An Image of a Catholic Family
A triangle is not only the most stable geometric shape in nature, it is also the strongest configuration for our families with God at the head of our lives as a couple.
While I was praying years ago, I was given an inner image of a strong bar of light as it was pulled out from my heart and rooted in my husband’s chest. It was a light of steel, as inflexible as it was invincible. Then bars of light flowed from God the Father at the pinnacle of a triangle to both of us at each lower corner.
Outside the triangle it was dark but the interior was suffused with a warm gentle light, light from heaven. It was within this triangle of love that our children were laughing and playing, protected and safe.
Animals, Children and God
In our house, the dog laid down with the cat, the cat stood up to the cow, the bunny chased the dog and the cat nursed the bunnies. I have written many stories about our animals' strange behaviour but have never told you about Mickey and Duke.
Mickey, our handsome tom cat, followed Michael around the farm as he did chores. Often Mickey would perch on a fence post and stand his ground as a cow licked his entire body, lifting him up to stand on his hind legs. When the cow was finished giving his love lick, Mickey would simply settle down again on the post.
Actually, most of our cats are more like dogs; they follow the kids down the lane to catch the school bus, sleep with the dog and chase balls like dogs.
Then there was Shaker, our golden retriever, who sat for hours each day with his back to our three youngest as they played inside and outside. He was our gentle but vigilant guard dog.
Our current dog is a chocolate lab who tries his best to get our attention and if he doesn’t, he will sabotage anything that keeps us from relating to him. Just before Lucy gets home from school, he’ll snatch the T.V. remote because Lucy likes to relax for a bit in the living room when she first gets home and she ignores Duke. When Duke is feeling slighted, he grabs the computer mouse when my back is turned. One evening while Grace was reading on the chesterfield, Duke took up most of the room. Grace finally pushed him off.
“No more snuggling; I need to stretch my legs.”
This dog weighs 89 lbs. Duke, never taking his eyes off Grace, suddenly darted his tongue into her coffee and turned and walked out, ignoring Grace’s indignation.
“You big jerk! You don’t even like coffee!”
I must say, in Duke’s defense, that he works right along my side as my partner when I pull old wild grape vines and he leaps in the air to grab scruffy tree limb that I can only cut halfway through with the pruning shears. Much more helpful than a cat.
And don’t forget. Dogs bark when visitors come. Handy when you don’t have an electric doorbell.
We know that our animals and children relate and connect to us because they sense the protection of the Spirit, the giver of all life, the protector of our family, and the source of all love.
Copyright 2016 Melanie Jean Juneau
About the Author
Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.