I was reminded of this session with this couple after reading the Gospel passage for today’s Mass in which Jesus engages in the use of a therapeutic technique or ritualistic process by which to heal this man of his deafness. He uses a combination of spit mixed with mud and proclaims the word "Ephphatha!" (That is, "Be opened!"); and the man is cured. This reading prompted my recall of this couple’s humorous story because as with so many instances of couples like this they were able to discover that they had the capability to fix the problem themselves. Research tells us that much of what makes for positive change in counseling is the clients’ own strengths and experiences along with a positive relationship with the therapist. In fact, the relationship with the therapist is 7 times more important than any technique. Much like in the experience with the man in today’s Gospel, where it was the man’s faith which cured him, this couple came to know and appreciate with but a small amount of coaching that they knew how to effectively communicate with each other and it didn’t require any special techniques, skills, or cue cards to make things better. Unfortunately, like this couple and like the man in the Gospel we sometimes feel a need for more specialized or dramatic things to appreciate Jesus’ healing presence.
Speaking of communication, there is a humorous story involving our saint for today, Saint Scholastica and her brother, whose life we commemorate today. She apparently made an effort to get her brother, Saint Benedict, to remain with her so they could spend the time talking but he seemed not to listen or hear what she was asking. So frustrated with her brother’s unwillingness to respond she turned to God in prayer as a way to get his attention. To read more about this story go here. Like this story of Saint Scholastica and Saint Benedict and the young couple we all need to remind ourselves to be more attentive to the needs of others and show them kindness and care. May the Holy Spirit fill our lives and help us to be more present to one another today and throughout our journey. Make a great day!
Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Scholastica.