Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is My Cat in Heaven?

     Of all the great theological questions facing Episcopalians and the Anglican Communion, the question of pets in heaven probably is not at the top of the poll. It is a question, however, that means a great deal to me and to anyone who has ever loved a pet.

     During our Sunday prayers of the people when we get to the part where we remember our dead, I quietly pray for my dad, my grandmother, my brother, and for a few names you might not expect: “God, hold Dot and Jordan and Teddy Bear and Merlin and Lassie close to your heart.” Dot, Teddy Bear, and Merlin were my cats; Jordan and Lassie were my dogs. I do not think they need my prayers, but it is important to me to speak my love for them.

Romans 8:19-21 states, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

     Now, Harvard Divinity School is not incessantly calling trying to hire me away from Trinity, Reno, but “the creation itself will be set free” sounds an awful lot like cats and dogs and hamsters and birds and pine trees and… well, you get the idea.

     Just one more scripture:

Eph. 1:8-10 – "With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth."

     All things are being gathered back up into God… you, me, people we love, people we don’t even like… everything is being gathered back up into the One who gave us life. That would include, in my mind, our animal companions whom we love, but see no longer.

     So, when you get to heaven – that place outside space, and time outside of time where God has called all things back into God’s self – don’t be surprised by a furry rubbing against your leg or a wet nose nuzzling your hand. In fact, they’ll probably be the first ones to meet you at the gate.


  1. When we all get to Heaven,
    What a day of rejoicing that will be!
    When we all see Jesus,
    We’ll sing and shout the victory!

    I have great hope that we'll meet our dear animal companions there - maybe even our favorite trees and flowers, too.

    Thus sayeth Mimi, the theologian.

  2. I think that theologically you are sound. The Romans 8 passage does say that all creation will be made new and that includes our companion animals. Whatever the new creation is to be, and it boggles the mind trying to think of what it could be, I couldn't imagine it without our furry friends.

  3. I can't imagine heaven without them either. I think sometimes the closest some folks get to God's unconditional love is what they see from their dog or cat.

  4. I REALLY REALLY like you! Gods wonderful creation f animals is the greatest form of unconditional love, kindness, fun and joy...and why so many are hurt terribly here by those who are so very bad or down right evil......Animals are Furry holy light angels here and in Heaven...AMEN

  5. What would heaven be without love? It's that simple.


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