A Deeper Hunger: Nourishing an 'Appetite for the Marvelous"

From here, i just love this:

"Nourishing an Appetite for the Marvelous

When a child is born, his soul leaves the hands of God with the seal of God’s image and likeness. This image and likeness, a potential of great force, will attract the soul to God throughout his life.

For this reason a child has a strong tendency to see the image and likeness of God in the ensemble of the universe or in each one of its parts. This tendency toward contemplation, nourished in the child, can develop in the man and become one of his most precious possessions. “The child is father to the man,” wisely observed the poet. Thus the man, to the degree he keeps his innocence, continues to see the reflection of God in the things around him.

In this state of innocence the child has a tendency to communicate with the angels. This makes the child open to a kind of world that is different from the concrete and pragmatic world of adults who have lost their innocence....

(There is of course our faith to nourish us back here and this is core, but also) another avenue to nourish the sense of the marvelous is the world of fairy tales and what we call “children’s stories.” One can see the thirst for the marvelous in the first innocence of a soul that turns toward things that are beautiful, charming and good. The bad witch puts a spell on the beautiful princess, who is saved by the good prince. In the charmed world of the fairy tale, there are boundaries of good and evil, which correspond to the beautiful and ugly, and reinforce a child’s certainties about the abstracts.

Another way to quench this thirst for the marvelous is to tell the legends of the Saints, like those in the Golden Legend of Jacques de Voragine, which have a bit of both worlds – a bit of religion and a bit of the fairy tale. The Golden Legend tells many wonderful stories, like the one about the knight in the tournament in which the Blessed Virgin intercedes for those who have a devotion to her....(And so for example,) One who realizes that Our Lady could, indeed, have taken the place of her faithful knight and done wondrous feats at the tournament, has an idea of what she can and will do for us, if we remain faithful in these difficult times. When we believe these things, then we dare to ask for great things, for impossible things. We know that we are asking for something that lies well within the boundaries of the marvelous"

"I am not saying that everything in (our legends) is indisputably true. What I’m saying is that, true or not, they feed the sense of contemplation in children. With age, boys and girls will discern, with the help of grace - which never fails - what is true or not in these legends. But they will keep an openness to the marvelous that can be refined, mature, and produce great fruit. The cathedrals, castles, festivals, and crusades, all marvelous fruit of the medieval age, an Age of Faith and innocence, provide a prime example of this....

By opening our souls to that which is marvelous... we gain confidence in the great goodness and mercy of God, who intervenes in History and the lives of men in marvelous ways."

(This sweet image is from the border of a Medieval manuscript, pictured here)

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