MEDITATION OF THE DAY
The Faith of the Canaanite Woman
Ah, dear children, happy is the one and holy, who can strike so deep down into his heart to find the will of God there. This is not a matter of words or any pious use of the senses, but of truest earnestness, for it [produces] a self-renunciation deeper than anything else in us, human or divine. Anguish, suffering, shame are at their worst in that one’s soul, and yet he trusts God with unshaken constancy, and his confidence in the divine loving-kindness grows stronger and stronger, as God’s abandonment of him seems to grow more certain—just as was the case with the Canaanite woman when rejected by our Lord. The harder he treated her the more confidently did she beg his mercy; and it was for this reason alone that she got all she asked from him.
Dear children, this is the right and the divine road to true spirituality. The person that can thus stand his ground meekly under all God’s visitations of inner and outer affliction, looking to nothing but God’s will for guidance, awaiting God’s time of relief most patiently—the person who will thus stand his ground until death without the least repining—ah, children, he has found the straight road to union with God…. That road is total self-renunciation, in mind and in heart, in the face of God and of all creatures; the soul…maintaining that self-renunciation with all confidence in God, even to the end. To such a true and faithful soul the Lord will, at last, speak words similar to the ones he addressed to the Canaanite: O, woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you as you will.
Father John Tauler, o.p.
Father Tauler († 1361) was a German Dominican priest, a popular preacher, and a mystical theologian. [From The Sermons and Conferences of John Tauler, Very Rev. Walter Elliott, Tr. 1910, Apostolic Mission House, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.]