Felix: Strength in Love

From The Catholic Moment

by Ann

As my life changes, I find myself experiencing God-given opportunities. One such opportunity was given to me a few months ago when one of our Labrador Retrievers suddenly became gravely ill and lost his ability to walk. I took the opportunity to keep vigil by his side throughout the night. The next morning, he tried his best to be near me, so I sat on the floor with him and tried to remember how tiny he was on the day he was born, how I held him in the palm of my hand, how he grew and grew and brought me through many rough times. Then I said my morning prayers with him and prayed the Rosary for him and I asked God to give me strength and courage to face what could be happening.

In going to the veterinarian’s office, I made several phone calls to update my husband, who had gone to work, but I was alone and had to render this decision. I stayed with our Labrador through it all for I knew he would never have left my side; he would have protected me, come what may.

Then, he was gone and I was bringing him home. I wondered what to do; I couldn’t leave him for hours until my husband arrived home. I asked God to help me do what I must. I was given strength — not just physical strength, but strength in love. As I removed him from the van and wheeled him through the yard, I thought of how our Mother Mary was able to receive Jesus into her arms. I thought of how love becomes more than any word — love that is so deep and caring, filled with tenderness, a love that flows from within us without question or concern. We are absorbed in the one we love. The loss, the pain are not what we see, love becomes much more.

As I stood in the grave and laid him down, I found comfort in knowing I gave him all I could and that I cared for him as no other would have. I know that Mary was walking with me and that I understood more about love.