A Friar Gives 10 Reasons Why Our Beloved Pets
Will Be Awaiting Our Arrival In Heaven
CINCINNATI—For many animal lovers, both young and
old, the relationships that we forge with our pets are among the purest, most
enduring associations we make in our lives. Losing a dearly loved animal can
be as traumatic as losing a human member of the family, which raises
the question: When we die, will we be reunited with our long-lost pets in the
In the July issue of St. Anthony Messenger, Contributing
Editor Father Jack Wintz, a Franciscan friar, tackles that difficult
question and offers 10 good reasons for believing that the whole
family of creation is included in God's divine plan. In his article
"Will I See My Little Doggy in Heaven?" Father Jack illustrates
that God's love and affinity extend to all creatures great
and small. After June 20, the article can also be found at: AmericanCatholic.org.
Father Jack gives compelling evidence
of God's affection for animals by revisiting the story of creation in the Book
of Genesis, as well as the stories of Noah and the Ark, and Jonah. These stories
"suggest to me that it is not God's plan to save humankind apart from the other creatures," Father
Jack writes. "We are all in the same boat, so to speak."
Father Jack also uses the example of St.
Francis, patron of animals. In the saint's "Canticles of the Creatures," Francis
gives the titles "Brother" and "Sister" to the various creatures "as if to emphasize
all the more his heartwarming insight that we all form one family of
creation under one loving Creator in heaven." St. Francis, whose love for the
earth and its furry inhabitants are among his most endearing qualities, strongly
believed that all creatures were worthy of God's love.
Father Jack also draws evidence from the
Book of Revelation, the Catholic liturgy and our Christian belief in the Resurrection
as good indicators that heaven does not adopt a "no animals allowed" policy.
But a simple yet profound question posed by the author makes perhaps the greatest
argument of all: "How many of us are truly satisfied with a vision of heaven
that does not include the whole family of creation?"
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