Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Time to Kill

St. Francis of Assisi lived from 1181-1226. He gave up a comfortable life of wealth to embrace a life of poverty and service.  He started several Catholic orders that are still active today.  He was given sainthood just two years after his death.

Not to hurt the creatures brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them wherever they require it.  --Saint Francis of Assisi

It is said he could commune with animals, once ordering a flock of birds to be quiet during an outside meeting, and once calming a wolf that had been destroying livestock. Stories tell of him carefully observing the ground before he made a step, in fear that he would squash a bug.

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.  St. Francis of Assisi

I'm thinking Brother Francis, bless him,  never had thousands of ants invade his kitchen after someone left a sweet morsel on the counter top.  He probably never sat on the deck, trying to soak up the evening breeze, while his blood was being sucked into the bodies of hungry mosquitoes.  I'm wondering if he loved the sweet little rats that destroyed a grain harvest just because they get hungry, too.  Any of these things will bring on a guilt-free killing spree for me.

The Tennessee hill country people whose genes I carry would have starved without squirrels, rabbits, and the occasional deer.  A human body cannot work like they did without some protein.  I love salad and green beans and almost all vegetables, but a body needs a little bacon and a pork chop sometimes.  Can I get a witness?

So I'm guessing my view about killing is more in line with the Duck Dynasty philosophy than that of dear St. Francis.  Of course, I don't think something should be killed just for sport, but if you are hungry, a mess of quails or whatever you are able to bring home is a blessing from God. 

There is a time to kill.