Divina Pastora - Cause of our joy!
There seems to be a lack of joy among Catholics - which can suggest the absence of the Holy Spirit - because the signs of the Holy Spirit are love, joy and peace.
Those who foment dissension seem to lack that.
Lately I've been thinking of how the Israelites so often complained against Moses - even Aaron and Miriam complained, and the Lord punished them for it.
In Today's Gospel the Pharisees challenged St. John the Baptist - seeking to 'obstruct' his message. I read today that Aquinas attributed their rebellion to envy, explaining "envious persons hinder the progress of souls."
Could it be there are those today, even in the Church, who are envious of Pope Francis?
Perhaps the invented, fanciful 'brouhaha' over something Pope Francis supposedly said to a little boy is an example? It's a very simple story, which if it was true, little children - and those who are like them - can easily understand. Do animals have a soul? Do animals go to heaven?
I've said it before and I'll repeat it here: It doesn't really matter and it is not for me to know if they go to heaven or not because as one of the psalms explains, 'such knowledge is too great for me'
- I trust Jesus. Yet if a little kid would ask me, I would say, "yes, I think
Why? How can I steeped in sin at birth say such a thing?
Because, as another psalm says, God sent forth His spirit and the animals were created. Hence, when he takes back his spirit - his life-breath - they die... returning to their dust.
Once there was a fictional Little Prince who said something which may help us understand this better: "The thing that is important is the thing that is not seen... What is essential is invisible to the eye." Who in this life can see spirit or breath? Who knows the mind of God? Therefore I'm convinced, when God takes back His spirit, He takes his breath back - a little kid might say he takes it back in or inhales it, as it were. Deep breath. It's just a metaphor. Hence the life, the spirit, the breath of that little pet returns to God - and God is in heaven... Yep - so I'm convinced that is how we can say little kitties and dogs and rabbits and mouses go to heaven - without contradicting doctrine.
Now remember this is not dogma or doctrine and no one has to believe it at all. Even if the Pope said something to console a little boy who lost his dog. It doesn't matter - because God is God ... and as St. John of the Cross wrote: "Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God Himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me."
A section of psalm 104 may help explain these things for little children much better than I can:
You made the moon to mark the months;
the sun knows the time for its setting.
When you spread the darkness it is night
and all the beasts of the forest creep forth.
The young lions roar for their prey
and ask their food from God.
At the rising of the sun they steal away
and go to rest in their dens.
Man goes out to his work,
to labor till evening falls.
How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.
There is the sea, vast and wide,
with its moving swarms past counting,
living things great and small.
The ships are moving there
and the monsters you made to play with.
All of these look to you
to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up:
you open your hand, they have their fill.
You hide your face, they are dismayed;
you take back your spirit, they die,
returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord last for ever!
May the Lord rejoice in his works! - Ps. 104
God made the monsters to play with ... he gave us pets to play with ... he takes back his spirit, and they die ... returning to the dust from which they came.
And the dust returns to the earth as it once was,
and the life breath returns to God who gave it. - Ecclesiastes 12:7
When the Son of Man arrives on Christmas, will he find any faith on Pewsitters?