Today is the feast day of the Sto. Nino, the image of the Child Jesus venerated in many parts of the Philippines. The Sto. Nino has various meanings for various people. To some entrepreneurs, it is a patron of good luck in business, placed on the same pedestal as the Chinese God of Prosperity. Many Catholic parents pray to the Sto. Nino for the safety and well-being of their young children.
I’m not a great fan of the Sto. Nino myself. Nevertheless, I have time and again turned to the Child Jesus for solace in trying times, reminding myself that a trusting, child-like attitude is necessary when beseeching a sometimes distant God.
Today I came across a nice passage on writing as a discipline. In one the many books I buy on impulse but never get around to reading until months, even years, after, Emilie Griffin sheds light on why we write (or blog). In “Wilderness Time: A Guide for Spiritual Retreat”, she explains:
“When we write, we embark on a kind of heart-journey. Yet we are not sure of the destination. An act of trust is needed. We are oftentimes confronting the hidden part of ourselves. We have to be willing to meet the self that surfaces when we write. Writing, then, can be a kind of spiritual exercise.
The blank page confronts us and stares us down. Possibly we are afraid that some distortion or untruth will spoil the page. Maybe we are really afraid of the truth that will mar our self esteem. But when we override these fears and give the pen or pencil its way, a flow of grace may be felt. Strong feelings or simple insights may spill out. We are in touch with ourselves at a deeper level, moved by the Spirit of God. Nouwen writes: “What I am gradually discovering is that in writing I am in touch with the Spirit of God within me and experience how I am led to new places”.”
Writing, for Griffin and many others, is portal for receiving God’s grace. But we have to put honest and diligent effort to access it.