|Madonna and Child by Bellini (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).|
God has inscribed a moral code on my heart. It is hidden in my deepest self. Actually, if as an adult, I can block out my own ego and simply stop to listen, I can live a holy life. In fact Christ offers an easy way to sanctity, to loving God and each other. A spirituality that a child understands. A spirituality that St.Thérèse of Lisieux understood. Relax. Give up striving.
Surrender to His love and let it saturate every cell of your body. Then simply let His love flow through you. It ends up being a long journey to embrace such a carefree lifestyle because pride and ego get in the way. It is so simple that it seems complicated to our adult, logical minds.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).
And in even stronger terms: “'I assure you,'” He said, 'unless you are converted and become like children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven…’” (Matthew 18:4).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church: To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom. For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become “children of God” we must be “born from above” or “born of God”. Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. Christmas is the mystery of this “marvelous exchange”:
O marvelous exchange! Man’s Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity. (526)
A relationship with the living God is child’s play. Listen to this exchange between my young children:
One afternoon, I was making dinner, standing at the counter with my back to our three youngest children. Grace and Daniel were lounging around the kitchen table, with three-year-old Rebecca perched like a little elf on a high stool, happily swinging her legs. Simply making conversation, Grace who was eight, asked Rebecca,“Rebbecca, whose your favorite, Mum or Dad?”
Still facing the counter, I looked over my shoulder and intruded on their conversation, “Smart answer, Rebecca.”
Rebecca was not done though, “But she’s not my real mum, Mary is.”
Grace rolled her eyes, slapped her forehead with the palm of her hand and said incredulously, “Where does she get this stuff?”
I tried to explain as simply as I could, “Well, the Holy Spirit is in her heart and she listens to His voice.”
Rebecca jumped right back into the discussion and chanted in a sing-song, lilting voice, “That’s right. God the Father in my heart. Baby Jesus in my heart. Holy Spirit in my heart. Mother Mary in my heart…but…I still like Mum and Dad the best!”
Grace rolled her eyes and plunked her head down on the table with a loud sigh, “Where does she get this stuff?”
I just laughed.
Continue reading at Melanie's blog The Joy of Nine.