The Annals of Saint Anne Summary

Editor's desk

François-Marie Héraud


September - October 2023

The Time of the Gaze

What is more beautiful than the human look, than this expression and this sensitivity of our face? The gaze reveals. It is sometimes luminous and mysterious, soft and peaceful, charming and loving, joyful and playful, sad and suffering, deep and meditative. Much more, it is a reflection of my interior, of who I am, an opening to my heart.

Unique, my look is my signature. It attracts, fascinates, invites us to go further, to discover the other person in front of me, in his or her mystery. Deep inside, a glow shines, a spark emerges that speaks of love, tenderness, an attentive ear, a silent thank you.

“We do not own anything, ever, but a little time.”

Beauty is shaped by the gaze. Its silence says what words cannot express. Fear, joy, torment, hesitation find refuge there and are sometimes expressed with force and vigour.

From a look that meets another can arise an encounter. Christ looked upon so many unhappy, cast aside, rejected people. He touched them. From then on, encounters were possible with abandoned children, people who were in pain, Mary Magdalene, Veronica… Jesus’ gaze was forged by daily gestures of love by Mary and Joseph. Through them and with them, He discovered the world, its marvels and its sufferings.

The look of the child is what allows to open your arms, to have confidence, to believe, to run towards another person. It reveals the present moment, the only possible one. As the years go by, it cries out the urgency of the heart to find love and meaning.

The time of the gaze is this treasure that we carry. Buried in our field, our heart, it remains in search of happiness. It is searching. It travels places where it is invited to the ephemeral. Hungry, it continues to wander. Tired, it yearns to find rest.

So, the look is stripped, it keeps us awake. It becomes once again, the look of the child who lives in the present of a time that flies by too quickly, of borrowed time, of God’s time. The gaze of a child thus rediscovered welcomes Christ who walks by our side. This child-like look leads us to the Father and allows us to experience His tenderness and His everlasting mercy.


United in prayers!




François-Marie Héraud

Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Saint Anne


Pathways of God

Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau


Receving the Kingdom of God as a Little Child

(A commentary on Luke 18:15-17)

Many artists throughout the ages have depicted the Gospel scene where Jesus is surrounded by children and blesses them. These paintings are often filled with tenderness, they touch us and arouse our emotions as they remind us of the innocence of children and the kindness that we associate with Jesus.

However, the Gospel writers who recounted this story wanted something more than to simply move their readers or make them smile. They wanted to shake us out of our complacency and challenge us to reflect on our vision of the world, of ourselves and of God.

We can see this more clearly when we consider the context in which Saint Luke casts this event. Jesus was making His way from Galilee to Jerusalem where He warned His disciples that His destiny would be to suffer and die before His final triumph. This message was hard for His disciples to understand and accept, but they chose to follow Him on His pilgrimage. As He travelled, He taught them. He told them the story of a poor widow who never gave up her quest for justice, inviting them to imitate her perseverance in their own prayer. He recounted the story of a tax collector standing at the back of the Temple and praying for forgiveness, insisting that this man received God’s love more fully than the one who considered himself holy and boasted of his perfect moral life.

It was after these two stories that the disciples met some parents who wanted to present their sick children to Jesus so that He might touch and heal them. We need to understand that children were not considered particularly important in Jesus’ time. They might be potentially valuable if they made it to adulthood, but so many died at a young age that parents tried not to get too attached to them. Jesus’ attitude is quite different, He cares for them and wants to heal them. He insists that the disciples let them get close. Even more, He sets them as an example to be followed, insisting that only by being like them can anyone enter God’s Kingdom.

Do you see the connection? A widow, a public sinner and children: all these people were considered unimportant. They were without status, on the margins of society. Yet Jesus says that they have a greater connection with God’s Kingdom than those who are considered important: the powerful, the wealthy, the movers and shakers of society.

“To see through the eyes of a child is to recognize that we have no claim on God,

that we are dependent and are only capable of receiving what God wants to give us.”

Consider the next scene in Luke’s Gospel. Jesus meets a rich, important man who tries to live an exemplary life. He asks Jesus how to attain eternal life. Jesus tells him to get rid of his wealth by giving it to the poor. Then, Jesus says, he will have a real treasure in Heaven. How does the man respond? He becomes sad and turns away. He cannot free himself from his need for money and security. He closes himself to what is truly important: God’s love for him and for humanity.

To see through the eyes of a child is to recognize that we have no claim on God, that we are dependent and are only capable of receiving what God wants to give us. It means being receptive rather than controlling, welcoming rather than judging, marvelling at small beauties rather than always wanting more. Only then, can we truly be open to God’s Kingdom, for it cannot be earned by our good deeds, purchased by our money nor mastered through our skills.

“Father, give us the Spirit of Your child Jesus, that we might learn to receive Your love like defenceless little children. Give us a simple heart that we might be open and respond to Your presence and Your grace. Amen.”