(SOUND ON) just a good boy waiting for a snack
— Humor And Animals (@humorandanimals) August 16, 2020
(SOUND ON) just a good boy waiting for a snack
— Humor And Animals (@humorandanimals) August 16, 2020
Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.
That is why while we may pray for our wishes, in the final analysis, we must remember that it is God’s will that must be done because we simply don’t know everything, nor do we know the grand scheme of things, nor what really is good for us.
But to pray that God’s will be done, now and always, requires humility and the abnegation or surrender of our own will — to God’s.
And that is difficult for us narcissistic and willful humans.
The key is love.
If we indeed love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with all our strength, we then truly can say: “Thy will be done.”
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,
The most pronounced woof I've ever heard pic.twitter.com/j1m15CUYVF
— Back To Nature (@backt0nature) September 7, 2020
An all-animal special!
THIS CHIMPANZEE'S ENTIRE FAMILY WAS KILLED BY POACHERS. FOUND w/ PNEUMONIA, THIS IS HOW HE REACTED WHEN HE MET THE VET WHO SAVED HIS LIFE
MY HEART CAN'T ❤😭pic.twitter.com/aRY5eGKHMF
— Urgent News (@UrgentNews911) August 23, 2020
Can somepawdy please add this meeting to my calendar ASAP
(golden.b.trio / IG) pic.twitter.com/DqObo9toTU
— Woof Woof® (@WoofWoof_TV) July 9, 2020
Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
Researchers again and again have found that forgiveness is not just good for the recipient, it is also good for our own physical, mental and spiritual health.
The best definition of “forgive” I know is to refrain from wishing ill to the person who has hurt you, but instead wish him/her well. Don’t nurse the grievance and let it fester inside you.
But to forgive doesn’t mean to forget, for if we forget, we are simply setting ourselves up for a repeat of the offense. Nor does forgiving means we must approve of the offender or the offending act. Nor does forgiving necessarily means we must continue the relationship because sometimes the offense enables you to clearly see who that person really is. As a result, you simply no longer desire to be in his/her company.
The late Christian psychologist Dr. Everett Worthington (1931-2019) developed some techniques that prove useful. One of them is the two-chairs technique. Someone with a grievance sits in Chair A and addresses a real but absent offender sitting in Chair B, telling him how he feels. The subject is then asked to move to Chair B and respond as the offender might. Sitting in the offender’s place to explain why they acted as they did, the offended subjects are forced to think “outside the box,” to put themselves in the other’s place, perhaps seeing for the first time circumstances they had previously overlooked. This can open the way for seeing both sides of the story, and, eventually, to forgiveness.
Here is Dr. Worthington on a 5-step method we can use to forgive:
The death of my husband a year ago led me to really realize just how ephemeral and fleeting our lives are. A result of that realization is my forgiving a college-era friend whom I had not seen in ten years. I simply decided to let go of the hurt from what she did, or rather what she failed to do. It was simply not important in the larger scheme of things. I discovered that forgiving her was surprisingly easy and very liberating.
How forgiving are you?
There’s a short quiz you can take to find out. Click here.
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,
Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, ”
and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.
We are told by our Lord to “love thy neighbor”.
Not just to “love” our neighbor, but to “love your neighbor as yourself”.
I have to admit that I’ve always found that commandment to be a tall order, for how am I to “love” someone who has hurt or injured me, or whose political stance is drastically different from mine and which, I believe, has led to the ruination of the America I love?
My vexation is compounded by the fact that I have never heard a priest define who our “neigbor” is and what “loving” our neighbor actually means.
In Luke 10, Jesus used the parable of the good Samaritan to explain what He meant by “loving” one’s “neighbor”:
See my post of July 14, 2019: “Sunday Devotional: What does loving our neighbor and our enemy mean?”
Now, in his letter to the Romans 13, St. Paul has provided us with further definition of what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself”:
That I can do!
How about you?
And always remember what precedes “love your neighbor as yourself” in the Greatest Commandment of all (Luke 10:27):
You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind.
May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Offered in humility and love,
O God, you are my God—
it is you I seek!
For you my body yearns;
for you my soul thirsts,
In a land parched, lifeless,
and without water.
I look to you in the sanctuary
to see your power and glory.
For your love is better than life;
my lips shall ever praise you!
Have you ever wondered what it is about the The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Superman which make those books and movies so wildly popular?
Ever wonder why the savior (John Connor) in the original Terminator movie has the initials J. C.?
The answer is that the main characters and overriding themes in all those stories are, respectively, Christlike figures and Christian. The unmistakable draw of these stories suggests that, despite the efforts of those hostile to Western civilization, many in our contemporary society remain attached to its core values of good vs. evil, family, country, and private ownership, as well as personal virtues of charity, courage, loyalty, self-discipline, chivalry, honor, fidelity, and chastity. The stories’ enormous success signifies strong popular dissent from the Progressive worldview and agenda of moral relativism. More than that, their commercial success points to our hunger for these narratives.
In his book, Why Can’t We Be Good? (p. 244), philosopher Jacob Needleman observed that “Twist and turn as we may, explain it or deconstruct it as we may,” we know “down deep” that we are meant to be moral beings. Unhappily, however, “in every place, in every occasion of our lives and culture we see that we are failing what we are meant to be—and we suffer from that.” And so we run from one illusory answer to another, whether it be mind-altering and –numbing drugs, mass movements, charismatic leaders, or “fundamentalisms of all kinds from the religious to the atheistic to the scientistic.”
But, as the lyrics of the Rolling Stones’ song bewail, we still “can’t get no satisfaction”….
In The Gospel According to the World’s Greatest Superhero (pp. 32-33), Stephen Skelton explains why we respond to stories like Lord of the Rings. Those sanctified stories speak to us because God made man in his own image. Thus, “we have an essential longing to be with him, to be comforted by what is familiar to our deepest heart.” This is why we hearken on a subconscious level to the Christian themes in those stories because Jesus Christ is the human face of the invisible God. As Skelton explains,
It is his figure—and by extension, his story—we will respond to most strongly. To ensure our response, when God created us in his image, he also created us with his image in us. But it is a God-shaped blank, as [Blaise] Pascal puts it, a vacant hole in our hearts, until he fills it with himself . . . . So from birth we have eternity in our empty hearts—an empty eternity. No wonder we feel restless . . . . In our desperate search for something to fill Forever, nothing in the temporary world will do. In fact, it will take the one thing that is the exact size and shape of eternity: God, whom we come to through Christ.
“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”- French philosopher-mathematician-physicist Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées VII(425)
I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands, calling on your name.
My soul shall be sated as with choice food,
with joyous lips my mouth shall praise you!
I think of you upon my bed,
I remember you through the watches of the night
You indeed are my savior,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.
May the love and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,
Dogs truly are remarkable creatures.
Below are two true-life accounts of humans who owe their lives to heroic dogs.
The Telegraph reports, August 20, 2015, that Georgia Bradley, 25, a student at UK’s Plymouth University, and her boyfriend were vacationing in the Greek islands.
One day, Bradley decided to take a walk alone on a beach in the small town of Georgioupoli, Crete, her boyfriend at a nearby café, when she was surrounded by two aggressive men who grabbed her when she rejected their advances.
Just at that moment, a small, black dog “appeared from nowhere” and started barking at the men, scaring them off.
Bradley said: “I decided to go for a walk along the beach, and found two Greek men who kept harassing me to go out for a drink. I kept telling them I didn’t want to. Then one of them grabbed me on the arm and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was on my own and it was a very scary and difficult situation.” Bradley said the dog must have noticed something was wrong and “saved her”.
After the incident, the little dog followed Bradley back to her apartment. Bradley said they had an instant bond, and that she believed the dog, whom she called Pepper, was abandoned as she had seen it wandering around the town alone. She said: “Pretty much every evening we saw her around outside the bars and restaurants, trying to get the attention of the tourists. Every time we got close to her she wouldn’t let you stroke her. She was very gentle, but was too scared to let you close.”
Bradley tried to persuade a local animal shelter to take Pepper, but was unsuccessful, and eventually had to return home to Calstock, Cornwall, England. She said: “When we left to go to the airport, we looked back and Pepper was running after the car. It was heartbreaking. When I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about her so I took the soonest flight back out that I could, which was two weeks later.”
But Pepper was nowhere to be seen. Bradley spent five weeks trying to find the stray, which took two further trips to Crete. Eventually, Bradley found Pepper on the same beach where the little dog had saved the woman from the two men.
After the dog was confirmed as a stray, Bradley had Pepper microchipped, wormed with a rabies jab, and given a pet passport. Pepper had to spend 21 days in quarantine in boarding kennels but was eventually allowed to travel to Britain.
When Bradley returned to Crete for a third time to collect Pepper, she was greeted with a surprise: The kennel owner told her that Pepper, a Terrier Poodle Cross, was pregnant!
A week after arriving back in the UK, Pepper gave birth to six puppies.
Bradley said: “It has been such a crazy journey. But I am over the moon. Pepper has settled in brilliantly.”
ABC News reports, April 20, 2018, that 3-year-old Aurora was reported missing about 3 pm on Friday after she wandered off in wet weather in the rugged bushland of her family’s rural property in Queensland’s Southern Downs, Australia.
But a search of woodlands and hills on the rural property found no trace of her.
On Saturday morning, more than 100 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers, police and members of the public resumed the search.
At around 8 am, 15 hours after Aurora had gone missing, Leisa Bennett, Aurora’s grandmother, was calling out to the girl when she heard Aurora cry, “Grammy!”.
Bennett said she “shot up the mountain” and when she got to the top, Max, the 17-year-old deaf and partially-blind family dog, came right up to Bennett and led her straight to the girl. Bennett said Max had stayed next to Aurora all night: “She smelled of dog, she slept with the dog.”
SES area controller Ian Phipps said Aurora was about 1½ miles from the family home: “The area around the house is quite mountainous and is very inhospitable terrain to go walking in, so she’d travelled quite a distance with her dog that was quite loyal to her. The search was actually quite hard where the volunteers and the police were, amongst the very steep slopes full of lantana and other vegetation.”
Phipps said Aurora suffered minor cuts and abrasions but was otherwise well and it was a wonderful outcome for the family and searchers. He said: “With the weather last night it’s quite lucky she is well because it was cold, it was cold and raining. She’s a very hardy young lass to survive that without any ill effects and everyone, all the volunteers are extremely happy.”
For his good work in keeping the little girl safe, Max has now been declared an honorary police dog by the Queensland Police.