God speaks to us 'with the voice of a child,' Pope reflects
by Elise Harris
Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Nov. 27, 2013 Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA
Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Nov. 27, 2013 Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA

.- During his daily Mass Pope Francis reflected on how God lowers himself to converse on our level, and encouraged those present to make more moments of silence in order to prepare for the birth of Jesus.

“When we look at a father or a mother who speaks to their little child,” the Pope explained in his Dec. 12 daily homily, “we see that they become little and speak with a voice of a child and with the manners of children…That’s how the Lord speaks to us.”

Addressing those gathered for his Mass in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse, Pope Francis began by reflecting on the words of Isaiah from the day’s first reading in which the prophet assures the Israelites of God’s presence, and tells them not to fear.

What is important in this passage, the pontiff noted, is not only “what the Lord says” but also “how He says it.”

“When the child has a bad dream, he wakes up, cries...the father goes and says, ‘Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, I’m here,” the Pope explained, adding that “That’s how the Lord speaks to us…He is near.”

Reflecting on how parents often speak to small children in the tone of the little child, the pontiff observed that “Someone looking in from the outside might think, ‘This is ridiculous!’ They become smaller, right there, no?”

But they do this, the Pope explained, “because the love of a father and a mother needs to be close…to lower themselves to the world of the child.”

“If the father and mother spoke to them normally, the child would still understand,” he continued, “but they want to take up the manner of speaking of the child.”

“They come close, they become children. And so it is with the Lord.”

Recalling the Greek theologian’s “difficult” word “synkatábasi,” literally meaning “the condescension of God who comes down to make Himself one of us,” which is used to describe this attitude, Pope Francis noted how parents also say “ridiculous things” to their children.

“‘Ah, my love, my toy,’” and “all these things” are said, the Pope explained, stating that the Lord also speaks to us in this way, quoting Isaiah when he says “‘you worm Jacob…you are like a worm to me, a tiny little thing, but I love you so much.’”

“This is the language of the Lord, the language of the love of a father, of a mother,” reflected the pontiff, explaining that although we understand the word of the Lord, we also need to “see how He says it.”

“And we must do what the Lord does, do what He says and do it as He says it: with love, with tenderness, with that condescension towards the brethren.”

Referring then to Elijah’s encounter with God when the Lord came to him as “as sweet breeze,” or “sound of silence,” Pope Francis observed that “that is how the Lord draws near, with that resonance of silence that is proper to love. Without making a spectacle.”

“He becomes small in order to make me strong; He goes to death, with that condescendence, so that I might live.”

This silence, noted the Pope, “is the music of the language of the Lord, and we, in the preparation for Christmas, ought to hear it.”

“Normally, Christmas seems to be a very noisy holiday,” the pontiff explained, emphasizing that “it would do us good to have a little silence and to hear these words of love, these words of such nearness, these words of tenderness.”

“(Let us pray) for this,” he urged, “and to be silent in this time in which, as it says in the preface, we are watchful in waiting.”

Tags: Children, Christmas, Pope Francis, Jesus Christ

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »


Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: