A Tradition Among the Youths
Today, I attended the first day of the National Catholic Youth Conference of 2017. During the day, I wore my white cloak and capuce to help show the kids the full Carmelite habit. Unknown to me there is that there is a tradition at this event of the kids, where they try to pin decorated clothing pins on each other. However, the clothing pin tradition, as I learned, was not just for the kids. As I walked around the huge exhibition hall during the morning and into the afternoon, kids were placing clothing pins and stickers all over the back of my cloak and capuce. I had no idea that the kids were doing this to me. I only found out late in the afternoon after a priest asked me about these things on my habit. My response to him was simply, “what are you talking about?”
God, The Gift Giver
As I reflected upon the actions of the kids, I couldn’t help but ask myself…. is God any different? How often does God give a gift and we only become aware of it well after His gift impacted us. I have asked for gifts like patience for years, and suddenly after years I slow down and reflect upon my life and see the true growth in that gift I asked for. God is the ultimate gift giver that will never be out down in charity. Sometimes we give a gift with the hope to be acknowledged for it, God is not like that. He gives a gift, because He is love, and shares Himself with us freely. Thus, it makes sense to me that God would give His gifts in secret. Why? The secret gifts of God keep us from imputing any motives on why He gives us gifts.
Experiencing God’s Charity
These kids didn’t want anything from me. They didn’t want a photo or a joking moment with father. These kids wanted to include me in their tradition, because they love that tradition and their priests. Kids can be our best teachers if we just allow ourselves to listen and learn from them. I am thankful for these kids having included me in their tradition of fun and joy.
O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! I will sing of our majesty above the heavens with the mouths of babes and infants. – Psalms 8: 2-3a