Wednesday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time at Mississippi Abbey

“…although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to the childlike.”  What is “childlike”? We can think of it this way: There are four levels of spiritual or Christian maturity. At the first level, a child has to move from being her own source of authority to learning boundaries set by others. These boundaries are learned by consequences, so one is motivated by self-interest. She gradually becomes aware of a need for conversion.

Being born into Original Sin, we adults learn this especially in adapting to ones marital or monastic vocation. We have to contend with our adult forms of selfishness and self-centeredness; our need to have “the upper hand” in our lives.  Renouncing this is called kenosis or “dying to self.” Sometimes it’s called either “the honeymoons over” or novitiate.

At the second level one starts to “get it.” She adopts the values and behavior of others. She does this with those she admires and wants to emulate. We admire people who can do what we cannot. That is sometimes harder to do in adulthood. Resentment may undermine admiration. We may prefer more easily-attainable standards. In humility we must be able to admire and aspire. Then Jesus will reveal the Father.