Franciscan documents

Franciscan bits & pieces picked up by Ted Witham tssf

Archive for the tag “Creation”

(Unauthorised) Proper Preface for the Feast of St Clare of Assisi


(Unauthorised) Proper Preface for the Feast of St Clare of Assisi

August 11

 

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

All glory and honour to you, O Christ,
for in your face we see mirrored the Father,
and in your love we are embraced by the Creator of all.
You are the Word sent forth by the Father to make stars and planets,
atoms and diatoms, quokkas and humans,
and all the wonderful diversity of life.

We thank you for Saint Clare who focuses our hearts in quiet gratitude.

We thank you, Christ, for your obedience to the Father, obedience to death, even death on a cross.

In the life of Clare also, we trace the grace of obedience and enduring love.

And so with all the mysterious beings of heaven, with angels and archangels, with saints in heaven and saints on earth,
with Clare and her holy Sisters,
with men and women gathered around your altar with us,
we praise you and we glorify you, saying,
Holy, holy, holy, Lord…


Diatoms – image courtesy Wellcome Library

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Jesus and a mule


It is clear from the New Testament that Jesus valued animals. He commended animal-owners for pulling their oxen out of a well even on the Sabbath. He noticed dogs playing around the table of the foreign woman. The story below comes from the Coptic tradition. It is historically true? Probably not. But it does encourage us to see Jesus as concerned for all of the Father’s Creation.

***

Jesus and the Mule

They came across a man with a pack-mule. But the animal had fallen because its load was too heavy, and the owner beat it so much it started bleeding. So Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, why are you beating your animal? Can’t you see that it is not strong enough for its load, and don’t you know that it feels pain?’

But the man replied, ‘What is that to you? I can beat it as much as I want to, because it is my property and I paid a lot of money for it.’ …

But the Lord said, ‘Can’t you see it bleeding? Can’t you hear its cries of pain? ‘

But he said, ‘No. Can’t hear a thing.’

And the Lord was sad and exclaimed, ‘That’s bad news, that you can’t hear it complaining to its Creator in heaven, and crying to you for mercy. Very bad news for those it complains about in its distress.’ And the Lord touched the animal. It got up – its wounds healed!

Jesus then said to its owner, ‘Now carry on your way and don’t beat the animal anymore, so that you too will find mercy.’

–          Roderic Dunkerley, Beyond the Gospels, London: Pelican, 1957, 143-144 (Quoted in Hobgood-Oster, The Friends We Keep,  108-109, and rendered into modern English by Ted Witham

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