'Carry this certainty ahead, the Lord is alive and walks beside you through life.' ~Pope Francis
There was some surprise when our new pope took the name Francis. St Francis whose feast day is today was the inspiration. The pope has lived his life close to this down to earth saint. He is one of those rare saints who has managed to capture the attention and admiration of the entire world. His life has inspired people of all ages and the appeal of this saint, cuts across national boundaries and religious differences. He is most famous for his respect towards God, his simple life and his tender love and attention to all creation. Francis had little time for excess, waste and greed. He always stood up for the poor and downtrodden.
His love of animals has been well documented. Many animals and especially pets will get a special treat today in honour of St Francis. The life of Francis still challenges all of us today. The invitation is to sort through our lives and discard the unnecessary and useless. There is great freedom in doing with less and using it to our advantage. Francis did it so well and has inspired so many more to do the same.