One of Siena’s signature strengths is its Catholic Franciscan Tradition. It is an 800 year-old legacy of intellectual inquiry and Christian spirituality inspired by St. Francis of Assisi’s transformative experience of God. It stresses:
- the goodness of God and the goodness of God’s creation
- the humility of God and our call to serve humbly the least of our brothers and sisters
- the love of God in whose image we were made to share life, love, and the good things of the earth with one another
This webpage offers a weekly sampling of the riches of the Franciscan tradition. May it help you to make the legacy of St. Francis your own.
From the tradition:
“Praised be you, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth . . . who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.”—St. Francis of Assisi, The Canticle of the Creatures, 6
For your reflection:
This year, the northeastern United States was cursed with a long winter and a cold April. For months on end, the slate gray sky met the slate gray hills with their grim cover of slate gray trees and slate gray snow. The monochromatic landscape tested the buoyancy of even the sunniest of dispositions. There was, however, at least one silver lining to this dark cloud of extended sensory deprivation. Once the trees began budding and the flowers started blooming, many denizens of upstate New York became positively giddy with delight at nature’s glorious and long overdue display. What a feast for the eyes! Who knew there were so many shades of yellow and green? Who would believe there could be such variety of tint and texture in an Eden of tulips and daffodils? We were like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” when she suddenly awakens from the black and white world of
Kansas and finds herself in the Technicolor dream of the Emerald City. Even though St. Francis was half blind when he wrote his Canticle of the Creatures, he was still awed by Mother Earth’s broad spectrum of hues. He may have been losing his vision in the last years of his life, but he never lost his sense of wonder at the breadth of God’s creativity and the beauty of God’s handiwork. As we head into May and as nature’s rebirth gains momentum, we have every reason to join Francis in his ecstatic prayer of gratitude and praise.
For your prayer and petition:
O God, give us the good sense to drink in the sights and sounds and smells of spring and to breathe out cries of glad thanksgiving for these precious tokens of your love.