Look to the Animals

Prayers by Carmen Bernos De Gasztold

Prayer of the Spider

I thank you,

dear God,

for the arches

of my long legs –

a spinner’s legs.

In the middle

of my wide silken net,

fragile and strong

in the shifting wind.

I wait for my meat and drink

and thank you,

dear God.

Between branches in the garden

I fish for frost and dew.

In the corners of dead rooms,

in dark attics,

I fish for somberness,

lonely relinquishment,

and I thank you,

dear God.

In the nimble silence

of my life,

on the thread of my airy dreams,

in the geometric tracery of my


I thank you,

for ever, dear God.


Prayer of the Toad

Lonely and ugly –

who hasn’t a horror

of me, Lord?

Yet my song trills

of an unmalicious heart.

In the night

that hides me,

I dedicate

the melancholy chant

of my unwholesomeness

to you, Lord.

Of your mercy

graciously accept it,

and at last I shall learn

to bear my odium

with love.


Prayer of the Cricket

O God,

I am little and very black,

but I thank You

for having shed

Your warm sun

and the quivering of Your golden corn

on my humble life.

Then take – but be forbearing, Lord –

this little impulse of my love:

this note of music

You have set thrilling in my heart.


Even birds and animals have much they could teach you;

Job 12:7 Good News Translation

Our Father, made in Your image, we (humankind) are a privileged people with much to be thankful for, bestowed with Your grace and many glories to look forward to. However, often we are not aware of our special standing with You – at other times we take it for granted and our attitude becomes one of arrogant superiority towards all other species.

Help us to look at the animals, the birds, reptiles and insects and all the other wonderful beings of Your creation that we share our existence with. Let us acknowledge and be amazed by what we can learn from them – diligence; gentleness; loyalty; humility; compassion; patience; respect; responsibility; creativity, and many other attributes if we would care and take the time to observe them.

Above all, we have the ability to exercise kindness and compassion towards our fellow creatures. Help us to develop the intellect and heart to do so.

In Jesus Name, Amen

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