What's the biblical God's essential characteristic? According to Cobb, it's the loving care a mother or father gives an infant.
Francis of Assisi
Shortly after Pope Francis visited the United States in September, many churches invoked his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, in services of blessing animals. From the spectacular event at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan to small gatherings of pets and pet owners on church lawns, Americans around the country marked Francis’s feast day, October 4, by blessing the animals. They may not have realized that blessing the animals is a recent and very American development.
Richard Rohr and Jon Sweeney, authors of two new books on St. Francis, would be united in their advice to us: forget the statue with the birds.