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Reflections: St. Francis of Assisi (Animals/Misc.)

St. Francis of Assisi

Return to Animals/Creatn.Reflctns. | St. Francis Reflections

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Animals / Creation (Misc.)

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Creatures / Creation (Misc.)

 

Category
Quotation

Creatures / Creation (Misc.)

Also See: Animals / Pets (Topic Page)

"But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. She shared the little food he had and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom. She was like a daughter to him." (2 Sam. 12:3)

"But now ask the beasts to teach you, and the birds of the air to tell you; Or the reptiles on earth to instruct you, and the fish of the sea to inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of God has done this? In his hand is the soul of every living thing, and the life breath of all mankind." (Job. 12:7-10)

"Before all things else wisdom was created; and prudent understanding, from eternity. To whom has wisdom's root been revealed? Who knows her subtleties? There is but one, wise and truly awe-inspiring, seated upon his throne: It is the LORD; he created her, has seen her and taken note of her. He has poured her forth upon all his works, upon every living thing according to his bounty; he has lavished her upon his friends." (Sirach 1:4-8)

"Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth, for the LORD speaks: Sons have I raised and reared, but they have disowned me! An ox knows its owner, and an ass, its master's manger; But Israel does not know, my people has not understood." (Isa. 1:2-3)

"You fool! What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind; but God gives it a body as he chooses, and to each of the seeds its own body. Not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for human beings, another kind of flesh for animals, another kind of flesh for birds, and another for fish. There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the brightness of the heavenly is one kind and that of the earthly another. The brightness of the sun is one kind, the brightness of the moon another, and the brightness of the stars another. For star differs from star in brightness. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one." (1 Cor. 15:36-44)

"For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species" (Jms. 3:7)

"St. Bonaventure calls all the creatures on earth (pure matter, plants and animals) 'vestigia Dei,' ('traces of God')." (Von Hildebrand)

"[T]he picture of creation, the work of God. He Himself admired its substantial beauty as an external reflection of His wisdom and power." (Pope Paul VI)

"Since everything that issues from God is good and loveable, it follows that everything in the creature that is good and loveable issues from God as its first source" (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"God is love, St. John affirms (1 Jn. 4:8). Everything that exists is a reflection of the free love of God, and therefore every creature expresses in some way its infinite splendor." (Pope John Paul II)

"God, therefore, knew everything He made before He made it. For we cannot say that He made things He did not know and that He would not have known them unless He had made them." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, circa 415 A.D.)

"God feeds the fowls, and daily sustenance is furnished the sparrows, and to those creatures who have no sense of things Christian, do you think that to a servant of God, do you think that to one devoted to good works, do you think that to one dear to the Lord anything will be lacking?" (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

"In all things that so great and wise a God has created there must be many beneficial secrets, and those who understand them do benefit, although I believe that in each little thing created by God there is more than what is understood, even if it is a little ant." (St. Theresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"Distinction and variety in the world is intended by the First Cause. God brings things into existence in order that His goodness may be communicated and manifested. One solitary creature would not suffice. Therefore He makes creatures many and diverse, that what is wanting in one may be supplied by another." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church") 

"Even other animals have not at birth such a perfect use of their natural powers as they have later on. This is clear from the fact that birds teach their young to fly; and the like may be observed in other animals." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Sometimes, however, it is on account of a perfection, when we find the generic nature completely in one species and not in another; thus animal is named from soul [anima], and this belongs to an animate body, which is the genus of animal; yet animation is not found perfectly in those animate beings that are not animals." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"For man consists of soul and body, but so do the beasts. There is no doubt that in the natural order the soul is superior to the body. But in the soul of man there is reason, which is not present in the beast. Therefore, just as the soul is superior to the body, so too in the soul itself reason is superior, by the law of nature, to those other parts which the beasts also have." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, circa 400 A.D.)

"The young ravens are said to call upon God, on account of the natural desire whereby all things, each in its own way, desire to attain the Divine goodness. Thus too dumb animals are said to obey God, on account of the natural instinct whereby they are moved by God." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Now whereas our Lord might have taken an example from the men who have cared least about earthly things, such as Elias, Moses, and John, and the like, He made mention of the birds, following the Old Testament, which sends us to the bee and the ant, and others of the same kind, in whom the Creator has implanted certain natural dispositions (cf. Lk. 12:24-26)." (St. Cyril, Doctor of the Church)

"By the words, 'opening the womb', he signifies the first-born both of man and beast, and each one of which was, according to the commandment, to be called holy to the Lord, and therefore to become the property of the priest, that is, so far that he was to receive a price for every first-born of man, and oblige every unclean animal to be ransomed." (St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church)

"And as in animals the vital principle is unseen and invisible, and is evidenced and manifested by the movements and action of the members, so the principle of supernatural life in the Church is clearly shown in that which is done by it." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

"[N]ature does not incline thereto in the same way in all animals; since there are animals whose offspring are able to seek food immediately after birth, or are sufficiently fed by their mother; and in these there is no tie between male and female; whereas in those whose offspring needs the support of both parents, although for a short time, there is a certain tie, as may be seen in certain birds." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"...let us consider how the Divine Infant lies in the Crib of a Stable, and is warned by the breath of the Ox and the Ass, as Isaias had foretold: The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel hath not known me. Thus does the great God enter that world which his own hands have created! The dwellings of men are refused him, for man has a hard heart for his God, and an indifference which is a real contempt. The only shelter he can find to be born in is a Stable; and that necessitates his coming into the world in the company of [animals]" (Gueranger)

"Now the reason that he omits mention of the other birds, and speaks only of the ravens (cf. Lk.12:24-26), is, that the young of the ravens are by an especial providence fed by God. For the ravens produce indeed, but do not feed, but neglect their young, to who in a marvelous manner from the air their food comes, brought as it were by the wind, which they receive having their mouths open, and so are nourished. Perhaps also such things were spoken by synecdoche, i.e. the whole signified by a part. Hence in Matthew our Lord refers to the birds of the air, but here more particularly to the ravens, as being more greedy and ravenous than others." (St. Theophylact)

"Individual creatures, therefore, are created according to fit reasons. But where must it be judged that these reasons reside, except in the mind itself of the Creator? For He did not contemplate something located outside Himself as a model by which He might fashion that which He fashioned; to think that would be sacrilege. But if the reason for all things created and about to be created are contained in the mind of God, and if in the divine mind there can be nothing that is not eternal and unchangeable...they are not only ideas but hey are real, because they are eternal and at the same time they remain unchangeable. It is by participation in these that it comes about that a thing is whatever it is in whatever way it is." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, circa 393 A.D.)

"But it is a great thing to follow up this example in faith (cf. Lk. 12:24-26). For to the birds of the air who have no labor of tilling, no produce from the fruitfulness of crops, Divine Providence grants an unfailing sustenance. It is true then that the cause of our poverty seems to be covetousness. For they have for this reason a toiless and abundant use of food, because they think not of claiming to themselves by any special right fruits given for common food. We have lost what things were common by claiming them as our own. For neither is any thing a man's own, where nothing is perpetual, nor is supply certain when the end is uncertain." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"The Incarnation of God the Son signifies the taking up into unity with God not only of human nature, but in this human nature, in a sense, of everything that is 'flesh': the whole of humanity, the entire visible and material world. The Incarnation, then, also has a cosmic significance, a cosmic dimension. The 'first-born of all creation,' becoming incarnate in the individual humanity of Christ, unites himself in some way with the entire reality of man, which is also 'flesh' - and in this reality with all 'flesh,' with the whole of creation." (Pope John Paul II, 1986 A.D.)

Also See: Animals in Church History | Prayers for Animals | "Scripture for Animal Lovers"

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