“On one warm afternoon, Francis wandered outside of Assisi, questioning his motives for ministry, asking God if perhaps everything he had done up until that point had been for the wrong reasons. … it was on just such an afternoon that Francis first met the birds and spoke to them as if to equals. That day marks the beginning of the era when we began to understand ourselves as intrinsically connected to all creation.”
 -Jon Sweeney, Francis and Clare, quoted in Flunking Sainthood