Blessing of the pets

St Francis

Today is the annual pet blessing at our church. I plan to take Ri-Leigh there this year again. I missed last year because I decided it was too wet and chilly. Hopefully that was the weather for yesterday and today will be better.

St Francis’s  Feast Day is October 4 so our church tries to schedule the blessing on the first Saturday closest to that date. Every year there seems to be a little bigger turnout as people begin to tune in to the idea that their pets are a manifestation of God just as they are.

St. Francis has many stories told about him and his love of animals. In this age of cruelty to our fellow earthbound creatures I think his attitude is of vital importance. Animal species are closer to the brink of extinction than ever before.

He is also the patron saint of the environment. People need to look to him for guidance before we make this earth uninhabitable not only for animals but also for humans. Humanity has nowhere else to go.

How humans can sit back and view other living creatures as “less thans” has always puzzled me. We have turned the farming of beef, pork, and chicken into efficient factories that are barely humane at their best. We have “canned” hunts where animals are slaughtered as soon as they are released from cages. Some have even entered the computer age and let the “hunters” shoot the animals using computers in nice elaborate lounges just like video gamers.  We have illegal dog and cock fights that carry on in spite of the law.

So many people have lost their appreciation for the sanctity of all life. When that happens I think they lose a part of their souls as well. Jesus talks about how we treat “the least of these” Matthew 25. He of course is referring to the poor, the hungry, the imprisoned, etc. the least in any society. I think it is time to expand his teachings to fellow sharers of this earth, our animals.

I have been fortunate for almost half my life to live in an area of a larger city that is almost country. I like simple things in my life. I love to watch the rabbits and squirrels that call my yard their home. In the fall, I am entertained by the many butterflies. There are so many different species of birds. It is a joy to share this area with them. If they would stop darting away and startling me as I approach, I even like the variety of lizards and gecos that have taken up residence around my home and in my mailbox. They are coming in all sizes this year. There was one on the outside of my bedroom window whose body was at least six inches long. He was right in front of my nose when I opened the blinds. I think we were both startled that day. I’m not too wild about the fire ants but my neighbor told me not to disturb them since they eat termites. All these creatures have a job in our world. All of them should be blessed.  I think the following prayer says all I wish to say today. If there is a pet blessing in your community think about taking your pet. If there isn’t, no one will know it if you put a hand on your pet’s head and said a blessing yourself. Y’all have a good day now. y’hear? Namaste. Attic Annie God bless you too.

Our congregation is not Catholic or Episcopalian, but we believe in adapting the best from all religions and accepting it as our own. Our blessings are not as elaborate, but I honestly don’t think it matters to God.

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