Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wolf and Woof, My Bichon Frise Pups in Michigan's Wonderland

What were you doing all day, they wondered out loud, barking about why I was gone all day.

They waited all day and practiced their listening skills when I finally returned home Ash Wednesday.

It was the start of the penitential season for Christians leading up to Easter Sunday, April 24th and my two Bichon Frise pups wanted to know what I was up to.

Not that they believe in organized religion and go to church with me.

They're vying for attention that most humans desire as part of our nature.

I left them yesterday as I headed to Roseville for 9 am Mass at Sacred Heart Church on the corner of Gratiot at Utica Road. The priest who was to preside grew sick suddenly with heart problems.

And, the two Masses I was to lead were moved due to a lockdown at the jails.

So . . .

Woof and Wolf got an earful after they were tossed their frisbe a few times as they joyfuly ran through the 800-square foot condominium I live in across from Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township, MI., 48045.

Well, I should say that they let me live with them.

After all, they are boss!

Why didn't you give us ashes, they complained, as if the remains of the burnt palm branches were for human (dog!) consumption.

Ashes, I told them, are for humans, to remind them of their mortality and the temporal life
lived before passing over to heaven unless you have other plans, I said!

What's Mass, Woof wondered.

Mass is the source and summit of the life of Jesus today where Catholics gather daily and on Sundays, for sure, to praise God, listen to the Word in the Sacred Scriptures, and become who we are, as St. Augustine reminded, the Body of Christ, the Lamb, as the Eastern Rite refers to Holy Communion.

Yes, sirs, I said, we receive who we are, the Body of Christ, from the transformed bread consecrated by a priest who presides at Mass.

And, priests do that everyday across the globe, not to mention, repeatedly on Sundays.

Spring cleaning is how I described Lent to Woof and Wolf.

They watch me clean house and won't lift a paw to help, thank God!

That metaphor they could understand, I thought.

Christians examine their conscience, put to use the three pillars of fasting, praying and alms giving, and, are part of a revolution of sorts from ashes to Easter, like Jesus' own fasting
in his 40-day trek of temptation in the desert.

By now, the boys, Woof and Wolf, had enough.

One was asleep on his mat under the end table, while Wolf was at his feeding bowl biting away.

Truth is, Lent changes us all.

And, I am pleased with my first day, faithful as I was to follow my Lenten plan, thanks
be to God.

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