From Wholly Helpless to Holy Helplessness

St Jerome, based on Job 3:1-3,11-17,20-23

After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. Job said: “Let the day perish in which I was born, and the night that said, ‘A man-child is conceived.’

“Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Why were there knees to receive me, or breasts for me to suck? Now I would be lying down and quiet; I would be asleep; then I would be at rest with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuild ruins for themselves, or with princes who have gold, who fill their houses with silver. Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child, like an infant that never sees the light? There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.

“Why is light given to one in misery, and life to the bitter in soul, who long for death, but it does not come, and dig for it more than for hidden treasures; who rejoice exceedingly, and are glad when they find the grave? Why is light given to one who cannot see the way, whom God has fenced in?

Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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About Karla Bellinger

Karla has a DMin in Preaching from Aquinas Institute of Theology, a Dominican school sponsored by the friars of the Chicago province. Her 2012 doctoral thesis, "Are You Talking to Me? A Study of Young Listeners' Connection with Catholic Sunday Preaching," arose from her passion to more effectively connect the message of the gospel with our young people. In May of 2014, Liturgical Press published her book entitled "Connecting Pulpit and Pew: Breaking Open the Conversation about Catholic Preaching." which is available at: here . Karla is a wife and mother of five young adult children. In August of 2015, she started a new position as the Associate Director of the John S. Marten Program in Homiletics at the University of Notre Dame.

2 thoughts on “From Wholly Helpless to Holy Helplessness

  1. Another thoughtful lesson. Please consider one in which you give parents insight into their thoughts about children who have left the church and are living without hope.

  2. Elinor, as you speak of those “living without hope,” are you meaning that the adult children who have left the church are living without hope? That is a serious concern. I have talked to many parents who are feeling wholly helpless about their beloved children, into whose newborn eyes they looked and fell in love. Now that they are grown up, the love does not lessen, nor does the pain. In the second chapter of my book, I talk of the deep grief of the faithful for the loss to the faith of those they so love.

    I don’t know that I can address that fully in this venue, which is supposed to be a message of seven minutes. That sounds more like a workshop or a retreat with time to unpack feelings, ideas, and spiritual support. We can talk about that. You can get in touch with me through my website, listed above.

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