ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

Celebrating 50 years | God • World • Human Family • Church

Prayer/Spiritual Childhood

St. Therese of Lisieux, Patroness of the Missions whose feast is October 1st, modeled her spirituality on childlike simplicity. In this she neither advocates shirking adult responsibilities, nor discourages the dignity and maturity we should have as Christians. Rather, her doctrine is based on Scripture and the words of Jesus, “Unless you change and become as little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) Spiritual childhood implies – simply – shaking off the complacency, pride and self-righteousness which can so easily creep into the heart of anyone intent on leading a virtuous life.

“Sometimes, when I read books in which perfection is put before us with the goal obstructed by a thousand obstacles, my head is quickly tired. I close the learned treatise, which wearies my brain and dries up my heart, and turn to the Sacred Scriptures. Then all becomes clear and light – a single word opens out infinite vistas, perfection appears easy, and I see that it is enough to acknowledge our nothingness, and like children surrender ourselves in the arms of God.

“To remain little means to recognize one’s nothingness, to expect everything from God…in a word, not to wish to lay up treasures in heaven, and to keep an untroubled heart.

“To be little also means not to ascribe to oneself the virtues one practices, not to think oneself competent, but to recognize that God places these treasures in the hand of his child for him to use when he has need. Finally, it means not to lose courage on account of one’s faults.”

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