BuddyIn my office is a Lino and Wood cut I did of my cat a few years ago. His name was Buddy and he was this tiny, wet, shaking kitty hiding behind the dumpster in our church parking lot back on a Christmas Eve in 1996. We took him home scratching and hissing the whole way because we couldn’t bear to see him left there so vulnerable.

Now just so we are clear. I was never a cat person and never intended to have any kind of feline in my life. Then came along Buddy. This little creature that assumed I needed something warm and fuzzy in my life.

He would chase a ball, he would settle in my lap, he would even crawl up and lay on my chest purring the whole way. When I was sad. He was there. When angry, disappointed, happy or frustrated he was there. Then after eighteen years he passed away and I was out of town and I was not there.

So every December I pause and think about Buddy. In fact, when I open the door from the garage I still expect to see him waiting. At night if I hear a noise I think Buddy is coming to lie on the bed. I still half expect to see him coming down the hall with his tail shaped like a question mark as if asking, “Where have you been?”

Okay what’s my point? This Christmas pause and give thanks for all God’s creatures. Those little spirits that come into our lives and ask nothing in return. Take a moment to rejoice that God has allowed us the opportunity and privilege of taking care of His creation.

You are holy, Lord, you are the only God, you do wonders.
You are strong, you are great, you are the Most High.
You are the almighty King.
You, Holy Father, are King of Heaven and Earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God of Gods.
You are good, all good, the highest good.
Lord God, living and true.
You are Love, Charity.
You are wisdom; You are humility; You are patience;
You are beauty, You are meekness, You are security;
You are inner peace; You are joy; You are our hope and joy;
You are justice, You are moderation, You are all our riches
[You are enough for us].
You are beauty, You are meekness;
You are the Protector
You are our guardian and defender
You are strength; You are refreshment;
You are our hope; You  are our faith, You are our charity;
You are all our sweetness,
You are our eternal life;
Great and wonderful Lord,
God Almighty, Merciful Savior.

                           Saint Francis