Reflection – “Be Children…”

January 2, 2018 – “…My children, be joyful in your soul, be pure, be children. My Son used to say that He loves to be among pure hearts, because pure hearts are always young and joyful…”

I love this part of Our Lady’s recent message. For starters, because she is once again sharing with us something Jesus said to her during their time together on earth. I always enjoy when Our Lady shares these moments with Jesus with us because it helps us to know Him and love Him better through her. No one else knew Jesus better on earth than she since she is His Mother.

She tells us Jesus loves to be among the pure of heart, because they are young and joyful. In other words, because they are childlike, which is what the Blessed Mother asks us to be like children. From the pages of the Gospel, we can confirm what Our Lady tells us, and see how Jesus Himself also wanted us to be like children.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:1-4]

In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. [Luke 10:21]

Even the testimonies of the saints have also shared the Lord’s desire for us to be like children. Here are some from St. Faustina and one from St. Therese:

When I began this big novena for three intentions, I saw a tiny insect on the ground and thought: how did it get here in the middle of winter: Then I heard the following words in my soul: You see, I am thinking of it and sustaining it, and what is it compared to you? Why was your soul fearful for a moment? I apologized to the Lord for that moment. Jesus wants me to always be a child and to leave all care to Him, and to submit to His holy will. He took everything upon Himself. [Diary of St. Faustina, 922]

We are living in an age of inventions, and we no longer have to take the trouble of climbing stairs, for, in the houses of the rich, an elevator has replaced these very successfully. I wanted to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection. I searched, then, in the Scriptures for some sign of this elevator, the object of my desires, and I read these words coming from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: “Whoever is a LITTLE ONE, let him come to me.” And so I succeeded. I felt I had found what I was looking for. But wanting to know, O my God, what You would do to the very little one who answered your call, I continued my search and this is what I discovered: “As one whom a mother caresses, so I will comfort you, you shall be carried at the breasts, and upon the knees they shall caress you.” Ah! Never did words more tender and more melodious come to give joy to my soul. The elevator which must raise me to heaven is Your arms, O Jesus! And for this I had no need to grow up, but rather I had to remain little and become this more and more. [St. Therese of Lisieux]

Once, when I saw Jesus in the form of a small child, I asked, ‘Jesus, why do you now take on the form of a child when You commune with me? In spite of this, I still see in You the infinite God, my Lord and Creator.’ Jesus replied that until I learned simplicity and humility, He would commune with me as a little child” [Diary of St. Faustina, 335]

Write this for the benefit of distressed souls; when a soul sees and realizes the gravity of its sins, when the whole abyss of the misery into which it immersed itself is displayed before its eyes, let it not despair, but with trust let it throw itself into the arms of My mercy, as a child into the arms of its beloved mother” [Diary of St. Faustina, 1541]

A child lives in peace and trust because he/she is within the protection of their parents. Children are totally dependent on their parents; they live with complete trust and self-surrender to them. A child expects everything from their parents, but also a child cooperates with them by obedience and love. 

Children are innocent and pure, finding great joy in the simple things of life. Adults complicate things, and worry too much about trivial matters, and sometimes indulging in improper behavior that is more childish than childlike. Children also tend to be more open and honest with their parents, wanting to seek forgiveness for wrongdoings and not to disappoint them out of love and obedience. Adults stress very much on what they’ve done or haven’t done in the past, and worry also about the unseen future. Children never think about either one, living only in the present moment.

These inherent qualities of being a child are the same qualities the Lord calls us to live with Him. What Jesus and Mary are calling us to is spiritual childhood. To trust in Divine Providence; trust in His mercy; to be open to God in self-surrender; to be simple, humble, and obedient; to stay away from impurity and all that distances us from Him; to be young at heart, and joyful; to live in the present moment, and to leave the past and future in His merciful and loving Hands.

So much in our society seeks to destroy innocence, humility, simplicity, and take us away from the Heavenly Father. In the same way, we see our world through politics, propaganda, and modernism, also trying to separate children from their parents, as well as steal their purity and virtue. Much prayer is needed for children and families these days.

A lot of times, when we find ourselves going back to our roots, simplifying our lives instead of complicating it, it makes a big difference in our disposition. It pleases the Lord for us to live in spiritual childhood, but it also does us a whole lot of good as well.

Pure hearts live united with Jesus in total faith. Seeking goodness and love, and depending on His guidance and protection; filled with peace, joy and life. These hearts are testimonies of eternal life with God, where all are young, rejoicing and giving praise to God. To be a child of God is a tremendous gift! Let us endeavor more each day to live this spiritual childhood, with the guidance and help of our tender Mother, Mary!