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The community of St. Dimitri of Rostov Orthodox Church will host a Blessing of the Animals at 11 a.m. Oct. 1 at the Posse Lodge. All pets and animals are welcome. Horses from the nearby stables can be walked over to be blessed. Food will be provided.
In Ancient Christian Orthodoxy, life is understood as a movement of love between the persons of the Holy Trinity. The whole cosmos participated in this liturgy of love but fell away from it in the fall. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, restores humanity to that liturgy.
Thus, humanity is called to participate with Him in restoring and maintaining the whole of creation in this liturgy of love until He comes again. This happens by bringing every living thing and every aspect of life back into the context of God. One way to bring life back into this context is to bless every good thing. Thus, we bless animals, our dear and humble friends.
When God finished creating the world He looked upon it and called it very good. This includes the creatures. The good God commanded Noah to save all creatures, both clean and unclean.
The Apostle Paul says, “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Rom 8:21. By blessing creatures and all creation, the wait is over.
One could ask, “Why bless a creation that is blessed already? It is exactly because the Creation is blessed that one blesses the Creation.
Example: When one loves another person one does not say “I love you” once and for all, even though that is sufficient.
One says it again and again simply out of love, because one is in relationship which is living and dynamic. Blessing and many things we do for God are done in this way. We do it out of love for God and creation!
In conclusion, life is a movement of love and communion between the Trinity and the Creation.
All creation is called to participate in this spiritual dance: the angels and the entire Cosmos. Thus, we bless all good things. “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it was very good.” Gen. 1:31. Not only is the creation good, it is very good!
Everyone is invited to participate in this dance. See you there.
--Fr. John Anderson