Spiritual Childhood

My life is not important

“What if my life isn’t important?”

This question came to me a few weeks ago, and I realised, of course it’s not important! Why would I assume that it was? How did I acquire such absurd and unjustified pride?

We can’t all be a “big deal”. Not even most of us can – there’s not enough space for so many big deals. So, what if in the course of my life, I don’t ever become a big deal? Who cares?

Why in the world would I care about being important? It doesn’t appear that many others do. At least no one else seems to have assumed they would be. It seems I’ve been thinking of myself in terms of how history will view me. But that’s not who I really am at all.

If my life is unimportant, does this mean my life is meaningless? No. But the meaning of life is no more than to live and to live fully. My purpose is not something outside of me.

We don’t have a mission from God – we are a mission from God. My mission is not to do something, but to be who I am and who I’m made to be. Our mission, our meaning, is to let God love us into being what we already are: His children. He asks nothing at all from us except ourselves. As Mother Teresa said “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.” St Therese understood this too, knowing herself as a worthless but beloved toy in the hands of the child Jesus, while also knowing that she would become a great Saint.

If God wills that we should become a “big deal”, even then it doesn’t really matter. No matter how “important” we may become, this will never be our purpose. To speak tongues and move mountains and work miracles without love is worthless. All of our importance is just grass in the fields, here today and gone tomorrow. Even work done for God, the only work that lasts, is entirely and solely His; our part is merely that of a child, in their father’s workshop, carefully guided and protected and supported at each step. We were allowed to cooperate by His grace, and should rejoice in that, but we are still just children at play.

‘The rose is without “why”; it blooms simply because it blooms. It pays no attention to itself, nor does it ask whether anyone sees it.’ – Angelius Silesius

God bless you!

St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Therese is my favourite Saint (except of course Mary, my mother), or more accurately, my best friend in heaven. I love her deeply, and thought I would give her a brief introduction, so you might discover or rediscover her.

The funny thing about St. Therese, is it’s difficult to say if she’s very ordinary or extraordinary. She clearly thought of herself as completely ordinary. But this ordinary young nun has made a truly extraordinary impact on the world, and on those she personally knew. Of all the unlikely people to change the world, few are as out of the blue as her. Perhaps the carpenter’s son…

And it’s just this paradox of the extraordinary ordinary that characterises her. Her greatness doesn’t lie in any special talents or abilities or genius. She performed no great feats or miracles. To all human eyes, she was not made for greatness. But God doesn’t judge by our standards, and like the little King David, she had a heart after the Lord’s own heart.

She is extraordinary only because of her extraordinary love and trust in Jesus. That is all she had, but that’s all we need, and all that counts.

So please, get to know St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower. Her autobiography, ‘The Story of a Soul’, is available for free online, although you’ll want a copy once you read it. There’s a very good reason she’s been called the greatest Saint of modern times, and a favourite of Bl. Mother Teresa and Pope Francis, among many others.

For some time I had been accustomed to offer myself as a plaything to the Child Jesus. I told Him not to treat me like an expensive toy which children look at but dare not touch. I was a cheap little ball which He could fling on the ground or kick or pierce or leave neglected in a corner or even press to His Heart if it gave Him pleasure. To put it in a nutshell, I longed to amuse the little Jesus and offer myself to His childish whims.

He answered my prayer. In Rome, Jesus pierced His little toy. He wantedto see what was inside and then, having found out, He let His little ball drop and went to sleep. What did He dream about and what happened to the abandoned ball? Jesus dreamt that He was still playing with it, picking it up and dropping it, letting it roll away from Him, but in the end pressing it close to His Heart and never letting it slip again from His little Hand. You can understand, Mother, how sad the little ball was to see itself lying on the ground, but she went on hoping against all hope.

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God bless you

 

As a little child

I’ve decided to change the name of this blog from, ‘JRahi’s words’ to, ‘As a little child’. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus says,

Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter into it. [Mark 10:14-15]

When I was a child, I found these words very exciting and encouraging, and firmly decided that I would remain a child forever. Looking back, I wonder if such a joyful, confident and simple decision is a perfect example of receiving the kingdom as a child. I saw, I rejoiced, and I grasped.

I’m not sure how well I followed up that decision. I believe there were periods in my childhood of horrible, unchildlike pride. But I seriously value my childhood because of this verse, and trust greatly in my childish wisdom (it was when I tried to be wise like grown-ups that I became proud and foolish).

So I’m changing the name to ‘As a little child’, as a reminder of my decision and my call to always be a little child before God. The great danger of religion is pride. The grown-up way of learning is to listen, and then craftily deny in such a way that it looks as if you are accepting. But children listen in simplicity and accept. The grown-up way places barriers everywhere, forbidding people to come to Jesus, and limiting his grace. The childish way accepts, loves, and follows, and takes the hands of loved ones to lead them to him.

So I’m changing the name to rebuke my pride, and to recall the heart of the gospel. Please pray with me that it will do so, and that this blog will serve God under its new name.

Thank you and God bless you.