Meditation on Spiritual Childhood

"Spiritual childhood is a matter of trust and self-surrender into God’s hands… like that of the little child whose father pretends that he is about to throw him off a high cliff, and the child bursts out laughing when he sees the cliff below him because he is in his father’s arms and he knows well his father will never let him go." (lsr Magdeleine)

We are on the way to the mystery of Bethlehem, a mystery that greatly marked the spiritual life of Sr. Magdeleine.  She received the Little Infant from Mary's hands, to give him in turn to those whom the Lord put on her way.  This God Child brought hope and joy.  On the roads of Galilee, Jesus himself invited us to become like little children.  Nicodemus asked what that could mean and how to do so.

 “A tiny baby doesn’t trouble grown-ups because they have nothing to fear from its influence, its reasoning or its severe judgments…”  It’s true that a child does not arouse fear because part of being a child is needing the other and needing to be welcomed with tenderness.  A child is brimming with receptivity, trust, gentleness but also a life force and dynamism that are hidden behind an appearance of fragility.  Children are filled with immense desires that make them daring despite their powerlessness.  We are called to be reconciled with our own weakness and fragility, to live it with transparency and without fear, so that the strength of the Master of the Impossible can pass through it, the Master of the Impossible who is the Father who loves us and tells us over and over, “You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you.” (cf  Is 43:4)

To explain spiritual childhood, lsr Magdeleine used the image of a child confident in his or her father’s hands: with the father everything becomes a joyful game for the child!  “The child feels safe because he loves his father and is sure his father loves him.  Nothing bad can happen to him.”   He follows him even when he doesn‘t know the way and can’t understand everything. “Be a little infant in the hands of the Lord… holding his hand and being very flexible so that he has no trouble leading you….”         

Little sister Magdeleine also invited us to have this same confidence, to remain in the arms of the Father, welcoming the events of life, sure that he will not let us fall.  And in his Heart we will find the security and tenderness we need to move forward.

Our societies push us to always be the strongest, the first, the best, the one who never fails, but who eventually crushes the others in order to “appear to be.”   The evangelical way of spiritual childhood can enlighten our path.  This attitude can help us become an element of peace, serenity, and joy at the heart of our daily lives.  Become “a smile on the world” that encourages the breaking down of barriers of separation in order to build a more fraternal world where everyone, small and big, strong and weak, poor and rich, will respect the uniqueness of others and recognize their value. 

Embracing this path of spiritual childhood can be a way to bring the Good News into our world in the simplicity of our daily lives.