In Laurence Cossé's A
Corner of the Veil, a French novel translated into English in 1999, a
society of priests known as the Casuists come upon the proof of the existence
of God. (The proof is a document mailed to the editor of the society's
magazine, a point of fact that endeared the book to me right away, since I open
the Century's mail.)
Why are wars so common given that they are so destructive? When they are so rarely won? When they are so often fought for reasons that turn out to be lies? When they invariably bring out the worst in human brutality? How do individuals and societies recover from such destruction and mendacity?
I was the only woman in a seminary course on negative theology. One day, a young man raised his hand and asked, “What about an ordinary housewife? How could a person like that live this life of prayer?”
When the late Brenning Manning was ordained a priest, his spiritual director, Larry Hine, offered Manning this blessing (quoted in Fail by J. R. Briggs, IVP): May all of your expectations be frustrated, / May all of your plans be thwarted, / May all of your desires be withered into nothingness, / That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and can sing and dance in the love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.