|Working in the garden with my trusty helper-supervisor|
Tomorrow is the feast-day of St Francis. In thinking of him we all, no doubt, think also of nature, the Creator, and those most humble, serviceable and faithful of creatures, the animals we know -- whether on a farm in the country or in our suburban homes. Why these creatures 'speak' to us so powerfully must be because, unlike us, they do not have language. We speak to them while they can never reply except in their own unique non-verbal way -- which can, of course, express so much, be it bark, miaow . . . and all the other sounds they use to communicate their feelings. Human beings are just higher animals, we say, only to come up against some very complex questions: 'How are we "higher" exactly? In what way are we different? What use have we made of language? What does our thought arrive at?' These are the questions that are somewhere in my head as I (in the photo above) stroke the little head of my cat who has very kindly come out to help (and supervise) me in the garden.
The Blessing of Animals takes place on Sunday the 7th of October on the steps of the Presbytery at Holy Redeemer. Fr Dan [Nguyen] will begin the service at 3pm and we welcome all creatures great and small, furred, finned and feathered to join us in a celebration of the life of St. Francis of Assisi and our animal companions.
This invitation can be found here in the newsletter (30th September) for the parish of the Holy Redeemer, Bray. We don't (yet!) have such a blessing ceremony in our parish. So, instead or in the meantime, let this corner here be where we think of and ask their Creator's blessing on all our animal friends, those wordless companions with us on life's long, sometimes joyful, sometimes weary road.
Readers are welcome to send in their own pet story or photo.
(PS Photos of the Pets/Animals Blessing in Balbriggan Parish here.)