14 July, Wednesday — Child-like curiosity

Jul 14 – Memorial for St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest

St. Camillus (1550-1614) used to be a gambling addict. He lost so much he had to take a job working construction on a building belonging to the Capuchins; they converted him. Because of a persistent injury, he moved into San Giacomo Hospital for the incurable, and eventually became its administrator.

Lacking education, he began to study with children when he was 32 years old. St. Camillus founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Sick (the Camellians) who care for the sick both in hospital and home. He honoured the sick as living images of Christ, and hoped that the service he gave them did penance for his wayward youth.

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Exo 3:1-6,9-12
Mt 11:25-27

…revealing them to mere children.

I was lamenting the other day with a colleague, about how people go about their lives mentally ‘trapped’ within the confines of what they know and therefore, extremely risk-averse. They don’t want to explore new territory, try something new (even though there is no penalty for failure), nor do they want to bother to go and find out something if they have no prior knowledge of it. I was flabbergasted when, in a casual conversation, one of my senior staff said she had never heard of TEDx – for a marketing person, it certainly raised my eyebrows.

I wonder too about those who are in active ministry – how do they retain that ‘child-like curiosity’ year in, year out? Is that why, inevitably, some lay people transit to another ministry after a few years; simply because they feel they have done all they can and it is time to plunge into a new area of God’s vineyard? That it is time to ‘explore new ground’ and to ‘become like a child’ again. Looking around, I can understand the innate desire to try new things every once in a while.

This is something I encourage my staff to do – to take each project they undertake as a learning journey in order to satisfy some level of curiosity about something they may not know. I just find that it refreshes the mind and keeps one actively engaged in whatever their role is in the division.

So, brothers and sisters — especially those of us serving in ministry — how do we keep up our levels of curiosity about Jesus in all that we do? I have been blessed to have had manifold opportunities to do different things recently as a result of serving in my music ministry. From leading intercessions, to planning for prayer sessions for an upcoming special day; to recording a few songs in the home of a worship leader and writing a reflection piece for our Catholic paper, the Lord has been feeding my child-like curiosity amidst this pandemic. Ironically, it is because we have moved to Zoom sessions that I have had to learn new ways of worshipping and to become more proficient in managing our online sessions.

I guess when it comes to learning about Jesus, there is no age limit. As long as we retain within us that child-like quality  — a curiosity that yearns for answers.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Abba Father, we pray for your constant presence in our lives so that we always remain guided by you in our quest for knowledge about all that we are uncertain about.

Thanksgiving: We thank you, loving Father, for your guidance and wisdom.


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