At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I loved spending time with my two smallest nephews over Thanksgiving. Their youthful energy and wonder fill me with joy. But when I unwrapped one chocolate too many for the older boy, I was told very seriously: “I think we better wait till after supper!”
When do we lose a child’s quick sense that an extra piece of candy may not be the best thing for us? In St. Augustine’s Confessions, I notice how the saint pays close attention to small sins. What led him to climb a pear tree to steal its fruit? He devotes nine pages to this one misdeed, but by paying careful attention to his own motives, this great Catholic thinker arrives at a deeper truth; in his case, that recklessness in small acts can open the way to larger sins later on.
Jesus cared a great deal how people understood the world and themselves. This Advent season, what might God reveal to us if we pray to Him with a greater spirit of childlike honesty?
—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a scholastic of the West Province currently in Regency in the Advancement Office at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California.
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit,
That my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit,
That my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,
That I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
To defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,
That I always may be holy.
—St. Augustine’s prayer to the Holy Spirit