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Monday 10 May 2021

Restless heart Like a child

Like a child

Author of the content

How is the spirituality of a busy man today? Not like that of years ago, certainly. Yet the call to holiness, reaffirmed by the last Council, is addressed to everyone.

The man of today is called to be spiritual in the midst of convulsive life. And how is this possible? By "spiritual", for a Christian, we mean nothing more than an immediate relationship with the Holy Spirit. The spirituality of man today cannot but be simple. There is no time for conjecture or long meditations except in a few short periods a year. Merit of Saint Josemaría Escrivá is to have lived him first, and taught him to live, an immediate relationship with God.

When Saint Augustine says that God is in his heart, more intimate than himself, he alludes to the presence of the Holy Spirit in his soul in grace. The presupposition of this attitude is the conviction that God is always willing to live the parable of the prodigal son. That parable was invented by Jesus to make us understand that the return to God is easy. It is I who make it complicated because I think like the prodigal son: my sin is too big to be forgiven, I will let myself be treated as a servant and not a son ... while the Father thinks the opposite: kill the fat calf, bring him the robe more beautiful, put the ring on his finger. Jesus well represents the contrast between how I think and how God thinks. It is enough for the Father to be recognized as Father, just for me to be repentant. It does not wait for my conversion to be swamped by philosophical arguments and theological insights. As long as I come back ...

Saint Josemaría surprised me that one day he told us that he lived the parable of the prodigal son several times a day. I got distracted, indeed I thought and maybe did bad things. Just come back and don't listen to the devil who performs his function: to divide. The devil means precisely this: the one who causes division.

It only takes a moment to return to God. Saint John himself writes in one of his letters: even if your heart reproaches you, God is greater than your heart.

Live the relationship with God as a child.

I must regain the confidence that God is always there. The real hellish misfortune is to stiffen and no longer be a child. The kingdom of heaven, the permanence of God in my heart, belongs to those who make themselves like children. Jesus reiterates this several times to the apostles. In recent centuries the rigorous influence of the nineteenth-century British Puritan mentality has been felt, which has also entered the Catholic consciences. What is material is sinful, whereas God created both spirit and matter. Today in reality there is no rebellion towards the Church as it really is, there is a rebellion towards the residue of Puritanism which reduces the encounter with Jesus to an abstract morality. Instead, Jesus is a person in flesh and blood, and whoever sees Jesus sees the Father, and whoever reads the Gospel is helped by the Holy Spirit to understand the infinite mercy of God. Jesus says that seventy times seven must be forgiven: how much more the good Father who is in heaven will know how to forgive.

Contemporary man, so busy, will find the way of the Father if he knows how to live the relationship with God as a child.

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