Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Lenten Mercy-Meditation: The New Holy Face



A photo appeared in the newspaper of Ayad al-Sirowiy, a twelve-year-old Iraqi boy who had been badly injured by a bomb. Soldiers were giving away money to the families who had lost relatives in the bombing, but this boy was sent away with nothing. His face is covered with a dense mist of ugly blue pockmarks, and his bulging right eye is clouded over. At school the others nicknamed him, "Mr. Gunpowder." The damaged boy is the new Veil of Veronica - the new Holy Face. You understand, yes?

8 comments:

  1. Let us wipe the faces of these damaged children with a veil of mercy. These unspeakable horrors of war should keep us up at night.

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  2. At what point did children start becoming the direct victims of war? It is so sad that their lives have been tragically ruined before they even began.

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  3. Transforming ourselves into a state of understanding is precisely how we experience spiritual salvation. Veronica didn't look away, she felt the pain of Jesus and tried to lift some of His discomfort. A lesson for us.

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  4. What I find sad and this is horrific, is our ability to look at these catastrophes, and over and over again say, "Oh, it's so sad." At what point will we turn away from indulging our own feelings of hopelessness and DO something, different? This photo of the beautiful Iraqi boy, makes me want to start a mission to collect money for his medical care, and to find a way to get it to him. When can I say I am grown up enough, adult enough, to act on my convictions, and not care about our governments misguided wars? This human cataclysm is what matters. What I say, but mostly DO, matters.
    Thank you, for getting me to put my mind together with my heart. Now they can say to one another, "pleased to make your acquaintance!"

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    1. Some people do DO things when they see such atrocities. This boy, in fact, was flown to the United States by a lawyer who saw his story and offered medical treatment. Yes, this is one boy among many, but someone did follow their convictions. Unfortunately, they were unable to restore his sight in the damaged eye, but it does show an act of mercy-kindness towards a stranger. If more people would act rather than express our sadness, the world would be a better place indeed.

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    2. Yes, I saw that part of the story as well. Ayad is one of countless thousands, but yes, someone DID something. A tremendous kindness. Of course, there is the much larger question surrounding endless wars and children caught in those wars. We're supposed to be evolving.

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  5. In Catholicism the big item is "orthodoxy" - right teaching. A Jewish lay-leader once said to me about Catholicism: "There's so much to believe." But "Orthopraxis" - right DOING gets short shrift. In fact, I have only heard the term once and that was in the mid-70's when I was in seminary. And that we have come to this - all this believing - is strange, bizarre really, in that the questions we'll be asked on "Judgment Day" are already known to us - Jesus has given them to us in Matthew's Gospel Chapter 25. "I was hungry and you fed me...Thirsty and you gave me a drink...Naked and you clothed me...sick and imprisoned and you visited me..." Orthopraxis - right practice, right doing, right acting.

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  6. Thank you Laurence for the information on the followup care for Ayad. Yes of course, I know, many people do many things to help. It's hard to know on a blog the depth of what people really have in their hearts to say. So, thank you.

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