22 July 2009

In memoriam: Frisket (11/11/1996-7/22/2009)

This afternoon we took Frisket, our faithful dog, to the vet to be put to sleep. (In the photo at left, he's the larger, white dog; Lucy is the black-and-white puppy.) Because of allergies, he's been on steroids for three years. The last few months have not been pleasant for him. He's become increasingly confused, lost bladder control and, over the last weeks, simply begun to whine and cry.
St. Paul says, "The whole creation groans in travail until now," and that is seen most personally and poignantly when we see the sufferings of those animals who come to share our lives as pets. I have hope because, just as the effects of Adam's disobedience had cosmic effects, so also the work of our Lord Jesus Christ is equally far-reaching. And I am reminded of these words of Dostoyevsky:

Love all God's creation, the whole and every grain of sand in
it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love the animals,
love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will
perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you
will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at
last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love. 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 every one of us!... My brother asked the birds to forgive him; that sounds
senseless, but it is right; for all is like an ocean, all is flowing
and blending; a touch in one place sets up movement at the other end
of the earth. It may be senseless to beg forgiveness of the birds, but
birds would be happier at your side- a little happier, anyway- and
children and all animals, if you were nobler than you are now. It's
all like an ocean, I tell you. Then you would pray to the birds too,
consumed by an all-embracing love, in a sort of transport, and pray
that they too will forgive you your sin. Treasure this ecstasy,
however senseless it may seem to men.
My friends, pray to God for gladness. Be glad as children, as
the birds of heaven. And let not the sin of men confound you in your
doings. Fear not that it will wear away your work and hinder its being
accomplished. Do not say, "Sin is mighty, wickedness is mighty, evil
environment is mighty, and we are lonely and helpless, and evil
environment is wearing us away and hindering our good work from
being done." Fly from that dejection, children! There is only one
means of salvation, then take yourself and make yourself responsible
for all men's sins, that is the truth, you know, friends, for as
soon as you sincerely make yourself responsible for everything and for
all men, you will see at once that it is really so, and that you are
to blame for everyone and for all things. But throwing your own
indolence and impotence on others you will end by sharing the pride of
Satan and murmuring against God.

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17 July 2009

On the bright side, he probably knows how to spell "potato"

“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you.”
--Vice President Joe Biden, July 2009

16 July 2009

Short, but sweet

Wie ein Wort verstanden wird, das sagen Worte allein nicht. (Theologie.)
How words are understood is not told by words alone. (Theology)

--Ludwig Wittgenstein, Zettel p. 26

The morning is wiser than the evening.

--Russian proverb