Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

As the Feast of Francis Approaches


A FLEDGLING IS A BIRD that is in its first season of flying. This year's fledglings are approaching their first winter. Birds like the chickadee (shown here) don't fly south, but they tough out the winter up north.

If you stand patiently and quietly where chickadees gather, with an open palm of sunflower seeds, they'll land on your finger, very small and vulnerable, take a seed and then fly off. Seven out of ten chickadee fledglings die each winter. Jesus tells us that when a little bird dies and falls to the ground, God knows. And if God knows what happens to a tiny bird the size of a chickadee, how much more does God know about me. (Matthew 10:29-31)

My life matters! Many people don't believe that about themselves, and so they go through life sad, hateful, degraded, inwardly lonely, resigned to a sense of failure. But it doesn't have to be that way. 

Some people don't live very deep lives. We can stay on the surface of things, self-absorbed in trying to remain young, notable, sexy and comfortable. But Saint Francis wants nothing more for us than that we would know and love Jesus in the Gospels. And central to that Gospel is the teaching that God's got his eye on the little bird. This has got to be the most blessed assurance in all of religion!



8 comments:

  1. My life matters to God. God knows everything about me. But this doesn't really make it easier to live life when you feel resigned to failure, or lonely or downcast. You still have to get through it all to get to that eternal life. We can be good, and generous and kind to others. But it doesn't always help with those inner feelings of inadequacy or that sense of failure. God has his eye on me. He sees all, but what does he see in me?

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    1. I'm not sure I agree with this. I had an abscess in the back of my throat years ago and when I went to the doctor he told me he had to call an ambulance as the thing appeared to be ready to break and if I swallowed the infection I could die. A friend was with me and suggested we not even wait for the ambulance but get to the hospital immediately by car. The doctor's office called ahead and the hospital was waiting for me. Within a few minutes a doctor came into the cubicle with a huge needle and syringe. I knew it was going to be inserted into the abscess in the back of my throat to withdraw the infection. The needle had to go in twice. I thought, "How am I ever go to have this thing go into my throat and keep my mouth open and not freak out." Long and short of it: my friend sat next to me; I wasn't alone. It made all the difference in the world. I was the one who had to have the farm sized needle put in my throat - yes - and I can't say how it would have turned out had I to undergo the procedure without someone else there - but I still think a couple of times each week what a blessing it was to have someone nearby who cared about me. I think being alone is one of our greatest human fears. Lots of people think God is watching to catch us doing wrong things. That isn't it at all - the divine watching is for love. I don't think any other religion makes that claim

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    2. God is watching. It is comforting to a point. But you are saying that you needed a human being there with you in your time of anxiety and fear. Just having someone else near you, helped you get through it. So yes, God is with us, but, I'm sorry it doesn't get rid of the feelings that plague us in this world. His presence is not physical. He doesn't whisper in our ear that it will be OK. That he is happy we exist. People need to hear that from others living beings. Maybe I just don't have enough faith, but I suspect that most people would agree.

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    3. God never makes a promise that he will take away "the feelings that plague us in this world.'

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  2. Thank you Father for this little reminder, a gift of encouragement. A beautiful description of God's love for us.

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  3. If you have Faith and truly believe...and you speak to God He will answer.... You just need to have FAITH

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  4. I read your words as a message of hope! It's with a false sense of humility when we fail to receive His great love. He watches for love, what a great way to explain our loving God to small children...instead of the negative...God watching for us to make mistakes, He celebrates our little triumphs! Thank you!

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  5. I read this post and the comments that followed. I enjoy the different viewpoints that people take, Of course God is watching out for us. We should take great comfort in that fact. And yes you had someone in a time of need. God provided that friend for you. His way of taking care of you. To make sure you weren't alone. I only hope that you still have friends like that in your life. That you can depend on and trust. We all need that. We must have faith in God. We are but a grain of sand on the beach in the scope of things, but God's love is infinite and he cares for all of us, no matter how insignificant we feel at any given time.

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