In one sense, what the Voice said to Francis is what he already knew, that beneath what appears on the surface is the priceless gold of what everything really is: God’s precious creation. And even greater than the created thing is its re-creation in eternity. Everything will be a new heaven and a new earth and it is struggling to be so even now. Humans who join in the sufferings, the birth-pangs, of all creation become transformed through their patience and long suffering and see at once that God’s future kingdom is already being realized in and with them. For everything suffers change, and only human beings who are able to see and understand can embrace that change willingly even when it involves darkness and suffering.
—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis