Tuesday, May 07, 2013

My Dog, the Saint

I realized this today:  I can learn so much about the road to sanctification just by watching my dog.  By her good example, I can learn the virtue of holy humility.

Macy teaches me self-sacrifice, loyalty, and love.  I've witnessed how she will hold it longer, blindly trust, patiently endure, and go without.  And she does it all silently, without ever calling attention to herself.

Let me be more specific.

I forget to feed her sometimes.  I admit it.  It's not that I'm running out the door or carelessly neglecting her.  I'm right here with her, every day, loving her and petting her and talking to her. 

It's just that...I forget.  I forget because I have an 8-month-old son.  I forget because we're rolling on the floor with Macy, loving her soft fur and gently pulling on her ears.  I forget because I'm feeding myself breakfast, and then I'm feeding Liam lunch.  And then the telephone rings or a flurry of emails arrive or suddenly Grandma and Grandpa are at the door...and soon it's time for me to make dinner.  I forget for a million reasons, and none of them are a good excuse.

Mostly, the reason why I forget to feed her is that she won't ask for anything.  She's smiling and playing and loving us, thinking only about OUR needs and never about her own.  And even when I do finally remember and put down a big bowl of dog food, she won't eat until she's sure that nobody else will mind. 

If you've never met my Macy, she must sound terribly timid and neglected.  But she isn't.  She has all the exuberant joy that true holiness brings.   Her burdens are light because she's never without the yoke of her Divine Master.

And she is here to teach me about God.

Happy birthday, Macy.  In three days, you turn 10!