Friday, March 27, 2009

Little Children

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10
I just thought it was interesting that Pope Pius XI, in Divini Illius Magistri (On Christian Education) opens with this same passage that Charlotte Mason referred to so many times in her life.

that divine Master who while embracing in the immensity of His love all mankind, even unworthy sinners, showed nevertheless a special tenderness and affection for children, and expressed Himself in those singularly touching words: "Suffer the little children to come unto Me,"

Near the beginning of Home Education, Charlotte Mason writes:

"Suffer the little children to come unto Me," says the Saviour, as if that were the natural thing for the children to do, the thing they do when they are not hindered by their elders. And perhaps it is not too beautiful a thing to believe in this redeemed world, that, as the babe turns to his mother though he has no power to say her name, as the flowers turn to the sun, so the hearts of the children turn to their Saviour and God with unconscious delight and trust.
That's really all I wanted to write, but Paddy was so vehement this morning about wanting to continue reading through his First Communion catechism book with me "please, just one more lesson, one more!!!!" that I have to think that there is some truth to that idea of delight and trust.

I remember when I was a small child, God seemed everywhere. I didn't actually realize that the Presence was God until later. I just was aware of this quiet vastness. It wasn't anything like a Sunday School lesson (which were too often twaddly), but it was around when I listened to my mother read Bible stories, and when I was playing or thinking.

Perhaps that sense is one of the things that education can help bring out and develop, or else whittle away at, scandalize or destroy. Certainly one big responsibility. I couldn't help laughing when I was reading a Calvin comic to Paddy and Calvin's dad said to his mom, "When I was a child I thought my parents knew what they were doing.... I probably wouldn't have been in such a hurry to grow up if I had known it would be mostly ad-libbing." Paddy didn't know what that meant, but I knew exactly.

Maybe a good time to link to this "Impossible" novena (posted on Studeo) that started on March 25, the feast day of the Annunciation, and goes on till Christmas. I always thought I'd have a hard time raising kids successfully, and any success on my part has to be attributed to wild grace and not to anything about me. But that suffices... God alone suffices.

1 comment:

Chari said...


That's why I always say:

"God did a good job raising Anne in spite of her parents."