Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Photo: BBC
Brother Horse "His look was turned towards God"

Some readers have been kind enough to comment on my first post about The Animals of St Gregory by Brian (Brendan) O'Malley. They have picked up on animal characteristics that either they or those close to them have observed but, in almost every case, the character alluded to is a human or animal trait whereas, what St Gregory and Brendan O'Malley have in mind are spiritual marks that may also be associated with an animal.

So, today I have selected Brother Horse for a little closer scrutiny and it would be interesting to see if you agree with my identification of  the living person who closely resembles O'Malley's assessment. Here is a precis of his character.

Brother Horse, above all else, is an animal who with every ounce of his body and soul has surrendered himself to God and become totally absorbed in God's love as a result.
He is, of course, beautifully proportioned 'with supple, rippling muscles and a high prancing action' (keep thinking spiritual, not temporal).

Through the medium of prayer and meditation he knows his innermost self well and is able to rein in any earthly tendencies towards sin by chastity and continence.
These gird him well and he is, as a result, able to enter any arena without fear. He responds to the 'hidden word' of his Master and is confident in his humility and charity so that he can cope calmly with the uproar that often surrounds him.

O'Malley writes: "The immediate fruit of the horse's prayer was tranquillity gained through constant attention to the presence of God. His pasture was prayer, the nourishment and inward refreshment of his soul. He gazed on lofty heights gained through travelling long in the valley of tears".

As Brother Horse draws ever closer to God so his white body becomes more luminous, brilliant with the light of righteousness and the burning fire of chastity. Truly, he is the very essence of goodness and authority.
Through prayer and mortification he is able to accomodate a series of hurdles and, at the same time, place all his energy into one concerted leap
 '..through being co-centred with Christ into Being itself'.

The book, The Animals of St Gregory by Brian O'Malley is beautifully illustrated with exceptional wood engravings by Simon Brett.
Click on the Lions Head for his website.

Oh, and the person whom I most closely associate Brother Horse with is, of course, The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI - but then you knew that already!


  1. Thanks God you write good things and I follow your blog. I was reading an antropological essay about chivalry and the only things I was reading about were ancient pagan or supersticious sciamanic rites.
    Thank you a lot

  2. I enjoyed this post.Thank you.