During a wedding rehearsal I entertained a two-year-old whose father was playing the guitar and whose mother was attending a three-month-old. The conversation with the little girl went something like this:

Maria June 11 005Girl: Gibberish…baby…gibberish…mommy…gibberish…day…gibberish…me.

Me:   I believe you’re right. I totally agree.

Girl:  Gibberish…doll…gibberish…you…gibberish…play…gibberish…daddy.

Me:   Yes, that was a lovely party. I really enjoyed myself.

I could have been reciting multiplication tables or the Gettysburg Address with the same effect, because the sole source of communication was my facial expression and tone of voice. Both conveyed (I think) my interest in the little girl and my pleasure in conversing with her. Communication is only ten percent words.

If Jesus Christ wants us to be like children, then prayer doesn’t have to be styled or logical or unified with topic sentences. God understands and gets the point. And God is not passive to our prattle.  God is very involved. God is Word expressing and Spirit animating. The Word of God is speaking, and the Spirit of God breathing. And we participate in this. We are part of God’s conversation, and we become expressions of God’s speech.

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  1. Sr. Joan Marie on September 8, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I could resonate with your experience of communicating with the two-year-old, Valerie! Yes, prayer is certainly like that and God loves us in the midst of our “prattle!” Thanks for the reminder.

  2. mary james on September 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks, Valerie, Good thoughts for pondering as usual, I especially love: God is not passive to our prattle..Thanks you God!

  3. Claudia Sturm on September 8, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you

  4. Sister Celine Bundschuh on September 12, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Truly, YES, Sister Valerie….and a child and child-like spirit will lead us/me/them.
    Father Daniel Renaud mentioned in retreat this summer that in Jesus’ time a child was considered even less
    that a slave. For Jesus to want us to be as children really is saying something about a child, gibberish and all….lovely prayer.

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