Wednesday, 9 February 2011
The vet discovered that the dog had been injured on both front paws by some thorns which he had picked up from a bush in the garden. The injuries had become infected and needed treatment. He sedated the dog and after removing the thorns he cleaned and bandaged both injured paws. He explained that the dog should remain indoors most of the time and the bandages changed daily.
Every time Father Ignatius and Mrs Davenport, the housekeeper, approached the dog to clean and re-bandage his wounds he would growl and bare his teeth. No matter how gently they tried the dog would not let them near him as he cowered in his bed.
At one stage the dog snarled and bit Father Ignatius’ hand drawing blood.
“Oh dear Lord …” said Mrs Davenport as she cleaned the priest’s wound, “do you think your hand is infected?”
“We’ll soon see, if I start to scratch my ear violently like the dog does …” chuckled Father Ignatius.
“This is no joking matter …” interrupted the housekeeper, “the dog’s a menace … We’re only trying to help him … can’t he understand that?”
“He’s only reacting like you and I would …” said the priest.
“I’ve never bitten anyone, Father!” she replied indignantly.
Father Ignatius smiled and continued.
“You see Theresa …” he said, “when things go wrong in our lives, we too growl and snap at God in anger.
“We blame Him for what has happened. And quite wrongly so.
"God of course can take our anger. He did after all take our anger when nailed to the Cross, did He not?
“And although He is nearby, ready to help us, whenever He approaches we snarl and fight back.
“Somehow, our defensive attitude, understandable as it is, being born of human nature, is the very obstacle which keeps God at bay and blocks His ever present gift of love, caring and healing.
“The only way we can help Canis is if he trusts us and submits himself totally to our care.
“And so too it is with God. The only way He can help us, when we are ill or facing difficulties in life, is when we totally trust Him and accept that His will for us is for the good.
“Human nature, of course, gets in the way … just like with the dog and his instincts to reject help. But our human nature should not stop us from at least trying our best to trust God.”