Canaanite Groveling

A Canaanite woman came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not say a word in answer to her.

…“It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”

She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” (Matthew 15:21-27)

The Canaanite woman addressed Jesus as ‘Son of David,’ and ‘Lord.’ In other words, she acknowledged Him as the Christ. She made no imperious demands, but simply stated the facts. She could hardly have been more humble.

But the Lord appeared to ignore her. She prayed; He remained silent.

Now, is God mean? Why would He remain silent when we pray?

Continue reading “Canaanite Groveling”

Soldering 101

Last month I received a very warm compliment after Mass.

captain kirkBut yesterday I got the best compliment EVER:

Father, we love to listen to you preach.

You have a kind of tone when you speak…

It’s like Captain James T. Kirk! You talk like Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise!

…Here is Captain Kirk’s homily for this beautiful Sunday:

The Law of the Lord is perfect. –Psalm 19:7

We human beings are complicated. Some of us are more complicated than others. But all of us are complicated, compared to other creatures, like squirrels and dogs. Squirrels and dogs follow instinct. We, on the other hand, make choices.

We are unique creatures on the earth. We have free will. The problem is that we don’t exactly know what to do with it.

Continue reading “Soldering 101”

Another Beloved Poem

While we are on the subject of poetry, here is a poem that was published in the Catholic University Art & Literary Magazine back when I was an undergraduate in 1993.  I memorized it then, and it has been a companion since.


These are the woes, and rues, and lamentations

of the shackled mind,

too gentle to communicate,

too gentle to rend the air with

profession, protestation, or sound;

too gentle to cleave the minds of others

and make space in which to put

concerns and declarations, argument, refutations;

too gentle to speak in any language

but the eyes’ whispers,

words within words

the lonely non-sounds of waiting.


These are woes without expression:

they contemplate the desert

          and the starkness of its reds;

they contemplate the streetside

          and its barking and its roars.

They contemplate the sadness that drips from words exchanged by lovers without recourse but to burst—

          cups run over, words splash to the floor,

          lapped up with thirsty tongues to wet

          the parch these woes would wet with a wordless kiss.


These woes and rues and lamentations of the gentle mind,

its own master,

will not disturb the air.

They are quieter than night;

they move like clouds.

They and their coldness will be left outside at daybreak

          to run with the dogs.

Heat and light will fill them, and they will silently disappear.


I think that the secret of the resolution of the poem is prayer and the love of God.  Of course, it is good to communicate with other people.  Communication is important.  But sometimes it is difficult to find the words…