The gospel story about the Syro-Phoenician woman comes up every year and every year we wonder about it. In my struggle with it this morning, I was helped by a remembering a dialog I had with a participant in a day of recollection. I had said that Jesus never refused to help anyone who asked, and she said, "What about the Syro-Phoenician woman?" Well, first, I said, how did the story end? He helped her. But that doesn’t handle the bit about the little dogs. When I thought about it, here's where it comes out for me:
Fr. Joe's blog
About finishing what Fr. Rahner left undone, here’s the third point about eternal life. We left it at our need for redemption.
So what’s this Good News that Jesus came to bring? And what are we so hopeful about?
It’s that we are redeemed – AND we can know it. So Jesus said, “I have come for judgment, so that those who were blind can see and those who ‘can see’ will be blind” – and now I can see the evil around and in me – and repent, turning over to the merciful God the eradicating from my self what is not my self but sin.
Here’s the second point filling in what Fr. Rahner encouraged in exploring eternal life. Remember that Adam and Eve cannot imagine evil but they get help. This is about the help.
So here we find out what temptation is: imagining that there is some real, beautiful, desirable thing that I do not have – some thing that is right for me, personally – even necessary if I am to be “authentic” and "whole.”
Can we imagine eternal life? The imagination is a way of knowing. It gives content to our theological virtue of hope...
You may have seen on Monday evening (12/22) PBS’s brief discussion of Pope Francis' admonition to the curia. The commentator seemed not to be Roman Catholic. He thought one big reason why Francis scorched the curia is that he's a Jesuit and there’s historically tension between Jesuits and popes. May be some truth in that but there are two other things to note.
At some juncture in the past, I got the notion that praying with scripture for a long while every day would be a good practice for everyone...
We’ve been reading St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, which was written about twenty or twenty-five years after Jesus’ Resurrection. St. Peter and St. Paul met in Antioch. Peter got there first.
Thinking about joy, it has always seemed to me, is like trying to catch a dandelion puffball drifting on a summer breeze. The closer you get to it, the more it escapes your grasp. But something made me reflect on it when the sun rose in crimson splendor this morning.
Even in spirituality, the word "detachment" makes us think of feeling diffident and rather uninterested. In a word, "detached." But this feeling is not the true experience of spiritual detachment.
We are so used to hearing about the "Big Bang" that it hard to remember two rather significant things about it. If this gets too boring, skip to the last paragraph...