By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, email@example.com
January 13, 2018
WE really have to be most thankful that even up to now we as a people still have a great devotion to the Sto. Niño. Instead of waning through the years, this popular piety we have toward the Child Jesus has grown.
Yes, there are still things that should be made right and purified, (I suppose we will never run out of them), but we cannot deny that this devotion has helped us greatly in a world and in times that are increasingly secularized and paganised. Think of the many so-called liberal people in the world who have considered faith, religion and piety as obsolete.
Thanks to God the image of Christ as both a child and king has truly so captured the Filipino heart (especially the Cebuano heart) that whatever situation we may find ourselves in, whether good or bad humanly speaking, we still keep our Christian faith and try our best to live by it.
Let’s hope that this devotion continues to develop and to spread more widely, especially among the young ones who are most vulnerable to the faith-killing and piety-numbing ways of the world today. In this, we have to use both the human and supernatural means of prayer and sacrifice, and to involve as many people and institutions as possible.
That the Sto. Niño is both child and king somehow reminds us that we need to be like a child to attain our ultimate kingly goal of human maturity and Christian perfection. As we grow older, more exposed to the world and gaining a lot of experience, we need to be more like a child, deepening and enriching our spiritual childhood in Christ.
Let’s always remember what Christ himself said: “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18,3)
Yes, children and heaven are almost synonymous to each other. No wonder we feel like we are in heaven every time we see children around. Every time a baby is born, we are very happy because we somehow know that he just did not come out of his mother’s womb, but rather from the very hands of God who created him before the parents procreated him.
In spite of the many limitations of children, what makes them always desirable is their pure, innocent heart, incapable of malice, ambition, pride and haughtiness. They are a source of many other good things.
Their heart is always trusting in the Lord always, just like a little kid is always confident with his father. Faith and hope easily grow and acquire strength when nurtured in a child's heart. It's this attitude that leads them to go on and move on no matter what, for life to them could only be an adventure of discoveries.
It's this kind of heart that makes them transparent, sincere and simple, not afraid to be known as they truly are. They may still lack the subtlety of prudence and discretion, and be prone to spontaneity, but they hardly mind these deficiencies.
They are only interested in doing what they think is good and enjoyable. Suggestions and corrections do not humiliate them. Rather, they welcome these suggestions and corrections.
Children are humble, teachable, flexible and docile. You can tell them anything, and they always tend to believe and obey. Attainments, achievements and successes do not spoil them. Neither do difficulties, temptations and failures crush them and plunge them to sadness or bitterness.
They are easy to motivate, to be consoled, to be optimistic. Falls and mistakes are easily forgotten. They only leave a mark that becomes a source of precious lessons for them to learn. They are quick to heal when wounded.