LORD, MAY WE LIVE AS LITTLE CHILDREN IN YOUR PRESENCE.
“Before God, who is eternal, you are a smaller child than, in your sight, a two-year old toddler. And besides being a child, you are a child of God. Don’t forget it. Being so small, we should always approach God as little children: Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” St. Josemaria
To become children on the inside when we are already grown up is a difficult task. This is not nonsense, but a sturdy and solid Christian life. Being childlike, which is an interior disposition, should not be confused with being childish, which implies a lack of fortitude, an absence of any sense of responsibility.
Maturity, sanctity or, as St Ambrose calls it, “goodness, does not come from being a child, but from the effort to attain a child’s simplicity, through purification, self-surrender and abandonment.” And this is difficult to achieve: “Spiritual childhood demands submission of the mind, more difficult than submission of the will To subject our mind we need not only God’s grace, but also the continual exercise of our will which says “no” again and again, just as it says “no” to the flesh. And so we get the paradox that whoever wants to follow this “little” way in order to become a child, needs to add strength and virility to his will.” St. Josemaria.
When years of effort and interior striving – and the grace of God – have taught us to live like children before God, then we have attained spiritual maturity. This will be shown in the way we surrender to his will in all things, and in our docility in following the promptings of his Spirit. It will lead us to pass on to others this outlook, which in the midst of our natural weaknesses, will make us strong in the faith,fruitful in good works and certain of our way.
Depend on Jesus for everything. You have nothing, are worth nothing, are capable of nothing. He will act, if you abandon yourself to him. To become children we must trust in God’s Providence. St Thomas Aquinas explains thatwe need to be directed and defended by God who is all-knowing and all-powerful. Ours must be a lively faith in Providence, which leads us to cast all our worries on God because he cares for you, as St Peter says. We need to abandon ourselves in God: he is concerned about everything that is ours, no matter how trivial it may seem, and he watches over us as a vigilant and affectionate Father. As our Lord tells us: even the hairs of your head are all numbere