December 8, 2012
Julian Meditations

September, 2012

The Secret of Littleness

by Carlo Carretto

EXPERIENCE has often lead me to think that if God did not exist, we should indeed be forced to invent him, since without him and what he represents we are not up to living and are in difficulty from our first cries or from our first steps. Without faith in God we are like someone trying to live in a roofless house, or trying to read at night without a lamp.

But God does not have to be invented, and is so near that we can feel his breath, when we are silent or when we pray.

Certainly problems of visibility exist. But these are not from his side, they are from our own infinite complications. God is simple and we make him complicated. He is close to us and we think him far away. He is in the real and in events, and we look for him in dreams and impossible utopias.

The true secret of making contact with God is littleness, simplicity of heart, poverty of spirit: all things that pride, wealth and cleverness foil in us. Jesus said it: "Unless you become like little children ... you will never enter ...", and he certainly was not joking or trying to have us on.

Whether or not we see God depends on our eye. If it is a simple eye, it sees him. If it is a baleful eye, it does not see him.

I had the good fortune to be born among the poor, among the marvelous folk of the countryside, who had simplicity and littleness kneaded into them. My father and mother were very little. They were just made for believing and hoping. And I found myself in their hands. And everything was easier. How at peace I felt with them, and how serene my childhood was!

Yes, the secret is to be little children! In a child there is a basic intuition, given by God himself.

God gives human beings life, he gives them bread to sustain them -- and he gives them this intuition, which is faith, to guide them and light their way. And he gives it to all of them. All of them! Not only to Jews and Christians, but to everyone, without exception.

From I Sought and I Found by Carlo Carretto (Maryknoll NY: Orbis Books, 1984), p. 18.