Franciscan care for the environment is deeply rooted in Franciscan spirituality. The connection with creation begins with Francis’ own spirituality, expressed in his famous solicitude for worms because he identified the Psalmist’s words “I am a worm and no man” with Jesus. He called a wolf “Brother”. At the end of his life the sense of kinship with all creation through our common origin in God is captured in the Canticle of the Creatures celebrating Brother Sun and Sister Moon, then wind, fire, and earth. This joyful perspective, seeing all things point to God, has been a constant Franciscan theme.
Franciscan teacher and theologian St. Bonaventure (13 Century) elaborated Francis’ perspective with the insight that creation “explodes” into a thousand forms, sharing in the word made flesh. He said when the Word (Logos) was spoken creation showed the glory of God, therefore every creature is a little “word”. Another Franciscan theologian, John Duns Scotus (14 Century), said that Sun, moon, stars, trees, animals all have life only in Christ, through Christ and with Christ. All creation, he said, is to be transformed into communion of love centered in Christ.
At Hilfield we are standing with many modern theologians in profound continuity with Franciscan thinking and teaching over the past 800 years. Caring for creation is caring for the marginalized of the world, all species. Care for creation is proclaiming that love will always win.