Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Friday in the Easter Octave: The Moral Hint of Coltsfoot




This is Coltsfoot which might be mistaken for the common dandelion. Coltsfoot spreads by rhizomes which are horizontal stems running on, or just under, the surface of the soil, sending out new roots and shoots along the way. The Audubon book of Native Plants reports that Coltsfoot grows along roadsides and in waste places. 

That having been said, I welcome Coltsfoot every year as it seems to be the earliest flower detected in March, and even February if the conditions are right. Coltsfoot brings a bright yellow-joy to marginal or useless situations. And Jesus said, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (John 15:11) My joy...your joy.

I remember once seeing a badly behaved and emotionally stuck teenaged girl dissolve into convulsive tears, and when the staff member asked in frustration, "What do you want?" she blurted out, "I just want to be happy." Isn't that what every human person wants - to be happy and not to suffer? 

So here's a simple thought for our everyday morality as we'll each make hundreds of decisions and choices today: to bring happiness...to alleviate suffering - maybe especially to those places and persons deemed miserable, negligible, barren, non-productive. We might scroll back up to the top now to have a more meditative look at the Coltsfoot plant which blooms bright yellow along roadsides and in waste places. 

12 comments:

  1. Sometimes it is difficult to find the joy. You have shown us a direction. May all who read this put a smile on someone else's face today.

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  2. I like to look for little pops of color at this time of year. It let's me know the Spring is arriving. A time for hope, a time for things to be fresh. The air feels better, the sun shines brighter and my heart is warmed.

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  3. Key word in your message: "look" "I like to look for pops of color..." I'm afraid we're forgetting how to look - except at store windows, menus, checking out someone's style or sex appeal, what's on a media screen, ourselves in a mirror. Anyway, let's keep looking for "pops of color," and for ways to help each other.

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  4. Is happiness so important?

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  5. We seem to have a universal desire for it. But I don't think most people on the planet equate happiness with having the newest phone or electronic game. Happiness is a sense of well-being. I do think that's important. Depressed people often can't get out of bed in the morning. If nothing else, happy people are more productive. And I think Jesus was on to something when he said, "My joy....your joy."

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  6. Finding joy is finding a sense of peace and the feeling that all is well for the moment. Joy can be fleeting, but so too can be despair. We have to learn to balance our feelings of happiness and sadness. Nobody can live in one state of mind all the time.

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  7. Did you ever feel as though you sucked the joy out of someone?

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    1. "Sucked the joy out of someone" - That's strong. I've disappointed people, let them down, angered them, fallen short - but sucked the joy out of them? I can't say. I'd hope not, and would care to amend that if it were so. What about you?

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  8. Joy is fleeting, yes. The Dutch bishops wrote a catechism in the late 1960's and in the section on the existence of God they indicate that joy is fleeting and then ask, "Is there a joy that lasts even forever and might that be God?" Balance our feelings - or simply to experience them and see what's to be learned in all of them - where they lead us - to discover God's nearness there. We tend to run from or mask what we call negative feelings.

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  9. Joy can be fleeting but we can always find it again... in the new sights in the garden, the sky, the ocean, the children, the arts. etc. God is so generous and of course these wonderful posts.

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  10. And this year we might call this the season of "The snow continues." I worry about what will become of the flowers that have begun to sprout and the birds who have returned from their winter stays.

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