The Humility of Taking Small Steps

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From this morning's General Audience:

Encountering the Face of God

In Jesus of Nazareth we encounter the face of God, descended from Heaven to immerse Himself in the world of mankind and to teach 'the art of living', the road to happiness; to free us from sin and to make us true children of God.

The Holy Father has, from the very beginning of his pontificate spoken of the Face of God, announcing again and again that Jesus is the Human Face of God. To contemplate the Face of Jesus in the Gospels and in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar is to discover the Heart of God and to enter progressively into the gift of His Divine Friendship.

A God Who Entered History and Remains Present

Speaking about God means, first and foremost, being clear about what we must bring to the men and women of our time. God has spoken to us, ... not an abstract or hypothetical God, but a real God, a God Who exists, Who entered history and remains present in history: the God of Jesus Christ ... as a response to the fundamental question of why and how to live. Therefore, speaking about God requires a continual growth in faith, familiarity with Jesus and His Gospel, a profound knowledge of God and strong passion for His plan for salvation, without giving in to the temptations of success....

No one can speak of God authoritatively who has not experienced God. Intellectual notions about God do not qualify one to evangelize, to catechize, or to preach. Only the friend of God can speak of God convincingly.

Do Not Fear the Humility of Taking Small Steps

We must not fear the humility of taking small steps, trusting in the leaven that makes the dough rise slowly and mysteriously. In speaking about God, in the work of evangelisation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must return to the simplicity and essential nature of proclamation: the concrete Good News of God Who cares about us, the love of God which Jesus Christ brought close to us, even unto the Cross, and which in the Resurrection opens us to life without end, to eternal life.

My heart leapt when I read the Holy Father's admonition: "We must not fear the humility of taking small steps." Is this not the doctrine of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face? The work of salvation began with the small steps of a little girl, Mary, the immaculate daughter of Joachim and Anna. And then, in the fulness of time, another child took his first small steps: Jesus, the child of the Virgin Mary. Thus did God open the way of holiness to the little, the poor, and the weak. Small steps: we mustn't be afraid to take them.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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