Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Levitan and Newman

Here is an 1890's photograph of Isaak Levitan working on a large painting in his Moscow studio. And below is Cardinal Newman's prayer which invites us to reflect upon the meaning of Levitan's life, but all the more, our own. 

God knows me and calls me by name.....
  God has created me to do Him some definite service;
  He has commited some work to me,
  which he has not committed to another.
  I have my mission - I may never know it in this life,
  but I shall be told it in the next.

Somehow I am necessary for His purpose...
  I have a part in the great work;
  I am a link in a chain, a bond of connnection
  between persons.

He has not created me for naught.

  I shall do good,
  I shall do His work;
  I shall be an angel of peace,

  a preacher of truth in my own place,
  while not intending it,
  if I do but keep His commandments
  and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore I will trust Him.
  Whatever, wherever I am, 
  I can never be thrown away.
  If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him;

  if I am in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him;
  if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
  My sickness or perplexity, or sorrow may be
  necessary causes of some great end,
  which is quite beyond us.

He does nothing in vain; 
  He may prolong my life,
  He may shorten it;
  He knows what He is about.
  He may take away my friends,
  He may throw me among strangers,

  He may make me feel desolate,
  make my spirits sink, hide the future from me -
  still he knows what he is about.....
  I am simply to be used.

March 7, 1848


  1. Sometimes I find it hard to imagine that my life has a larger purpose. That it has any special meaning or cause. The love of God is incomprehensible to me.

  2. I don't know you, of course, but have you or are you raising a family? Do you have grandchildren? Are you involved in any kind of work that acknowledges and serves others? Are there unvisited people in your parish or neighborhood that would LOVE a visit from you? Even e-mailing people can be a ministry? Is there some child that needs your volunteer tutoring? Is there a program that teaches adults how to read? You needn't think far away or BIG - God works wonders through what's small...a little bit of bread; a little fish, given by a little boy.

    1. No kids yet and I never thought to do these things. We get caught up in our day to day activities and we forget to think of doing good for others. Life and opportunity pass us by.

    2. Thank you for responding. Someone is waiting out there for your visit, for your service, for your listening. Someone is waiting (they may not even know it) for the smile, the kind word, the touch that only YOU can give.

  3. Anything we do for others we do in the image of God, even if we aren't thinking that thought at the time. God knows what is in our heart. Use me as needed, Lord, for I am your servant. But most of all, I want to be an angel of peace.

  4. This period of time was so different, yet our prayers are the same. To trust in God and the desire to serve Him.

  5. What a powerful prayer! It really makes things quite clear for the journey. Its a relief in a way to hear this. Grateful for you bring this to us.