I Want You to Be Very Little

By Marc Massery

View the previous Discovering the Diary

Turn to any page of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and you find spiritual gems. Like this one:

"Because I want to teach you spiritual childhood. I want you to be very little, because when you are little, I carry you close to My Heart ..." And with that, I was again alone, but no one can conceive the emotions of my soul, I was so fully plunged in God, like a sponge thrown into the sea ... (1482).

Many times throughout St. Faustina's Diary, Jesus appears to St. Faustina as an infant. This might seem strange at first, until you hear His reasoning for doing so.

Jesus wants us to remember that our relationship with Him is not one between equals. Nor is it a relationship between master and slave. We are infants under His parental care.

Infant Disposition
An infant hardly knows what's going on. He can't feed himself or plan for the future. An infant can't even sooth himself amid stress. An infant relies entirely upon his parents for all his needs.

There's just one major difference between the infant/parent relationship and our relationship with Jesus. While infants instinctively rely upon their parents, we can choose to try to take care of ourselves. When we do, when we try to be self-sufficient, we falter. The infant, therefore, serves as a model of the person we need to try to become before God.

Learning Infancy
Though Jesus wants us to surrender to God and His Providence, this poses a great challenge for us. Throughout the years, we've grown accustomed to dismissing our need for God's parental care, pridefully relying on ourselves.

But Jesus appearing as an infant to St. Faustina teaches us something not unlike what Master Yoda teaches Luke Skywalker in "The Empire Strikes Back." Yoda says that in order for him to gain mastery over the Force - the metaphysical power in the fictional world of the "Star Wars" series - "You must unlearn what you have learned."

Thanks to original sin, we have learned to rely on ourselves, dismissing God's paternal care. It started when Eve chose to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Satan had convinced her that God was withholding something from her that she needed to have. The serpent told her, "For God knows that when you eat from it ... you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gen 3:5). By eating the forbidden fruit, Eve does not receive any supernatural knowledge. Instead, by asserting her own unwillingness to trust in God, she falls from grace and leads humanity into to sin.

Therefore, we must unlearn the habit of distrust that Eve has imparted to us. It only leads to strife. We can do this by shaping everything we do upon the firm belief that God is always providing for us exactly what we need.

When we dismiss God's Providence, when we try and fail to do things on our own, we don't need to worry. We just need to remember to turn back to God and ask for the grace of surrender.

My prayer: Jesus, help me to realize all the unhealthy ways I've learned to distance myself from You. Help me to remember that I am little and incapable of accomplishing anything on my own. Above all, help me to trust and receive the joy and the peace that You want to give me.

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