Spiritual Childhood in the Servant of God Mother Maria Amada
Autor: José Eduardo Câmara de Barros Carneiro, Brasil (Translation: Br. Joan Delacreu, SM)
Mother Maria Amada of the Infant Jesus was not only a great mystic, she also received great enlightenment for the formation of souls, primarily, for the formation of her sons and daughters: the Missionary Sisters and Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of Our Lady of Guadalupe. And ultimately, she received it for the whole Church and for all believers.
Without a doubt, Mother Maria Amada deeply experienced the way of Spiritual Childhood. It was one of her most extraordinary characteristics. If the “little way” of St. Therese echoed loudly through the whole world, in the soul of Maria Amada it resounded in a very delicate and personal way. Her contemplative soul was guided by the Lord himself. The first teacher of the interior life is God himself. On this account she declares, “I wish to cry aloud and make myself heard by all the souls: God takes personal charge for directing simple and humble souls, the child souls.
The Holy Spirit is the sanctifier and the guide of souls! It will be with great delicacy that Maria Amada shall be guided on her own spiritual path since she was a “child soul”. In her infant charm of child innocence, the Lord showed her soul the beauty of being a “child soul”. “The Lord has enlightened me about my little way and, on certain occasions, he has instructed me about it. In a few words: this is the path of spiritual childhood”.
Maria Amada’s desire to be “spiritually a child soul” bears a prophetic air. Our generation thrives under the dictatorship of fame, of vanity, of wanting to be the best, the best looking and the most famous. It is truly a disease! But Jesus as a merciful Doctor has shown us “the path of spiritual childhood”. The “child soul” is his divine medicine or remedy.
The Servant of God Maria Amada is a “child soul”. Aware of her own misery and weakness, she discovered that her riches was not in being great. “If we are the summit of littleness and misery, won’t we be overwhelmed with greater graces than the rest of the little souls?” Guided by Love itself she delves deeply into her own littleness. “I am the embodiment of misery and weakness, I do not believe there will ever be another soul weaker than mine”.
She relates in her own writings that one day the divine Guide showed her all the mysteries of the life of Christ. She received a “precious teaching” from each mystery. She was to unite herself to each one of the mysteries: his Infancy, his Public Life, his Eucharistic Life and his Glorious Life. What a great lesson: Maria Amada must live of the life of the Savior!
Maria Amada’s name, Maria Amada of the Child Jesus, connects her to the Mystery of the Infancy, the Mystery of the Child Jesus. She will not only contemplate and unite herself to the Mystery, she will have to do more. Our Lord told her, “Being a child, you will imitate my life by your littleness and simplicity. Furthermore, you will be ready to teach the path of Spiritual Childhood to the souls I will entrust to you”. Maria Amada will not only live the way of Spiritual Childhood like many other souls, but also will have to teach it. She will be a teacher of the “way of Spiritual Childhood”. She will be a teacher of “child souls¨.
Thus, she speaks of the Wisdom she learned in the Loving Heart of Jesus, “Spiritual childhood is in its totality the fruit of the total renunciation, self-denial and forgetfulness of self. To be nothing so that He becomes our all, in a single word, He has everything that will transform us into children by his virtues. That it will be easy, plain and sweet cannot be denied. It is also certain that God accomplishes everything. This endeavor depends totally on God as well as on us.”
There is a fundamental characteristic of the “child souls” which is very special in the spirituality of Mother Amada, “So many gifts in the child souls merge into one, simplicity, to be one with God. This God who is a vast sea of infinite perfections and infinite Simplicity”.
The Servant of God understood how her “child soul” must live. “Simplicity is not the simplification of the ego, but the death of this great enemy, our self love”. In this simplicity “sweetness will always be her inseparable companion” and her “look will be the look of a white, candid dove that never stepped on manure”.
According to her, another characteristic of the “child soul” consists in loving her own misery (poverty) without becoming complacent with it. The greatness of these souls is in their weakness, “let us love our littleness, our miseries, but never coming to terms with our defects, faults and imperfections”.
As a true Mother, she also admonished the “child souls” about the errors and difficulties of the path of Love. “Besides, we shall never insist enough that it would be a most serious error to assume, or to believe, that little souls would be dispensed, or freed from effort in the practice of virtues and good works. This could never be”.
The Loving Heart of Jesus revealed to Maria Amada that these souls “would be, by virtue of their littleness, the great apostles of his glory, his living praise, prayer and adoration. United to Him they would be soul victims of love. Being little in their spirit they would become the greatest of souls”.
She writes: “Finally, his Majesty gave me to understand how these child souls are his perfect praise. These souls rise up toward Him, to the divine union by means of sorrows and pain, of joys and happiness. They gradually develop into heavenly instruments that are completely tuned according to the divine hearing of the God of Love. He raises them up to the heavenly mansion to remain there amid splendors of glory, and to delight with their harmonies the Adorable Trinity”.
Sanctity does not consist in extraordinary things, so she would declare: “I do not desire such things as visions, revelations etc. I desire with the utmost intensity to love God, to love Jesus with love without measure and to make him loved by the whole world”. All of us are called to holiness, everyone is. Let us be holy, we the “child souls”, by learning “the path of spiritual childhood” with our Mother Maria Amada of the Child Jesus.
The Most Loving Heart of Jesus loves all of us, it is up to us to give our assent, our “yes” to Love. Let us make our own the following prayer sprung forth from the heart of Mother Maria Amada:
O Sacred Heart of my divine Love! In your mercy, create in this, our exile, a great, numerous army of beautiful souls, who will love you, love you beyond measure with their childlike love. I do not wish to hear again from your divine lips the sorrowful complain, I am not loved. I looked for someone to console me and I did not find anyone. My loved one, grant to this poor and wicked creature, in the excess of your infinite charity and mercy, the undeserved favor of being counted among the blessed souls. May I, like them, live of love, and die of pure love”.