A Little Child Shall Lead Them

As we enter the new year remember the little way. Here’s my latest article for Aleteia–a reflection on the Christ child and the need to be little.

We are so used to hearing Jesus’ teachings about children that we forget how radical they are. In the first century people did not have the sentimental view of children that we do. In their day a child was lower than a slave and only one step above the animals. That Jesus said everyone had to become like a little child would have seemed outrageous and bewildering. Wise old men held the highest rank. How could it be that one had to become small to enter the kingdom?

Only after long reflection could the church understand that Jesus said we must become like a child because he first became a little child.

Pope Pius XII said of St Therese’s little way that it was not just a way, but it is the only way. To enter the kingdom we must follow the little way of childhood. This means trusting completely in the good God as Father, walking innocently and joyfully and seeing ourselves as we truly are–which is the heart of humility.

If you haven’t done so already, check out my book St Benedict and St Therese–The Little Rule and the Little Way.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker

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