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My dog is dumb...and so am I

This is Carlow. He's only a pup here, and now he's about 2/3 grown. I think he's dumb, but in a crafty sort of way. He is something of a terror, given that he's part terrier and wants to be entertained ALL the time. And when entertainment is not forth-coming from the humans with which he lives, he creates his own entertainment - climbing up on the dining room table, eating non-edible household items, terrorizing the cat.

I know he is trainable. He is smart, even though he does dumb stuff all the time. It's just that doing the dumb stuff can be far more entertaining, gets him a lot of attention and is fun. Why not?

I totally understand. St. Paul did too: What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. 1Now if I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if [I] do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, I myself, with my mind, serve the law of God but, with my flesh, the law of sin. (Romans 7:15-25)

For Carlow, the consequences of his misdeeds are relatively light: a rap on the nose and banishment to his crate. We humans face far graver consequences for our sins. Why do I keep doing the same dumb stuff over and over?

It occurs to me (and this is no original thought, as St. Therese of Lisieux attests) that our spiritual battles are typically not over big things, but little ones. Trying to keep a civil tongue in our head with a family member. Remembering to be courteous and kind when we're not feeling well. Praying for that person we promised to pray for. Being truly thankful for our many blessings. Being reverent at Mass in all manner of thought, word and action. Saying our prayers daily, with true devotion.

It may very well be that all dogs go to Heaven, but we cannot say the same for ourselves. Pray hard, friends: Heaven is ours to lose. Don't be dumb.

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