Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

In Unsettling Times

Difficult days - though we're not powerless. Here is a late 15th century  wood carved image of Saint John under the hands of Jesus at the Last Supper. John knew where to place himself on that gloomy night. The image is very beautiful and deserves a long gazing. 

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, (1568-1591) who forfeited a royal inheritance to enter the Society of Jesus, said of the aristocratic life in which he lived, that is was full of fraud, dagger, poison and lust. Change dagger to gun and it sounds like today. 

Saint Teresa of Avila, (1515-1582)  who traveled all over Spain, likened life on this planet to a night in a bad hotel. Still, she wrote this prayer which we might memorize and pray often, especially when we hear of massacres, horrors, destruction, yet another war, disasters, political machinations:

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing,
God only is changeless.
Patience gains all things,
Who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.

Teresa of Avila 16th c. Spain


  1. Difficult days indeed, but we live in this world for better or for worse. This is comforting. Thank you.

  2. And it is "for better, for worse" - yes. We have to practice an active awareness of the "better" part as the sad/bad news presses in. There's a morning news show called, "New Day". It's the news: massacres, disasters, political awefulness, murders. But then in the last minutes of the show, Chris Cuomo has this simple bit which he titles, "The Good Stuff". The other day he showed video of a poor man without a coat, a shirt, even a T-shirt, sitting alone on a subway car. And all of a sudden another passenger comes up to him, takes off his own shirt and covers the half-naked fellow and puts his own ski cap on him, touches him kindly, says something to him closely and walks away. That's "good stuff". Oh, that I would have the awareness, the consciousness, the courage, the self-forgetting, the humility...

    1. What you have today may be gone by tomorrow. You never know. Things change, often spontaneously. People and circumstances come and go. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds. So when life is good, enjoy it. Don’t go looking for something better every second.

  3. The image above says all that there is about our need for Jesus' loving embrace. God above all.

  4. I love your choice of pictures. This does bring to mind all the comfort Jesus can bring to us if we go to Him. It is through the Eucharist, I find that comfort. I was happy to see you chose this prayer of St. Teresa's, one of my favorites. I read that she is the Master of Christian Prayer.

  5. The peace is clearly revealed and ever so slightly turned up lips is so precious. Can calm every nerve in seconds, When enlarged it reveals all, so enlarge the good minimize the bad, the negative and the horror.

  6. Thank you for getting us through difficult times. Your posts really give me a boost of faith when really needed. It's my support system just knowing that people have such strong beliefs in God's presence. It's encouraging.

  7. "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." That's the motto of The Christophers. I believe it. My father taught me to light candles when I was a young boy. Of course, "lighting the candle" while literal is also metaphor for reading the Gospels, the messages of saints, the hymns and prayers, the pondering of all God's gifts, friendship with others who believe...