By Sharon Callahan

How blest are those who know their need of God;
The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

How blest are the sorrowful;
They shall find consolation.

How blest are those of a gentle spirit;
They shall have the Earth for their possession.

How blest are those who hunger and thirst to see love prevail;
They shall be satisfied.

How blest are those who show mercy;
Mercy shall be shown unto them.

How blest are those whose hearts are pure;
They shall see God.

How blest are the peacemakers;
God shall call them his children.

How blest are those who have suffered persecution for the cause of right;
The Kingdom of heaven is theirs.

When I read these lines of the Beatitudes I feel that what is being said is that those who choose a path accepting all the hardship and suffering involved in that path will reap the rewards of such a deep commitment.

Animals as a soul group have taken as their path to teach human beings about love, this is the ministry of animals. Their love for us and their commitment to their path of love is often sacrificial as was the love of Christ. Over and over again they offer us a chance to be gentle, to be kind, to choose love. Over and over again they demonstrate for us the qualities of devotion, steadfastness, gentleness, forgiveness, peace, forbearance and unconditional love. Over and over they choose to incarnate, to repeat the demonstration until we have learned it fully.

Those of you reading the words on this page have already begun to learn the lessons that the animals have come to demonstrate. If you have recently lost a beloved animal companion you are probably experiencing deep emotions over the great lessons learned in your relationship with your beloved animal friend. Rest assured that your beloved one is reaping the rewards of her dedication to love.

You can do something beautiful to ease the pain of loss surrounding the death of your beloved friend. Offer up your love for the animal, and your gratitude for the gifts received during your time together as a healing prayer for all the animals who die with no one to grieve their passing. In this way your grief can be transformed into a sacramental blessing of the whole kingdom of animals. By doing so, your grief will turn to joy. It is a kind of alchemy, an alchemy of the heart. By turning your grief outward as a prayer, you take the focus off yourself and the whole universe and all the beings who dwell within it smile in thanksgiving.

Blest are the animals,
May the Kingdom of Heaven be theirs.

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