February 16, 2015: And God Asked Adam to Name the Creatures

~by Susi Pittman

When the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and the birds of the air, he brought them to the man to see what the man called each of them; for that which the man called each of them would be its name. The man named the cattle, all the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field; ~Genesis 2:19-20~

Think back to the day when God created the first man and gave him dominion (i.e. caring stewardship) over all the earth and its creatures. God named Adam, because he was the first man and God wanted to enjoin man to a relationship with Himself. Then in turn, Adam named all the creatures so as to recognize each creature intimately as part of the whole that all creation shared. The beauty of the new earth and sky, the smells that perfumed the air, the freshness of life in harmony and perfection was beyond our capabilities to comprehend today.

All of creation reflected the love, peace and light of the Creator-God-Father of pure LOVE. God found it to be very good!

So, let’s get back to the naming. Because God asked Adam to name the animals, would not that give credence to the fact that God wanted mankind to have a relationship with all creatures?

Did Adam choose the names because of the animal’s traits and nature or did he give them each individual names? They were all his and they responded to him because of the “hard-wiring” that God placed into their very being to be what they were. The animate creatures were to fill Adams life with a certain fullness that the inanimate creation could not supply.

Down through ancient times and right up to today, naming a person is a huge deal. In Hebrew culture, names revealed the character and nature of the one being named. Biblically, God sometimes would give a person a new name upon entering into covenant with them. In the Old Testament Abram became Abraham and in the New Testament, Simon became Peter (Petrus the Rock). The naming was important and signified a special relationship.

We name our pets because we have a special relationship with them. We are all sons and daughters of Adam and it is like the “naming” is programmed into our psyche. The names we choose can also reflect the physical appearance and personality of our pet family member.

Perhaps the greatest example of someone with a relationship with animals is Saint Francis of Assisi. He developed a relationship with every creature he came in contact with. Not only that, he acknowledged the elements of the earth too. He called the animals his “brothers” and “sisters.” One day he preached to a flock of birds asking them to praise God for the benefits they enjoyed.The Creator loves you very much, since He gives you so many good things. Therefore, my little bird sisters, be careful not to be ungrateful, but strive always to praise God.

To communicate is to establish relationship. The more you communicate, the more intimately you come to know someone. The same is true in our relationship with our pets. They are named, we communicate with them and when they pass away, we mourn their passing.

Relationship is the foundation of love. And the Lord would not have wanted us to have this foundation unless it was necessary for our “wholeness.”

God saw to it that mankind and animals could have relationships. And man and all creation has a relationship with its Creator….whether acknowledged or not.

God bless all of you who through your love of your pets, the creatures and creation bring back to the world a little bit of that “paradise” we lost!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

~ Psalms 150:6 ~

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Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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