Xavier Loppinet, beware of the dog

Will my dog ​​take me to Heaven?

de Xavier Loppinet

Deer, 204 p., € 18

Of Saint Francis of Assisi marveling at nature and animals, Pope Francis emphasizes in Praised : « His reaction was much more than an intellectual valorization or an economic calculation, because for him, any creature was a sister, united to him by bonds of affection. (…) His disciple Saint Bonaventure reported that, “considering that all things have a common origin, he felt filled with an even greater tenderness and he called the creatures, however small, of the name of brother or of sister”. This belief cannot be viewed with contempt as irrational romanticism, as it has implications for the opinions that determine our behavior.. »

To the encyclical’s urgent invitation to convert his gaze on creation, man has a field of proximity to respond: the relationship with pets. The Dominican Xavier Loppinet proposes to explore spiritually this companionship of silence. His book was born out of two events: the certainty that “All reality, visible or invisible, has its place in the dialogue that God has with me “, And his meeting with a deaf deacon whose testimony was” the confirmation that God could, by a dog, guide man towards Him ».

A rereading of the book of Tobit

You don’t have to have a dog yourself to enjoy this entertaining and enlightening study. Loving research which, by its side steps, can bring back to the center of the faith, Xavier Loppinet published last year Cry without why (Cerf), on the gift of tears, where he braided the attempt to capture spiritual experience in the history of his representations. The same approach guides this second work, accessible and moved by a sincere inclination, proposing to detect what can be providential in the company of animals, as well as to see in it a mutual education in freedom.

The author starts from a stimulating rereading of the beautiful book of Tobias, where the emergence of the dog with Tobias and the angel Raphael takes on a more than anecdotal meaning. Other passages from the Bible, the lives of saints, accounts of Marian apparitions, classical and modern works will then be read again. Xavier Loppinet also tells the story of Pierre, who became a deacon after hearing God’s call through the eyes of his dog Boomer.

Finally, very opportunely, the author evokes the social message of Praised. In particular the clairvoyance of attention to the animal as a leaven from which to make human fraternity grow, in a life of charity and sharing based on ” Trinitarian dynamism imprinted in the heart of every man “. The very one that allows ” perceive that happiness is to be in relationship ».

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