Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In a profoundly troubled world, we can pray.

This is an image of Our Lady of Good Remedy. The title comes to us from the 12th century when the Trinitarian Fathers needed money to ransom Christians from slavery. A remedy for that problem was swiftly and generously forthcoming. This is wonderful, and I have my own stories to tell of Mary's remedies over the years and in the work of the retreat house here.

But I would suggest that remedy here means so much more than Mary as fund-raiser, however good the cause, as the most needed remedy today is the remedy-ing of human hearts. Someone wrote with appreciation for the Thursday intercessions found here, as they help him/her to pray beyond the little and most immediate concerns of everyday. Now, Saint Paul writes::

The Lord is near; have no anxiety, but in everything make your requests known to God in prayer and petition with thanksgiving. Then the peace of God, which is beyond our utmost understanding, will keep guard over your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus. (Philipians 4:6,7)

But the verse says to make needs known in everything. And if we have global hearts, and open, aware, informed minds, then we will want to entrust so much more to the Mother called Remedy

A priest told me once that intercession is the lowest form of prayer. I was only a seminarian then and didn't now how to respond ~ but I don't believe that. The synagogue official in last Sunday's Gospel said, "Jesus, my daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live." He was interceding for his daughter, and Jesus responded at once and with great generosity. 

Here are some prayer-verses of my own. But each of us will think and feel beyond the prayer when it seems to end. 

For deniers and deceivers
For the lazy and indifferent
For the hopeless and embittered
A remedy, O Lady!

For racists and anti-semites
For resenters and bullies
For the militarized and dangerous
A remedy, O Lady!

For the priesthood and the candidates
For prisoners and killers
For haters and the hated
A remedy, O Lady!

For the dealers and death-purveyors
For terrorists and the obstruct-ors of good
For dividers and exploiters
A remedy, O Lady!

For the un-evolved and wounded
For planet-looters and the greedy
For the baby considered a problem
A remedy, O Lady!

For the addict and the fear-ridden
For the self-righteous and the soul-sick
For the fearful and the unhappy
A remedy, O Lady!

For beheaders and suicide bombers
For the master-minds and the broken-hearted
For the wanderers and the war-torn
A remedy, O Lady!

For the mourners and the dis-placed
For the children and the left behind
For wall-builders and false promise-rs
A remedy, O Lady!

For hearts that look the other way
For excuse-rs and rationalize-rs
For the person on the planet who most needs this prayer right now
A remedy, O Lady!


  1. Having a soft heart in a harsh world takes courage.

    1. Yes indeed. "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts." I think it's a great act of kindness to pray for a harsh world from a softened heart.

  2. Feel beyond the words. Amen.

  3. I have never heard of Mary as a fundraiser. I pray to her in troubled times as a source of strength. Thank you for your prayer verses Father.

  4. You put on a good show Father. I wonder if you believe in the things you write.

    1. Yes, I question your sincerity on some things and even wonder sometimes if you are really a priest. But you seem to have a number of followers so many people must believe in you, or at least in what you write.

    2. My biography runs along the right side of this page. The world is so troubled with horrible suffering and confusion - don't tire or distract yourself worrrying over my authenticity. I am very much a priest of nearly 36 years - ordained by Bishop Daly on October 26, 1979. Unless you know me intimately ("anonymous") leaves me in the dark, you have no cause to "question my sincerity" - unless of course you just can't imagine that a priest could concern himself with the things brought to our attention or reflected upon here. But I understand that too. A senior priest said to me once over lunch, "You know, Stephen, even many priests aren't going to 'get' you. That's okay.

  5. Thank you Father for your reminder and teaching.God bless youand your spirit.