January 2009 (Vol. XXII, No. 1)

Winter Blessings, dear friends!

Recall for a moment the innocence, spontaneity, and energy of your childhood years . . . the world of growing pains and joy, dancing and singing, running and jumping, magic and mystery, of freedom and friendship . . . of hiding in quiet spaces in silence under bushes, a willow tree, or in a closet where you could create a secret, imaginative life for a while . . . Then, all too soon, it was as if a door opened into the adult world and childhood dreams slowly seemed to fade away. For some children, however, childhood held more fear than fun. Some grew up in tragedy never really having a chance to grow and mature "normally." Still, the Divine Child dwells within every one of us. What if you were to take time to call upon your inner Child, ask him or her to lead you in the Dance, the Play, the Music once again? It is possible!

Mechtild of Magdeburg, an early sage, was affirmed in her prayer, "I God, am your playmate! I will lead the Child in you in wonderful ways, for I have chosen you."  Love has chosen us all! It is never too late to learn from the Divine Child within your heart.

The way I treat my inner child is the way I am going to treat my outer child.

The way I treat my inner child

The way I treat my inner child is the way I am going to treat my outer child.

~ Robert M Stein

It takes a universe to make a child

It takes a universe
to make a child both
in outer form and inner spirit.
It takes a universe
to educate a child;
a universe to fulfill a child.
For, the child awakens to a universe.

~ Thomas Berry

I've been chosen to clap and cheer

A young Indian boy was auditioning along with some of us for a school play. His mother knew he’d set his heart on being in the play — just like the rest of us hoped, too — and she feared how he would react if he was not chosen.

On the day the parts were awarded the little boy’s mother went to the school on her horse to collect her son. The little boy rushed up to her and her horse, eyes shining with pride and excitement.

"Guess what, Mom," he shouted, and then said the words that provide a lesson to us all, "I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer."

~ Ed Slow Horse Chaparro

When I die God will become a whaler

When I was a baby my heart
was a tiny fish swimming
in a gargantuan sea of things to come.

When I was a toddler my heart
was a trout in a large lake of
thoughts and feelings.

Now my heart is becoming
a salmon ready to go to the sea
of troubles I will have to face.

When I am old my heart
will be a whale swimming
in a sea of memories.

When I die God will become
a whaler.

~ Orion Misciagns, 11 years old, in POETIC MEDICINE by John Fox

The hidden child and the secret friend

How great is the difference between the hidden child and the secret friend! For the friend makes only loving, living but measured ascents toward God. But the child presses on to lose its own life upon the summits, in that simplicity which knoweth not itself.

~ from THE SPARKLING STONE by Jan Van Ruysbroeck

A child inside that never grew up

Perhaps there was in Beethoven the man, a child inside that never grew up and to the end of his life remained a creature of grace and innocence and trust even in his moments of greatest despair. And that innocent spirit speaks to us of hope and future and immortality.

~ Leonard Bernstein

A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed or even lost before we reach adulthood. I wish I could give a sense of wonder to each child in the world, so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote to the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with artificial things, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

~ from THE SENSE OF WONDER by Rachel Carson

The soul is healed

The soul is healed by being with children.

~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

The child has an inner life

The child has an inner life, born in the sacred and pointing toward an unknown destiny. Our task is to nourish this inner life, to bring this precious crop to spiritual harvest.

~ from GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT by P. Zaleski and P. Kaufman

Childhood should not end

"Sometimes, even in the middle of a busy street, I would feel the great union, the great peace when speaking and listening were attuned to the voice of the Most High."

"I have felt this rarely in my life, mostly when I was a very young child," returned Pawel. "Time slowed then, a sense of wonder expanded. Angels sent messages, poured out over the world. One had only to look up to see it, to hear it, to receive the messages. But childhood ends. ‘Reality’ conquers all."

"Childhood should not end," David said. "It should take a more mature form, but its innocence should not cease."

~ from SOPHIA HOUSE by Michael O’Brien

The generosity hidden in the soul of a child

No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.

~ Emma Goldman

The spiritual Child is sleeping inside all of us

I know now that the spiritual Child is sleeping inside all of us. All beings, no matter how reactionary, fearful, dangerous or lost, can open themselves to the sacred within and become free even in prison. Prison is a perfect monastery.

~ from a letter written to a meditation teacher in prison in ARISE MY LOVE by William Johnston

What to do with children?

What to do with children?
It came so naturally.
I remembered Aunt Marion’s example.
Give them a place to run —
to breathe fresh air first —
and lead them to a place to swim.
Feed them fruit.
Show them how it is peeled and sweetened.
Love all children
as if they were your own.
Then, just before they go to sleep,
Give them music by the silvery moon.

~ from BLACKBERRY SEASON by H.H. Price

Inner peace is a great gift

Inner peace is a great gift. When we are at peace, we find the freedom to be ourselves, even in difficult times. We let go of what is unnecessary and embrace what really matters.

~ Joseph Bernardin