Father Mark, Reflections

Creation reveals the glory of God!

Shiloh, our dog, is a bit of a blur, as she’s on the move. Animals, especially the ones we have as pets and experience their unique nature, reveal so much of what I like to call, God’s “thumbprint” for us to enjoy and from which to learn.

Shiloh, is often very patient, waiting for us to get “the message” from her stare, or various bark tones for what she is trying to communicate. She is also patient while she waits for us to throw the ball, sensing our lack of readiness.

Most dogs are sensitive to their owner’s needs. Shiloh is amazingly patient at times. The corollary is that some times she’s not patient. It’s funny how I am the same way–sometimes patient and others not so much. This gets me to thinking about what is “driving my bus” internally? Which Spirit or maladaptive spirit is at the helm, so to speak?

Shiloh is playful most of the time, eager for a game, interaction or to express her desire for closeness by siting on our lap. Jesus talked about the importance of “child-likeness” in order to be in the Kingdom of God (the Kingdom being within us). I find that after a period of deep contemplation, besides experiencing the ineffable nature of God’s Silence, that Silence can manifest playfulness in me. Sometimes so much so, I can get “carried away.” Maybe this is what “bliss” is like.

The two most profound qualities that Shiloh models is how she lives in the present moment and how this relates to forgiveness. Shiloh doesn’t hold a grudge. She has a (annoying) habit of getting under my feet–following “too close” while I am concentrating on something else. Occasionally I step on her foot and she yelps, resulting in a look of pain or aggravation from her eyes. I pick her up, hold her, apologize, put her down, and within a few seconds, the whole episode evaporates from her memory and she’s ready to go again with whatever we’re doing. Her present moment living enhances forgiving and exemplifies Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness and living in the moment from the Beatitudes in Matthew 6.

Shiloh, animals in general, often reflect the glory of God and can act as mirrors for ourselves, both convicting us of where our spirits are in need of realignment with Holy Spirit while encouraging us and accepting/loving us as we are with all our rough edges. In the perspective of Easter, these spiritual qualities can always be raised up in us. The Spirit of God manifest throughout creation cannot be silenced. Jesus said, “even these stones will shout!”

How does your, dog, cat, horse, guinea pig, iguana, goldfish, bird, rabbit etc. remind you of the qualities of our Creator given to us? Pop a few ideas on our Facebook page with pictures if you like. St. Francis would say that these are the ways that the animals bless us.

Look your pet in the eye and tell them that you love them. Do the same with your family members.


Fr. Mark