A Dream of the Great Assize

For fifteen years Kayla was an important part of the life of our family. She was a Husky/German Shepherd mix, had a sweet disposition, loved and protected the kids, and adored my wife and me. She also had a wonderful, deep-throated howl. When Kayla sang, one heard echoes of ancient wolves joyously running through the mountains. I loved her dearly and was occasionally accused, not least by our kids, of spoiling her. Nolo contendere. After a full life she fell asleep five-and-a-half years ago.

My dream of the Last Judgment:

The incarnate Lord returns in glory and gathers the quick and the dead around his Throne. His voice thunders out:

“Can anyone provide one good reason why I should permit this man, Alvin, son of Alvin, to enter into my Kingdom?”


“Is there not one who will speak on his behalf?”


I look over at my wife and children. They hang their heads.

“Has he done no good works?”

Again, silence.

“He was a priest of Holy Church for several decades. Did he not preach at least one good sermon?”

The terrible silence deepens.

My heart sinks. I try to remember the teaching of Martin Luther on justification by faith, but all my theology has all become hazy and blurred.

Terror grips my soul.

The King appears to be prepared to render his verdict … but then a glorious sound erupts from the multitude.


And Christ smiles.

I miss the howls of my Kayla.

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10 Responses to A Dream of the Great Assize

  1. Robert Fortuin says:

    Sorry for your loss, rest in peace dear Kayla.


    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      Kayla died six months before Aaron died. He helped me to dig her grave in the backyard. She was a great dog.


      • Matthew Hryniewicz says:

        My heart goes out to you Father. It is my hope that everything we have lost along the way will be restored at the eschaton. I pray that your Kayla will be there when you meet our Savior and are reunited with Aaron. God Bless.


  2. some day, that “arrrrooooo” will be joined by a “meeeeowwwww”…


  3. Fr Aidan Kimel says:

    My apologies to all if my article has misled anyone to think that Kayla’s death was recent or that I am in mourning for her. I just wanted to tell the tale of her howl at the Great Assize. This was a “dream” that came to me about six years ago. I just wanted to share it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John Grinnell says:

    If there’s room for Kayla and I hope there is maybe there will also be for my horse,George who used to follow me around like a dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. wm borch says:

    These tend to be the visceral/existential concerns of this world/life!
    Appreciate the sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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