This week's host, Sally, dedicates our Friday Five to St Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is October 3rd.
1. Saint Francis experienced a life changing call, has anything in your journey so far challenged you to alter your lifestyle?
My year as an exchange student in Japan challenged me to think of myself as a citizen of the world, rather than merely of my homeland, the United States. Studying Taewkon-Do for the past three years has reinforced that mindset.
2. Francis experienced mocking and persecution, quite often in the comfortable west this is far from our experience. If you have experienced something like this how do you deal with it, if not how does it challenge you to pray for those whose experience is daily persecution?
Learning about our forebearers in faith who have stood in the gap with those who suffer inspires me to become more aware of God's call for me to go and do likewise. I have begun to meditate on Mother Teresa's Simple Path:
The fruit of silence is PRAYER
The fruit of prayer is FAITH
The fruit of faith is LOVE
The fruit of love is SERVICE
The fruit of service is PEACE
3 St Francis had a female counterpart in St Clare, she was influenced by St Francis' sermon and went on to found the Poor Clares. Like the Franciscans they depended on alms this was unheard of for women in that time, but she persisted and gained permission to found the order. How important are role models like St Clare to you? Do you have a particular female role model whose courage and dedication inspires you? If so share their story....
Svetlana Cholvadova Ottney is a skilled artist who emigrated to our area in the face of persecution for her faith. She works with clay to create murals that tell the faith stories of many worshiping communities in our area. This is a mural of St. Clare that she and her supervising instructor, Sr. Jane Mary Sorosiak, created for Lourdes College.
4. Francis loved nature and animals, how important is an expressed love of the created world to the Christian message today?
Love for the world God has created and entrusted to our care is central to my theology. Our place in God's story begins with creation in Genesis 1, not with sin in Genesis 3.
5. On a lighter note; have you ever led a service of blessing for animals, or a pet service, was it a success, did you enjoy it, and would you do it again?
Yes, we have led services of blessing for animals. They have been only sparsely attended, but those who have participated have really enjoyed them. I would do it again.