Wednesday, 27 June 2012
The Sermon to the Birds . . .
St. Francis was a very kind and loving man . . . kind and loving not only to humanity, but to all living things. He referred to the birds as his "little brothers of the air," and he could never bear to see even one of them harmed in any way.
At Christmastime, he scattered crumbs of bread beneath the trees so that they, too, could feast and be filled with the joys of the season.
A boy once gave him a pair of doves, which he had snared. St. Francis had a nest made for them, and by and by the mother bird laid her eggs in it. One at a time, the eggs hatched and a nestful of young doves grew up. They were so tame that they sat upon the shoulders of St. Francis and ate from the palm of his hand.
There are many, many stories told of this kind man's great love and compassion for the timid creatures which lived in the fields and woods.
One day as he was walking amongst the trees of the woodland, the birds saw him coming and flew down to meet him. They sang their sweetest songs to show him how very much they loved him, and then, when they saw that he was about to speak . . . they nestled softly in the grass and prepared themselves to listen.
"O, little birds," he said, "I love you, for you are my brothers and sisters of the air. Let me tell you something, my little brothers, my little sisters: You ought always to love God . . . and praise Him. For think what He has given you. He has given you wings with which to fly through the air. He has given you clothing both warm and beautiful. He has given you the air in which to move and have homes.
And think of this, O little brothers; you sow not, neither do you reap, for God feeds you. He gives you the rivers and the brooks from which to drink. He gives you the mountains and the valleys where you may rest. He gives you the trees in which to build your nests.
You toil not, neither do you spin, yet God takes care of you and your little ones. It must be, then . . . that He loves you. So do not be ungrateful, but sing His praises and thank Him for His goodness towards you."
Then, the Saint stopped speaking and looked around him. All the birds sprang up, filled with joy and spreading their wings. They opened their mounts to show that they had understood his words. And . . . when he had blessed them, all began to sing; and the whole forest was filled with sweetness and joy . . . because of their wonderful melodies.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of value more than many sparrows." ~Matthew 10:29-31
Turn off the music below and listen . . . this is Todd's favourite hymn, as sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It's just beautiful.
I just love this story of St Francis of Assisi. It is a wonderful reminder to me of how very much my Heavenly Father loves me, and how I can place my whole trust in Him. Even when I am not feeling very brave or strong . . . He will lift me up and give me the courage I need to be able to put one foot in front of the other and move forward.
This is my last post before my trip. I seriously doubt that I will be able to get online whilst I am away, unless I can figure out how to use wi-fi in some hot spots with my i-pad. I'm not very technologically aware, although to many it may seem the opposite! All I know, I have learned from trial and error and I often forget it as soon as I have learned it! I have set up a series of posts to post in the English Kitchen each day . . . my top recipes which get the most traffic. It's very interesting to actually see which ones that they are. You may be surprised or maybe not!
We'll be dropping Mitzie off this afternoon to where she will be staying whilst we are away. We took her there yesterday for a little visit so she could have a sniff and so that she wouldn't be too unfamiliar with it today. We have NEVER left her anywhere really. This will be hard on both her and on us! Well, me I guess . . . Todd is not all that bothered! Men usually aren't! She will have two young lads to play with for the next few weeks, and probably will be horribly bored with us when it is time for her to come home again at the end of that time!
I promise to take lots and lots of photographs, so many that you will all be saying to yourselves at the end of it all . . . enough already! But that is me. I cannot change! I'll carry your love and well wishes with me to the young couple and be back before you know it!
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Double Chocolate Muffins. Scrummo!
Love you all! See you in two weeks!