So our new puppy is adorable and our slightly PTSD shepherd has become her caretaker - blossoming into a wonderful playmate, guard, and even disciplinarian. She has not, however, taken over housebreaking or managing the puppy's tendency to chew and bite everything, as in EVERYTHING! Getting somewhat exasperated with her, my son, to whom she belong, is called to Aisle 1 or Aisle 2 for in-home cleanup more frequently than he'd like. And the natural need to chew has cost multiple gaming headsets and scratched up arms.
It's taken a bit, but my sons have finally accepted that at less than 3 months old, while she looks fully capable of behaving like an adult dog, her brain is not yet there. Imagine a 3 month old human baby never soiling a diaper or knowing that biting is wrong! So we need to work with her as she is now. Determined to chew on a corner of one loveseat, we encased it in cardboard, and now she chews the cardboard only. Don't want to cleanup floors and carpets? Take her out frequently. Don't want your hands chewed? Always have a toy to substitute for a hand. We can't change her nature, so we need to recognize it and work with it.
In the same way, God created us for perfection and placed us in a perfect place- the Garden of Eden. But He knew our nature, given free will, was not to be as perfectly loving and trusting in goodness. So He knew we would fall, but He knew He could bring greater things from the Fall - a closer relationship with Him after we die in this life - and so He permitted it and works with it. Knowing that our physical desires are strong, He gives us physical connections to Himself - incense, beautiful churches, songs, actions in the Mass, and most importantly - His Body and Blood. He doesn't need any of this - our singing, our presence, our love, our praise - we do! He is pleased with it, we bring Him happiness, but His greatest happiness is seeing us do what is best for us - and for others. For this brings us closer to Him and to being able to share in heaven with Him.
While we are far from being dogs, consider that a dog who persists in biting and creating cleanups - well beyond the normal time - are often given up because their behavior is incompatible with the home life. Rather than joining and expanding family harmony, it persists in disrupting it. For us, God knows we struggle throughout our life to overcome unhealthy physical desires. He knows our nature and pours out many graces to help us in this task. We must seek, accept, and use these graces.
This Sunday we have an incredible opportunity for a unique and powerful Reconciliation through the Divine Mercy devotion - given to St. Faustina less than a 100 years ago by Jesus Himself!! Learn more at the buttons above!!
Hug your children tight , remind them how much you - and God - love them and will always forgive them for true sorrow. Tell them about God's Divine Mercy - they NEED to know this Truth! May God bless you and your family abundantly!
- Linda Bader, CRE St.Thomas More
P.S. Did you know.... Pope Benedict was born in 1927 into a faith-filled home that fortified him through the rise and spread of the Nazi's - even witnessing his parish priest being beaten before a Mass. Entering the seminary, he and his classmates were drafted into the military, but he never fired a shot. After the war he continued his formation and was ordained a priest in 1951. Eventually he became a university professor and a theological advisor and expert at Vatican II, and was ordained a bishop, archbishop, then cardinal and appointed to numerous positions having relationships to various countries and organizations.
A motto he chose was, "Fellow Worker in the Truth," because he dedicated his life to sharing God's Truth as God revealed it then safeguarded it in the Catholic Church. His many publications seek to bring to all people the Light of Understanding these truths in our current world. After shepherding the Church for 8 years, he resigned to a life of solitude and prayer, stating that to perform well the role of Pope required more strength than he could continue to give.
Other Popes who have resigned... An early pope resigned when he was forced into a labor camp, but wanted to enable the Church to elect a new, free, pope. Two other popes were forcibly deposed by governments, and political maneuvering forced a man into the role of pope, three times, the intermediary popes dying in between. Another was elected at an elderly age and resigned after a few years. Finally, again because of political maneuvering, there were 3 men identified by different political entities as the pope. Eventually, all three resigned to enable restoring unity by electing a new pope.