Seasonal Reflections:Sr. Maureen Murphy
My thoughts and prayers are with you for the Feast of St Francis.
A few days ago I listened to Bishop John Arnold of Salford giving a talk at Manchester Cathedral and during it he said that the word which most summed up Pope Francis was “connectedness”. He explained that the Pope never sees or does anything in isolation and for him everything is interconnected.
It occurred to me when reflecting on this that it is perhaps even more true of St Francis. He saw nothing in isolation but through a relationship to God, the creator, and thereby to all of creation. Only thus was he able to speak of Brother Sun and Sister Moon and Mother Earth, our common home. For Francis everything belonged to the one Father – a unity created in peace and lived in peace. It is a far cry from today where equality and mutual respect have been pushed aside in the struggle for survival, where human greed has often replaced human need and where many species of wildlife have been made extinct by the selfish dominance of humanity over other creatures. One half of the world struggles to know what to do with food waste while the other half is starving, millions suffer flooding because of global deforestation and the destruction of natural resources while other lands are parched dry and unable to produce crops.
It is not a pretty picture but, like us, some of creation can be healed. It is not too late to begin at least to do something. Perhaps that is why the Holy Spirit inspired us at our recent General Chapter to choose the environment as our next focus for justice and peace. We cannot replant forests but let each of us remember that global solutions come from small individual, often insignificant, actions. What can I do today to make the world a better place? I can pray, I can sow a seed whether literally or metaphorically in terms of an idea, I can do my part to live in peace, in unity with God and with the multiplicity of brothers and sisters he has created around me.
Happy Feast of St Francis. May the Lord give you his peace.
Love and prayers,
Sister Maureen Murphy, FMSJ