Our goal is Christian maturity, which those in the Church Triumphant have fully attained. That is, they have finally grown up to be like children before the Father in heaven. Jesus tells us, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
In the month of November, we focus on praying for those in the Church Expectant to receive this childlike state of grace more fully. As we do so, let’s not lose sight of this goal for our own lives as we labor in the Church Militant. Let’s remember what Jesus tells us: the apex of Christian maturity includes childlike faith. So now is a good time to ask, “How can I get more of that childlike faith now so that I can be more assured of having it forever?”
We find the answer when we step outside of time and join in with the Church Triumphant at Mass. In order to truly appreciate the Mass and enter into its mysteries, we must become like little children. This is a central point from Romano Guardini’s seminal work, The Spirit of the Liturgy. He writes,
Because the life of the liturgy is higher than that to which customary reality gives either the opportunity or form of expression, it adapts suitable forms and methods from that sphere in which alone they are to be found, that is to say, from art. It speaks measuredly and melodiously; it employs formal, rhythmic gestures; it is clothed in colors and garments foreign to everyday life. . . . It is in the highest sense the life of a child, in which everything is picture, melody and song. Such is the wonderful fact which the liturgy demonstrates: it unites act and reality in a supernatural childhood before God. (emphasis mine)
So as we continue throughout the month of November remembering those who have gone before us, we can be more intentional about entering more deeply into what they are now learning to do best: worship like children before the Heavenly Father.
That’s our goal as we lift up Christ in the Beauty of Holiness–becoming detached from passing things as we lay ahold of what is eternal.