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.”
“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.