“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who deal likewise with their fellow men.
All creatures have the same source as we have. Like us, they derive the life of thought, love, and will from the Creator. Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them; but to stop there is a complete misapprehension of the intentions of Providence. We have a higher mission. God wishes that we should succor them whenever they require it.” ~ St. Francis of Assisi
Today is World Animal Day, a day set aside to celebrate the wonder that exists in the relationship between humans and their animal kingdom brethren.
It is a good day to reflect on the Human Animal Bond, and how essential that bond is to the humanity of our society.
St. Francis of Assissi lived from 1182-1226, yet his prophetic words still apply to our modern world. How we treat animals that share our world with us is a reflection of how we treat our fellow man.
When animals are mistreated in society, it is likely that children and other vulnerable persons are also mistreated. In St. Francis’ day, there was no research to back up his claims. Today there is a plethora of research that demonstrates the link between animal abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.
St. Francis tells us that it is not enough simply to enjoy animals. He implores us to succor them, or attend to their needs as we would our own. It is our duty and our purpose to care for all of God’s creatures according to St. Francis.
According to the official World Animal Day website, its mission is as follows:
- To celebrate animal life in all its forms
- To celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom
- To acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives – from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder into our lives
- To acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives
How will you celebrate that mission on this special day?
Life is an Adventure!