St. Francis is best known for his commitment to the poor but he was also extremely committed to the created world and environmental causes. During some of his life he took off to live in the woods renouncing his wealthy birthright. This is important not just because it's interesting but so you know why we ended up taking Nutella to church on Saturday.
Normally taking her to church would be a nightmare for many different reasons but last Saturday was the Annual Blessing of the Animals. As we have never had a pet and I previously thought these kind of things to be silly eccentricities I've never gone before and I have to admit to being kind of embarrassed when I told my friends. But now, not so much. It was really fun... and a good reminder to be open-minded about spiritual exercises.
We arrived to a ZOO of animals outside the church and for once Nutella wasn't the worst-behaved in the crowd. And while her blessing has not had any effect on her bad behavior I really appreciate that once a year the Franciscans take a day to remind us that as humans it is our calling to protect and care for the earth and the animals that live in it. And to care for most especially the ones in our homes that trust us to provide for their needs.