POINTS OF FORGE
80 If you are a good son of God, your first and last thought each day will be for him, just as a little child needs to be assured of the presence of his parents when he gets up in the morning or goes to bed at night.
101 Have the piety and simplicity of a child, and the strength and fortitude of a leader.
142 Try to make “intellectual humility” an axiom in your life.
Think about it carefully. Isn’t it true that it just doesn’t make sense to be “intellectually proud”? That saint and doctor of the Church put it very well when he said: “It is a detestable disorder for a man to see God become a little child, and yet still want to appear great in this world.”
195 Just now, Jesus, when I was considering my wretchedness, I said to you: allow yourself to be taken in by this son of yours, just like those good fathers, full of kindness, who put into the hands of their little children the presents they want to receive from them - knowing perfectly well that little children have nothing of their own.
And what joy father and son have together, even though they are both in on the secret.
230 Allow me to give you the advice of an experienced soul: your prayer - and your whole life should be spent in prayer - ought to have the simplicity of “a child’s prayer”.
234 My Mother! Mothers on earth look with greater love upon the weakest of their children, the one with the worst health, or who is least intelligent, or is a poor cripple.
Sweet Lady, I know that you are more of a Mother than all other mothers put together. And, since I am your son, since I am weak, and ill, and crippled, and ugly ...
244 When you find yourself worn out or fed up, go and confide in Our Lord, as that good friend of ours did, and say: “Jesus, see what you can do about it Even before I begin to struggle, I am already tired.”
He will give you his strength.
285 It is indeed just that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit should crown the Blessed Virgin as Queen and Lady of all created things.
You have to make use of her power. With the daring of a child join in this celebration in Heaven. For myself, since I have no precious stones or virtues to offer, I crown the Mother of God and my Mother with my failings, once they have been purified.
She is expecting something from you too.
300 My child, are you not aflame with the desire to bring all men to love Him?
301 Jesus as a child and as an adolescent. I love to picture you like this, Lord, because I somehow pluck up more courage. I love to see you as a tiny, almost helpless babe. It makes me feel you need me.
302 Whenever I go into the oratory, having become a little child once more, I say to Our Lord that I love him more than anyone.
305 Good child: see how lovers on earth kiss the flowers, the letters, the mementos of those they love...
Then you, how could you ever forget that you have him always at your side - yes, Him? How could you forget... that you can eat him?
329 A foolish child wails and stamps his feet when his loving mother puts a needle to his finger to get a splinter out. A sensible child, on the other hand, perhaps with his eyes full of tears - for the flesh is weak - looks gratefully at his good mother who is making him suffer a little in order to avoid much greater harm.
Jesus, may I be a sensible child.
330 My child, my little donkey: if the Lord, with Love, has washed your grimy back, so accustomed to the muck, and has laid a satin harness upon you, and covered you with dazzling jewels, don’t forget, poor donkey, that with your faults you could throw that beautiful load on to the ground... But on your own you couldn’t put it back on again.
335 My little friend, say to him: Jesus, knowing that I love you and that you love me, nothing else matters - all is well.
345 Make your way to Bethlehem, go up to the Child, rock him in your arms, say warm and tender things to him, press him close to your heart...
I am not talking childish nonsense, I am speaking of love ! And love is shown with deeds. In the intimacy of your soul, you can indeed hug him tight.
346 We should let Jesus know that we are children. And when children are tiny and innocent, what a lot of effort it takes for them to go up one step. They look as though they are wasting their time, but eventually they manage to climb up. Now there is another step. Crawling on their hands and knees, and putting their whole body into it, they score another success - one more step. Then they start again. What an effort! There are only a few more steps to go now. But then the toddler stumbles, and - whoops! - down he goes. With bumps all over and in floods of tears, the poor child sets out and begins to try again.
We are lust like that, Jesus, when we are on our own. Please take us up in your loving arms, like a big and good Friend of the simple child. Do not leave us until we have reached the top. And then - oh then! - we will know how to correspond to your Merciful Love, with the daring of young children, telling you, sweet Lord, that after Mary and Joseph, there never has been nor will there ever be a mortal soul - and there have been some who have been really crazy - who loves you as much as I love you.
347 Don’t be ashamed of doing little childlike things, I advised you. As long as they are not done out of routine, they will not be fruitless.
Here is an example. Imagine that a soul who is following the way of spiritual childhood is moved each night, during the hours of sleep, to adorn a wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin.
Our intelligence would reject such an action as quite useless. But humble souls, touched by grace, understand very well that a child would indeed act like this out of love.
And then the strong will, which all those who are little children spiritually have, insists and moves the intelligence to give way... And if that childlike soul were to continue each day dressing up the statue of Our Lady, there would be repeated each day a little act of childlike love which would be fruitful in the eyes of God.
348 When you are genuinely a child and you follow the ways of childhood - if you are moved by God to follow this path - you will be invincible.
349 The confident petition of a small child: Grant me, Lord, the sort of compunction which those who have pleased you most have had.
350 Small child, you would cease to be one if anyone or anything came between you and God.
351 I shouldn’t ask Jesus for anything. I will concentrate on pleasing him in everything and telling him things as though he didn’t know them already, just as a little child does with his father.
352 Little child, say to Jesus: I will not be satisfied with anything less than You.
353 In your prayer of spiritual childhood what childish things you say to your Lord! With the confidence of a child speaking to his great Friend of whose love he is utterly sure, you confided in him, saying, May I live only for your Glory !
Thinking things over you admit in all sincerity that everything you do turns out badly. “But,” you add, “this can’t surprise you, Jesus. It is impossible for me to do anything right. You have to help me. Please do it for me and you will see how well it turns out.”
Then, with great daring, and without departing from the truth, you continue: “May your Spirit thoroughly penetrate me and intoxicate me so that I may be able to do your Will. I want to do it. And if I don’t do it... it’s because you are not helping me. But you are helping me!”
354 You have to feel the urgent necessity to see yourself as small, weak and bereft of everything. You will then clamber on to the lap of our Mother in Heaven, with heartfelt aspirations and loving glances, Marian devotions... which are such a vital part of your filial spirit.
She will watch over you.
359 Little one, say to him: O Jesus, I don’t want the devil to get hold of souls!
430 Don’t confine yourself to speaking to the Paraclete. Listen to him as well.
When you pray, consider how the life of childhood which enabled you to realise more deeply that you are a son of God filled you with a filial love for the Father. Think how, before that, you have gone through Mary to Jesus, whom you adore as his friend, as his brother, as his lover for that is what you are.
After receiving this advice you realised that until now you had known that the Holy Spirit was dwelling in your soul, to sanctify it. But you hadn’t really grasped this truth about his presence. You needed that advice. Now you feel his Love within you, and you want to talk to him, to be his friend, to confide in him. You want to facilitate his work of polishing, uprooting, and enkindling.
I wouldn’t know how to set about it, you thought. Listen to him, I insist. He will give you strength. He will do everything, if you so want. And you do want!
Pray to him: Divine Guest, Master, Light, Guide, Love, may I make you truly welcome inside me and listen to the lessons you teach me. Make me burn with eagerness for you, make me follow you and love you.
446 You are certain it was God who made you see quite clearly that you must return to the more childlike little things of your earlier interior life, and persevere for months and even years in those heroic trivialities. (You needn’t take into account your feelings here since they are so often slow to recognise the good.) Your will may be cold but let it be ready to fulfil those little duties out of Love
598 Certainly you can go to Hell. You are convinced it could happen, for in your heart you find the seeds of all kinds of evil.
But if you become a child in front of God, that fact will bring you close to your Father God, and to your Mother, Holy Mary. And Saint Joseph and your Angel will not leave you unprotected when they see you are a child.
Have faith. Do as much as you can. Be penitent, and be Loving. They will supply whatever else you need.
624 Don’t be afraid to be demanding on yourself. Many souls do so in their hidden inner life, so that only Jesus may shine out.
I wish you and I would react as that person did who wanted to be very close to God, on the feast of the Holy Family. In those days it was celebrated within the octave of the Epiphany.
“I have had a number of little crosses. There was one yesterday that hurt so much it made me weep. Today it made me think that my Father and Lord Saint Joseph, and my Mother, Holy Mary, won’t have left this child of theirs without its Christmas present. The present was the light that made me see my thanklessness to Jesus in my failing to correspond to his grace; and to see how mistaken I was to resist, by my boorish behaviour, the most Holy Will of God, who wants me as his instrument.
924 You should try to have the holy shamelessness of a child who knows that his Father God always sends him what is best.
That is why he doesn’t worry when even the apparently most essential things are lacking; and with complete serenity he says: At least I still have the Holy Spirit with me.
928 My child, offer him even the sorrows and sufferings of other people.