Saturday, June 16, 2012

Spiritual Childhood

Sometimes, the most beautiful things come into our house buried in the piles of what would otherwise have to be labeled "junk mail."  For instance, we recently got some cards from a Missouri group called the Association of the Miraculous Medal, and one of them had this darling painting by Donald Ruessler on the cover.
St. Therese of Lisieux taught the "Little Way of Spiritual Childhood," saying that the way to Heaven is easier when one remains humble and small--when one keeps his soul in a state of childlike innocence, with a child's boundless capacity for love and joy.  When I saw this piece of artwork, I thought immediately of St. Therese the "Little Flower" and her "Little Way."  There is nothing so pleasing in the eyes of God than the simplicity, purity, and innocence of a young child, like the angelic little girl depicted here--for as Jesus said, "the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matt. 19:14).  It is said that God always listens to our prayers, especially the prayers of children.  I love the way this painting perfectly illustrates that idea.

I am drawn to this piece of artwork not only because of the little blond angel (a reminder to me of my angelic twin granddaughters), but because of the Miraculous Medal on the bottom left, with both the front and back view shown.  I have been wearing a Miraculous Medal for many years now, strengthened by the knowledge that Our Lady Herself promised to give graces to those who wear it with confidence.  I could use all the graces I can get, so I'll continue to wear my medal until the day I die, and to pray the words engraved on its front: "O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

In the meantime, I need to work on becoming more childlike with each passing that the older my body gets, the younger my soul will become.  Because I think the perfect scenario would be to leave this world just the way I came into it, as small and helpless as a newborn baby.

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