Sunday, 9 October 2011

Would you suffer torture, degradation and death for a dog?

Not just your beloved dog (or cat for that matter) but, say, an aged, diseased, mangy cur that may only have weeks to live; or, a mincing toy poodle or a raging rottweiler?
Could you suffer beatings and floggings and ultimate cold blooded execution to save all dogs?

The proposition is one that was first aired many years ago by that great man, Archbishop Fulton Sheen. He was attempting (and by his own admittance it was a very poor comparison) to give us some kind of feeling for how demeaning it was for Almighty God to allow His Son to become Man and then suffer for all men.

This dog is called Peter, he has a bark.
I leave the rest to you!

So back to the dogs. Imagine that you had the power to transform yourself into a canine so that you were both man and dog. It would be pretty humiliating for a start to put a human intelligence into a frame of skin and fur that likes to sniff around lamposts and chase cats small animals and whose idea of utter bliss it is to consume glutinous dogfood followed by long sleeps in front of a fire.
Could you really endure having to pant like a pair of electric bellows when you were hot, conduct your ablutions in public and then there would be the hallitosis problem....?

Just how humbling would it be to have to trot around like a dog?

Then, of course, your role as man dog would be to train all other dogs how to behave and how to respond to commands and you would correct all the silly established programmes that had existed up until you arrived on the scene.

You would become unpopular, except for a small pack that you have assessed as being of the right material to receive your special attention.

Eventually, you would be arraigned before a hotchpotch selection of mongrels only to find yourself judged by these inferiors and then sentenced to death by the vilest means possible. Before then you have to face up to the whips and cords of unbridled savagery.

Finally, you die for the pi dogs, the show varieties, the working dogs, the curs, mongrels, lap dogs and the Dobermans.

It is a long way down for man to place his intelligence within a dog but it is an infinitesimally long way down for God Almighty to place his own Supreme Intelligence into the mind and matter of man. And then to see His beloved Son treated like dirt and worse and finally crucified.

The miracle of the crucifixion is that God so loves the world He has not wrought punishment upon us all.

Dies irae, dies illa
solvet saeclum in favilla:
teste David cum Sibylla.
Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando judex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!
Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulcra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.
Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
judicanti responsura.
Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus judicetur.
Judex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet apparebit:
nil inultum remanebit.
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
Quem patronum rogaturus,
cum vix justus sit securus?
Rex tremendae majestatis,
qui salvandos salvas gratis,
salva me fons pietatis.
Recordare, Jesu pie,
quod sum causa tuae viae:
ne me perdas illa die.
Quaerens me, sedisti lassus:
redemisti Crucem passus:
tantus labor non sit cassus.
Juste judex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis
ante diem rationis.
Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus:
supplicanti parce, Deus.
Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.
Preces meae non sunt dignae:
sed tu bonus fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.
Inter oves locum praesta,
et ab haedis me sequestra,
statuens in parte dextra.
Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis:
voca me cum benedictis.
Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis:
gere curam mei finis.
Lacrimosa dies illa,
qua resurget ex favilla
judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus:
pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen.


  1. Richard.
    A great post-good comparison; how we take everything our lives etc for granted! Such love.


  2. Excellent post: great metaphor, well worked through!

  3. It occurs to me that dogs would have shown the Lord more devotion and gratitude than we do. Now cats on the other hand are an ungrateful lot with no loyalty to anyone but themselves (I'm running in the opposite direction as I write this) so while I get the gist of your point, I think we probably don't even deserve being compared to dogs. An excellent post just the same.

  4. Wonderful, humbling analogy - puts me in my place.

    Thannk you, and God bless!

  5. I disagree with this post and with Fulton Sheen. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Absolute magnificent beings. Our Wills have gone out of control and caused us to grow into bent shapes perhaps, personality wise, but as humans, God had chosen us to be raised up with Him. I do not look on myself as a dog when I imagine myself in His mind, knowing me before He formed me in the womb. I rejoice in the creation I am. The devil tells me I am a nobody, not worth breath and less than a dog because he cannot stand the truth that I am given the opportunity to be raised with the Son of God. This is why all human life is so precious.
    Sorry, Fulton's analogy would lead me to further depressed negative thinking.
    God made me (and you), looked at us and said "Good. Very Good" Then He placed an Angel to watch over us. We are precious, made by the Holy Trinity, in the IMAGE and LIKENESS of God from the outset.

  6. Richard,
    Whilst Shadowlands makes a certain and valid point! However, I still agree with your analogy; (the dog). We poor mortals do not very often show unconditional love-if at all, we are uncharitable at times, often resentful and unforgiving, we pollute God’s beautiful creation and environment, some kill and mane, together with the increase in abortions and the ever disregard for the sanctity and dignity of human life, especially with the promulgation and promotion of euthanasia and not forgetting the killing of animals for sport, the list is endless! My dog is fourteen years and shows me both unconditional and undying love-as I get older with the dawning of each day I wish that I was like more like the dog with my dealings etc in daily life! It just goes to show what a motley lot we humans can be-give me the old mote anytime; God help us All. Kind regards to everyone in Christian Love and Charity!


  7. Thank you all and especially Michael (Ye Olde Jarra Scribe).
    The analogy of the dog really is meant to emphasize just how far down God had to lower himself to become man.
    As the Archbishop said, "it is a poor analogy".
    A better one might have been man having the capacity to become part fruit fly and part man, but even that is inadequate.
    God bless all.

  8. "The analogy of the dog really is meant to emphasize just how far down God had to lower himself to become man.......A better one might have been man having the capacity to become part fruit fly and part man, but even that is inadequate."
    1 Corinthians 6:19
    "know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own ?"

  9. Shadowlands - good to hear from you. I am not making my point very well. The analogy is meant to show how distant our human nature is from Our Lord's divine nature.
    Nothing more than that. Just a means of illustrating how great His love was for us that he stooped down to our human level.
    It is our soul that is made by God in His image and likeness.

  10. Richard,
    Your point has been made well! However, we all know that there is no human analogy to explain the bounteous and infinite love of God for us in the redemption; that was won for us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ on the Infamous Gibbet (Cross)! All I know for certain (I am no theologian) that the love of God was so visible that he died for us poor mortals; yes he would have died even if there was only one person in creation-Yes,Even Me! Please forgive my poor grammar in the last posting also! God Bless you All.


  11. I look on it more, that we were created for great eternal things. The devil played his hand, apparently won. It is that, that God untangles us from. It is in the doing of that, that He humbles Himself. But we, the created human, do not know our worth, unless the proclaimers of the Kingdom announce it. That means you Richard Collins!

    Thanks for all your prayers by the way. Truly. I have been bloomin ill!

    I didn't get to wear my mantilla either. Yet. Please God.