CHILDREN BRING GOD NEAR IN LIFE
"Let the little children come to me;do not stop them; because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these"(Mk.10,14)"The affairs of God are for grown-ups". That's what the apostles thought.But Jesus' reply was stern: "do not stop them".
The chief priest and the doctors of the law too shouted that the children should be silenced. To this Jesus replied: "have you never read this:"You have trained children and babies to offer perfect praise"(Mt.21,16).
When Jesus places a child in front of his disciples, this has a special meaning. For a child is central in the kingdom of God: it is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.So there is more than one reason enough to observe children and to listen to them.They have much to tell us about God.Not because of intellectual qualities, will-power, moral integrity, psychological riches. The physical, psychological, mental or moral strata are much richer in adults than in children,more complex, more refined.But there is a deeper layer where the child does prevail. It is the sacred,spiritual or pneumatic dimension of man.It is on this level of the soul that God's Spirit touches the human person directly, heals, trasforms him or her. There gushes the "spiritual ground water" of Grace. It is there that the child is in-inhibited, unimpeded,unbiased and a vehicle of God's presence in a family and among people. It is from this wellspring of Grace in the deepest of their heart that children draw all their insights and ways of speaking about God.
Here are a few examples:
1. "Who is God ?" - "A papa who loves me as my mama loves me".
2. A teacher who wanted to prove that God does not exist, for none of the cosmonauts had seen him, got this answer from a 9 years old boy: "of course not, Ma'am, for they were flying much too low for that.
3. A boy of nine, asks his teacher: "if God does not exist, who then has made the world ?". "My dear boy,the world has always been there." "But sir, my question was not how old the world is, but, who had made it".
Yes indeed, we have much to learn from children.
Fr. Cipriano Bontacchio