Prayers and Reflections

Posted on

19717875_99fde3f6db_oThrough prayer, humanity is gifted and privileged with access to The Creator of all things.

By reflecting, interceding and giving thanks for the lives and companionship of animals, we can have a deeper understanding of God’s creative work and affirm those other species which, like humanity, were made in love and for God’s glory.

Reflections

The Wonder of Creation

Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble it, don’t harass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness, don’t work against God’s intent. Man, do not pride yourself on superiority to the animals; they are without sin, and you, with your greatness, defile the earth by your appearance on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you- alas, it is true of almost everyone of us!  (Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov)

If you have heard the singing of the birds or the running of the stream, or the voices of children as you came of church, then reflect it was Christ who caused you to hear them. He fills the earth and air with all melodies, and gives (us) the power of taking them in.   (F.D Maurice)

Dominion

I am convinced that God has called me to devote whatever advantages He might have bestowed upon me to the cause of the weak, the helpless, both man and beast, and those who had none to help them.  (Lord Shaftesbury)

We may pretend to what religion we please, but cruelty is atheism. We may make boast of Christianity; but cruelty is infidelity. We may trust to our orthodoxy; but cruelty is the worst of heresies.  (Humphry Primatt)

The reason why God’s servants love (God’s) creatures so deeply is that they realise how deeply Christ loves them. And it is the very character of love to love what is loved by those we love.  (St. Catherine of Siena)

What (humans) considered sacred and important was not the spring morning, nor the beauty of God’s world given for the enjoyment of all creatures, not the beauty which inclines the heart to peace and love and concord. What (humans) considered sacred and important were their own devices for wielding power over their fellow (humans).  (Leo Tolstoy)  

Suffering Within Creation

Here I saw a great unity between Christ and us, as I understand it; for when He was in pain we were in pain, and all creatures able to suffer pain suffered with Him.  (Julian of Norwich)

… the Christian belief is that there is an existence after earthly life which is so glorious that it makes any earthly suffering pall in comparison… If there is any sentient being which suffers pain, that being – whatever it is and however it is manifested – must find that pain transfigured by a greater joy. I am quite agnostic as to how this is to happen; but that it must be asserted to be true follows from the doctrine that God is love and would not therefore create any being whose sole destiny was to suffer pain.  (Keith Ward)

PrayerPrayers

Father, we praise you with all your creatures. They came forth from your all-powerful hand; they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love…  God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth, for not one of them is forgotten in your sight… (Pope Francis)

Dear God, protect and bless all things that breathe, keep all evil from them, and let them sleep in peace.(Albert Schweitzer)

O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song, has been a groan of travail. May we realise that they live not for us alone but for themselves and for thee, and that they love the sweetness of life. (Basil of Caesarea)

Here our humble prayer, O God, for our friends, the animals.
Especially for animals who are suffering; for any that are
hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry.
We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity,
and for those who deal with them, we ask a
a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words.
Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals,
and so to share the blessings of the merciful.  (Albert Schweitzer)

Shatter, my God, through the daring of your revelation the childishly timid outlook that can conceive of nothing greater or more vital in the world than the pitiable perfection of our human organism. (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

Lord, purge our eyes to see
Within the seed a tree,
Within the glowing egg a bird,
Within the shroud a butterfly.
Till, taught by such we see
Beyond all creatures, Thee
And hearken to thy tender word
And hear its ‘Fear not; it is I’. (Christina Rossetti)

In Your infinite wisdom, Lord God,
when You created the Universe
You blessed us with all living creatures.
We especially thank You for giving us our pets
who are our friends and who bring us so much joy in life.
Their presence very often helps us get through trying times.
Kindly bless my pet.
May my pet continue giving me joy and remind me of Your power.

May we realize that as our pets
trust us to take care of them, so we should trust You to take care of us,
and in taking care of them we share in Your love for all Your creatures.
Enlighten our minds to preserve all endangered species
so that we may continue to appreciate all Your creatures.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (Franciscan Blessing for pets)


Acknowledgements:

  • Andrew Linzey. Animal Rites: Liturgies of Animal Care. SCM Press. 2000.
  • Richard Alan Young. Is God a Vegetarian? Open Court Publishing. 1999.
  • The SPCK Book of Christian Prayer. SPCK. 2003.
  • Animal Healings www.animalhealings.com