Francis and the Wolf

Inspired by last weeks Franciscan Benediction that Paul shared with us from Work of the People * and Richard Rohr Centre for Action and Contemplation* talking about St Francis of Assisi in the context of non violence and peacemaking, I was inspired to be a bit Franciscan this morning.

We read the words from our liturgy

Rooted and Grounded

This morning we are here to touch the cold, wet, earth                                                                                

Firm under our feet

Here we are rooted and grounded

In this Thin Space/Third Space

To stand on …

God made Holy Ground,

This is holy ground …

Giving us roots and wings,

Here in this place teeming with creatures

like the first creation, 

Seeing the magnificence  

elemental, historical, futuristic

Where the grass sings and the earth hums

Roots and wings

Rooting us, upholding us                                                                                                                                           

Help us to see God in this place   

All connecting, my life, our lives, all life                                                     

to share our own joys, sorrows and laughter

and intercede for all in God’s earth.

 

Followed by the Franciscan Canticle of the Creatures 

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
to you be praise, glory, honour and all blessing.

Only to you, Most High, do they belong
and no one is worthy to call upon your name.

May you be praised, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir brother sun,
through whom you lighten the day for us.

He is beautiful and radiant with great splendour.
He signifies you, O Most High.

Be praised, my Lord, for sister moon and the stars,
clear and precious and lovely, they are formed in heaven.

Be praised, my Lord, for brother wind;
and by air and clouds, clear skies and all weathers,
by which you give sustenance to your creatures.

Be praised, my Lord, for sister water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, for our sister, mother earth,
who sustains and governs us
and produces diverse fruits
and coloured flowers and grass.

Sharing the story in which Francis meets with the wolf that has been terrorising the villagers of Gubbio and eating their livestock. The villagers were convinced that the wolf would attack Francis, but on meeting the wolf Francis discovers the wolf is too old to hunt wild animals and was finding the villager’s animals easy prey. He persuades the villagers to feed the wolf and in turn the wolf leaves the livestock alone. The bravery of Francis lead to peace between the villagers and the wolf.

We were challenged about how we can be courageous in bringing peace in the situations and the world in which we live.

Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Like that of Christ, our mission on earth is to bring to others God’s peace.

God’s state of “perfect well-being” and completeness. Shalom is the Hebrew word for this rich concept of “peace.” Often used as a greeting of peace, Shalom is a wish that those so greeted will find healing and fullness of life.

Pray that you can bring Shalom to those you meet this coming week.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Saint Francis tells his followers, “Our Lord says in the Gospel, Love your enemies (Matthew 5: 44). If we feel offence, injury, anger, hurt or rejection how do we handle that is the light of loving our enemies.

Pray for those we know who need to know love.

Where there is injury, pardon,
During the violence-ridden Crusades, Francis discovered a path of peace, pardon and non-violence. The “little poor man” went to Egypt to engage in a peaceful dialogue with the sultan, a meeting in which a spirit of forgiveness, respect and understanding prevailed. Francis would have the same message for those in our times who are so quick to see violence as the only cure for terrorism.

Pray for the miracle of God’s peace to be in the hearts of those who lead in our world.

Where there is doubt, faith,

Pray for those who have lost faith or who have their faith sorely challenged ask God to show you ways that can restore faith to those people.

Where there is despair, hope/Where there is darkness, light,
Think of Saint Francis following Jesus example and embracing lepers and lovingly washing their sores. Surely, many of those suffering souls felt an inner surge of hope and human dignity when they experienced care.

Pray for the strength to show care and love in difficult situations

And where there is sadness, joy.
Francis used to say that he wanted his followers to go about the world like strolling minstrels, “to inspire the hearts of people and stir them to spiritual joy.” They give us an example to follow in our own day!

Pray that we will be like those strolling minstrels and inspire the hearts of people we meet who feel sadness

For ourselves we pray

Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand and to be loved as to love

Pray for awareness that

It is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned ,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

 

The Peace

May deep peace be in our thinking

May deep peace be in our hearts

May there be deep peace between us and God’s good earth

And may the deep peace of Jesus be with us.

 

We broke bread and poured out wine to the words 

The bread                                                                                                                       

It represents

The provision of God

The bountiful harvest

The work of the labourer

The hands of the baker

In remembrance

Of bread broken

And shared

Of a body broken

Of a people blessed

And a forgiveness shared

 

The wine

It represents

The provision of God

The bountiful harvest

The work of the labourer

The skill of the vintner

In remembrance

The ransom paid

The hands pierced

The blood shed

The redemption

The celebration of the resurrection

 

Paul read the Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers

Half-truths and superficial relationships

So that you may live deep within your heart

May God bless you with anger at injustice,

Oppression and exploitation of people

So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace

May God bless you with tears to shed

For those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war

So that you may reach out your hand

To comfort them and turn their pain to joy

So that you can do

What others claim cannot be done

To bring justice and kindness to all our children

And the poor

AMEN

https://www.theworkofthepeople.com

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