To be honest, I want to reflect on the innocence of a child. I was out yesterday, heading to my church to make a private holy hour. On the news, NPR, the host of the radio show, said,
“Children are able to boil things down to such an innocent truth.”
While I was driving, I reflected upon that truth. That is very true. Children have a way of breaking things down into simple truths. Yet we lose this ability as we grow older, don’t we?
How many life experiences make us cold or jaded towards each other? How many times do we erect walls that are impossible to others and even ourselves? These experiences of growing “old” make us distant from each other, with ourselves, and with God.
If one person rejected you, it is easy to put that rejection onto another person, so on and so on, until you reach the point that you expect to be rejected by everyone, so you stay to yourself.
Or someone took their hardship out on you in a fight? How easy it is to internalize that and become fearful of the world.
And God, the creator of things seen and unseen, is actively reaching out to us, yet we have all these thorny bushes and sky-high towers that block our way from him.
Yet, a child does not have these fortifications. Instead, they are open, just like a pasture.
St. Therese calls for us to be innocent like children. She was a mere child, yet she continued to have that child-like simplicity as she grew old. She, too, tells us to be little like her.
So how do we become little? How can we revert time? How can we regain that child-like innocence we once had?
St. Therese recognized that it would be the hardest thing for us to achieve, but I feel she represented it perfectly.
We are to be humble of heart. Thank the Lord for all blessings and all crosses. We must always be thankful.
We are to accept humiliation. Don’t be quick to defend yourself or to have the last word. If someone corrects, you accept it with gladness and seek what you can learn from that lesson. Even if it is an unjust correction, accept it with an open heart. From a superior or inferior, humiliation is just a reminder that the world does not revolve around us.
Don’t worry about being perfect. Instead, seek the person whom you wish to please. Just as a child makes macaroni art for their parent, it won’t be perfect, yet it is an attempt to please the one we love.
We might try to bake our significant other a cake, yet we might be poor bakers. Your significant other might not like the taste, but they will be delighted at the love and affection that went into the cake.
Just same with Jesus. We will do things imperfectly, yet our lord will be most pleased if we do them with love.
Lastly, practice makes perfect. St. Therese did not become a saint overnight. It took a lot of sacrifice and preparation for her to become the saint that she is today. Let us
Sacrifice what you want to do, eat, or say, and give it up to the Lord. When we fall short, let us pray to God, ask for forgiveness, and get right back to our work. Perfect doesn’t make perfect.
Practice makes perfect.
I believe if we start working on these small things and practice them diligently, we too begin to walk towards that elevator to God that is known as the Little Way.
We think that being called a child is an insult, and sometimes it can be. Yet, God wants us to be children in heart, action, and deed. Nothing more and nothing less
We make things so needlessly complicated that it takes away from the innocence that God calls us to be. So my question to you is how you will be more child-like?