October 24, 2010

Spiritual Direction from a Pretty Princess

Sometimes I invest conversations with more meaning than is probably there. I don't apologize for this wholesale; often in the Scriptures people say more than they know, so why shouldn't it be so for me sometimes?

Consider a conversation from after Mass today. After I had given the standard buen Domingo to her mother, a little girl addressed me directly, in English:

"Do you know what next Sunday is?"

"The thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time?" I responded.

"No," she said, correcting me. "Next Sunday is happy Halloween!" As she said the 'happy' she spun around with a gleeful flourish.

"Oh," I said. "And what are you going to be for Halloween."

"I'm going to be a pretty princess!" she announced. "What are you going to be?"

"I don't know yet," I confessed.

"You better figure it out!" I was instructed. "It's next Sunday!"

Indeed. Who knows how much time any of us has left on this earth? I've probably used up more than half of my time already, and without having made hardly a beginning of a spiritual life. Receiving the grace of surrendering to the person God wants us to be in this life is a task of some urgency, and it gets more urgent with every moment that goes by.

6 comments:

Michael King said...

I've found to never underestimate the wisdom of a child. If ever I am designing something, I immediately rush out and find a five year old. If there are any flaws in my plan that s/he can spot, then I will promptly redesign.

Billy Isenor O.F.M. said...

I agree. Children are often given great wisdom through grace.

Suzanne said...

Today I had the honor of bringing communion to one of our elderly parishioners in advanced stages of Alzheimer's. I arrived just as the rest of the family was coming back from church too, granddaughter Grace had just done a fabulous job in our children's choir. She jumped right into bed with "Grampie" to sing her song in his ear, as he had missed it: "Feed my sheep. Tend my flock..." When Grandma explained why I was there, she said "Oh, church at home." Grace is 4 years old. And I am in awe. What an incredible day for learning from children!

ben in denver said...

I think all you need to do is pick up a toy light saber. Then you can be Obi Wan Kenobi. you've already got the robes.

Brother Charles said...

"You've taken your first step into a larger world."

4narnia said...

great post, Fr. C! yes, we certainly can learn from the wisdom of a child. everytime i visit and spend time with my youngest nephew, Eric, now age 5, he will usually always say something that totally inspires me on a spiritual level. i also had a student in my second grade religious education class last year who was also very inspirational. PAX! ~tara t~