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Sunday, July 6, 2014

For Love of God and Dog - part DEUX

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory.197 Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.
2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image.198 Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.
2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

My Scottish Terrier is now the most expensive dog on the block, but it looks like he has turned the corner and is on the mend.  He is still in the hospital, and will probably remain there one more night, and he still has a lot of healing to do but he is on the mend, and for that I am grateful.

I love that little guy and take darn good care of him.  Because of this little episode I am back in debt - not an unreasonable debt, but a debt none the less - but the reality is if this had happened to a dog that was 12 or 13 years old, he would not have been put through the operation and the last three days of horrible recovery.

Something else happened during the past few days and I am going to try and share this as best I can.  I am still processing the spiritual growth I have experienced so forgive me if I sound silly or distorted. Suffice to say, it makes sense to me.

When Duffy got sick, my first prayers were basically, "Please, God, not Duffy.  He is all I have - I am all alone and he is it".

During the first 24 hours, when things were so gloomy and I was trying to be strong, to prepare myself for losing him, I came to realize what my sin  - what my part - in all this is and it was a little embarrassing.

I heard the voice of God in my heart and He said, "I love you".

That simple - that simple and complete.

"I love you".

It came to me that my attachment to my animal was a sin, if I put my love for him and my dependence upon him before my love and dependence on God.

Duffy is a creature.  God is the Creator.

My first loyalty has to be to God.

More importantly, it came to me that I am still way WAY too dependent upon the love of creatures - animal or human - and that when I pray, "Jesus, I trust in You" I am (essentially) lying because I am looking too much to the world for validation.

Even now, after 22 years of sobriety and becoming closer and closer to the Mind of the Church, I am still too darn concerned with what you think, with having creatures love me rather than relying upon the knowledge, the faith, that God Loves ME.

When that hit me, my prayer changed.  I gave Duffy to God.  I told God, "He is Your dog, he is Your creature.  If you want me to continue to be the steward of this creature, I will be that but only because You have that as Your plan for me.  But if You want this creature's life to end, I am OK with that as well, because I know You love me".  

I try to be as honest with God as I can…I told Him that I need His Grace and Strength to do this but I am willing to cooperate with Him in order to just stay focused on this:  His love is enough for me.

From that moment on, Duffy began to improve.

Duffy is not out of the woods yet and I may be saying good bye to him soon, but even if that happens I know what I was supposed to learn from all this craziness. 

I was supposed to learn to rely even more on God.

Thank you for the lesson, Lord.  Now please, help me to live up to it.



Leslie Klinger said...

well, the update is this: Duffy is probably not going ot make it so I have to resign myself to saying good bye to my little fur baby. God has this…i am ok.

chimakuni said...

God has this ... and HAD it all along. It is so hard to say good bye to our beloved fur pets...and heck, even to feathered ones -

My heart aches with you, Leslie. Although I only met Duffy once, I know he was such a good companion to you and you loved him so. I grieve along side of you for your loss and I LOVE YOU!

Esther said...

Leslie, what beautiful things
God has shown you through this struggle. Discovery such as this brings us closer to the heart of God. I'm so sorry you lost your little companion. May you be comforted in God's love.