Francis answered God’s revelatory voice by saying he would happily embrace his sufferings and pain, knowing now for certain that they will be the pledge of entering God’s kingdom of painless, perfect interconnectedness between and among all created things. Francis knew this was true by means of a lifetime of learning how to live with all creatures, loving them and serving them, and giving God thanks for them. And now, two years before he will embrace Sister Death, God assures Francis and us that everything belongs to everything else, and everything belongs to God. So everything is thereby holy and worthy of care, and reverence, and a song of God’s praise.
—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis