Have you ever had an animal as a best friend? An animal who stuck with you through hard times, who helped you, who maybe even saved your life? In the Christian tradition, from the time of the early church there have been stories of people who have had extremely close relationships with animals. In fact, sometimes the animals were wild animals. Certain people were so holy that animals were not afraid of them.
Take for example the story of St. Meinrad of Switzerland, who died in 861. Devoting himself to a life of prayer in the mountains, his only companions were two ravens. As an old man, two thieves came to the woods to rob him, hearing that he had many treasures. He welcomed them, and showed them his only treasure, a plain wooden statue. Enraged, they clubbed him to death. The two ravens tried to stop the men, flying at them and pecking them. As they left, the ravens followed them, and persistently harassed them, until they were found and convicted of the murder.
Faithful ravens may be a bit out of the ordinary, but many people we know have faithful friends who are dogs or cats. How are they a gift from God? We are concluding our series on animals this Sunday. We have a special guest for the children’s story; Jane Wright will be introducing a puppy she is training to be a seeing eye dog. I met the puppy today, he is so cute! Just remember, he is a working dog, and you are not supposed to pet him when he is working.
This week’s prayer: Thank you God for the animals who are our friends, who keep us company, who are our faithful companions.