There is a difference between liking nature and being one with creation. Today, on this feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4), we recall the man who called the sun his brother and the moon his sister. He rejoiced with the fire, the wind, and water. And he referred to nature as ‘mother.’

            Francis didn’t simply enjoy nature. He found himself immersed in creation and discovered a kinship that most of us still don’t appreciate.

            Many of those who profess to love nature walks do not actually take them. In fact, we humans have often created a distance between ourselves and the rest of creation. Lots of folks hardly know where their food comes from.

            If we allow ourselves to be one with the rest of creation, then we will want to protect our brothers and sisters, whether they be the ones fearful of drinking Lake Erie water, those whose future lives may be in danger because of rising oceans, and the many creatures of the earth whose part in the ecological system helps provide air to breath and food to eat.

            People easily trivialize the significance of Francis’ outlook. Even eight hundred years ago he knew that oneness with the rest of the world is a blessing for all.

“Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.”

Francis of Assisi, “Canticle of the Sun”