“Moreover they should respect all creatures, animate and inanimate, which bear the imprint of the Most High, and they should strive to move from the temptation of exploiting creation to the Franciscan concept of universal kinship.” (Art. 18, Secular Franciscan Order Rule)
During one of those beautiful summer days we had recently, I was walking through the Boston Common. In an open space, I was looking around and looked at the green tress of the Common with the skyline of downtown Boston in background. Looking at this scene, the above article of the Rule came to mind. We all know that Francis had a special love for all living creatures; it is one of those characteristics that make him so attractive to so many people. We forget sometimes though, that he felt a kinship will all creation. He showed respect for fire, water, the earth, because these things were all created by God.
We all need to remember that everything we have in this life comes to us gifts from a loving God. And so we need to treat these things with respect and care. I remember reading that in the monasteries, when a monk is given tools to perform his work for the monastery, he was to treat those tools with care and was accountable to the community if anything happened to the tools. And so it should be with us, treating the items we use in our daily lives, the places we live and work in with care. We should do this because of our love for the Creator.