Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Prayer Before the Icon ~ Mother of God Searcher of the Lost

As you searched for your Child
who had wandered in Jerusalem,
as the Lord seeks after
lost coin and lamb,
O Mother and soul-guide,
rummage now through history's losses
escorting us through darkness to the
moment of sunrise.

A few thoughts about the prayer which might help us to feel or personalize it more deeply. In the first and second lines: we recall Mary searching for the twelve year old Jesus who she found in the Jerusalem temple. Luke 2:41-52

In the third and fourth lines: in Luke's Gospel Jesus likens God's searching love to the woman who turned the house upside down to find the lost coin of least value and the shepherd who recklessly left the ninety-nine sheep in search of the one that wandered off. Luke 15: 1-10

History's losses could be the history of our own family: suicide, sudden death, child death, job loss, divorce, addiction, mental illness, sex abuse. Or loss in the history of our own personal lives: loss of faith, loss of friendship, failure in relationship, loss of peace meaning or stability, the loss of a much-desired pregnancy...

How terrible, terrifying, lonely and deep darkness can be. Can you name it for yourself? Rummage is a wild, kind of frenzied word. Heaven rummaging to find us - even or most especially - interiorly.

And can you identify what sunrise might mean for your own life? A dawning? A new start? Dorothy Day wrote: "We are always beginning again." Can you name it?


  1. Somerimes we don't truly know we are lost until we are found.

  2. Father,
    You have taught me so much and have shed much light on things over time. I want to thank you for pulling me out of the darkness that I found myself in for extended time. Your prayers are my inspiration to keep going in my spiritual recovery. My journey has been fruitful. Many blessings to you and for all that you teach us. I hope that others identify their new beginnings also.

    1. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes. I'm taught something every day by someone or something - if even in a chance or brief encounter. God's surprises. How grateful I am. I say, "Oh look at this flower," "Listen to this person," "What a beautiful thing I've read." O

  3. I notice that your chapel is dedicated to Mother Of God Searcher of the Lost. Is this icon hanging in your beautiful chapel? Did you write this prayer?

  4. Yes, the chapel has a second title: Mother of God Searcher of the Lost. The young people for whom the chapel was built had all lost their way. There is an icon of the Mother of God under this title on a stand just as one comes inside the door. Yes, I did write the prayer. Thank you for praying it.

  5. This comes at a time when I most need it. Very grateful to you for sharing it.

    1. I'm pleased to hear that. I send a blessing and gratitude for your following the posts.