The Monk’s Easter PugsMay 8, 2011 No Comments
Usually Easter is accompanied by chicks, bunnies, ducks and eggs. This year, a new Easter animal was added to the list.
The Monastery held their Vigil Mass at 4:30AM. It included the intense Morning Prayers that the monks pray every day.
The monks had been awake all night, not in prayer, but keeping vigil with their female pug, Maggie, as she went into labor and began delivering her pups. When they began preparing for the Mass, Maggie became hysterical when her “Father” left the room. This presented a problem. She could not be left in the sanctuary during Mass, so they moved her whelping box toward the darkened choir area, out of the sanctuary, but still within sight of about half the congregation.
The Mass began with the outside fire, which Maggie attended, puppies put on hold for a time. During the first part of the Mass, there were audible squeeks from the two previously delivered pups. Then, during a silent prayer, the vet called over a monk for assistance. He reached down into the box, then stood up with an object in his hand. The look on his face was one of mixed emotion, mostly disbelief . He held up the placenta high enough for us to see, and then took it away. When he returned he again reached in and held up a tiny black puppy.
Just as Brother did this, and oblivious to the action in the nursery, the priest began the Gloria. It was as if the birth had been synchronised perfectly. He brought in the symbolism of new life, the struggle of the vigil, and the pups squeaked at the appropriate moments.
The entire event was not a distraction, as would be expected, but a joyous acting out of the meaning of Easter. New life found it’s way, dispite the unusual circumstances.
Father’s guide dog got up from his place at the chair to investigate the going ons of his friend, Maggie, then quietly walked back to his station.
It is often the simple events of life that make the most impact upon us. There is no event more mystical and holy than Easter. To be accompanied with a real birth was amazing, as if God were showing us in the whelping box the reality of the mysteries of life.
Maggie and her four pups are doing well.
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