Meditation by Frère Philippe Verdin

September 5, 2015

Fr. George Christian, O.P., whose translations from important French Dominicans have recently appeared on this site, was considering the question of a little boy who wanted to know whether he would see his pet dog in heaven. This meditation, written in 2013 by a Dominican friar of the Paris Province, seemed like an appropriate answer.

Meditation by Frère Philippe Verdin, O.P. Lord, you save both man and animals: how precious is your love, oh my God. How can we believe that only man is saved? God has created everything, even the mosquito! He is the God of planets and of black holes, he is the God of all creatures, of the dragon-fly and the platypus, of the fossilized dinosaur and the bacterium full of hairs, of thewaterfall and the corn poppy, of the poodle and the sea horse, of the crumb of bread, of the perfume of lavender. What He has created, He wishes to save. God saves man and animals. He has already saved the animals from the flood under the same heading as men. He saves them because He loves what He has created. He saves them because their beauty and their singularity express his creative genius. He saves them because they contribute to our salvation. Animals sometimes expand our heart. The proof: our neighbor, this old ill-tempered woman who never says a word to us, yet allows herself to be moved by Tarzan, her Labrador puppy. No bond of love formed on this earth will be broken in heaven. This is why the love we have for our animals, but also the tenderness of the tom-cat, the faithfulness of the seeing-eye dog, the generosity of the dolphin, the courage of the donkey, are not lost. God’s work of salvation is not trivial. It encompasses everything, the galaxies and the lady-bird, men and humpback whales. We have only to open our eyes to see the work of God shine at the tip of a blade of grass, in the fragrance of an orange orchard, in the laugh of a chimpanzee. May every snowcovered mountain, every lively  grasshopper, every ruminating cow sing with us the glory of God. Translated by Father George Christian, O.P. 1 September 2015

Image: Tari Gunstone Photography, Birth, Our Lady of the Rock Monastery, Shaw Islands, WA, 2015.

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