Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Saint Joseph ~ Patron of Belgium ~ "Thoughts and Prayers"

It's a talkative world. And when we talk a lot there's always the risk of speaking glibly, superficially ~ like rushing into a conversation and asking someone, "How are you?" and then not waiting for an honest reply, the other answering, "Fine!" when perhaps he or she is not "fine" at all. Just an expression. 

And in all of these terrible terrorist episodes people say to the wounded nation, "You're in our thoughts and prayers." I so hope they mean it. Does that mean: I will stop what I'm doing to ponder this horror and to pray, or just let it flash through my mind while I'm stuck in mall traffic?

Media people are especially guilty of this - just words to wrap up an interview. Then they might say something like, "The nation is getting back to normal...people are moving on with their lives." The dead haven't even been identified, their bodies so destroyed, and the news anchor is declaring the nation is getting back to normal. Why do we talk this way?

Saint Joseph is the patron of Belgium. We might stop right now and pray before his icon here on the screen: Joseph Guardian, Protector, Mentor. Our prayer might be silent - a thought held. When these terrorist acts happen, people gather in huge numbers to gaze, to bring a flower or a candle, to be silent in solidarity with the others who are grieving. Pope John Paul II brought the word solidarity forward. It is a very important word.

For those who died this week in Brussels.
For those who are in mourning.
For those who are searching for loved ones.
For rescuers and helpers.
For the injured in hospitals.

For doctors and nurses who care.
For those who give blood to help the injured.
For those whose task is to identify the dead.
For those who plan and do evil, murderous things.
For investigators and police.

For those who are leaders.
For people who are frightened.
For anyone who is traumatized.
For the children who are afflicted.
For those who must travel.

For those who carry violence and hate inside.
For people who feel sad.
For those who twist up religion.
For those who are losing hope and happiness.
For those who make themselves into human bombs.


  1. So many lives wasted. I don't know if there is anything more I can do than sit and pray in silence. Thank you for telling us this is enough. That we all can do what we can do and that our silent prayers matter.

  2. Human flaws - people talking without speaking - hearing without listening.
    I will offer my prayer in solidarity with those who are suffering a loss. Our own prayers in union with others for all those people you list here.

  3. Every time I ask someone how they are, I think how terribly mundane it sounds. This is so true. We use our words carelessly and with wasted effort. Sometimes it is best to just hold our tongues and silently watch and pray.

  4. Good thoughts Father. Amen.

  5. I see the suffering all will go through as a result of this demonic act. Jesus will suffer tremendous pain today. He told us suffering was going to be the ticket to heaven. Some will suffer more than others. Lets hope all this pain and suffering will bring a renewed Faith in Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

  6. When I see suffering I'm so aware of those who are invariably around to help. After the airport explosion in Brussels someone was taking video of the aftermath with a phone. I noticed everyone running and one man who had stopped to help someone else who was crumpled on the floor. And an old man who was tottering off by himself who surely could have used someone to lean on and direction through the smoke. I pray for my own presence-of-mind and willingness to increase.

  7. For those who carry hate and violence inside I implore you to let it go. Let the hatred dissipate and replace it with tolerance and peace. Amen.

  8. Thank you for redirecting my thoughts and prayers