January 5, 2015: Epiphanies

~by Susi Pittman

The feast day of the Epiphany reminds us of how nature and man were orchestrated by God to set forth the perfect reception for God’s only Son. A Star that shone both day and night led the Magi to the home of the Christ Child. A cosmological miracle that even today is being delved into by scientists and theologians alike. And of course, the first “stewards of time, talent and treasures,” those same three Wise Men, certainly chosen by God to affirm His salvific call to all people in the world.

The Epiphany also leads us to understand that God shares uniquely with each of us, multiple spiritual “epiphanies” throughout our own lives. It occurs in moments that only you and God know to be sacred. Those moments resound with grace and enlightenment that cause time to just stand still. It’s as if your heart’s longing is quenched, if but for a moment.

Many times in my life, as I have moved in the beauty and care of nature and the creatures that God has populated this world with, I have been blessed with such moments.

In my book, Animals In Heaven? Catholics Want To Know! there is a chapter dedicated to Miss Bunny Blueberry, a wild rabbit who shared God’s footstool with me. In the course of sharing her life story, I walk the reader through her death. It was this rabbit that was my watershed moment, my “epiphany” that all I had believed in my heart about the death of animals was confirmed.

Then I drove to my vet’s office, having called ahead to make arrangements, and I prepared to be at her side for the moment of death.

Our vet is so compassionate; he handled her little body with such tenderness as she lay there, weak and dying. The injection was given., and Bunny Blueberry left peacefully. Our vet left me alone with bunny for a little while so that I could make my final goodbye.

He returned eight or so minutes later to check her heart and to be sure that all was finals. As he moved his stethoscope on her chest to confirm that she was no longer alive, her hind leg—the one that had NEVER moved—began moving in a running motion. Now some might say it was just a muscle reflex, and perhaps it was. But, my vet found it peculiar that the leg was not moving in a spasmodic way, but in a rhythmic, running motion.

For me it was a signal grace, a sign that having prayed for Bunny’s safe return to the Creator, I received the grace to know I was heard. The little leg that never had been any good was now in the hands of God, and all was right with the world.

A couple of weeks ago, my dear friend Phyllis O’Beollain sent me the following:

My little Arctic was pts yesterday morning. She rallied and had an amazingly wonderful day on Tuesday, and then yesterday morning she was unable to rise. I hand-fed her favorite breakfast of chopped bananas, chopped grapes and tiny carrot tops, and then we made the trip to the veterinary clinic.

She passed away in my arms. I want to tell you that as she was passing on, she gave six ‘air kisses’ (I honestly think she was kissing Milkshake, her beloved companion who had passed on 18 months ago, as she could have kissed me, but she did not). And then she washed her face really well (she had not been able to do that for nearly a year due to her disabilities), and then she gave a big sigh. And – check this out – her eye, which had bulged out quite a bit ever since her head tilt over a year ago…was normal. Her eyes were perfect again. She looked beautiful.

I always think about your Blueberry bunny and so I wanted to share this with you.

I think Arctic is back with her beloved Milkshake; they were such close companions for over eight years until he passed.

People who love animals, who love their pets, have stories like these, showing that something happens at the moment of death, that surpasses medical explanation. It isn’t every time and for some it may never happen. But, when it does occur, you know that you stand on sacred ground and something spiritually monumental has occurred.

The epiphanies in our lives are unique to each of us. They may come in the face of the natural world, the face of a child, the eyes of the homeless, the birth of a baby, in the vows of betrothal, or in any way that God deems the perfect way to communicate His love to us. We need only pause and let that which God has found so necessary to impress upon us to be absorbed in our mind, heart and soul.

And then to respond with our sincere and efficacious “deogratias!”

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.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Digg
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Twitthis
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • MySpace
  • Sphinn
  • Mixx