Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

"In Little Sips"

This native field flower is called Mouse-ear Hawkweed. It is not to be confused with dandelion. We can't see it here, but the plant gets its name from the mouse-eared shape of the leaves which hug the ground. A resilient plant, Hawkweed spreads rapidly by both runners and seeds and may well look like this again just a few days after the lawn mower comes through.

These are troubling days in many ways. And it is important to find the little remedies for what ails us lest we become cynical and morbid. An expanse of Mouse-ear Hawkweed might cheer one up and restore a sense of hope. 

Here's a bible proverb which might encourage us in this regard. I'd add beauty to the little list of things to "bind around our necks."

Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart,
so you will find favor and good repute
in the sight of God and others.
Proverbs 3:3,4

I'm thinking too of Edith Piaf's song Avec ce soleil (with this sun):

To drink in life
with little sips
under the magnificent sky

Each day invites us to "drink in life with little sips"

  • a field of Hawkweed
  • a glass of wine
  • a good loaf of bread
  • a genuine laugh
  • an insight or new understanding
  • the presence of dear ones
  • a sense of personal growth and change
  • being at Mass and really believing
  • a good nights rest
  • the refreshment of water
  • music that delights
  • a bit of shade
  • an act of kindness


  1. "An insight or new understanding" It is especially important to recognize when someone helps us to see old thoughts in a new way. Shedding light on the darkness helps us to heal and move forward.

  2. And this "insight and new understanding" applies particularly to the Gospels which are perennial and beg new understandings for each new day. But in church we often prefer to talk about a host of other things to deflect from the sometimes hard and deep work the Gospels invite.

  3. It makes life more manageable if we take it in little sips rather than big gulps that make us choke and gag. If we stop to admire the little things, our journey will be more enjoyable. We should share our little sips with other so that they can be more open to joy also.

  4. Sharing the "little sips" is a very good idea, helping others to become more aware. Some years ago I used to take a long, paved walkers path through a green area of town. A small stream ran alonside the path. One day I saw a young mother stopping with her two young children where there were ducks in the water and she said, "Oh come and see how the sun makes the green and blue on the duck's head so beautiful." Training a child to take "little sips" of life. Lovely.

  5. I love how you present things to us. Reading your blog posts are my little sips of faith, taken in slowly to be enjoyed and savored.

  6. It is strange that you put "being at Mass and really believing" because as I sat at Mass today, Pentecost, I thought about our Catholic beliefs and what I truly thought to be true. As we listen to the story of Pentecost and of the Holy Spirit descending down on the Apostles and think of how we believe we receive the Holy Spirit on our Confirmation, I wondered if it is all true. Does the priest really transform bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ? Our Christian brethren would argue it is a symbolic change, but we believe it is true. Or do we? I think I took in your other little suggested sips more easily. This one just pressed on a nerve that was already twinging.

    1. For me, Jesus said, "This is my body; this is my blood" - I believe it. I don't understand it. I can't explain how it happens. I trust Jesus' word. It's very freeing to live this way.

  7. We love you Father Stephen! You are better than any religion teacher my kids have ever had.

  8. It pleases me that young people find something in these posts for them too. Thank you!