August 14

Reflection

Great God,
you have gifted us with a presence
in our lives
to save us from ourselves.
You have given us animals
whose lives speak to us
of devotion and heart
of patient endurance
of the power of faithful presence and
of love without reason.

For the joy they have brought us
and the faith in humanity
they have shown us
we thank you, our God.
In them we sense
the goodness of the cosmos
the graciousness of your creation
and insight into the sacredness
of our own animal nature.

For that we are forever grateful. Tempted to take
the creatures of the world for granted
inclined to treat them more as property
than present signs
of your life and love
give us the grace, O God,
to forever care for them
as you have cared for us.

We see in them living signs
of the network of nature
of which we are only a part.

From Prayer for Animals by Joan Chittister,OSB

 Prayer

May you, great God who made animals, reward them
with good caretakers, with bright sun and days of play,
with a comfortable old age, and with the love they deserve
for having so faithfully loved us.

Action

Have you ever had an animal companion? What did this relationship teach you?
Support an organization that cares for and protects animals such as:
www.animalleague.org/, www.aspca.org/, www.navs.org/,

 

Suggested Readings

For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. “I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.
Psalms 50:10-11

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
Josh Billings

I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
Abraham Lincoln

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
Anatole France

Deliberate cruelty to our defenseless and beautiful little cousins is surely one of the meanest and most detestable vices of which a human being can be guilty.
William Ralph Inge

I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.
Jean Cocteau

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons.  They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.
Alice Walker

No one in the world needs a mink coat but a mink.
Murray Banks

The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
Charles Darwin

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.
James A. Froude

I abhor vivisection. It should at least be curbed. Better, it should be abolished. I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil.
Charles Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.
Alfred A. Montapert

 

 

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