Although it's hardly a popular modern pasttime, I have a devotion to the Infant of Prague, the "Little King," crowned and robed, which my fifth-grade teacher, Sister Mary Rose, planted in me. I was intrigued when my "Snow White" friend admitted that she had recently taken up the same devotion. After the death of her mother, she began to find statues of the Little King turning up in odd places. Or rather, she says, "He found me." And she took Him to her heart and home.
Now the small statues, free of their stiff embroidered robes and clad in the simple priestly alb, send their benediction from several quiet corners in her home. The one above stands in the entry room window. Another holds court in the kitchen, adorened with a rose-ribbon-stole, and a third reigns on her dresser.
I particularly love the evocative shrine that my friend and her children made for the King in the photo above. A clock reminds them that Christ is King over all time. The candlestick is empty, for Christ is the Light of the world. Snake bones and skin they found on their property recall how Christ crushed the serpent's head.
The picture was drawn by my friend, and the quote by Minnie Aumonier below reads: "There is always music amongst the trees but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it."
After my son Joshua's death, the non-Catholic parents of a friend of mine made a pilgrimage to Prague, and brought back a tiny statue of the Little King for me. His castle is the shelf over my kitchen sink, a constant reminder to me, as a parent, that the Lord of the Universe is also a Child.
Sister Mary Rose taught her class a poem to the Little King, which perhaps she had composed herself, since I've never found it anywhere else. Alas, I only remember the last verse, but that is enough for a prayer:
Little King, so dear and sweet
Here we cast before Thy feet
All we are, or yet may be,
Every sense and faculty,
All our body, all our soul,
we subject to Thy control.
All our hearts to Thee we bring:
Take them, keep them, Little King.