Like a child

(By Gian Domenico Daddabbo) “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, for although you have hiodden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to the childlike” (Matthew 11:25), it’s the message of Jesus ringing in the whole history of Salvation, up to nowadays; Pope Benedict XVI mentioned these words at Massabielle cave in the homily of the 14th September 2008.

The first one among the childlike of the Bible who were revealed the Wisdom of God was Abraham, man of humble origins. In response to the project of God, he made himself pilgrim of justice, so the history of God’s people began. After Abraham, Moses, Samuel and King David were big protagonists in history of Salvation as well, but most high example of simple creature is the Virgin Mary. As Abraham’s yes gave rise to the people of God, the generous yes of Mary let the Word made flesh in the Person of Jesus Christ in the world, then Jesus chose his early Apostles from the World. From the response of these simple men of Galilea the Church came about and the presence of Mary with the Apostles in the Cenacole at the moment of the Holy Spirit’s descent means that Peter and the other Apostles’ yes cannot prescind from Mary’s.

After the Apostles, examples of “Childlike and babies” (Cfr Psalm 8,3) who made the history of the Church are countless. I could remind Saint Francis of Assisi, whose testimony of semplicity brought an awakening of faith in Europe were spirituality was on decline. Another example we remeber is Saint Catherine of Siena, an analphabet woman who wrote to Popes and emperors and is invoked as Patron of operators of communication. In Lourdes the Virgin Mary shew herself as “Immaculate Conception” to Bernardette Soubirous, an illitterate peasant. At the time only theologians knew the Dogma of the Immaculate. The parish priest of the place found out Bernardette was not lying when the girl referred the title the Virgin Mary had introduced herself, so the priest decided to defend her and the Message of Lourdes spread in a very short time. As Bernardette, even the three illiterate children Lucy, Francis and Jacinta became messengers of Mary. The Queen of the Holy Rosary used those simple voices to bring the World to conversion and entrusted the three children the famous secret which makes discuss even nowadays, especially regarding the vision of Hell and the Bishop in white who falls dead on the ground under gunshots while he is going up the mountain. In her diary, Saint Faustina Kowałska, the Apostle of the Divine Mercy, explains the truths of faith with startling semplicity and inciveness. The history of love between God and the Church continues.

If simple people have a privileged place, so does theologians’ work have no more importance? Not at all. To be simple means, not so much to be ignorant, rather recognizing the primacy of God in one’s life and trusting to Him as a child with his/ her parents: “Blessed are the pure in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:3), so semplicity does not discredit the role of theologians, but it enhances it fully. Pope Benedict XVI teaches us a theologian has to be clearly humble and be on ceaseless research, considering he cannot know all of the Mystery of God.

This exhortation still rings out in the speeches of Pope Francis, who warns us that we cannot know God if we have presumption to know everything. No matter how many things we learnt; before the Mystery of God the believer has to keep the simple heart of a child, free from every vanity of knowledge of this World, that is why the Lords gives us children and babies as examples to lok at, as their mouths express His Wisdom: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strenght” (1 Corinthians 1,25).

Simone Venturini


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