My little Sophia called me to her bedside for the third time.
It was well past her time for sleeping and I knew this was going to be yet another stalling tactic. Was she going to ask me for more water? A bathroom break? Or perhaps she would try to convince me that I really should read her another story.
To my surprise, my daughter (of just three at the time) pulled me in close and refused to let go.
“Kiss me, daddy” she said quietly as she held my cheeks in her hands.
“But I have already kissed you, Sophia, and I have blessed you,” I replied.
“But no, daddy,” Sophia insisted with the utmost seriousness, “I need more of your kisses, or I won’t let you go.”
Sophia could not have known it but she was giving us all a great example of the spiritual life. Devotion, the devout life, is about grabbing a hold of your Father in Heaven and asking, bugging him even, to kiss and bless you yet again. It is about letting go of the past, with all of its failures and successes, to focus on the moment in front of us now.
I cannot claim that I have said one hundred rosaries or participated in one hundred Masses, and pretend that this will save me.
No, all I can do is cling to my God right now.
In this Mass, or in this prayer, or while I pour over these Holy Scriptures.
Wherever I am placed, I must try to get just one more kiss out of my Father.
This is the devout life.
And it is what the Lord desires for all of us.
So today, pull God in real close.
Hold tight and do not let go.