Wisdom of the Childlike
In Matthew 11:25, Jesus says, “I give praise to you Father… for although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, you have revealed them to the childlike.” These words mirror those of His mother, who in the Magnificat says “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior… He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their hearts… He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly.” (Luke 1:46-55)
There is a tendency among those who think themselves wise, to become arrogant. This can be any one of us, causing the truth to be “hidden” from us. Even learned religious can, in the “conceit of their hearts,” rationalize that what is a mortal sin, now, after much study, isn’t a mortal sin after all! In the words of Bishop Sheen, “Every theologian ought to be a mystic, every Doctor of Divinity ought to be a saint. He knows enough, but he doesn’t will it, or work hard enough at it.” A story about the comedian W.C fields comes to mind. Someone saw him reading the Bible and asked him what he was doing, to which Fields responded “I’m looking for the loopholes.”
Though much learning can help one become a saint, much learning isn’t necessary to become a saint. Instead one must, in humility, acknowledge his weakness and sinfulness and the need for help from our Savior, which is received through prayer. “Ask and you shall receive…” (Mat 7:7) Two songs by country singer Paul Craft: Keep Me From Blowin’ Away and Drop-kick Me Jesus, demonstrate this humility and simple faith: Keep Me from Blowin’ Away (Paul Craft)
Well I spent my whole lifetime In a world where the sunshine Finds excuses for not hangin' 'round I squandered emotions On the slightest of notions And the first easy loving I found But soon all the good times The gay times and play times Like colors run together and fade Oh Lord if you hear me Touch me and hold me And keep me from blowing away There's times when I trembled When my mind remembered The days that just crumbled away With nothing to show But these lines that I know Are beginning to show in my face Oh Lord if you're listening I know I'm no Christian And I ain't got much coming to me So send down some sunshine Throw out your lifeline And keep me from blowing away Oh Lord if you hear me Touch me and hold me And keep me from blowing away
Drop-kick Me, Jesus, Through the Goalposts of Life (Paul Craft)
Drop-kick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life, End over end, neither left nor to right. Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights Drop-kick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life.
Make me, Oh make me, Lord, more than I am Make me a part of your master game plan Free from the earthly temptations below I've got the will, Lord, if you've got the toe. Drop-kick me, Jesus, etc… Bring on the brothers who've gone on before Bring on the sisters who've knocked on your door. Bring on those sainted relations of mine And put them up front in the offensive line. Drop-kick me, Jesus, etc…
A search for more information on Paul Craft brought up a headline which read: “Jesus Finally Drop-kicks Paul Craft through the Goalposts of Life.” Congratulations to that reporter for picking up on Paul Craft’s hope and gentle humor.
“Prayer is the union of the soul with God, a becoming one with Him. He who prays yields himself as an instrument into God’s hands, using his own will in order that he may come to know and fulfill the will of God.” Tilmann Pesch, SJ. The Christian Philosophy of Life, page 365.
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