Monday, October 3, 2011

Blessing of the Animals

Blessing of the Animals

by Sheila Rinks

“God made you adorable for a reason.”  I have said to Bailey more than one time.  From the moment he entered our home at three months old, he has kept us on our toes!  He’s not a bad dog.  Just curious and an opportunist.  He is part stubborn great pyrenees, part lovable golden retriever.  I’m not sure who needs the blessing more--us for patience or Bailey--but October 4th is Blessing of the Animals Day.

This custom is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures.

Francis, whose feast day is October 4th, loved the larks flying about his hilltop town. He and his early brothers, staying in a small hovel, allowed themselves to be displaced by a donkey.

Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things. “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.”

Do I think a Blessing would make Bailey the perfect dog?  No.  But I wouldn’t want him to change—I adore him just the way he is!

“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.”

Sheila Rinks is the editor of Finding Fuzzybutt Four, producer of the Raising Indiana podcast and shares her home with her husband, 4 Great Pyrenees and 2 very well-fed kitties.

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