A long time ago I heard a sermon which told of a woman who was filled with despair. Week after week she came to church , sat in the same seat, listened to the preacher, and left without having her sadness addressed. She felt so alone!
Then one day, someone left the front door open during the service, and a dog came inside.
He wagged his tail and moved from pew to pew, and if anyone has ever wondered if a dog could smile, this one’s sweet face proved that they can and they do!
The preacher talked to the dog, and the congregation talked to the dog, even God talked to the dog since the animal was very good and did not leave his mark on anyone’s pant leg.
The woman, however, grew indignant. She stood up and said, “I have been coming to this church for years and no one has paid me any attention. This dog comes in and no one can stop giving him attention.” She pushed her way through to the back of the church, but before she could step outside, someone took her by the arm and said, “We gave that little doggie affection because he wouldn’t stop asking for it. Perhaps you asked simply by showing up. Please forgive us. We judged your quietness as a preference for isolation. But as God’s word says, ‘It is not good for man to be alone.'”
[ctt title=”Despite Our Actions, We All Need a Blessing.” tweet=”Despite Our Actions, We All Need a Blessing.” coverup=”SPbl9″]
St. Anthony the Abbot is the patron saint of animals, and the yearly “Benediction of Beasts” is celebrated on January 17, the day on which animals are blessed in his name.
A few facts about St. Anthony (Antonius):
- ♦ Born around 250 AD, he withdrew from society and lived in a cave.
- ♦ Religious persecution was rampant, and he was abducted but not harmed.
- ♦ After his release, he retired to the desert yet still found occasion to preach.
- ♦ It is said that Satan’s minions thrashed St. Anthony as they transformed into rabid animals.
- ♦ He was called on often to pray against illness in both people and animals.
- ♦ Strangely, “The researches of French antiquaries have brought to light the records of ninety-two processes against animals, tried in their courts from 1120 to 1740, when the last trial and execution, that of a cow, took place.” (for more information, CLICK HERE)
While searching for other bloggers who have highlighted this saint, I came across one I like by Tracy Ariza. I don’t know her, but her blog is informative and fun. I hope you pay her a visit.
It is quite apparent that a man who lived over one-thousand-seven-hundred-sixty-five years ago is still affecting contemporary activities. Now that’s what I call “Linking Yesterday to Today.”