A friend of mine was recently hospitalized and later, passed away. It is someone I have visited a lot, he and his wife. Great people. I feel as much as home at their place as I do at my own place. And, yes, I do miss him. Can't visit him frequently because he is in intensive care. Been praying for him and his family every day.
This gentleman has a little dog, a dog I've grown very fond of, and he (Clancey, the dog) and I are great pals. I've always loved animals, particularly dogs. Unfortunately, where I now live, the powers that be (the owners), for better or worse have decided that tenants shall not have domestic animals.
That has been the case for many years, even in other cities where I lived, so when I moved here a dozen years ago, I didn't give it a second thought. Well, when one ages, a canine companion would be great. I can't afford it anyway. Now that I haven't visited with Clancey for at least three weeks, I really miss the little guy.
Some people pamper their dogs or cats to the extent that you'd begin to think he or she is a 'little person.' Much like a child. I've always thought that's a little far-fetched but now that Clancey isn't available to me I'm beginning to feel that all that pampering people do is sometimes justified.
Why can't we develop such a 'childlike' friendship between people (us) and God? Isn't that exactly what God wants from us? I think so. Some feel awkward expressing their love to God because from time of old, we've always been taught to look upon God as a stern Father-figure. I remember my parents telling me when I was a teenager that if I kept misbehaving, God would punish me. Punishment isn't the issue here, because we also know God loves us. We have to get past the "stern father-figure" image, to recognize that first and foremost, He loves us deeply, and the same attitude towards Him is expected from us. Do not be afraid of God! Yes, keep His Law, the Commandments to be sure, but always love Him.
As this season of Lent continues, let us thank God for creating the great animals who have become our companions.
Peace and Good!
Fred Schaeffer, OFS