“Ask and it will be given to you”
It should not be forgotten that, these gestures of divine predilection, with which Infant Jesus healed the sick, comforted the afflicted, converted sinners, sustained the poor, aroused their lives in sterile mothers, etc. – they are – as he says the word itself – absolutely free gifts, “thank you”, personal favors that he grants as when and to whom he wishes whenever he wants, with sovereign liberality. No one, therefore, has the right to ask for it or to boast of merit or precedence, to receive the reproach of the Lord who said, “I cannot do my things what I want? or are you envious because I am good? “(Mt 20.15).
Moreover, there are innumerable graces, both spiritual and material, which God continually accords and of which we may not even notice.
What “thank you” is it good to ask?
It must first be said that the most important “graces”, the ones to be asked first, are the spiritual gifts and, above all, the strengthening of faith, as the Apostles themselves asked Jesus (see Lk 17: 6). Moreover, the tales of the miracles performed by the Master show that what he was looking at was faith, to reward it, as in the case of the centurion’s servant (see Mt 8,10), or to arouse him, as in the case of the healing of the blind man (see Jn 9,38).
Other spiritual gifts are, for example, the conversion of the heart, the forgiveness of sins, the divine counsel in the face of an important choice, the strength of tribulation, patience in the fulfillment of an office, the dignity of the soul, the purity of body and heart, the grace of a good death, etc. These spiritual gifts have the precedence over the material benefits as they are directly ordered to obtain the most important of the “graces”: eternal salvation.
Bearing in mind this ranking, it is still valid to resort to the Infant Jesus to implore material “graces”, such as healing from physical or psychological infirmity, protection against misfortune, overcoming a trial, employment in a job, the success of an activity, the discovery of a lost object, etc. … among these material favors, one is certainly the most precious: the gift of a child. It is one of the “graces” that the Little King gives more willingly, precisely because there is no material gift so great and beautiful as that of a new life, which God himself arouses, that God returns to himself, and that of God himself it is glory.
The right attitude to ask for a grace.
If God knows all our thoughts and knows what we need, what is the need to expose our demands? And if God does not grant what he is asking, does he mean to say that I do not pray enough, that I do not deserve it, he cheats me?
They are questions that all, more or less, are posing. In the faithful devotee, the request must never have the tones of pretense, nor of an extravagant insistence, as if one should “tear” away God’s favor. God’s sovereign liberality is always respected, in the belief that “God sees and provides” first and foremost of men.
Whoever does not have this respect and “asks for a sign from God” and based on his faith, he already has the rebuke of Jesus: “If you do not see signs and wonders you do not believe” (Jn 4:48). Moreover, if the so-called grace does not happen, they often have a rejection of the faith (presumably so) because “so much is not needed!”.
The request should not be made even with long speeches, as if we should explain to God “the why and how” of what we are asking. Jesus himself teaches “not to waste words like the pagans who believe to be heard by the power of words” (Mt 6: 7).
Lastly, it is decisive that the request originates from an honest heart, who does not seek to bend God to himself, but to convert himself to God, living the Christianity he profits deeply.
Summing up, the feelings that animate those who address the Infant Jesus for a supplication are trust, recognition of divine power, gratitude, abandonment of his will, prayer union with all brothers. If we think about it, it is the child’s own attitudes when he asks something to the parent.