Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The 1000th Post ~ To The Father's Glory




Here a young Ethiopian man stands near a brilliant icon of the Annunciation in his church. Notice that in order for us to venerate the icon, not  one, but two veils have been pulled back. In the Annunciation: the conversation Gabriel and Mary have concerning her pregnancy and God's advancing into our world in Christ - the veil between heaven and earth has been pulled back fully and for all time.

And this is the 1000th Pauca Verba post which began in March of 2013.  Since then there have been 426,000 page views from countries all around the world: Ireland, Great Britain, Mexico, France, Russia, China, Australia, Italy, Poland and all across Canada and the United States. Pauca Verba (a few words) began in the late 1990's as a column in a little Sunday bulletin for young people in their residential school. Later it morphed into a reflection page for parish weekend bulletins until friends pushed a bit and together we envisioned putting it up online. 

It's a blessed project for me because it has invited me to deeper learning, awareness, reflection and prayer. The folks who follow are 99.9% friendly - "not for nothing" in a contentious world where a single online word can start an ugly fight. 

The purpose of the blog is not to indoctrinate anyone but simply to point to ideas for prayer and places where we might encounter and ponder God. Indeed, in numerology the number 1000 signifies the Father's Glory: God's beauty, awesomeness, joy and delight, wondrous imagination and invitation. God's Glory is the humility God displayed in coming to us in Christ.

God is wonderful, and everyday there is something to experience which re-introduces us to God. I don't want to miss out on any of that. That's what I hope to point to here. 

A word about the Thursday Intercessions: I think of them as a great needle and thread pulling together the things of heaven and our weary world. Do they effect any change? Maybe. That's God's business. The purpose of the prayers is to bring my heart before God - a heart which I hope is increasingly defrosted and opened. God reads hearts. 

I send thanks, good wishes and a blessing to you and your homes. 

30 comments:

  1. God is certainly wonderful and I enjoy your thoughts and the reflective pointing that you do here on Pauca Verba. I don't want to miss a thing either as my mind is opened to a deeper faith. I do believe I have changed as a result and feel a renewed sense of what religion is supposed to be. Thank you and I wish you continued success.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, "changed" and "renewed." I want this for myself too. Happy Sunday!

      Delete
  2. Congratulations on your 1000th post Father. It has been a wonderful learning for me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You were with us for a short time, but the impact you have had on our lives is long lasting. The blog posts keep you spiritually present to us and for that I am grateful. Time passes so quickly and I hope that you are happy and well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, I am happy and well. I pray you and your family are as well. "A short time" - yes - and God isn't bound by our sense of time and does what God wants to do and needs to do for us as God wills. It is too wonderful, and I am so grateful. In a moment God gives us what we need, to grow and to live more fully as his own dear children.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh for a heart "defrosted and opened!" That image will help me. God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's so wonderful to see how the blog has blossomed over these years. I'm so grateful every time I read a post and learn some new way of looking at my faith. It's a spiritual journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A journey for me too - more than I could have ever imagined.

      Delete
  7. I read your blog especially because you DON'T focus on doctrine, but rather our relationship with God. Our personal interactions with Him and with our brothers and sisters here on Earth. Many blessings to you Fr. Stephen.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you. There are hundreds of Catholic blogs and websites that focus on doctrine. I'm not rejecting any of that, but have something else in mind. I think I commented in another place recently that Chief Joseph of the Nez Pearse Indians said that Native Americans never took to Christianity because the European Christians who came here seemed only to argue about God - a religion of books and paper and not a living tradition. Sorry to say but I think that complaint could be made of Christianity today as well. That's why I've taken a different direction.

    ReplyDelete
  9. 1,000th: a milestone. Good news.

    And I suspect that more folks are persuaded to think by 'non-indoctrination' posts than the more pushy sort. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I grew up as a boy being told what I had to believe. And when I (or any of my school mates) expressed confusion or questioned (which is what children do) they were told, "It's a mystery, just believe it." That makes religion a slavish thing robbed of wonder and delight. That's not what God wants.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your post is a spiritual vehicle to a more fruitful journey with Jesus Christ and His path to salvation. I enjoy the twists and turns and the many pointers only you can bring.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Remember this verse which appears right after the Annunciation account: "In those days Mary arouse and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth." Luke 1:39. A friend sent a pilgrimage-photo of this "hill country" Mary traveled. It's all hills and valleys, twists and turns. Already we see what it is to be a disciple: to carry Christ along the ups and downs of our lives; the discovery of God around every bend.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your foresight in this "project" as you have called it, has blessed me and my family. From my limited perspective, it must be a great success and I hope very rewarding for you. Thank you for taking the necessary steps to get your thoughts and prayers out to us all, sharing your reflections and responding to our own questions and concerns. You are a gifted teacher and most importantly a fine example of what a priest should be to his people. Thank you and we send our thoughts and best wishes to you and the next 1000 posts.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks Chris! It IS rewarding for me: I have learned a great deal, it keeps me reading and reflecting, I've met good people through cyber space, it's opened a door to a new way of being a priest. Wonderful! Bless your family.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You're amazing Father Stephen! Keep up the great work.

    ReplyDelete
  16. How God loves us and all God gives us and does for us -amazing! Thanks for the good wishes!

    ReplyDelete
  17. You have provided images and thoughts that reflect my relationship with the Lord and the Lord's caring for me.
    Thank you always.

    ReplyDelete
  18. You're most welcome. Pope Benedict has said that we ought not to worry about what heaven will be like - we needn't even spend time imagining it. Heaven will be "an encounter" with the Lord. We get ready for that while we are here.

    ReplyDelete
  19. To think that we knew you when. 1000 posts since you started this endeavor and we only had a paper copy in the Bulletin which we indeed looked forward to each week.

    ReplyDelete
  20. And how grateful I am to the kind folks who got me of hardcopy mode. Like lots of folks, I can be resistant when I"m encouraged or invited to go beyond my "comfort zone." God surprises!

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is so wonderful. I can see it as part of a weekly bulletin page, with a twist to get your parishioners thinking outside the religious box. Very nice work here and I wish you many more posts. May your font of knowledge keep flowing out to us.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yeah, I thought a church bulletin should offer up more than BINGO scores, Mass intentions and which church cleaning team was up next. Thanks for the encouragement. Bless your Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Glad to find this. I see that I have a lot of catching up to do. Nine hundred and ninety-nine to go.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Welcome! Posts go up Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Thursday post is always intercessions for the Church, the world, the nation....you name it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have read other Catholic blogs and could never really connect with them. When I read your posts, I always feel as though you are writing to me. There is a personal connection that I don't get elsewhere. You have a gift for drawing people in and helping them to understand the gospels, and God's intentions for us.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I want to understand Christ's Gospel and God's intentions for us. From the very start I've known there are many others who want that as well. I think it is God's blessed Spirit that prompts that desire for God in us. God is lovely. Thank you for writing and for your good prayer.

    ReplyDelete