This is my friend Visa, whom I had the honor of blessing tonight at our St. Francis Day service. Visa took the blessing well, letting me put my hand on her head and get her a little wet with holy water. Some of the other animals present weren’t as thrilled about the idea of a stranger approaching to touch and/or asperge, even if in blessing, and they made it known with all the vocal vigor with which God has blessed them.
No matter: God loves the calm dogs and the skittish ones. God adores the calm cats purring in one’s lap and the wary cats hiding under the seats. God is thrilled with all God created, and we really should stop and remember that more often. I’m glad that the Episcopal Church is encouraging parishes to include a “creation season” each fall, so that we can all be re-rooted in our connectedness with not just the dogs and cats, but the heron and heifer, goat and greyhound, osprey and ostrich, weasel and whale.
Perhaps you attended a Blessing of the Animals today, or you will this Sunday. but if not, here’s a blessing you can offer anywhere, anytime, not only to you pet or service animal, but to the bird on the park bench, the duck in the Charles River, or even the rabbit eating the herbs you’ve lovingly tended all summer in your yard.
I bless you in the name of God, who created you in joy and whose beauty you reflect. May you be healthy and happy, may you thrive in the year ahead, and may you know that you are loved.