Raphael ("God heals")

From Sayings of the Desert Fathers (3rd - 4th century):

“A dog is better than I am, because he has love and does not judge.”

Abba Xanthias

“Dogs spend their lives showing us what love is”

“You can’t explain what love is. You can sing about it. You can paint about it, write about it. You can try to express love in so many different ways, but dogs spend their lives showing us what love is.” A beautiful 10-minute documentary about the healing relationship between people and animals, by Green Renaissance.

It’s possible to try too hard.

Thomas Keating puts it this way: “You cannot do this prayer by will power. The more effort you put into it, the less well it goes. When you catch yourself trying hard, relax and let go.” (Open Mind, Open Heart, p. 49) We already have what we are looking for. As Thomas Merton said, “We already have everything, but we don’t know it and don’t experience it. All we need is to experience what we already possess.”

A poet had a dog named Percy

The Sweetness of Dogs, by Mary Oliver

What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. It's full tonight.
So we go

and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit, myself

thinking how grateful I am for the moon's
perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into 
my face. As though I were just as wonderful
as the perfect moon.

Non-anxious presence