When I was embodied as Francis of Assisi, I came to realize through studying the birds and animals that my power of concentration, saturated as it was with the love of God and his love in man, would draw me into an understanding of the God-intelligence acting in Nature which earlier I had so studiously ignored.
Oftentimes more concerned with pleasure-seeking than religious fervor, I had not formerly been aware of the great love of God and the joy which that love could bring, far exceeding any outer source. Then, too, my prior contemplation of the realm of Nature had led me to think of heaven as a place apart from earth.
Imagine, if you can, the joy in my soul when I found that the lovely trees were endowed with spiritual beings, angelic overseers of great stature and beauty whose power guided the development of molecular form, pattern, luster of leaf, and inherent healing properties. I felt the radiant energy (life-force) reaching out from these silent sentinels capturing the heart—as did one majestic tree deva who inspired Joyce Kilmer to write his heartfelt poem “Trees.” I also found to my amazement that the tiny furry creatures of the forest had a life-intelligence all their own, reflective of the Creator; and I saw how the life in them responded to the Life in me.
Oh, heaven was not apart from me! For I perceived all things visible to be but the hem of the garment of heaven. Touching just the physical hem, I was made whole! What would happen when I touched the whole robe? I longed to know.
Thus, in order to reach this transcendent goal, which I firmly believed was attainable—for I knew in my heart that God had ordained it—I set my mind to the path of spiritual illumination. Day by day, my mind was made holier still through contact with the spiritual realms. My one-pointed dedication to the Path and my contemplation of the holiness of all Life—and of the holiness of the God who had created all things to his delight, including man—were the keys to my assimilation of that holiness, which clearly seemed to permeate myself and everything around me.
Dear hearts, there is something foreign to reality in the idea of God being separate and apart from his creation. No mere doctrinal pantheism is the affirmation of God as the All-in-all, but a truth that cannot be refuted.
For, while it is true that the creation lies in God, it is also true that he is in his creation; but it is evident that his love, wisdom, and power cannot be contained therein. (“Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” said Solomon of old.) Moreover, the fact that the God Presence, the individualized I AM, does far exceed the personal creation of the individual (and the macrocosmic creation as well) is proof of the dominion with which God has so lovingly endowed your Real Self, made in his image and likeness.
As my soul expanded in the transfusing light which God poured into me, I was exalted time and again by his glory expressed through the Nature kingdom. The seemingly dumb creatures of field and forest came into unity with me through God’s love, and then at last I, too, could speak their language, calling them “brother.” How much more should all children of the Light love one another and have reverence for the smallest part of Life (God)!
Out of all these transcendental experiences, my soul was stirred with a great yearning to communicate to others the boundless wisdom vouchsafed to me by God. At this point in my spiritual awakening, I found that a literal wall of human resistance—denser and higher by far than any medieval castle—had gone up between me and my friends and the townspeople of Assisi. Most men I sought to reach could not understand my life, my aims, or my God-chosen ways—which to me were so self-evident, so plain to see, so logical! I became to them a poverello (one who voluntarily embraces Mother Poverty). It was then that I was abruptly cut off from family, friends, and funds.
Fortunately, among my friends were some so sincere and devout as to continue to pray for me. And God (whose ways are not always understood by men) winked at me in answering their prayers his way—by taking me deeper into his own heart and embrace even while they assiduously called for my return to the beaten orthodox path! Thus, I did not suffer disillusionment by the loss of my friends, nor did I return to the vanities of the material world. But, drawing ever closer to God to become a divine poverello, I drew around me by kinship of spirit those of like mind and wisdom and from them fashioned my holy order of brothers Franciscan.
I have drawn briefly from my earthly experiences so that you will not be excessively concerned about those who seem disinterested or who may lack humility when you try to expound to them from your pure hearts the knowledge of God’s laws. Remember that the Father tried long to reach you to give you all his love, and in due season took you from among the multitudes to draw you closer to his own heart and to his brotherhood of Light.
Spend your energy, then, as we did, in interior correction and self-instruction, paying special attention to our current precepts as manna for your souls—until, like a great organ of expansive timbre and pitch, you stand as the perfect instrument through which the Divine One may play those exquisite harmonies of healing light and comforting tone, revealing to all, through a more perfect example, the efficacy of heaven’s grace.
As you lift up the Presence of God “I AM” in yourself, the Presence will draw all men to its greater Light. Bear in mind, as beloved Morya has said, that we are a forthright brotherhood; and do not become weary in well-doing!
Teachings of the Ascended Masters: https://www.summitlighthouse.org/understanding-of-the-god-intelligence-acting-in-nature/