IT WAS A SAINT, Saint Anthony of Padua, who once said : “He who is the beginning and the end, the ruler of the angels, made himself obedient to human creatures. The creator of the heavens obeys a carpenter; the God of eternal glory listens to a poor virgin. Has anyone ever witnessed anything comparable to this? Let the philosopher no longer disdain from listening to the common laborer; the wise, to the simple; the educated, to the illiterate; a child of a prince, to a peasant.”
Ronnie is only four. One day, he entered triumphantly into the house with a crawling worm in his hand. “What the heck are you doing with that thing in the living-room?!” was the spontaneous reaction of his mother. “Oh! This thing?!” the four-year old-boy pluckily answered. “We were playing together in the garden and I thought I would show him my room!”
We miss on life because we have lost the eyes of amazement of a child. On our route towards adulthood, we lost the boldness to believe that everything that happens to us is a message of God’s great LOVE for our soul.
Helen Keller went blind and deaf when she was only nineteen months old. She could not hear anything. She could not see anything. She could only touch and feel. “One day I asked a friend of mine who had just returned from a long walk in the woods what she had seen. She replied, ‘Nothing in particular’. How was this possible? I asked myself, when I, who cannot hear or see, find hundreds of things to interest me through mere touch.”
“I feel the delicate shape and design of a leaf, I pass my hands lovingly over the rough bark of a pine tree. Occasionally, if I am lucky, I place my hand quietly on a small tree, and feel the happy quiver of a bird in full song. ”
“All this has convinced me of one thing; the greatest calamity that can befall people, is not that they should be born blind, but rather that they should have eyes and yet fail to see.”
Jesus Christ once said something similar, no?
When one day, I went over to visit a family friend of mine, I had a very deep ‘spiritual’ experience. Michelle, their little daughter, was excited to see me and immediately ushered me into her new room. “I want to introduce you to my friends,” she solemnly declared!
Her friends were her dolls. She had many. Dolls of all shapes, all sizes, all well dressed, all well-groomed, arrayed in a very neat way. “This is Rose, this is Catalina, this is Bernadette…”
I expressed to Michelle how happy I was to meet all her friends and asked her whether I can express one question that was on my mind. “Which doll do you LIKE most?” I asked innocently. She glanced at me. Then, went and picked out a broken doll which had only one arm, a scratched face, a nose flattened by a blow, an inferior dress, and a wounded look.
“This one”, Michelle declared forcefully, “this is the one I love most. Her name is Maureen.” And she kissed her tenderly.
I was surprised. “Why do you love Maureen more than all the others?”
She looked at me with that kind of ‘what-a-stupid-question’ look and said in a self-evident and straightforward tone, “Because, if I do not love Maureen, no one else will love her!”
My mind started racing. Is this the reason why God loves me? Perhaps He realizes that only a God can possibly love a broken, damaged sinner like me.
That’s great, no, to have HIM as our Lover?
I spent most of my life hiding and denying my sins because I was afraid that others would not love me if they really knew me. I even tried to present a deserving, worthy face to God! What a relief when I finally realized that God loves me not for my virtues but for my weaknesses! I shall be eternally grateful to the catechist who gave me this good news.
The Abba was so orthodox when, upon hearing of a monk in the desert who had the singular fame of seeing angels, remarked, “It would be better for him if instead of angels, he sees his sins!!!” Seeing his sins, he may discover the best Lover!
It was a saint, another one, who remarked, “A Christian has a union with Jesus Christ more noble, more intimate, and more perfect than the members of a human body have with their head. Jesus longs to be in you, He wants His breath to be your breath, His heart in your heart and His soul in your soul.” His name was Saint John Eudes.
On the last day of his life, the playboy-who-became-a-saint Charles de Foucauld wrote to his friend, Mme de Bondy: “How true this is! One discovers that one does not love enough. One will never love enough, but God Who knows the kind of clay He has formed us with, and Who loves us so much more than a mother could love her child, has told us – and He does not lie – that He would never turn away the one who comes to Him …”.
Yes, we are lucky sinners!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.