This morning’s readings are about struggle, first of the Israelites in the desert who are convinced that God brought them out of Egypt to die because their situation was discontinuous from the miracle of their escape through the Red Sea. (NM 13 & 14) The Canaanite woman in the gospel presents an opposite view. An outsider, she was willing to approach and then challenge the negative response of Jesus to her cry for help, such that in the end her request was granted. (MT 15:21-28)
Sometimes it’s hard to keep faith when things are difficult and there seems no end to struggle in sight. As often happens for me when I am looking for a “way out” or something that will keep me going, I opened a book this morning to find a quote by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke in his Letters to a Young Poet. It speaks of what I know as successful process as I look back on the life I’ve lived so far, and seems appropriate advice in times of struggle.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…Do not seek the answers that cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will gladly, without even noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.