03 October 2008

Friday Five - Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

1. Saint Francis experienced a life changing call, has anything in your journey so far challenged you to alter your lifestyle? Being an "opera singer" has real life consequences, and for many, alters their lifestyle. For many, the choice of opera career vs. family life is a mutually exclusive one. I'm in the middle zone grey-area right of all of this. (Not solely a working singer; not raising a family of my own, either).

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? I would say St. Francis' namesake - and my current - city is not-so-Christian friendly, in a lot ways. For being a place of tolerance, the last area where INtolerance is actually accepted (perhaps encouraged) is Christianity. So yeah, I get this. But then I remember I'm not being stoned, martyred or chased out of town and I think...well, I don't have it so bad, afterall.

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.... No one comes to mind at the moment.

4. Francis loved nature and animals, how important is an expressed love of the created world to the Christian message today? I think it is important...especially in the context of 'going green.' We should be good stewards of what God has created and given us responsibility over.

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...however, every year at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi (I go by it everyday!), there is a huge animal-blessing ceremony, and I have been outside and have seen all the people and pets exiting the church afterwards.

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