Creation rediscovered. Ecology according to Saint Francis
by Eric Bidot
Emmanuel, 220 p., € 16
This book by Capuchin Brother Éric Bidot is an invitation to pose “A view of wisdom on nature” – a “Ecosophy” writes his preface Pascal Ide. A call for a true ecological conversion at the school of the Saint of Assisi, in order to rediscover the “Creation” (François never uses the term “nature”) “Seen as a gift and relationships”. Creation “To embrace with our senses”, esteem the religious, because God became flesh in our world. Incarnation which brings us into a double movement: “That of going to God with the creatures” and to contemplate it “In each of the creatures”.
To inspire the three-part journey (“Filial praise”, “The paternal creation”, “Spiritual reunion”) proposed by the author, one text, in particular, was evident: the Song of Brother Sun (or Song of the Creatures) composed by the Poverello. Text, he said, “Unique in its accents”, “The most successful of the Franciscan perspective of the created”. Founding poetry which gives its title to the encyclical Laudato si ‘ of Pope Francis, this “Powerful word” concerning “The environmental and social degradation we are witnessing”.
Praise, stigmata, fraternity, but also sun, stars and fire, bird, flower, water and body or even solitude, counting, contemplation and pilgrimage … Each stop on the path of conversion proposed by Brother Bidot is intended to be both knowledge of the thought and life of Saint Francis and inspiration for the reader. “The way of being a Christian in the world is extremely visible in the life of Francis”, he writes. “He takes the leper in his arms, addresses the animals with whom a brotherly bond develops, prays in the rocky faults, weeps before the cross and, after the stigmatization, dispossessed with love, sings the Song of Brother Sun of creation reconciled by the death and resurrection of Jesus. “
Saint Francis was a mystic and a pilgrim “Who lived in simplicity and harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself”, writes Pope Francis in Laudato si ‘. A harmony that gave him “To be truly the universal brother with the created and with humans yesterday as today …” Rooted in “The humus of the human condition”, he speaks to everyone, especially in difficult times, times of “Fractures”. François, continues the author, can inspire the necessary “Overhaul that circumstances demand and that the Covid-19 pandemic has made even more urgent”.