"This has been mostly a sheep day, and of course studies have been interrupted." John Muir

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Blessing of the Animals

October 4 is the Feast of Saint Francis, a day in the liturgical calendar when we remember animals, especially our pets. This year we're not going to a specific pet blessing service (our cats have never enjoyed it very much anyway), but I do think fondly of our furry friends on this day. If you want to bless your own animals, you might use this Franciscan-style prayer that I found:


Blessed are you, Lord God,
maker of all living creatures.
On the fifth and sixth days of creation,
you called forth fish in the sea,
birds in the air and animals on the land.
You inspired St. Francis to call all anim
als
his brothers and sisters.
We ask you to bless this animal.
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.

We have two cats, an all black 6 1/2-year-old named Bev (she was my cat before I got married to Alex), and Judy, a 4-year-old gray and white and pinkish orange delight of a cat we got in Kentucky. Before Judy came to us, we had a beautiful and high-strung tabby cat named Nora. Once on St. Francis day, we took Bev to blessed out our church. Nora had to stay home because she wasn't all that friendly. When we returned with the newly blessed Bev, Nora had a psychotic break. She wouldn't let us handle her for several days and acted like we were total strangers. She slowly calmed down but still wasn't the same. She now lives a hermit's life in my mother-in-law's barn all by herself. During her first year in the barn, she stopped taking care of herself and developed huge dreadlocks up and down her back. But then one day, she returned to herself, cleaned up, and now is a fairly pleasant if solitary animal. Sometimes I wonder if her life would be different if we had brought her to be blessed instead.

4 Comments:

Blogger Liz said...

It took a lot of brushing to get rid of the dreads. Now she loves to be brushed every morning. Also. Christmas morning of 2005 Nora volunteerily climbed on my lap.I sat there and cried. What a Christams present!

4:09 AM

 
Blogger Brett said...

I should've definitely added this to the post: my mother-in-law, Liz, has cared for Nora back in the barn with genuine affection. Thanks, Liz.

9:17 AM

 
Blogger Patry Francis said...

October 4th is one of my favorite days of the year. It just is.

6:04 PM

 
Blogger Brett said...

It is often a splendid day.

11:39 AM

 

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