By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

When Have You Really Lived?

Segovia Plaza MayorImage by ferlomu via Flickr
In the old town square of Segovia, Spain, I sat watching four children in a square formation kicking a soccer ball to each other. It was superbly pleasant spring weather. The sun was shining. The typical European rhythm of families, youth, and tourists passing time in the main square, called in Spain the "plaza mayor," was unfolding as it was in many other squares on the continent.

From the children´s expressions, smiles, and laughter, it was self-evident that they were living fully in the present. They were delighting in life while they were living it.

The Gospel tells us to become like those children: not fearful, not possessive, not anxious, not imprisoned by the past or by the future. Yes, we are called to maturity; but true maturity--if we take maturity to mean full human flourishing--includes these particular wonderful components of childhood.

In this sense, the mature man or mature woman must retain the basic enjoy-the-present vigor of childhood, a vigor delightfully liberated from burdensome attachments. It may be that the solution to many of our problems and frustrations in life may lie in daring to take the child's approach to life. As I recall, not a few saints seem to have perceived the same truth.

P.S. Segovia is about 50 miles northwest of Madrid and about 40 miles northeast of Ávila.