a) God’s desire

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, after its prologue, begins the exposition of the doctrinal core of the faith with a section entitled “God’s desire”. It says in point 27: “God’s desire is inscribed in the heart of man, because man has been created by God and for God; and God does not cease to attract man to himself, and only in God will man find the truth and happiness that he does not cease to seek ”.

This initial desire for God is relevant when it is observed how the human being in his state of greatest simplicity, without philosophies involved, without having developed any theological concept, is capable of God. This is the case of children who show an innate sense of understanding towards the relationship with God. And the same can be said of the different indigenous peoples. They are sensitive to divine reality and relate to it from different manifestations of worship. But, without a doubt, we can affirm that this occurs because of his innate desire for God.

b) Some questions of spiritual childhood (regarding prayer)

It is not easy to distinguish when the turning point occurred in which that desire for God, that need for a relationship between Creator and created, became obligation, even heaviness. We know that in the times of the prophets of Israel they corrected the faithful people because they had diverted their worship and fasting (see the book of Isaiah, for example chapters 1 and 58). We can also remember how Jesus blamed the Pharisees who carried heavy loads on the people or, in a very didactic way, the parable of the Pharisee and the publican.

The point is that there was a moment when the tables were turned and the human being believed that in his relationship with God he should undertake efforts and make merits. This does not seem like the landscape of a love story. On the contrary, it is the propitious scene for indulgence and boredom. Thus, two phenomena have proliferated that converge in the same mouth. On the one hand there are those who, believing that worship should be “serious”, and by “serious” they understand “boring”, they have turned the temple and the celebration into a “palazo”. On the other hand, there are those who conceive the celebration as a show and, really, as a show it is as much or more “palazo”.

But, in addition, that has also been transferred to the most personal relationship. There are people who are determined that their relationship with God must be so formal and stiff that they have ended up conceiving God in the same way, ending up bored with Him. And, on the other hand, there are those who seem to insist even more insistently, if possible. , in “boring” God.

For years I have explained to adolescents and young people the difficulties of praying with three exotic birds:

-The parrot says, but he doesn’t know what he’s saying. It is like the one who prays using formulas without trying to understand what he is saying.

-The parrot repeats the same thing over and over again, but he doesn’t know what he’s repeating either. He is like the one who prays repeating the same words a thousand times that have no meaning whatsoever.

– And the parrot not only says and repeats, but does not stop saying and repeating. He is like the one who prays without allowing the interlocutor, God, to say anything. There is no time to listen because he can’t stop talking.

In the last case, that of the “parrot”, there is also an excessive role that runs the enormous risk of overshadowing the action of the Lord. In general, it is something that often occurs in postures of spiritual infantilism, also in aspects related to prayer.

Quique Fernández

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