I give thanks and praise to God.

(listen to  St. Francis Preaches to the Birds by Franz Liszt)


  1. I always talk to animals, even if I am alone in the car and just passing them. But I am cautious now, after the squirrel I was chatting to on the deck began to climb my pant leg.

    I'm glad to see your post; I was nervous after the spam I received from you. Bad things happen, in the world and to us, but there will always be good things too. We too easily notice the bad, and take for granted the good. In a way, that's okay, naturally trusting that God is good, but we need to make sure our awareness of the bad doesn't turn into a focus on it. There will always be evil in the world, Anne, but there is soooo much more good.

    Like you.

  2. Tom, thank you so much for your kind words! That hacked email was nuts! My phone rang off the hook all day and I lost all of my contacts so I couldn't write to anybody and tell them that I wasn't in England and that they shouldn't send money.

    You're right-the world is really filled with much more good than bad and I am very glad that you also are one of the good ones! You made me laugh with your story about the squirrel!

    Happy New Year!!!

  3. Beautiful, Anne...perfect to draw peace from these special creatures and gifts from God:) Merry Christmas to you and that precious family! We especially keep your Seminarian in our constant prayers...Still need to get him a letter!!!

  4. Love this, Anne :) St Francis is one of my favorites!

    I can imagine how frustrating the hacked e-mail must have been. I went on Facebook to check your page and was glad I did. Boy, was I relieved to hear that you weren't in England!

  5. Anne, I’m just dropping by to let you know I’m presenting you with a ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award. Please stop by my December 29 post at The Breadbox Letters for details. Thank you for the blessing of your fine blog!

  6. Anne, what a precious post. I love the simplicity of St. Francis..his words are just amazing. I am such an animal lover, and I'm expecting to see that St. Francis has been caring for all of my deceased pets. But of course it is so true that God is with us in all things...if only I didn't struggle so much to be in control.

    BTW, I too have awarded you the 2012 Blog of the Year Award. But you don't have to do anything twice...since Nancy nominated you too. But you will get a second star :) Check it out when you can. Happy Feast of the Holy Family! xo

  7. Beautiful post. Hope you had a blessed Christmas.