Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Seeing And Then Praying

I didn't plant this sunflower beside the compost pile and along the edge of the woods. Maybe a bird dropped the seed there, or  a squirrel, chipmunk or mouse buried it in the leaves, intending to store it up for the winter time. But evidently the seed found the spot amenable: the soil moist and soft enough with sufficient light and warmth. And now it is blooming in the middle of August. Pure pleasure and surprise.

I must open my eyes for seeing, not walking around head down or keeping myself glued only to the areas where I work or where I want to go.

Remember the scene where Saul was struck blind on the road to Damascus and then was sent to Ananias who placed his hands over Saul's eyes. First Saul's eyes were opened and only then did he receive the Holy Spirit.
"Saul, brother, the Lord has sent me - Jesus who appeared to you on your journey here - so that you may recover your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got to his feet and was baptized. Then he took some food and regained his strength. Acts of the Apostles 9:18,19
Recently the world saw an online photo gone viral of a little, stunned and wounded, five year old boy sitting in an ambulance in Syria after rockets destroyed his family home. The boy's name is Omran. Did I see the picture long enough to find out what it's all about? And then did I see with my inner eyes my little Syrian brother, victimized by the horror of war?

Now the Holy Spirit can spark prayer in us:

Who created the idea of these killer rockets? Father forgive.
Who builds these rockets and bombs? Father forgive.
Who sells, who buys these murder-weapons? Father forgive.
Who is the man who gave the orders for Omran's village to be destroyed? Father forgive.
Who blew up Omran's house where his family lived? Father forgive.

Who are the people who think it's okay to bomb homes? Father forgive.
Who are the people who think, "Oops, collateral damage; well that's war." Father forgive.
Who dug frantically and rescued Omran and his parents and siblings? Bless them, Father.
Who's the man in the video who put Omran in the  ambulance? Bless him, Father.
Who drove the ambulance to the place where Omran's family was treated? Bless them, Father.

Was it a poorly supplied hospital where stressed doctors work? Bless them, Father.
Who tended to Omran's wounds? Bless them, Father.
Who gave Omran water to wash out his dust and blood-filled mouth? Bless them, Father.
Who told Omran's parents that their other son, Ali, was dead? Bless them, Father.
Who kindly reunited Omran with his family? Bless them, Father.

Who took in Omran's homeless family? Bless them, Father.
Who are the people looking after the ten million children of war? Bless them, Father.
Who are the people who know that war is a pro-life issue? Bless them, Father.
The last doctors of Syria are begging for hospital supplies? Bless them, Father.
Is anyone working to make this insanity stop? Bless them, Father.


  1. Saul's story shows us that even when there is evil in someone, there is hope for a conversion of heart, and forgiveness from God. Bless those who have hate in them, that they too may allow the Holy Spirit to descend upon them with our prayers for them.

  2. Who are the people who do the good works like those in your prayer? Are there people like us who go and work there? The soldiers? Local people who help each other in times of crisis? No matter who they are, they are filled with the our prayers and will carry on with their good works.

    1. Ordinary people: shopkeepers, passersby, ambulance drivers, nurses, clean up people, next door neighbors - all hidden away and doing difficult, sad, unsung work. Bless them!

  3. There are many tragedies in this world, May we not turn a blind eye to them. For all those who help others, doing the difficult and thankless jobs, let us pray.

  4. I hope you had a good day Father.

  5. Dear Father,
    I sift through many religious blogs trying to find one that I want to stick with. So many of them don't address our spiritual needs. They tell us how to be faithful Catholics and the joys of having a dozen children and the evils of sin, but yours talks to my soul. If you are real and believe what you write here, you are a blessed priest with a gift of helping others find their place in this world.

  6. I understand. And it is for these precise reasons that this is my "take". The Gospel is essentially a spiritual path. And we too often forfeit that and settle for doctrines and ethics. We don't even use the word soul anymore - your inner man/inner woman. P.S. I only say here what I believe. Thanks for writing.