1. Saint Francis experienced a life changing call, has anything in your journey so far challenged you to alter your lifestyle? Yes, I have run into several events that has altered my life and lifestyle. The biggest turn in my life as of recent was the adoption of my children. I wouldn't trade the change for anything, I think it is a change for the better.
2. Francis experienced mocking and persecution, quite often in the comfortable west this is far from our experience. If you have experienced something like this how do you deal with it, if not how does it challenge you to pray for those whose experience is daily persecution? Sally, what a great question. I am so free from persecution especially living in the Bible Belt of the south. But how do I remember to pray for those who experience that daily Persecution? I think having children from China, going to China, and meeting people from China reminds me. I try to keep up with the news about persecutions in the countries, so I can pray for them. I am aware that Christianity was founded on the very blood, persecution and death of the early Christians. And my Savior was beaten, and killed.
3 .St Francis had female counterpart in St Clare, she was influenced by St Francis sermon and went on to found the Poor Clare's, like the Franciscans they depended on alms this was unheard of for women in that time, but she persisted and gained permission to found the order. How important are role models like St Clare to you? Do you have a particular female role model whose courage and dedication inspires you? If so share their story.... You know, I love the stories of people like Clare, and other women of the faith. We are just now beginning to appreciate their stories and writings. It is interesting that you would ask this question. I want to lift up my mom. I spoke about her yesterday in a book study group I have joined, and realized anew what a woman of faith, courage, and grace she was and still is. I truly admire her coming to know Jesus in her adult life, wanting to know more, growing in her faith, willingness to love and serve others. When all the civil rights movements were going on and churches had deacons standing at the doors ready to throw any black out attempted to come in like my church, my mom took a different tact. She went to their churches, had a friend that was black, helped them with their VBS, and other events. I really don't know what that cost her in the church, but in my eyes that raised her several notches high.
4. Francis loved nature and animals, how important is an expressed love of the created world to the Christian message today? I think we have neglected this message for a long time. I think it is more important now than ever, after all it is God's creation. In Genesis we are told to be stewards of the earth, and frankly we haven't been very good stewards.
5. On a lighter note; have you ever led a service of blessing for animals, or a pet service, was it a success, did you enjoy it, and would you do it again? No, I have offered at the churches I have served, but not been allowed to do so. Maybe one day. I have done funeral services for them, but that's not very light. But I do think the episode of the Vicar of Dibley on the service of the blessing for animals is one of her finest.
Bonus: My first intro to St. Francis was in the movie, Brother Sun, Sister Moon.
You can find a lot of clips and songs from the movie at YouTube; Here is one: Donovan singing Brother Sun, Sister Moon