November 27.   Was Jesus a lover of nature? He used birds, seeds, plants and trees in his teaching and parables, recognising and valuing these ordinary natural parts of life. When pets die we and our children often feel very sad. There was a time when it was taught that animals do not have a soul. Nowadays our thinking about creation has changed. We comfort our children with the message that they will see Fluffy the cat, or Munchkin the hamster again as we teach them about the process of life and death.  Watching the growth cycles of plants and flowers too reminds us of the fact that life is a journey towards eternity and that all of creation will be glorified.    

 Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they come out in leaf know the summer is near.  Luke 21:29-33. 

Pope  Francis: St Francis takes us to the heart of what it is to be human.  Just as happens when we fall in love whenever he would gaze at the sun, the moon or the smallest of animals he burst into song, drawing all other creatures into his praise. His response to the world around him was much more than intellectual appreciation for to him each and every creature was a sister united to him by bonds of affection.   Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise. LS11-12.