Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pentecost Countdown III

We're pondering the ten verses of the Pentecost Sequence these days before the Sunday Feast. Today, verses five and six.

O Most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.

There was canned music playing out of the pump while I gassed up recently. Suddenly the music stopped mid-tune and a too-cheery, sing-song voice said, "While you're filling up your vehicle, why not come inside and fill yourself up too."  The voice then described every edible thing and its price. Yuck!

But the sequence prayer speaks of an interior filling up. This may strike many people as odd - we pay so little attention to our soul capacities or needs. Spiritually speaking: some people are riding on fumes. Some people are hoping to make it on empty. 

  • In these bouts of depression: fill me up with Light divine.
  • In my dark-moodiness: fill me up with Light divine.
  • In the darkness of my persistent resentments: fill me up with Light divine.
  • In the grip of Oh what's the use: fill me up with Light divine.
  • In the secret place where I know I'm on empty: fill me up with Light divine.
  • Where my life has become same old-same old: fill me up with Light divine.
  • Where I live behind changing masks: fill me up with Light divine.
  • Where I'm a collection of opinions, hoping to sound intelligent or right: fill me up with Light divine. 
  • Where I've confused being alive with having things: fill me up with Light divine.
~ ~ ~

Where Thou art not, man hath nought,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

God is the source of all that is good within me, deeds yes, but even my thoughts. Of course! Pope John Paul II said to the post-Soviet young people of Kazakhstan: "You are one of God's thoughts, one of God's heartbeats." 

But a life can feel tainted. Tainted means there's a trace of poison, contamination, infection, something foreign or bad. We're pretty quick to detect the taint in others, but not in ourselves. 

We might give thanks for where there is discernible goodness in ourselves (that's not being vain or prideful - just grateful). Give God the Glory! But also bring to awareness, from behind the inner barriers, where there's some sense of my own being tainted: selfishness, self-absorption, some form of dishonesty, a false persona...

But why? For God's pleasure in seeing us mature and evolve - as each of us is God's own dear child, and nothing pleases a mother or father more than to see the child grow!


  1. I think we are all tainted in a way. I can try to live an honest and true life, but there will always be times when I am called upon and I will turn to a less than truthful answer, or put on a mask to hide behind, or give a false sense of who I really am. I am thankful for this awareness of my human faults. I can only try and sometimes succeed.

  2. I greatly appreciate these "fill me up with Light Divine" statements. They are so in tune with our lives. When I feel overwhelmed and burdened, fill me up with Light Divine. When I feel like my life is losing direction, fill me up with Light Divine. When I feel overcome with sadness over the world today, fill me up with Light Divine. Thank you Father Stephen for helping me find a way to ask the Holy Spirit for help.