Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cause of Our Joy!

WHILE ON A RECENT PILGRIMAGE, a friend took this photograph of the Virgin Mary and her new Son, found over an altar in Padua, Italy. I feel a great joy, not only for the painting itself, but that through this marvelous technology available to us, we're able to make the image a kind of Christmas gift to the world. Joy to the World, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King...Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing...."

The jewel-crowns the figures wear were likely added later - perhaps as a thank offering from someone who could afford it. They are lovely, but don't add anything to the real beauty of the painting, which is that of the two heavenly smiles breaking over our weary world.

God smiling on our world! God, in the Infant Christ, climbing all over us, the way a baby climbs up Mother's dress. And the dark clouds (let's name them) being pushed back by the brightness of their faces and the golden wisdom of their nimbused-minds.

This little Jesus already has his Christ-mind, which is why he looks at us with mischief. It's as if he's saying playfully, "Get ready! You think I'm adorable, and you might want me to stay a non-interfering baby, but I'm going to ask difficult things of you: to forgive endlessly, to seek God's Kingdom above money and things, to change your hearts, to become peace makers, to value the little and poor ones first, to welcome others in love, to lift the weak ones to their feet...but not to be afraid, I am with you!"


  1. Beautiful. Merry Christmas!

  2. Your blog has been a wondrously blessed journey through Advent. I am ready to welcome the Christ Child with a refreshed awareness. The Guadalupe Novena, the Advent Intercessions and your posts in between have opened me up to the miracle of Christmas more so than ever. Thank you Father Morris for all of your insights and comments. Buon Natale!

    1. And I thank you for your docility - which simply means to be teachable. It is a virtue disappearing. I send a blessing to your home in these last Advent days. Tell others about the blog.

  3. May this time of year open doors of love, and close out the hatred. Let us humbly accept the kindnesses offered to us. And may the blessings of Christ lead us away from hateful thoughts, and instead guide us towards clean heart. Amen.

  4. Although some may say that Christmas has gotten too commercial or lost its meaning, we can keep Christmas alive in our hearts. We can maintain old traditions and create new ones, we can appreciate the joy in our lives, and we can put life in perspective by remembering the birth of Christ. Yes, God is smiling down on us and let us not forget that.

  5. May we be ready to accept the difficult things that Christ will ask of us this year. Shine like a candle and never lose hope, for every long journey needs the first step. Merry Christmas to one and all!