Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It's May ~ Mary's Month

In the West we need to pay more attention to monks and what their lives can teach us. Most monks follow the ancient rule of Saint Benedict. The lives of monks tell us:

  • That we can live at peace with each other, though we come  from many places
  • That the spiritual life invites us to a continual turning to the  higher things - the better way
  • That even the most hardened heart and stubborn mind can  change
  • That we can live happily in great simplicity - without so much  stuff
  • That we grow best when rooted in God's Word as listeners first
  • That so much moving about from this to that causes inner    trouble
  • That to be free we need to be free of hatred.

And monks love the Mother of Jesus, Mary, who creates an atmosphere around the person of Christ, inviting contemplation and inner tranquility. 

These Spanish monks are singing a Latin sequence (poem-prayer) for a Feast of Mary or today, in Mary's month of May.


  1. I love everything about this video. As I sit and listen, I can envision these monks singing together to bring praises to Mary. The images bring us into the life of the Blessed Virgin and her role as the the loving mother of Jesus. From His birth to her own ascension into Heaven. Amen.

  2. Thank you for this post, Father Stephen. I'm going to make a copy of the ancient (but still current and fresh) rule of Saint Benedict. Tape it to my dresser mirror and read it every morning before I start my day.

  3. Superb! Thank you as always for your thoughts. I love your creative ways of reaching out to us and grabbing our attention. I am here listening.

  4. There are times when I do wish for a simpler life. I admire the monks who spend their time working and praying for others. I don't know how someone comes to the decision to give up everything to follow this path, owning nothing, listening to the God's Word and the call to pray with a completely open mind and heart, but I am glad there are those that do. Beautiful presentation of their prayer Father.

    1. A monk's life can be difficult - like any other. You live with the same people day in and day out. Some are eccentric or troubled. There are guests all the time which brings its own challenges. The life can be tedious. Some monasteries are more spartan than others. Most monks take a vow of stability which means I promise to stay in this monastery for the rest of my life and trust that I will find in this place and with these people all I need for salvation. It is a great act of faith it seems to me.

  5. Two quite lovely posts in a row Father Stephen. Each showing us the beauty that surrounds the Blessed Virgin, but from such different perspectives. I do like the poem/prayer sung by the monks to bring me into an almost meditative state. Tranquil and serene.

  6. I was recently in Lourdes and experienced all the wonderful feelings that surround you at Lourdes. Mary is truly present there. On my way home, I felt sad that I might lose some of these feelings but in the last few days your posts have been great reminders of the beautiful Mary we know. Grateful

  7. When we pray to God, to Jesus, to Mary, we must pray as Christians and not just theists. Some of us never learn to put skin to our prayer, concretely involving ourselves in trying to bring about what we are asking for. I think we will understand prayer better if we try to be more involved in the petition. The monks must understand that if they are able to turn themselves over to prayer.

  8. Father Stephen,
    I am adding this post to my favorites. Just when I think this blog is everything I need to get my day started, it becomes even more. The messages we get from the lives of the monks is invaluable. I am listening to God. and pray for peace and the riddance of hatred. Thank you for bringing these thoughts to us in a bleak world. Solidarity in our prayers. Amen.