Friday, 13 March 2009


High drama in the corridor of St Martin’s Priory, Grenada!

The ever-inquisitive kitten had poked its paw into a crack in the concrete floor. All efforts to withdraw its paw were in vain. Sheer bedlam with kitten screaming and mother cat bawling.

Enter to the rescue the thrusting, practical Brother. A few hefty blows with a hammer soon broke the hard surface. Behold the villain – a crab grasping the kitten in its claw. Paw in claw, indeed! A well directed blow gave the crab such a headache that it lost interest in its captive. Freedom at last.

Surely cause for celebration all round. But not so! Mother cat would have nothing to do with her troublesome child, which pined for acceptance and consolation.

What a parable of life here! A chapter in Salvation History. There we are in our sinful folly getting ourselves in all kinds of mess and then finding ourselves helpless to get out of it. Those of our own kind, friends and family, are like mother cat with her kitten, powerless to rescue us from the pain and shame we have brought upon ourselves and the distress we have brought upon those who love us.

All is not lost. Jesus, like the robust Brother, is the one with the answers, the only one. He is caring and resourceful. With His superior power he can deal with demon crab. The weapon that He uses is not a hammer, but the wood of the Cross on which He died for the forgiveness of sins.

Sadly, the story, our parable, does not end here. Resentful mother cat images the way we are slow to rejoice and welcome when God has brought freedom to people through the forgiveness of their sins. All too easily we can be like the elder brother of the Parable of the Prodigal Son – a mean-spirited, self-righteous fellow.

So mischievous kitten, spiteful crab, hammer-toting brother and even moody mother cat, have all together provided me with a way of reaching God.

Remarkable that this is at a season when we are contemplating the awesome events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday! The Paschal Mystery of the dying and Rising of Jesus reveals the drama of salvation from sin – a rescue operation, if ever there was one.

Odd, isn’t it? How God speaks to me through a hole in the floor. Or is it me who is odd in finding the mystery of salvation in the conflict between a crab and a kitten?

Fr Peter Clarke, O.P.

1 comment:

  1. This story is one of the life experiences of so many of us. There are so many obstacles in life but we must thank God for them, because it's the most effective means of our Lord getting us closer to him. How unfortunate it is, that, for the majority of us, we pray more whe we're in distress. But God is so good, he frees us of our troubles and still continues to be faithful to us.

    Thank you Lord for all you have done and continue you to do for me. Thank you for making me a better me, and for giving me a passionate heart. Thank you for Father Peter, and his twin brother, Father Isidore. Bless this their blog -- may they continue to touch the lives of your children, and help to deepen their relationship with you.

    Love, Raquel