Today is Blog Action Day. Bloggers everywhere are talking about one issue. The issue this year is the environment. When I think about the environment, I think about the importance of caring for God’s creation.
Many stories exist of St. Francis of Assisi, often called the patron saint of animals and the environment, and his special relationship with animals. One of the most famous tells how he tamed a wolf that terrorized a village so that the wolf and the people lived in peace with one another from that time on. This story reflects the belief of St. Francis that it is the duty of humankind to protect and care for all nature as stewards of God’s creation.
Many churches offer a blessing of the animals in early October. Manor Hill United Methodist Charge did so for the first time on Sunday (10.14.2007). People were invited to bring their small pets (and photos of larger pets and herds) to be blessed. We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day on the hillside by Faith UMC.
Thanks to Jeff Glenny for coordinating and leading this service! Each person and pet were given a copy of the following prayer:
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.