Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Intercessions ~ Third Sunday of Advent ~ Gaudete

Gaudete Sunday ~ Pink, Winter Sunrise

Our planet is experiencing a climate and ecological crisis,/ which is global,/ serious and urgent./ We pray for those who choose to ignore it,/ deny it,/ or who by greed/ advance it./ May we treasure the gift/ which is this earth./ We pray to the Lord.

The Virgin Mary Guadalupe appeared as brown skinned,/ a mix of European and indigenous people/ in a time of confusion,/ discord,/ cruelty,/ suffering,/ corruption,/ slavery,/ greed and ambition./ She points to a renewed humanity,/ a renewed Church./ May we learn from her appearance./ We pray to the Lord.

For the President of the United States/ and all who hold public office around the world./ May they nurture peace and justice for their people,/ and model all that is best in human persons./ We pray to the Lord.

It is Gaudete (be joyful) Sunday./ May we not surrender ourselves to cynicism and despair,/ but remain confident of God's presence/ trusting that we can survive difficult times together./ We pray to the Lord.

The Winter Solstice is marked this week,/ the longest night and the shortest day./ We pray for people who hope for the increase of light in their lives:/ the ones who are unnoticed,/ ignored,/ or who experience only loss and deprivation./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for the healing of families where there is fighting,/ financial insecurity,/ addiction,/ chronic and life-threatening sickness./ We ask blessings for medical personnel,/ mindful of the those who help us to stay well./ We pray to the Lord.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

"Let me sow..."

St. Francis of Assisi ~ Giotto di Bondone ~ 14th c.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred,
..... let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy. 

divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

~ ~ ~ ~ 

This popular prayer is usually attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Some Franciscan scholars say Francis didn't compose the prayer. I'd suggest it doesn't really matter; surely the lines reflect his thought. 

More importantly, are we ready for the prayer? Do we dare imagine what our personal lives would look like if we lived it deeply? How our minds would change!

For me, perhaps the most important word in the prayer is sow...let me sow love, pardon, faith, hope, light and joy. Some synonyms for sow are: broadcast, distribute, plant, scatter, spread, disperse. 

Here, Giotto has painted Francis speaking to a large number of birds in great variety. Francis accepted and loved people in all their variety as well. We could do with a good dose of that today.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Daily Visit

Catholic boy of the 1950's; early 60's, I was taught to make two visits - to the Blessed Sacrament, reserved in the church tabernacle, and to the sick and imprisoned, counted among the Corporal Works of Mercy. 

What's to argue with any of that! But I make a daily visit to the waterway on the property here - a tributary that runs through the Hemlock and White Pine and down to the Delaware River, less than a mile away. Here's a photo with the early morning sun reflecting nicely, and my personal reflecting.

What do I call you 
as you watercourse here:
in and around
the swampy place?

Are you 
streamlet or
runnel or 

The mountain man calls you,
Shehawken Creek;
running down to the river through
New York,
New Jersey and 
Delaware -
white capped during the April melt;
lazy in August.

Did the Munsee warriors fish you?
Their children come here to wade and play?

I see footprints in the snow along your way:
the black bear,
the deer and her fawn,
the turkey,
field mouse
and fox.

And what's your word for me today?
I'll listen,
heard bubbling
through the thickening ice:

That I must keep running as well -
from the conspiring,
the greed,
the shade.

But then ~
to run to Bethlehem,
the inner,
personal place,
that unique Christ-self,
born each day ~
to live truthfully,
beautifully and

Father Stephen P. Morris

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Intercessions ~ Second Sunday of Advent

We ask blessings for Pope Francis,/ who models sensitivity and simplicity for the Church./ Grant that in the Advent time,/ Christians would experience a new enthusiasm for Jesus,/ whose birth we will celebrate at Christmas./ We pray to the Lord.

President George Bush,/ who died this past week,/ asked and hoped for a"kinder, gentler nation."/ May we realize his desire in our own time./ We pray to the Lord.

May Hanukkah,/ the Jewish festival of lights,/ be celebrated in peace and joy./ May hearts be turned where anti-semitism is on the rise./ We pray to the Lord.

Wednesday is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe./ She is the Mother of the powerless,/ the un-recognized,/ the homeless and the orphan./ We bring their struggles to Mass today./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for the President of the United States and for the leaders of all the nations./ May they inspire hope,/ humility and justice./ May they love the citizens of their nations./ We pray to the Lord.

Friday marks the 6th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting/ when 28 people were killed,/ including 20 first graders./  We ask for a great national awakening to the things of life/ and its protection./ We pray to the Lord.

For those who struggle alone in sorrow and affliction,/ who are unseen and unknown to us:/ the poor,/ the sick,/ mourners/ and those whose are suffering great losses./ We pray to the Lord.