Sunday Eve.”    Well, that would be the evening before a Sunday.     In preparing myself before the “Encounter” at Mass tomorrow morning,  I came across one of my favorite people who ever lived;  she is a kind of teacher to me.  A mentor, perhaps.   Her life is a guide . . .

Do you remember a little of what it was like to be four years old?

Here she is at four years old, just before she died.

Nellie in bed

She’s known as Little Nellie of Holy God.    There are only two or three photos of her.  She came to a Catholic orphanage, frail, very sick, and having just lost both her parents.    When she got better occasionally,  she could join the other little girls in the orphanage’s  school and was fun-loving and beloved by her friends and teachers.

What would it be like to think and feel as you did when you were a little child,  open and sincere and trusting?

She was sweet,  innocent, pure, loving,  generous by nature, and “very sorry” whenever her childish impulses took over and she did some small wrong.

Like a child, who is unspoiled by the modern world.   The way Jesus would want us to raise our children:  sweet, innocent, loving and open to goodness and truth.

Jeus and children

We all have heard that Jesus said “Let the little children come unto Me.”  He said that when the grown-ups tried to prevent the children from interrupting the “grown-up”  conversation.

Jesus and child

Jesus, in His wisdom and knowledge about human beings,  knew that children could hear and understand His words, and He set the children to be an example for us.

Children can grow in the knowledge of Jesus and trust Him.

It is said that Little Nellie spoke of seeing Jesus by her bedside.

nellie and jesus

Little Nellie delighted in the flowers that “Holy God” had made for her and for the whole world.  She always requested that fresh flowers be kept near the crucifix in her room.  As much as her failing strength allowed, she insisted that the “dirty flowers” be taken away –  those that had dried up and withered.

That’s really not a “childish” idea.  She had a natural understanding that we give our best to God.  (Our simple best,  little things  from  our own world around us.)

Jesus also said:  “Unless you become like little children,  you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”       So, not “childish,”  but childlike.  

Just as little children can grow in the knowledge and understanding of the things of Jesus, so can we grow in our understanding of what it is like to be the child we once were.   It is possible.

Little Nellie loved God, and she learned about Jesus and why he had to be on the Cross.   She quickly began to ask question after question, astonishing her caregivers and the nuns with the perception and spiritual understanding implicit in those questions.

If we become like little children —  that is,  if we become more and more like the child we started out to be in this life,  we will not become dumb and ignorant,  we’ll become observant and perceptive.     And, therefore,  docile to spiritual truths.     Docile just means  “teachable.”

Little children know they are not smarter than God. 

It is certainly possible to put away all the sophisticated “adult”  things in your life,  the complicated, complex,  frustrating concerns,  and then just remember (or imagine) how you, as a very young child would fill your time with  learning,  delighting in things,  doing your duties,  knowing your place in the world, accepting that perplexities do exist and we can’t know or control everything around us.

In the end,  we are not in control of everything.  We can’t stop all the Bad and we don’t create all the Good.    There are many things that we must do,  but through it all, we can rest in Him.

Jesus with sleeping child

He sees us as children of God,” He knows our “infirmities” and our weaknesses,  inside out, because He took on our human nature.

My “Encounter” with Him will come during Mass tomorrow morning.   Philosophers can explain it with terms of Substance and Accident,  and with discussions of the Immensity of God, which does not refer to place or space, but rather to an aspect of Omnipresence which intersects with Eternity,  which itself doesn’t refer to time or length of time.

Little Nellie would have pierced right through all the philosophy because she knew that “Holy God”  is present in every Consecrated Host (properly consecrated) — and she had the uncanny ability to tell whether a Host had not been consecrated, and was a mere shape of flour and water.

So sensitive was she to  “Holy God”  that she could tell when someone had just come from  Holy Communion  (properly done) and had Holy God in them.

She was blessed with special graces which inspired those around her and which have strengthened the faith of many;  of many others with childlike faith –  not too sophisticated or too smart for God.

Don’t lose the child in you.

“Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”



Little Nellie Organ, of Ireland,  of Holy God.




Explore posts in the same categories: Childhood, Faith

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