Thursday, January 25, 2007

This is the Feast...

From the "My Dog is My Spiritual Director" file:

My dog, Cody, loves McDonald’s hamburgers. He loves them more than just about anything else in the whole world, including his special red blanket, his assorted friends, Fellow Traveler and me.

Cody knows where the local McDonald’s is in relation to the rest of Outer Podunk – don’t ask me how he knows, because the vet thinks he’s practically blind, but whenever we drive through downtown O.P. he perks up; starts looking out of the window, on the correct side of the street. As we near the city limits and the golden arches come into view, his body stiffens; then, as we pull into the entrance, it breaks into rippling quivers of anticipation. Nostrils a-twitch, he strains for a better view and better aroma as we give our order and pull up to the takeout window. His wide-eyed expression, and indeed his uninhibited, whole-body response as we make our transaction – as we hand the “burger lady” some pieces of paper and watch her briefly disappear only to come back with a bulging bag – is reminiscent of “St. Teresa in Ecstasy.” Sometimes Cody tries to take the bag right out of the burger lady’s hand (no easy trick with a minimum of teeth), so eager is he to taste his treasure.

It seems that, on whatever level dogs think, Cody finds this special meal a wonder – a miracle. Just the thought of it – even the sound of the word “burger” – fills him with anticipatory joy. And while he usually seems to take his other, everyday caregiving in stride, to me he almost seems to exhibit something akin to gratitude when he is finally able to indulge in the long-awaited feast.

Watching Cody in action the other evening in the drive-through lane made me think of the Eucharist; about how sometimes it’s so easy to commune in a distracted, going-through-the-motions way, or in a distant, intellectual way, instead of with a joyful, thankful heart.

As the liturgy reminds us: This is the feast!


evelyn said...

Hi LC!

Oh, if we could all look forward to the Eucharist with that sense of anticipation and enthusiasm!

It's so sad that there is indeed a feast set for us, and so many times we are too busy, too distracted, or too involved in arguing and critisizing others to appreciate the feast.

Thank you for this post.

Tom in Ontario said...

With 4 kids aged 13, 11, 8, and 4 we do fast food a lot more than fine dining or anything a waiter would bring you. But we've quit going to McDonald's. A friend of mine says that if you eat at McDonald's you better be headed home. I concur because their food goes straight through me. And it's just gross.

But I can see what you mean about Cody's excitement and our attitude toward Holy Communion. On Christmas Eve we have 2 worship services of Holy Communion and a new member who is in the choir and thus attended both services asked "Do we take Communion twice then?" I said it was up to her. But I'm thinking "Why wouldn't you take it as often as you can get it?"

Trish said...