King Baudouin, a hidden life



by Cardinal Suenens

The key to the hidden source of the King’s life is not hard to find: it lies in his deep spirituality, in other words, in his union with God, lived out from day to day as a Christian, and translated into daily acts of service to others.

Letter to an unbeliever

The King’s faith was neither a matter of theory nor speculation; rather was it something he lived out in the logic of daily life. Among his letters there is one, dated 1984, which he shared with me one day, in which he outlines simply why he is a believer. It is addressed to someone who had written to him full of rebellion and indignation against everything that is even remotely related to religion or accepted ways of behaving.

The King’s response is direct, personal, full of tact, and avoids argument. He quite simply lays bare his own spiritual journey. His profession of faith is simple, honest, straight

Sadness gives way to peace and joy

“When I open my eyes and look around me, I rediscover God’s love for me and for all humanity. I notice that, every time people try to live the Gospel, as Jesus teaches us, that is, to love each other as He has loved us, things begin to change: aggression, distress, sadness give way to peace and joy.

I can assure you that, for many years, despite all my faults and failings, I have experienced this peace and this joy, and that, despite the difficulties and divisions all around us. None of us on our own can maintain this peace and joy in our heart. But Jesus has promised it to anyone who is ready to follow him.

A foolish but real love

When I was still a teenager, I discovered that God, in the person of Jesus, loved us and loved me with a love that is foolish, but very real. That he suffered the most excruciating torture in order to save us, to save me, to save each one of us personally from the grip of evil, and to enable us to share, if we so will, in his divine life. That, if we accept him, his Father will become our Father, my Father. That Mary, his mother, will also become my mother, our mother.

A change of life

From that day on my life changed. By that I mean my way of looking at things, because I’m afraid I’m still the same poor chap, with the same faults as before. But my weaknesses don’t discourage me any longer; on the contrary, they provide me with a reason for trusting totally in the all‑powerful strength of my Father who is also your Father.

Almost every day since then, I have seen tangible signs of the Love of God in my life.”

 

 

Read more? L.J. Card. Suenens,  Baudouin, King of the Belgians. The Hidden Life, Ertvelde, FIAT, 1995.
Source: Supra, pp. 79-82.