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Faces of Love

Story ID:3214
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various USA
Year:2007
Person:various
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Faces of Love

Faces of Love

Faces of Love

Faces of Love

Faces of Love

This musing - FACES OF LOVE occurred to me when I wrote about Fr. Peter in our diocesan newspaper. He and I, though we have never met, had something in common. We both felt that factory farming was cruel and we decided to adopt a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle to reflect this. I was amazed to read about him because I find so few Catholic Christians concerned at all about farm animal suffering, and even fewer among the Catholic hierarchy, clergy, and religious.

I believe that Aquinas' "Utility principle" is responsible for this which basically said that animals were made for our use. In my opinion, God made everything for Himself, and if we need to use them for our needs, then we should do so with the utmost humaneness and compassion. It should be patently obvious to any of us who do any reading in this regard that in so many incidences we don't. The saints aren't perfect and I think we should realize this.

In my letter to the editor of the CUB (Catholic
Universe Bulletin) I mentioned how impressed I was with Fr. Peter --not only for his humane stance, but that he also "threw down the
gauntlet" to his fellow priests by challenging them to examine the facets of their lifestyle. He wrote in part "We remain part of the status quo until we re-examine them and ourselves through the lens of the Gospel and the situation
of the world today.....We could make a difference in our world by making better choices in how we individually spend our time and money."

I wrote the CUB my appreciation of his letter and picture and I mentioned how I felt Father Peter's face was a FACE OF LOVE. I also contrasted his letter with a terrible account I had read about that week which I believe happened in S.Africa. Because his dog killed his parrot, this cruel man had his friend hold
down the dog while he took an electric saw and cut off the screaming dog's head. Now --for me I knew that man could not have a face of love.

The CUB, not surprisingly, left out this cruel account. When I questioned this, the editor felt it didn't fit in with my overall letter. I replied - IT WAS A BIG PART OF MY LETTER. Christians should be made aware of the terrible
cruelties some of us commit without feeling any guilt or compunction at all.

THE ANGEL OF DOGGY DEATH ROW. I kept this account of Corinne Dowling who believes every dog should have his day --even if its his last. She ministers to the condemened with chew toys and a scratch behind their ears. This amazing woman helps the condemned dogs as they receive their lethal injections.

In the picture, Corinne takes Jo-Jo, a white American pit bull terrier through the "paces" by placing one hand over JoJo's eyes, the other, she has lathered with cream cheese so Jo-Jo could lick her fingers as the injection takes hold.

I don't think anyone will disagree with me that hers is a FACE OF LOVE. What amazing compassion. What a sad but wonderful act of love which I'm sure must kill her a little bit with each doggy victim. Here, so many of these basically innocent animals are being killed because their owners don't want them anymore
or don't want the care and expense they need and deserve. Thank you Corinne--you are one special lady and I believe that all these dear doggies you ministered to will overpower you- jump and lick your face when the world will once again be
restored.

SECRET SANTA. --This month's Guidepost's carried the story of Cimeri Miller of CA. A single mother with 2 children, she was on her way to visit her father in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Her dad had sent $700 to cover the trip's expenses and she was now down to her last $10 when the bus broke down. When finally repaired, the bus rolled into Kansas City where she learned she missed the connection to Fort Smith. Not unexpectedly she was on the verge of tears when she heard a commotion and spied a jolly fat Santa Claus coming into the station.

He stopped in front of her and pulled out a $100 dollar bill. She stammered that she couldn't accept the money. He then asked about the kids -if they were hers. She answered yes and he pulled out two more hundred dollar bills. Now she really was crying but they were tears of joy. She explained her predicament and how grateful she was for the money. He also made sure that she would be on her way soon and a limousine drew up to take her and her boys to Fort Smith, Arkansas.

This wonderful man was Larry Stewart -- a wealthy Kansas City businessman. He died last February of cancer but not before giving away 13 million dollars to the needy. This tradition of giving he made sure would continue because before his death he recruited four others to continue it.

He never forgot the time he was so hungry that he went to a diner and ordered a huge breakfast and acted like he lost his wallet. The owner approached him and picked up something from the floor. "Son," he said, handing Stewart a twenty-
dollar bill, "You must have dropped this." (If you aren't crying, I am!) LARRY STEWART-- AN ANOTHER FACE OF LOVE.

HE PRACTICES WHAT HE PREACHES. This story too is found in Guideposts. Another man of God and this one is trying to live GREEN. It wasn't always so, When his inclination toward the ministry led him to getting a Ph.D focusing on
theological ethics, his concerns were primarily addressing the problems of the world: Hunger. Inequality. Injustice. War. As he said -the stuff I really care about.

Then later, while in the library, he noticed Bonnie, a single mom who was working her way through grad school. She was making copies from a stack of books. Curious, he asked her what she was studying.

This little question would become a defining moment for him because he remembers so clearly what she said "A CHRISTIAN APPROACH TO NATURE."
He was surprised and wondered how a person of Bonnie's obvious intelligence was doing something like that which he considered a waste of time.

Certainly, he later mused - Creation was God's handiwork but for him it was a mere backdrop to the human drama - the battle for humankind's soul. "Poverty, oppression, warfare...THOSE were the real issues."

He felt that he should "straighten" her out and the next time he saw her he asked her: You have a son, right? With her affirmation, he then pointed to an ant crossing the side walk. "So you're telling me that that ant is as important--
is worth just as much to God -- as your child?"
She knew he was baiting her but she replied with a "bait" of her own. "Look Jim, she answered, "You care about what the Bible says, right?"

He nodded his head and she told him "Why don't you reread the Bible in the light of your question? See what it really has to say about caring for creation."

Jim accepted her challenge and began purusing the Bible - finding so much confirming his stance until he came to the first Chapter in Colossians (15-20) where he read: "He is the invisible God, the FIRSTBORN OVER ALL CREATION.
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together...For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through
him to reconcile himself all things whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. "

Even though he had read this scripture many times before, it was only now it was inexplicably clear. As he noted "It felt new, like that day at 13 when he emerged from the baptismal waters. Yet this was a baptism of Scripture."

How pleased that I, as a Catholic Christian have found common ground with a Baptist Christian!
Jim, your face. your wife's face and Bonnie's face are all FACES OF LOVE for me. I also didn't know until I read this article that 5 years earlier you had asked the world the now famous question "What would Jesus drive?" Great question-- Jim Ball, and one which deserves a carefully thought out and introspective answer.

I couldn't resist having an animal representative as a FACE OF LOVE. For me most of our dogs and cats belong there. I also feel the gentle loving faces of the vegetarian food animals have faces of love as well. So, I couldn't resist pulling Skipper from the pages of a Christmas story in the Guidepost.

His owners had made an outdoor nativity scene and when they came indoors after finishing putting it up-- found that one of them was missing - Skipper. They looked hi and lo, but no Skipper. The phone rang and it was a lady telling of her admiration of the Nativity Scene.
And oh, by the way she said- the cute dog made for a nice touch! Disappearance solved and worry gone!