Saint Francis of Assisi

St. Francis: Celebrating God’s Creation studies the close connections between God, and man, and the animals; the close connections man and animals share.

Both man and animals were created on the 6th Day of Creation. Both man and animals were included in God’s covenant and were “Saved” from the flood, on the Ark that Noah obediently built from God’s instructions. Both man and animals are included in the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ; when Christ returns; The Peaceable Kingdom from Isaiah 11:6-9.

God often uses animals for His purposes! The Ravens fed Elijah, Jonah swallowed by a big fish, Jesus was born in a manger, Jesus was comforted by the animals in the wilderness, Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem riding meekly on a donkey....

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
Psalm 24:1

Saint Francis of Assisi was a lover of all creation, the patron saint of animals and of the environment, and founder of the Franciscan order. We should learn to love and to appreciate all of God’s Creation like St. Francis. Bible Basics... Saint Francis Celebrating God's Creation Bible Study takes a closer look at the Prayer of St. Francis and the Blessing of the Animals; Celebrating God's Creation.



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St. Francis
Celebrating God's Creation

St. Francis Celebrating God's Creation: View as a PDF file Recommended!

Celebrating God's Creation
Bible Basics' Video Presentation



The Prayer of St.Francis

Lord,
make me an instrument of thy peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for 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

Amen.

For me the Prayer of Saint Francis is the basic “Meaning of Life.”

The Lord's Prayer - A Paraphrase by St. Francis of Assisi



Celebrating God's Creation

On the 5th Day of Creation, God created living creatures of the oceans and birds of the skies, God blessed them and saw that it was good. On the 6th Day of Creation God created first the animals and then man and God saw that it was good. Man was created only after God created the creatures of the sea, the birds of the skies, and the animals. This should give us some humility.

Noah’s Ark
Edward Hicks

God blessed and loves all of His creatures of creation; animals are important to God and they should be important to us! Animals were saved from the flood and were made a part of the covenant with Noah.

9 "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. Genesis 9:9-10
God's Covenant With Noah: Genesis 9:1-17

Think of how much smaller “Noah’s Ark” could have been if it were not for all of the animals!

The paschal lamb reminds us of the Passover sacrifice and the deliverance from Egypt. The First Passover: Exodus 12:1-14

Jonah and the Giant Fish
Dore
The Bible never actually calls it a whale.
Jonah's Prayer: Jonah 2 :1-11

Artist Unknown
Ravens brought bread to Elijah in the wilderness. (1 Kings 17:6)

Rembrandt


When Balaam was on his journey, his donkey could see
the Angel of the Lord, but Balaam could not until God opened his eyes.

Balaam's Donkey: Numbers 22:21-39

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph,
and the baby, who was lying in a manger.

Luke 2:16

Jesus was born in the manger because there was no room made for Mary and Joseph at the inn. Before the Angel of the Lord told the shepherds in the fields about the birth of Jesus, before the Wise Men came to bear presents to Jesus, the animals, the least of us, were there waiting to receive their King, Baby Jesus. The animals were there before we were! Animals were there for the creation of Adam and animals were there for the Birth of Jesus the Christ Child. Animals are very important in God’s Kingdom!

After the animals, next to be invited by the Angel of the Lord to see the Christ Child were the shepherds. And who were the shepherds? The shepherds were the ones who cared for the animals; the caregivers for the animals!

By tradition the Wisemen traveled by camel, some time later to worship the Christ Child.

See: Epiphany in the Bible Basics Advent & Christmas to Epiphany issue.

The Holy Spirit

...he saw the Spirit of God,
descending like a dove and lighting on him.

Matthew 3:16

The Baptism of Jesus

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God, descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17



The Temptation of Christ

At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels attended him. Mark 1:12-13

Immediately after Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert where He fasted for forty days. The wild animals and the angels were the only ones to surround Jesus other than the temptations from Satan!



The Good Shepherd

I am the good shepherd,
I know my sheep and my sheep know me.

John 10:14

My sheep listen to my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.

John 10:14

Jesus is the “Good Shepherd”
Who lay down his life for his sheep.

...I lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:15




Bible Basics... Layers of Understanding YouTube Video:
"Jesus, The Good Shepherd"
with Adagio for String by Samuel Barber.
This is a very nice mellow meditative video.




We celebrate Palm Sunday when Jesus rode into Jerusalem riding meekly on a donkey.

Remember,
Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem to go to the cross.
See: Luke 19: 28-44 Triumphant Entry

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you will kill the prophets
and stone those sent to you,
how often I have longed to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
but you were not willing.

Matthew 23:37



Jesus is also called the “Lion of Judah.”

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Revelation 5:5

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.
Revelation 19:11

The wolf and the lamb will feed together
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
but dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain.

Isaiah 65:25


Animals are included in the repentance enjoined on humans (Jonah 3) and animals share in Christ’s redemption of all of God’s creation.


The Peaceable Kingdom by Bible Basics
Isaiah 11:6-9
Isaiah 65:25
Ephesians 1:10

Artwork by Edward Hicks
April 4, 1780 - August 23, 1849
Music by Nightnoise


The Peaceable Kingdom wmv.
Bible Basics' Video Presentation


The Peaceable Kingdom
Bible Basics' Power Point Presentation




The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:6-9



Peaceable Kingdom by Margaret Strobel





Animals and Man
Have Much in Common!

Both animals and man were created on the Sixth Day of Creation.

Both animals and man were saved from the flood on Noah’s Ark.

Jesus was born in a manger for feeding animals and Jesus rode into Jerusalem riding meekly on a donkey as foretold by prophecy.

Both animals and man are included in the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ; when Christ returns.

Let us praise the Lord for His creation and thank God for setting us over the creatures of the earth. St. Francis loved and even spoke to the animals; blessing them. We therefore invoke the divine blessing on these animals through intercession of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals; lover of all creation. We all love the manger scenes at Christmas. St. Francis is credited for creating the first living crèche (live animal manger scene). St. Francis suffered the Stigmata but is probably most well known for the “Prayer of St. Francis” prayed regularly in many churches and denominations and for founding the Franciscan Order of Friars.

Children love animals and children are drawn to the many Bible stories, which tell of animals. Children are probably the most familiar with the Noah’s Ark Story and the Story of Jonah and the Whale. Many people have pets, which are loved as part of their family. Blessing of the Animals is becoming more popular in many different churches and denominations.

Blessing of the Animals involves, children, their parents, adults, the congregation, and indeed the whole community at large. Blessing of the Animals is a great opportunity to invite outsiders in the community to visit their church. Blessing of the Animals is a wonderful teaching tool and evangelizing tool. Blessing of the Animals is praising God and giving thanks for His creation.

YouTube - Blessing of the Animals
www.BlessThePets.com
Interfaith Blessing of the Animals is held each year in Long Beach, Calif. and hosted by Justin Rudd!, founder/director of Haute Dogs. It is one of the biggest interfaith pet blessings in the U.S.





Prayer For Animals

God Our Heavenly Father,

You created the world to serve humanity's needs and to lead them to You. By our own fault we have lost the beautiful relationship which we once had with all your creation.

Help us to see that by restoring our relationship with You we will also restore it with all Your creation.

Give us the grace to see all animals as gifts from You and to treat them with respect for they are Your creation. We pray for all animals who are suffering as a result of our neglect.

May the order You originally established be once again restored to the whole world through the intercession of the Glorious Virgin Mary, the prayers of St. Francis and the merits of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ Who lives and reigns with You now and forever. Amen.



A Prayer for Animals

Albert Schweitzer

Hear our humble prayer, O God,
for our friends the animals,
especially for those who are suffering;
for any that are hunted or lost
or deserted or frightened or hungry;
for all that must be put to sleep.

We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity,
and for those who deal with them
we ask a heart of compassion
and gentle hands and kindly words.
Make us be true friends to animals
and so to share the blessings of the merciful.




Franciscan Blessing
of the Animals

“Do-it-yourself”
Franciscan Blessing of the Animals

For all animals:

Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. On the fifth and sixth days of creation, you called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all animals his brothers and sisters.

We ask you to bless this animal. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan.

May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures!

Amen

For a sick animal:

Heavenly Father,
you created all things for your glory and made us stewards of this creature.

If it is your will, restore it to health and strength. Blessed are you Lord God, and holy is your name forever and ever.

Amen



Why Do We Bless Animals?

The Humane Society USA: St. Francis of Assisi
Patron Saint of Animals & Ecology

Blessing of the Animals Feast of St Francis Blessing of the Animals
St Thomas Church Staten Island, New York



St. Francis origins of the
Christmas Nativity Creche

St. Bonaventure (d. 1274) in his Life of St. Francis of Assisi tells the story the best:

"It happened in the third year before his death, that in order to excite the inhabitants of Grecio to commemorate the nativity of the Infant Jesus with great devotion, [St. Francis] determined to keep it with all possible solemnity; and lest he should be accused of lightness or novelty, he asked and obtained the permission of the sovereign Pontiff.

Then he prepared a manger, and brought hay, and an ox and an ass to the place appointed. The brethren were summoned, the people ran together, the forest resounded with their voices, and that venerable night was made glorious by many and brilliant lights and sonorous psalms of praise.

The man of God [St. Francis] stood before the manger, full of devotion and piety, bathed in tears and radiant with joy; the Holy Gospel was chanted by Francis, the Levite of Christ. Then he preached to the people around the nativity of the poor King; and being unable to utter His name for the tenderness of His love, He called Him the Babe of Bethlehem.

A certain valiant and veracious soldier, Master John of Grecio, who, for the love of Christ, had left the warfare of this world, and become a dear friend of this holy man, affirmed that he beheld an Infant marvelously beautiful, sleeping in the manger, Whom the blessed Father Francis embraced with both his arms, as if he would awake Him from sleep. This vision of the devout soldier is credible, not only by reason of the sanctity of him that saw it, but by reason of the miracles, which afterwards confirmed its truth.

For example of Francis, if it be considered by the world, is doubtless sufficient to excite all hearts which are negligent in the faith of Christ; and the hay of that manger, being preserved by the people, miraculously cured all diseases of cattle, and many other pestilences; God thus in all things glorifying his servant, and witnessing to the great efficacy of his holy prayers by manifest prodigies and miracles."



“Preach always... use words if you have to.”

St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi, lover of all creation,
patron saint of animals and of the environment,
and founder of the Franciscan order.

YouTube - Sacrum Commercuim
"Has anyone seen Her whom my heart loves?"




CREATION

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear. And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and gathered the waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation; seed bearing plants and trees. And it was so. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the third day.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. God created two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the fourth day.

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning – the fifth day.

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds.” And it was so. God made the wild animals. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let him rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the animals of the land.” God saw all that he had made and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.
Adapted from Genesis 1:1-31



Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Genesis 2:1-3




YouTube Video:
Edward Grieg – Morning: The Story of Love
Bellissimo video(HQ)e musica. Edited by a.vullo
Every morning is a "Miracle."

This is the day that the Lord hath made;
Rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24




"Let the Heaven's Rejoice" Psalm 96
By Bible Basics
Let the Heaven's Rejoice Psalm 96
Windows Media Video
Bible Basics Video Presentation


Let the heavens rejoice,
let the earth be glad;
Let the sea resound,
and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant,
and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
they will sing before the lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his truth.

Psalm 96:11-13


The earth is the Lord’s,
and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.

Psalm 24:1


Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightening and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and maidens,
old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth
and the heavens.

Psalm 148:7-13


“All the animals in the forest are Mine
and the cattle on thousands of hills.
All the wild birds are Mine
and all living things in the fields.

Psalm 50:10-11


“This plan, which God will complete
when the time is right,
is to bring all creation together,
everything in heaven and on earth,
with Christ as head.”

Ephesians 1:10




O, heavenly Father,
protect and bless all things that have breath;
guard them from all evil,
and let them sleep in peace.

by Albert Schweitzer

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air,
and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
wherein there is life (the breath of life),
I have given every green herb for meat:
and it was so.

Genesis 1:30

People and animals seem to be portrayed as originally vegetarian.
NIV Note Genesis 1:29-30

Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants,
I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow men.

Genesis 9:3-5

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:7

“Look at the birds flying around...
your Father in Heaven takes care of them.”

Matthew 6:26

18 I also thought, "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?"

22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him? Ecclesiastes 3:18-22



The LORD is My Shepherd
The 23rd Psalm

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Amen

Psalm 23:1-6



The 23rd Psalm wmv.
By Bible Basics
for Windows Media Player
2:22 minutes




In the Beginning
The Creation of Dog

And Adam said "Lord, when I was in the Garden, you walked with me every day - now I do not see you and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me ..."

And God said, "I will create a companion for you - it will be a reflection of my love for you so that you know that even when you cannot see me, and regardless of how selfish, childish and unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you and will love you as I do in spite of your faults."

And God created a new companion for Adam. And it was a good companion. And God was pleased. And the new companion was pleased to be with Adam and wagged its tail.

And God said, "Because I have created this new companion to be a reflection of my love for you, it's name will be a reflection of my own name and you will call him 'Dog'."

Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. Dog was content and wagged his tail.

It came to pass that Adam grew to believe that he was worthy of adoration and self-pride. And God was not pleased.

And the Lord created another companion who would be with Adam forever, and who would see Adam's self-adulation and pride. The companion would remind him of his limitations so that Adam will know that he is not worthy of adoration and pride.

And God created 'Cat' to be a companion of Adam. And Cat would not obey Adam and occasionally looked at Adam with disdain and Adam was reminded that indeed he was not the Supreme Being. And Adam learned humility.

And God was pleased. And Adam was chastened. And Dog wagged his tail.

And Cat did not care one way or the other.

- Author Unknown



For Dog Lovers!
Great Must See Presentation!




”Man’s Best Friend – Dog” a Trevor Cottle Tribute.

This presentation is dedicated to Trevor Cottle,
a champion for men’s health
and Rod Gauld,the “Phantom” coordinator,
both dog lovers and to all those other dog lovers… Enjoy!
John Nation


“To sit with a dog on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”

Milan

“An animals eyes have the power to speak a great language.”
Martin Buber

“No matter how little money and how few possessions you own…
Having a dog makes you rich.

Louis Sabin

“My goal in life is to be as good of a person…
(that) my dog already thinks I am….”

Unknown

A dog wags its tail with its heart.”
Martin

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
Immanual Kant

“Until one has loved an animal…
A part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Anatole France

Labradors (are) lousy watchdogs.
They usually bark when there is a stranger about…
But it is an expression of unmitagated joy
At the chance to meet somebody.






All Things Bright and Beautiful

“All Things Bright and Beautiful” Poem/Hymn by written by Cecil Alexander, 1848.

ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL

Written by Cecil F. Alexander,
Hymns for Little Children, 1848


Refrain

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

Refrain[Most hymnals omit the following verse]

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
He made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.

Refrain

The purple headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

Refrain

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

Refrain

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

Refrain

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Refrain




The Peaceable Kingdom by Bible Basics
Isaiah 11:6-9
Isaiah 65:25
Ephesians 1:10

Artwork by Edward Hicks
April 4, 1780 - August 23, 1849


This plan, which God will complete when the time is right,
is to bring all creation together,
everything in heaven and on earth,
with Christ as head.

Ephesians 1:10




This is the way it could and will be...

This is a true story from "Christian, the Lion Who Thought He Was People".




Pet Family

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