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Have you heard the voice of God today?

I should not have been surprised.

Yet, as I stood outside this morning, cleaning up from the mess that the black bear made in my back yard as he munched through the pumpkins left out beside the compost (who knew bears held pumpkin seeds to be a delicacy) I was stunned to see that interplay of light, shade and fog that created long, spectacular rays of light that radiated out over the town: rays that resembled a beatific embrace which seemed to offer a divine blessing our small village. I could not help but be moved to spontaneous prayer of praise as I beheld the glory of that moment. Even my annoyance with the mess left by that the bear faded into nothingness in my consciousness.

Further reflection led me to ask myself whether or not other people experienced these same manifestations of God in creation in their daily lives.

This epiphany seems all the more appropriate for me today as I will be heading out after my last mass today on a 26 hour round trip journey by car to pick up my new canine companion, Mateo.

Mateo, a Spanish derivation of Matthew means "voice of God", and his coming into my life is I believe, another example of how God can and does speak directly to us in the every day events of our lives.

Permit me here please to offer a bit of personal history. In my 20+ years as a priest, I have shared my house with three animals, each of which came to me with names already given to them. The first was a cat named "Moses", followed a few years later by my adopting a brother feline for him who had been given the moniker "Abraham". A couple of years ago I was offered a rescue dog (a five year old Wheaton Terrier) who carried the name, "Linus". Moses and Linus have since died (the former, peacefully in his sleep of old age, the latter was clipped by a passing truck was we were walking near my cottage last spring and died of a severe brain injury)and recently I had been contemplating adopting another animal companion to share the house with Abraham and I.

I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to bring another animal again into my life. The grief I experienced, especially with Linus' tragic death in March was something that caused me many tears and I was unsure if I was ready to enter into such a relationship again - especially given that I have always taken rescue animals and thus I know that I will most likely outlive my pets. There is always pain in parting, and I was not certain that I wanted to deal with that again, so soon after losing my buddy, Linus.

So I brought it to prayer. I asked God to help me to discern whether or not to open my life once again to give a home to another rescue dog. Then I left it in God's hands.

The very next day I received an email from the breeder who had given me Linus. Once again she had a dog who was retiring from his life as a show dog, and she wondered if I might be interested in adopting him. She told me that his name was Mateo.

I had never heard that name before,but it intrigued me, so I "googled" the name, only to discover that it meant "voice of God".

I took this to mean that God had answered my prayer in the affirmative, and for this reason I will be heading down to Ohio today to meet him and bring him home to live with me here in Mattawa. So, with a heart filled with praise and wonder at how it is that God can use the simplest gifts of His creation to communicate with us, I hit the road for this extended road trip.

Be it the interplay of light and shade that comes with a sun rise, or the suggestion to adopt a pet whose name means "God's voice", He is always communicating with us, if we would only be open to hearing His voice.

Be still and listen for His voice today. It can be heard speaking to us through the day to day events of our lives, so long as listen and are open to His presence.

If you read this post, I ask too that you might offer a prayer: that my trip will be marked with peace and safety, and that I be a worthy companion to God's latest gift to come into my life. Maybe this is how God will help me to keep the black bears out of my yard... and that in itself will be a wonderful blessing.

Fr. Tim Moyle


  1. Fr. Tim:

    I pray for your safe journey to Ohio and back, and that Mateo will be a reminder to you always of God's bountiful love for you, in the name of Jesus our Lord and Saviour.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful vision today.

    God is definitely afoot, and His Holy Spirit is active in the lives of all those who are open to Him.

    I too heard God's voice today, or more truthfully His voices, and they were joy filled.

    God Bless Your Day
    Michael Brandon


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