A Special Dog Angel

“with God anything is possible,”

A Priest told me something special one day while talking about the painful loss of my dog “Angel.”

What a sweet kind little being, a Samoyed who I didn’t name but had adopted her from a family with a hardship that gave her that name, and they wanted her to just get a great home which she did, with me.  When I met the family and Angel she came to me almost immediately which they said was so unusual because she had been a timid and shy dog even when relatives or close friends came by to visit.  When we met it was a sudden  comfort and joy to know each other and Angel knew I was special to her just like I knew she was special to me, I loved her and wanted to do all I could to be kind and helpful to her.  Those qualities rub off on each other because she was my best friend in reality and I was of course hers and more; even a savior of sorts in her spirit.

She hadn’t been spayed as the family that had owned her bought her from a breeder and they considered letting her have a litter of pups.  Funny thing was I just met a couple several towns away from my home while doing my work one day who had a champion male Samoyed.  Angel’s veterinarian said not to put her though all that, but I had a feeling it was what Angel wanted and needed.  So she got be a mom and had 6 beautiful fluffy white adorable puppies and from then on Angel showed what an Angel she really was!  She basked in her motherhood and was so sweet and attentive to her babies, so much so it brought me to tears.  I had worked as a photojournalist for a television station some years prior so I jumped into gear and documented the whole process of her transforming from being a timid little girl to being a wonderful matriarch of her 6 pups and me her best friend being just as attached.  Funny too was she had 6 which was just the number of children my mother had so that with everything else about the whole story fit to a “T”.

Once several years later there was the time when I was checking the oil in my Jeep out in the garage while Angel was in the back with two of her daughters which I had decided to keep with her as she deserved family of her own kind that she loved so much; with her for life.  They had been in the back yard a few minutes when Angel came up to my right leg and next to my boot ever so gently she was placing a new born squirrel that had fallen out of the dray up in one of the huge maple trees out there.  Earlier that morning when still sleeping after it being a very hot night, so I had the AC on and that fact with the windows all shut meant any typical outdoor sounds around my home were drowned out.  Angel stirred a few times and I just told her we’ll get up in a while.  She obviously could hear with her ultrasonic hearing ability the faint sounds of distress by the squirrels out there which I had no clue about.  Hours later when she recovered the baby it was in shock from the heat and dehydration,  so all I  could do was give it comfort as it passed.

Angel was amazing all the years I had her with me, and when I told a priest how bad a time I was having with the loss and that I felt like I failed Angel and should have done more, perhaps I could have done something to keep her on earth longer, to which he said, “oh, you gave her such a bad life,” of course making me snap out of it knowing I had treated her like an Angel, then he went on and he told me that he went through a very identical trauma when his former dog died which the children of the parish had given to him as a Christmas gift and that her name was Angel also.  My God, I thought; I had only just met and befriended this priest after the loss of a family member and hadn’t been to that church before.  I was crying by now as I told him that a man at work who studied to be a priest but didn’t continue on to be ordained because God through an epiphany showed him a better direction his life should go to serve the Lord’s will.  This man that I had known through work was very well read and highly intellectual and I thought he would give me something reassuring when I mentioned the loss of my Angel.  I told him how I have to see her again someday hopefully in the next world; but to my shock he said the Bible doesn’t tell us that animals are going to heaven but, “we his children are if we are worthy.”  I argued with him that for me to be happy in heaven or anywhere I have to see my Angel again and be her friend forever.  This man told me I was being selfish and not letting go, but this all didn’t add up to me.  When I told the priest all of this, as I wept like a child he looked straight into my eyes smiling and said, “Lawrence  just remember this, with God anything is possible, so rejoice in that truth because it’s all in God’s hands and He wants you to be happy.”

So why did this past event about Angel come to mind immediately while reading your beautifully written thoughts and words; I think what the priest told me applies here too and all of what you speak to, because it is all in God’s hands, but most important here is “with God anything is possible,” he does love us beyond comprehension and that must entail filling us with all the best imagined ideas we can ever come up with, and Angel is certainly a great idea to include, so I’m sure God works it all out perfectly and we will rejoice beyond measure when we are in paradise with Jesus Christ our Lord, Savior and Redeemer.

Lawrence Morra

“What no eye has seen, no ear heard, or the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

 

The Good Old Days and Good Folks

“if only I can be half the man my father was!”

I had responded to a post on LinkedIn this week and just today seeing that a man that had left some good commentary on the post to which I had left some typical for me lengthy text, now was overwhelmed with some thoughts and feeling coming at me from my past during my childhood and what I thought and still hold near and dear to my heart about my parents and their generation, as well as seeing so many wrong people out in our society now that are on the attack and have no concept or love of any of the things that matter and brought us all to this point making America the Great Nation that it is! I do hope something in my words today will ignite a spark of appreciation in you and that you will also find the time to watch the movie I mention; I think it will help you understand where I’m coming from and how people should all wake up if they haven’t already!

Jimmy: just caught up, for some reason I didn’t get this update notification until today? But, thank you and I agree with what you say here, I think the good news especially is that you’re straightforward and forthright, two qualities I love to see in men first of all because that reminds me of my Dad who was “the best of the best,” a great guy and a real man!  Everybody loved my Dad and most of all they all respected him because they knew him well enough to know he was a man of honesty and integrity!  I used to hear him saying in conversations with different people as I was growing up, “I’m not half the man my father was!”  Dear God now with a tear in my eye I hear him in my heart and say the say darn thing, “if only I can be half the man my father was!”

He fought in WWII and those people back then men and women were so amazing to me, sure they weren’t perfect or even close but wow what character and integrity most of them had and how they were always willing to sacrifice even their lives without hesitation to protect their loved ones and this Great Nation; “such good decent folks.”  My Dad actually had some young lady at the city clerk’s office fudge some document so he could hurry up and go fight in the war as he was only 16!  What the hell, then when that fact caught up with him he was already fighting in the Pacific Theater and his CO had communications dispatched to his parents as he had turned 17 during the fighting and if they gave their permission he could stay and serve!  My grandfather signed but my grandma didn’t!  Dad stayed in the war the whole duration and saw buddies die or even get pulled under by sharks in the ocean; and now I cry because Dad told me many of them the last thing they cried out was, “Mom or Mother!”

Then after the war he came back and went right to work holding down two jobs and buying a house for Mom and went on to raise six children and never complained!  Not even with his severe back trouble when he would walk out in the morning going to work bent in half and tell me, “don’t worry about me son you do good in school, I’ll be fine and straighten out as the day progresses!”  Robert Mitchum an actor many of us boomers know of and one of my favorites of the old days, left home at 16 and headed to California riding the rail system hopping freight trains which his dad had worked on but was killed in a rail yard accident just a few years prior.  Mitchum did some amateur boxing matches along the way to make a few bucks, then shortly after arriving in California he was spotted as a potential great image for the silver screen and hooked up with the right people to start as a heavy or outlaw in western movies.  But then, he too signed up and fought in the war!  I say all this because I wish the younger kids girls and boys would all learn this stuff and really get their minds and hearts right so they too can be strong good people as Men that do what is required to make a difference, and Women that can have the wonderful qualities that so many of our Mothers had and some still do!  I appreciate that you said the things that you did and the others here too, because it got me wanting to say something important that I feel and I hope many folks out there will spread the good that all those old timers paid forward for us, and that we all make our deposits into the trust fund for the future generations and we should pray that God will bless we humans and this weary world to not suffer too much!  God Bless!

BTW one of my all-time favorite older classic films that Mitchum starred in with a beautiful British born performer that made it big in those days out in Hollywood, Deborah Kerr; “Heaven knows Mr. Allison.”  It’s a movie about a WWII marine who gets stranded on an Island with a nun in the middle of the war during a bloody campaign by the Japanese to take possession of an island to use as a weather station outpost within a chain of Pacific islands!  I love that story and the time period it depicts, along with it’s having a religion component that fits wonderfully with it all, and how it’s a great transformational process for these two good souls caught up in a living hell that mankind seems so good at creating.  I have a DVD of the film and I think I’m going to watch it again for probably the 25th time this weekend during the heat wave; which is very fitting as how the Pacific where the story takes place although it was actually filmed on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, has much of the weather we are now experiencing, so the mood is set.  I love the end of the film and the words spoken with fine performances; along with the superb John Huston direction making it all so wonderful and uplifting, just beautiful!  A 1957 movie trailer said, “1944, in South Pacific, the castaway Marine Corporal Allison drifts in a raft to the Tuasiva Island, where he meets Sister Angela.”

I include here a link to a Blog that did a wonderful layout about the film and its background on Deborah Kerr’s 95th birthday!  I know you will find this article interesting and the movie will touch you deeply as well as inspire!

Lawrence Morra

PS I love these people then, now and forever; and all who will strive to follow suit!

 

https://back-to-golden-days.blogspot.com/2016/09/film-friday-heaven-knows-mr-allison-1957.html

The Rosary Devotional Meditation

I did some research on the matter of the Rosary and its importance to some Catholics!  It is only in a sense a tool to focus on the praying or speaking to God because it utilizes all the senses and humans being easily distracted creatures of habit that isn’t such a bad idea.  Portions of the Rosary repetition are again directing the person praying it to focus attention on the Divine Mysteries in a devout manner not for the sake of repetitive pagan customs as some have eluded such as the case implied where the King James Version of the Bible speaks to the matter regarding such practices by Christians as being persons “thinking by repeating themselves will be better heard by God.”  Catholics are not doing that if they know what they are doing and why these practices evolved right from Scriptures from the Apostles who wrote those divinely inspired words from God.

I spoke to a priest I know and he did explain to me how saying a Rosary is a devoted form of prayer which is fully accepted and prescribed by the Church, and as I already mentioned how distraction can be our enemy which is another way of putting it in my mind, because I know I do get distracted praying in my usual manner and the Rosary has the quality of focus on communion with Jesus Christ and all of the Divine Mysteries helps any of the countless faithful to overcome that break in focus and devotional humble prayer to God!

A man I met through a former career in the workplace that I got to know very well when I had that government job a while back was a devout Catholic and a Chemist while his wife a microbiologist.  He told me how they both would do Rosaries every day; these people were the real deal being truly devout and the guy actually went to Seminary some years prior to his government position studying theology and also was in a monastery for quite some time just before he was to take his vows to become an ordained priest; but he had an epiphany and God directed him to another mission in life!  This man gave me the pocket size version one day at work just before the time that some bad people moved against me and my troubles began when a serious injury occurred.  The book is “My Imitation of Christ.”  This book by Thomas Kempis has been the second most popular spiritual book only second to the “Sacred Scriptures.”  The first chapter states, “That to follow Christ let it be our chief study to mediate on the life of Jesus Christ.”  It also says, “But it happeneth that many, by frequent hearing of Gospel, are very little affected because they have not the spirit of Christ.”  It goes on in that first chapter to explain that one could know all the Scriptures and still fall short of knowing Jesus Christ and making one’s life “conformable” to Him!  Therefore, I so far think that the Rosary is a tool to “conform” and be in such UN-distracted love and service to God that one is certainly in closer “communion with Christ” by means of the “Holy Spirit” when in a sense one relinquishes self from daily material life and all sensations allowing one to be free of worldly distractions, entering into deep communication with God through Jesus Christ while doing these prayers of the Rosary.  You and I can believe or know that if Jesus came in person right now and spoke to us of this praying of the Rosary, He wouldn’t find any fault in it at all if those doing it are sincerely doing what the stated intention of the devout Rosary practice in praying to God is about; and that anyone caught up in this “devotional meditating” a very intimate and personal thing, that it is surely being loving and faithful to Christ!

I’m sure there could be a long study and discussion of this subject by any of us to try speaking to it in truth as to its benefit or merit or possible fault if any!  I believe many things in this life that we humans do God searches out the heart to know the true intentions behind those actions and will judge accordingly!  But this is why I say doing rosaries would be better time spent for an old granny sitting at a slot machine all day which I have witnessed!  If anything is leading a person astray the latter surely does that in spades!   I was writing this and felt compelled to call the priest I admire the most and even can consider a true friend to say how I’m so moved by the Holy Spirit right now to be writing this and how being in “devout communion with God” is the most important thing we can do, as much and as often as we can, so that we walk with Jesus each day!  I hope we can find the truths we need to find, all of us who seek God’s will, as I am always open to that!

God Bless You and Yours, Brother in Christ Jesus,

Lawrence Morra

Additionally: “The Rosary consists traditionally of three sets of five Mysteries, each Mystery being meditated on while reciting a decade (a set of ten) of Ave Marias. The 150 Ave Marias of the Rosary thus echo the 150 psalms. These Mysteries concern events of Jesus’ life during his childhood (Joyful Mysteries), Passion (Sorrowful Mysteries), and from his Resurrection onwards (Glorious Mysteries). Another set, the Luminous Mysteries, is of comparatively recent origin, having been proposed by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Each decade of Ave Marias is preceded by the Our Father (Pater Noster or The Lord’s Prayer) and followed by the Glory Be (Gloria Patri) (Doxology). The repetition of the fixed-language prayers assists recitation from the heart rather than the head. Pope Paul V said that “the Rosary is a treasure of graces … Even for those souls who pray without meditating, the simple act of taking the beads in hand to pray is already a remembrance of God – of the supernatural”.

 

 

The Gift of Devotional Love

In response to a fellow animal advocates commentary about one of my short stories.

Dear Friend and Great Animal Advocate of God’s, thank you for this acknowledgement and sharing of your beautiful experience with me and others!  I’m also thankful you came along to say this when you did because I was actually contemplating something stirring in my soul that I needed to address with God and the “Call of the Wild Things,” the Animals; but more profound the Wild in us as Human Beings!  How, if we are truly connected to our Maker we will always feel a stirring in our hearts that penetrates deep into the soul bringing us closer to the Wildness in All of Nature and indeed All of Creation!

When things are the quietest that is when we can hear the most, in that stillness we can hear the chorus of angels that speak to us through our deepest mind and being which is only from a pure heart!  I believe that connection you have with your Great Dog is like that, a connection that is pure and even more real than the physicality of our earthly life here; it is truly a GIFT from GOD!  That bond we feel in that relationship between two souls is also what we can have with our Maker!  Again, I thank you and your dog my friend for being who and where you are in all creation; you connected at this precise moment of contemplation!

Also I know how you feel about doing whatever it takes to save that life the way you have your Dog’s, because that bond of devotion and appreciation of actually being alive is what it’s all about!  Both actually existing, being alive but more importantly able to be totally cognizant of that fact, with visceral appreciation!

God Bless!

Lawrence Morra