Storytelling was how the ancients transmitted hard won wisdom and cultural values among themselves and down through the ages.
For example, the Iliad and the Odyssey attributed to the ancient bard Homer, tell about manhood, family values, honor, friendship, loyalty, the way of the warrior, weakness, strength, pride, rage and much more.
The Old Testament is a collection of ancient stories from Hebrew authors that tell about the nature of God, man and universe. These stories proved so powerfully true that down through the millennia, they became mankind’s gold standard for ethics, morals and how to live the best possible life.
The Book of Tobit provides great wisdom for Christian disciples in that it teaches the proper disposition for prayer in times of trouble. It teaches that marriage begins and functions through prayer. It teaches about courage and heartbreak and breakdown in the face of the grave troubles that beset people as they go through life.
Yours truly, Silence of Mind has read these stories as the Word of God, before the congregation at Catholic Mass.
Silence of Mind, being an excellent storyteller (no brag, just fact), moved both himself and the congregation to tears of sadness and joy during the recounting of these ancient stories.
The story presents two prayers, one from a man, the other from a woman. Both man and woman are beset by woe so profound that they both wished their lives to end.
Tobit’s prayer has much the same form as the Lord’s Prayer, given to mankind by Jesus. Tobit begins by glorifying God, than asks for forgiveness of his sins then presents his cause.
Sarah, who was thinking of hanging herself out of shame, reconsidered and presented her prayer to God. It had the same form as Tobit’s prayer and the Lord’s Prayer beginning by blessing God:
“Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God,
and blessed is your holy and honorable name.
Blessed are you in all your works for ever!”
In the Book of Tobit we can see the echo of the future Messiah Jesus. A marriage figures prominently in the Book of Tobit and Jesus’ first miracle occurred at the Wedding Feast of Cana.