IN FRONT OF THE MYSTERY OF THE CHILD
People end up getting used to almost anything. Frequently custom and routine go about emptying our existence of life. Ch. Peguy said that «there’s something worse than having a wicked soul, and that’s having a soul used to almost everything». That’s why it shouldn’t surprise us too much that the celebration of Christmas, wrapped up in superficiality and reckless consumerism, these days hardly says anything new or joyful to so many men and women of ‘accustomed souls’.
We’re accustomed to hear that «God has been born in a stable in Bethlehem». Nowadays a God who offers Self as a child doesn’t surprise us or move us. That’s what A. Saint-Exupery says in the prologue to his delicious The Little Prince: «Every old person was once a child. But few remember it». We forget what it means to be children. And we forget that God’s first glance on coming into the world had been the gaze of a child.
But that is exactly the great news of Christmas. God is and continues being Mystery. But now we know that God isn’t a being that’s dark, disturbing and fearful, but someone who offers us a Self that is close, defenseless, intimate, with the kindness and transparency of a child.
And this is the message of Christmas. We need to get out to meet that God, we need to change our heart, become children, be born again, recover transparency of heart, open ourselves trustingly to grace and forgiveness.
In spite of our terrifying superficiality, our skepticism and our disillusionment, and above all our shameful selfishness and stinginess as «adults», there’s always an intimate corner in our heart where we still haven’t stopped being children.
Let’s at least dare one time to see ourselves with simplicity and without reserve. Let’s make a little silence around us. Turn off the TV. Forget our rush, anxieties, shopping and appointments.
Let’s listen inside ourselves for that «heart of a child» that hasn’t yet been closed off to the possibility of seeing our life in another way. «You can’t see well except with the heart. What’s essential is invisible to the eyes» (A. Saint-Exupery).
And after all is said and done, it is possible to listen to a call to be born again to a new faith. A faith that isn’t paralyzed but is rejuvenated; that doesn’t close us in ourselves but opens us up; that doesn’t separate but unites; that isn’t suspicious but trusts; that doesn’t sadden but enlightens; that doesn’t fear but loves.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf