Sorry, but Dr. Dolittle loses hands down

A Rosary Meditation: The Third Joyful Mystery, The Nativity.

“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’ s crib … “, Isaiah 1:3a.

A few hundred years ago the majority of theologians believed the above scripture was a reference to the animals that were present in the stable at the birth of Jesus. I’m not sure what the reasoning was although I’m sure the second half of the verse (feel free to look it up) along with the reception Christ received from Israel had something to do with it. And I’m not sure exactly what changed in theological circles but the consensus now is that it doesn’t refer to the stable at the birth of Jesus. Well, we’re not dealing with dogma here so I suppose its safe to pick either if someone cares to pick at all. In a lot of things I tend to favor the old guys from days gone by, being one myself and all. (Old guy that is.) So I believe, honestly, that it does reference the animals in the stable. And even if it doesn’t, humor me and consider the following …

Animals are far from stupid. My cats all know what things like “Its OK” and “You did a good job” mean. People who study animals, folks like animal psychologists and such, will tell you, for example, that an average cat will learn the meaning of about 30 or so words while a dog on the other hand learns about 200. Being the cat person that I am, and with all due respect to dogs and dog lovers ’cause I think a great deal of both, I consider their understanding of 30 words (the cats) and 200 words (the puppies) a clear indication of the cats superior intellect. I mean think about it. A cat can express itself with only 30 words while it takes the dog 200 to get the same idea across. Baring the possibility that dogs are just long winded, well, I rest my case.

In the Psalms we’re told: “Let everything that has breath give praise to the LORD! Hallelujah!” Psalm 150:6, New American Bible. Its hard for me to believe God would say something like that and not mean it. So? So it means that everything that has breath has the capacity and capability to praise God. And given this verse the obligation as well.

All of nature sings praise to God. When birds chirp, when dolphins squeal, when rhinos grunt, what are they saying, really? Lots of scientists believe animals possess language of some sort. So what do they talk about? Wouldn’t it be a marvelous turn of events if scientists were able to crack, oh, lets say the language of dolphins and hear this …

“All praise and honor to our Creator Jesus Christ, the Lord God Almighty!”

Now think about the animals there with Mary and Joseph that first Christmas night. Remember the old story about the animals being given the ability to speak at Christmas time? Maybe there’s more to that than we’ve thought. However they may have done it, aloud or silently to themselves, what did they say? What would you have said? What do you say now?

“But had a check of his madness, the dumb beast used to the yoke, which speaking with man’s voice, forbade the folly of the prophet.” 2 Peter 2:16, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … You know, if you believe what you read in the kids story book, old Dr. Dolittle had a lot going for himself. Personally I think those theologians of a few centuries back had even more on the ball. But when it comes to the Nativity, the birth of Jesus, the Christ Child in the manger, its praise from the heart that really counts, isn’t it?