Nearing the end of his life, Francis was lying on the floor of his hut in the woods, plagued by both self-doubt and too many mice running about over his dying body. Near despair, his surrender to the Holy One deepened into a final revelation: we are all One in the fraternity of creatures. With this revelation came a flood-tide of spiritual rapture and peace... and as was his wont, he burst out in song... and so we have the "first great Italian poem" and one of the greatest mystical treasures belonging to all of humanity: the Canticle of the Creatures. Here are a few lines from this Canticle:
"Praise be to you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Brother Sun... Praise be to you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful... Praised be to you, my Lord through Sister Water... Praised be to you, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs..."
These few lines point to a third way between "liberal" and "conservative".
And this third way is what Francis experienced as "fraternity". In support of this franciscan perspective of "one vast web of inter-being", we can begin to entertain thoughts of a new paradigm... we, too, can experience the revelation of St. Francis... and by changing our language from "liberal" and "conservative" into "fraternity", we can re-create an environmental movement that will leave no one out, and nothing behind.