Discalced Carmelite Friars

Semi Province of St. Therese

This blog is being kept as a memorial to Fr. John Michael Payne, OCD, who was a Friar of the Discalced Carmelite Province of St. Therese in the United States and who wrote the posts on this blog. No further items will be posted on this blog.

~Discalced Carmelite Friars
Province of St. Therrese

Lost and Found

Today is the feast of Saint Basil, a Cappadocian monk who established monastery life in the East, much as Benedict did in the West. Our dog we named Basil because it was on this saint’s day last year that he found us. From the beginning we suspected he’d always be a small dog. I for one wanted a “real dog,” i.e. like our Weimaraner Jackson of happy memory. At a community meeting I proposed we give Basil away and find a larger dog. Fr. Raphael pleaded, “Let’s keep him one more month.” After the meeting I took Raphael aside and said, “Oh you are so clever. You know we’ll all love him in a month.” And so it was. We were all surprised at Basil’s intelligence and his affability. He loves greeting any visitor that comes to the monastery. He is our ambassador to the world. He even formed a special bond with the bishop whose middle name is also Basil. Because of his size, Basil finds it easier to run through the woods of our property like a rabbit. My friend from Dallas, Diana took a picture of him following me from the hermitage. Her camera caught Basil in mid-leap: “Basil the flying dog!"
Well this was Basil’s first Christmas with us, and on Christmas day he was worn out from greeting over a hundred people who came to our Christmas Eve Mass. Then on the feast of the Holy Innocents, he disappeared. We looked all over for him and found nary a trace. Same thing happened to our last dog Sally. She simply vanished and we never saw her again. Raphael was heartbroken and began to collect Basil’s blankets and cushions. We were all devastated to lose such a precious part of our life right at this time of year when everyone is celebrating. We prayed to Saint Anthony; he’s a patron saint of lost objects. We prayed to Fr. John Baptist Pozzi who our nuns claim is better than Anthony at finding lost things. Finally when Raphael prayed to Saint Basil, he goes down into the monastery’s sub-basement and there, after three days in the belly of the earth, a hungry and thirsty Basil comes bounding back to life. Thanks, St. Basil for this feastday gift. You have brought joy back into our hearts.

Written by Fr. Michael Payne, OCD
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