Sunday, August 17, 2014

“O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”

Am I the only one who doesn't like that like out of today's Gospel reading? Though truth be told, it isn't so much that I dislike that line - I have a seething hatred of the fallacy that sometimes get interpreted into that line. Yes, Jesus compliments the Canaanite woman's faith; yes, Jesus grants her petition as a result of her persistence and her faith. That does not mean, however, that if God did not grant your petition it was because you didn't have enough faith or pray hard enough. Sometimes you see that implication: you just need to pray harder; you need to have a deeper, stronger faith; you need to petition this saint, say that novena. I find that implication deeply offensive; I actually prefer the clueless but painfully offensive "Maybe God didn't mean for you to be parents" to "you need to pray harder." None of us here on Earth know how or when God will answer a prayer; it is nothing but hubris to presume to know how, when, or why He will grant a particular petition.


  1. I've been struggling with this all day.

    Really struggling.

    I have no answers. No explanation. Nothing.

    Because it does indeed seem like if I just had enough faith...


  2. I have found myself falling into that trap sometimes, but IF definitely cured me of it. Novenas are the hardest for me because they often seem to have great miracles "attached" to them, i have to remind myself that the ultimate goal in praying them is getting my will more in line with Gods.

    1. The trap of thinking I "just" need more faith.

  3. I've been trying to post this for a few days and the Word on Fire website wouldn't fully load on my computer. I go there today and they have a completely redesigned site! That's why! Anyway- Fr. Barron's explanation of this verse helped my understanding of this very confusing story. Maybe it will help you, too. By the way, your obedience to God and his Church is beautiful and is a shining light in this world of darkness. When I read your blog, I hear the verse, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." You are in my prayers!