By Sheila Brennan (CCA Life Member, The Ark http://www.catholic-animals.org/ )
In a world where again and again, we see cruelty, misery and wrong,
the animal kingdom subjected to pain, weak in the hands of the strong.
Indifference is the response, Many who cannot be swayed.
We must protect creatures in pain, Desperate, needing our pain,
For we shall win in the end, And the world will be turned.
Frightened, tortured animals will find, The peace they have surely earned,
“I will lend to you for a while, a bird,” God said.
For you to love him while he lives and to mourn for him when he is dead.
Maybe for twenty or forty years, or maybe for two or three.
But will you, ’til I call him back, take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you and should his stay be brief,
You’ll always have his memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise that he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below I want this bird to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over in search of teachers true.
And from the folks that crowd life’s land, I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love; nor think the labor vain;
Nor hate me when I come to take my lovely bird again?
I fancied that I heard them say, “Dear Lord, thy will be done,
for all the joys this bird will bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.”
But should I call him back much sooner than you’ve planned;
Please brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.
If, by your love, you’ve managed, my wishes to achieve,
In memory of him you’ve loved; be thankful; do not grieve.
Cherish every moment of your feathered charge.
He filled your home with songs of joy the time he was alive.
Let not his passing take from you those memories to enjoy.
“I will lend to you, a Bird,” God said, and teach you all you have to do.
And when I call him back to heaven, you will know he loved you too.
- Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
- Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
- Where there is injury, pardon;
- Where there is error, truth;
- Where there is doubt, faith;
- Where there is despair, hope;
- Where there is darkness, light;
- And where there is sadness, joy.
- O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
- To be consoled as to console;
- To be understood as to understand;
- To be loved as to love.
- For it is in giving that we receive;
- It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
- And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.