Click here to listen to Fr. Rusty's meditation "Unless You Become Like a Child"
Below is Fr. Rusty's letter from the September 23, 2012 bulletin.
The Illusion of Familiarity
The new school year has begun. The energy and presence of the children has again reminded me of what I often forget. The words of Yahweh God to Moses: “Take off your shoes…This is Holy Ground.” Ex 3:5. What a gift children invite us back into – for them, there is only “holy ground” filled with new discoveries, new wonders. The ability to have a “beginners mind,” the emotions of awe and wonder and a heart that is still vulnerable and open, or as G.K. Chesterton once said, “Children invite us to look at things familiar until they look unfamiliar again.”
And in our gospel today, Jesus is trying to help his disciples have “beginners mind.” But as Picasso once said, “It takes a long time to become young.” Jesus knows their thoughts: “who is the greatest”? So he says, “If you want to be great,” he stops talking and puts a child in their midst and very poignantly puts his arms around us and says, “Who ever welcomes a child such as this, welcomes me.” Paraphrased, unless you become like a child…open, vulnerable, trusting, a heart open to wonder and mystery…you will remain blind, deaf and hard hearted.
As you know, children have great imaginations. Aristotle once said, “Imagination is the language of the soul.”
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope the picture of my friend with her three grandchildren will inspire you to “put on the mind of a child” and go to the parish website at www.ssj.org (the “Mind Like A Child Meditation” link under Quick Links), where you will be invited for seven minutes to “Be Still and Know That I Am God” (PS 46). You will be invited to let the Holy Spirit use your imagination and yourself to be a child again and to pray with an open heart. I will guide you in the prayer… and if you give yourself (and maybe your family) to these seven minutes…you will feel blessed with the eyes (heart) of a child of God.