Faith and Encounter

Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith!  Let it be done for you as you wish.”  And her daughter was healed from that hour. Matthew 15: 28 In today’s gospel of the encounter of Jesus with the Canaanite woman, we have described the “Culture of Encounter” that Christians, according[read more]

Love and Prayer

“In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them.  Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6: 7-8 This morning began for me with a brief text exchange with a friend who was at the[read more]

Loving Our Enemies

“I say this not by way of command, but to test the genuineness of your love by your concern for others.” 2 Corinthians 8: 8 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly father, for he makes his sun rise[read more]

Love and Loss

When Paul had finished speaking he knelt down and prayed with them all.  They were all weeping loudly as they threw their arms around him and kissed him, for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would  never see his face again.  Then they escorted him to the ship. Acts 20: 36-38[read more]

Goodness and Holiness

In his book on Teresa of Avila, Rowan Williams describes Teresa’s view of “good” people who occupy the third mansions of her interior castle. He notes that for Teresa, “To be ‘good’ without humility is to be condemned to a really wretched life, ‘weighed down with this mud of our human misery.’” Saul is a zealot of the first order. He believes that these disciples of Jesus are a threat to the primacy of the Law, to the necessary order of an orthodox Jewish life. They are a disturbance to the order and the peace of an obedient and well-ordered[read more]

For the Day of My Burial

Psychoanalysis teaches that we construct our personalities, what we might call our “character armor,” as a defense against our experience of loss. There is, perhaps, no greater human suffering than that of loss, than of facing the truth of the fact that everyone and everything that we love, including ourselves, will die. So, much of what we take to be our lives, to be our very selves, is constituted by our means of evading and forgetting the reality of loss and death.[read more]

Generosity and Love

Today’s reading from 1 John tells us that we are to love one another in the way that God has loved us. The nature of this love of God for us is seen and known, we are told, in God’s giving of Jesus, the very life of God, to us, “so that we might live through him.” God does not love us because we have loved God, but rather in pouring out God’s self to us “as atonement for our sins.” Love, according to the author of this letter, is not a contract; it is not a response to another[read more]