I would like to continue the theme of yesterday’s blog which is “wonder and awe.” Too often we simply refuse to see God’s glory on display all around us.
In the animal world I have always marvelled to see a majestic horse run, or a cheetah reach speeds of almost forty miles an hour. I could never be a hunter, for I marvel at the life in every creature. A deer or majestic stag could never draw fire from me. I respect their glory too much. I do not mean to say that hunting should cease, I am only going to say I could never do it (unless I suppose I was starving). Some one said, “Well you eat meat and an animal had to die for that.” I know but I cannot bear to think of it.
For me, sentient life is too mysterious, too wonderful for me ever to personally end it. I remember once running over a possum and being sad for days. I understand that there is a circle of life and death but just don’t ask me to pull the trigger. Life is mysterious and wonderful.
I have immensely enjoyed the pets which have been my life, Prince, the majestic dalmatian dog of my youth, Little Missy the stray who adopted us in college years, Molly, the unflappable border collie who stole our hearts, Tupac (yes, Tupac) the Chartreuse Blue Cat who became the rectory clown at my last parish. And now my current pet, Daniel, a Blue (i.e. gray) cat who is my “kidda.” I have deeply grieved the loss of every pet as I had to bring them to the vet for that “last time.”
Each of my pets was a great gift from God and I was able to marvel in some aspect of God’s glory. And, might I say, in God’s humor. If your will to see it, pets can be hilarious. My dalmatian Dog could actually smile. Collies and Dalmatians can do that. My cat Tupac would often sleep flat on his back with all four legs spread apart! What a clown!
I want to show you two videos that show the glorious humor that animals can bring. The first one is of the amazing Bird, “Snowball” who can dance. And I really mean it, The bird can dance, you’ll be amazed. The second video is of the crazy antics of house cats, what a bunch of clowns! And as you watch be sure to thank God who provides such a rich harvest of glory and humor for us. Thank you Lord!
Crazy Cats Continued – More amazing videos are a click away
20 Replies to “All Creatures of Of God and King”
That bird had some good moves. Animals are fun.
Beautiful post, Monsignor Pope. I rode horses for many years up until a riding accident when I was 16. I still ride, and now on occasion when I am free of the hospital I help train horses for therapy. I also occasionally work with rescue horses.
Horses have so many different personalities. I used to ride an obese palomino Quarter Horse named Trigger. He loved jumping, and he was a former rodeo bronc…so if he didn’t want to do something, he would buck. Getting him to trot or canter could be a workout and involved a lot of compromise.
Animals have been my friends for a long time and have often been there for me where people have not. I really enjoyed reading your reflections and thank you for giving me something new and inspiring to read every day!
IT’s really an amazing thing to see a bird dance like that.
The timing of your two posts is funny because the snow yesterday stopped us from picking up our new puppy (an early Christmas suprise for my kids that it’s been KILLING me to keep!!!). Looks like our new addition will arrive Christmas Eve instead, and I’m quite sure she’ll bring much joy.
Yes, pets bring much joy. However there are trials too as dogs get house trained and get over their puppy stage.
What a lovely post and from a prospective we don’t usually see. I saw the following on a website and started putting it in most of my pet posts. Seems like something that might be shared here.
“She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.” ~~Unknown
The little ones put here for us come with responsibilities. All the best.
Yes, we need to be responsible.
Thanks for the uplifting post, and just another Washingtonian rant about the dusting you folks received yesterday. We live in Middleton, NH.
It is true we freak over even a heavy frost down here. But this was a true challenge. Most areas received over 20 inches. When it gets that deep it’s hard even to walk through it and it takes a long time to clear walks etc. I was blessed to have a snow-blower. But even the snow blower was challenged by this one.
This is a great post – everything from pets to hunting to eating meat is covered very succinctly.
Dogs are our pet of preference and always have been; we did have a cat once – a big male who was wonderful. We also have horses and there is nothing like watching them when the weather is chill and they get to playing – even in their relatively old age (all in their 20’s) they kick their heels and buck, and if there is a dirt pile, they play King of The Hill – I’m not kidding you!
And, it’s excruciatingly painful when one of the pets dies – there is a void for a long time.
I understand that there is a circle of life and death but just don’t ask me to pull the trigger. Life is mysterious and wonderful My sentiment exactly, although I come from a hunting family, and I’m grateful for that. As long as we have the right to own a gun, we will be able to eat.
I don’t know that I’ve ever heard animals being called sentient beings – is instinctive behavior sentience? Msgr? Bender?
Thanks for the reflections, particularly on horses, wonderful animals. You may be right about my use of the word sentient. I did not mean to be controversail and I amy be inaccurate. What I mean by the term here is that animals can feel or experience pleasure or pain, unlike a plant or a rock. But I am aware that “sentire” in Latin means “to think.” I do not mean that animals think in a higher way like we do. When I checked the dictionary the common use of the word sentient is “able to feel pleasure or pain” but the popular meaning may not refelct an accurate philosophical meaning. I’ll have to defer to better philosphers than myself for that.
I have loved horses for 63 years and owned horses for 20+ years. I used to make one of our parish priests crazy by reminding him that to my knowledge there are at least six of them in Heaven: the four that are ridden by the horsemen in the Apocalypse, and the two that drew Elijah’s firey chariot. That is six, right Monsignor?
I beg your pardon, Monsignor – I didn’t mean any disrespect. I believe I understood your meaning but was curious. I am a lover of words and always trying to learn!
Our Heavenly Father has created a beautiful world with wonderful things to help keep us happy. There are some things that have not been as beautiful thanks to that satanic devil and his supporters, but we must disregard that and await our Lord’s 2nd coming when He ruturns to take us home with Him.
I sit literally at the edge of my seat because behind me lies around 18 + pounds of large black and white cat who knows whose chair this is (and it’s not mine)! Over the many years I have owned both cats and dogs and been given incredilbe joy and laughter as well as the heartache of loss – as with all that we give our love to, I currently live with cats Dominic, Sebastian, Guadelupe, Charles Borromeo, Elizabeth Ann and Genevieve – three of whom were mine and three whom I inherited when my mom passed away a few years ago, If you think there is a familiarity to the names – you are right – many years ago my mother simply decided to name whatever wandered into our lives in the way of animals after whichever saint whose day it was that day. Over the years we had some rather funny names but some really good lessons on saints lives as a result and some really good lessons on patience and love as a result of the animals.
I remember several years ago hearing a sermon from a priest who said that animals never asked questions. I instantly felt very sorry for him becasue he obviously never had an animal in his life. Pets may not think like we do in a concious ME/I way but they certainly do communicate their needs, wants and affection as well as questions in a way that brings me closer to the love of God by observing the love and patience and laughter they give. (Even when taking up almost the entire chair!)
As you sit on the edge of your chair, I am mindful of an old saying about cats: “Dogs have owners, cats have staff.” I am also mindful of another one: “Dog thinks, “Gee, you feed me, care for me, shelter me, You must be God!” A cat thinks, “Gee, you feed me, care for me, shelter me, I must be God!”
Your recounting of all the pets you have been blessed with over your life time are truly gifts from God.
It’s unfortunate that people can’t or won’t see the beauty of God in all of His creation.
We can learn so much from God’s other species. Elephants in the wild live in family groups; mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, all protecting and teaching their young. The male elephants strike out on their own when they are young adults to find their own herd. It’s truly a beautiful thing.
Did you know that pigs are smarter than dogs and mothers protect their young just like all other sentient beings.
Jesus used the truly incredible mother hen to show us how the Church protects her young – gathers them under her wings to keep them safe. This always was a comfort to me – a gentle mother who would give her life for her chicks.
Yes God has blessed us with all these creatures and to end their lives for the mere gratification of eating their flesh, wearing their skins, laughing at ridiculous and stupid moves that animals (particularly elephants) are made to perform to amuse certain people for a few minutes, diminishes God’s creation. These animals are not our creations and to end their lives or use them in horrendous ways is not from God.
In the beginning God gave us all the fruits of the trees and the green plants to eat and He saw that it was good.
How can we argue with that.
God bless you Msgr. Pope, you have seen the beauty and attributes that God has seen fit to bestow on other creatures, now if we could all respect all animals for their gifts and not exploit them, we would possibly be a more peaceful people walking the walk of compassion.
Jesus came for all the downtrodden and persecuted!
Check out “Faith the biped dog” on Youtube. Any one of the clips will warm your heart.
This is a great video. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBtFTF2ii7U&feature=featured
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