Readings & Reflections
Readings for the 7th Sunday of Easter (May 12, 2013):
Acts 7;55-60; Rev 22:12-14, 16-17, 20; Jn 17:20-26
Readings for Pentecost Sunday (May 19th, 2013):
Acts 2:1-11; 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13; Rom 8:8-17
Readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (May 26, 2013):
Prv 8:22-31; Rom 5:1-5; Jn 16:12-15
The McCabe Review:
Occasional book reviews by Bruce McCabe -
Title: The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man's Best Friend
The ways of God can truly sometimes be a mystery. This fascinating book about dogs being, of all creatures, carriers and purveyors of spiritual messages, proves it. I dipped into it skeptically, knowing there was no way I could seriously review it. Yes, we already know that dogs can be 'man's best friend.' And woman's too. But divine?
"I. . .believe dogs are a gift from the Divine sent here to help us on our way," author Skiff writes. Really? She begins by introducing us to a menagerie of dogs she owned, each with its own spiritual cachet. She had assorted dogs, starting with her Golden Retriever, Sally, who was her 'strength and savior when she was a fearful and sad child' and concluding with Couscous, the Maltese-Pomeranian who has 'licked me awake with love and questionable breath every morning.'
In between are a mixture of breeds, each of which, in their own way, provided her with lessons in life. Philophal, the mix of terrier and Poodle would 'jump until I got out of bed each day.' Nicky, a Basenjy-Lab' Clemmie the Cockatoo was her 'first rescue' and Chick-pea, her 'one-eyed Shih Tzu, 'the child I never had.' "When at times I didn't want to go on any longer, my love for dogs kept me here," she writes.
Skiff introduces other dog owners too. Some of their stories are dramatic. One man thought his life was over after he lost his job and his wife left him. Feeling unloved and unwanted, he was stopped from doing himself in by his Rottweiler, Emma, who ran into the room, grabbed his hand ferociously and pulled him to the front door, saving his life. Joy Peterkin lost her home and belongings in Hurricane Katrina, but her Chihuahua, Little Bit, began persistently nudging a spot on her breast. It turns out Little Bit sensed something that doctors had not detected that saved Joy's life.
Skiff says that published medical research confirms that 'people with dogs have reduced stress, lower blood pressure, less heart disease, and suffer from lower rates of depression than people who don't have dogs. There are therapy dogs who visit hospitals and nursing homes, guide dogs who protect, sniffer dogs who rescue, police dogs who serve and dogs who, doctors agree, can reach a sick child when medicine and other people can't, writes Skiff.
A good read, the book is available in the Abbey Bookstore and on-line at www.glastonburyabbey.org/bookstore
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