Today’s Thoughts: “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of one single candle.” (St. Francis of Assisi) – Children are our candles… (Note a special prayer today for the four wonderful candles in my family - Emilia, Kristina, Natalie Ann and Michael!)
I have always liked the Gospel reading for today, Jesus’ welcoming of little children. It is imagery that can speak to us even when we are not little anymore. It seems to make things a lot less complicated and it reminds us of the gifts that children and childhood to us.
When I think of what we as a culture, a society and as a church have done to children and childhood down through the centuries I feel a profound sadness. I know that my childhood was very instrumental in helping me be the man of faith that I have become. I am profoundly grateful that I had wonderful people in my life as a child who showed me the Kingdom of God even thought I probably didn’t understand at the time.
My prayer each day is that all children can and will experience the wonder and joy that should be part of growing up. My hope is that all children get a chance to live in the moment. That they experience the joy of playing baseball or flying a kite or jumping into the deep and making it to the side. I hope and pray they feel the joy of swinging on a swing or running down a hill or eating the biggest ice cream cone ever. Children are special. They make God ever so real and anyone who take away a child’s joy, wonder and innocents does not deserve the Kingdom.
As we listen to the words of Jesus remind us of the value of children today let us remember that each new day holds a surprise for us if we approach it with the wonder and awe of a child and if we do so God just might be around every corner!
God invites us to experience joy and wonder in our lives, to be in the present moment, and to find his presence around every corner. God always offers us unconditional love and acceptance perhaps something we first felt as a child, but it is available every day and every moment of our life.
Let us embrace the child in us and get ready for God’s blessings. Perhaps St. Francis says it best – “We should seek not so much to pray but to become prayer.” Isn’t that what children do!
Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...