Santa, I’ve Been A Good Dog

My dog Nero is asleep at my feet as I finish this entry. He’s had a busy day greeting various visitors to the house.

Advent is upon us. It's a particularly holy time of the year for Christians, a time for us to ponder the meaning of Christ's birth, his proclamation of "Good News" for the poor and downtrodden, and the degree to which our lives align with Christ's vision. And so I view Advent as a key time to reflect and consider whether I'm living up to my Christian call to service on behalf of a more compassionate world.

The 1st Sunday of Advent: Hope

3 years back, when Nero’s ‘mom’ suddenly decided she didn’t want to stay with us any longer our cat Josephine showed symptoms of heavy depression and at occasions seemed to have nightmares so terrifying she began to cry out in her sleep. Nero tenderly, gently put his paw on her body to soothe and quiet her. It was as if he was saying, “You’ve always got me, you know. We’ll go through the world together, and always stand by each other.” He never failed to come to me afterwards and rub his head against my legs. So this Advent season, I'm thinking a lot about how we interact with animals, and what Jesus' arrival means for us and how we lead our lives. Life holds pain – it is part of loving deeply and living fully. Joy comes from living a life reflecting on all of its experiences and forging a future based on insight.

Deep, soul-searching reflection gives insight. And it is this insight that causes positive growth and change. While I don’t enjoy the advent season, seeing the last fallen leaves swirling on the ground brings the joy of asking, “What do I want my life to mean?”

It's Advent, a time for reflection on our lives. I hope that if you eat meat, you will spend some of the season reflecting on whether eating God's creatures reconciles with our hope for God's peace on earth.

Happy Advent.

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