Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Eternal Child

Every Baby Bears Witness of Christ

Every child is a true St. Christopher--a literal 'Christ carrier.' The light and life of Jesus are within him. Every baby's birth is a message of salvation, as well as a reminder that we need to humble ourselves and become like little children. Maybe this is the secret of the world's progress--that every baby comes into the world with a message of hope and good news, and it can't help but to witness to his parents' hearts. We're also God's children, and He wants us to be like children. That's the message, and the newborn infant never fails to deliver it, even if we ignore it or forget it soon after we hear it. It's good for parents to reflect on these things because the child's state is a holy one, and it's the duty of parents to protect the little heir of blessedness.

Children Are Humble

It isn't possible to treat such a big subject comprehensively, but it might be useful to look at two or three characteristics of the child's state. After all, how can we protect what we don't even recognize, and how can we recognize something that we haven't given a careful look at? The mark of childhood is, more than anything else, humility. What we call innocence probably works like grace--it's offensive to man's nature until he crosses over and accepts and embraces it, and then he recognizes that it's something divine. An old, saintly writer, William Law, has an enlightening thought on this subject of humility: 'There has only been and only will be one humility in the whole world, and that's Christ's humility. No man since the fall of Adam has the smallest amount of humility unless it comes from Christ. Humility is one in the same sense and truth that Christ is one, the Mediator is one, redemption is one . . . There aren't two Lambs of God that take away the sin of the world. But if there was some other humility other than Christ's, then there'd have to be something else that could take away the sin of the world.'
Now, if there's only one humility in the world, and if that humility is Christ's humility, and if Jesus said that little children are humble, it must be because of the divinity that dwells in them. It must be the glory in children that we call innocence.

Humility is the Highest Road to Godly Character

This matter of humility isn't just a path to godly character, but might possibly be the highest road to godly character. It's a noble effort, and we suggest it to parents because we're confident that no endeavor is too difficult, no aim too high for those who are doing the most important part of advancing Christ's Kingdom by raising godly children.

Excerpts taken from Parents and Children Chapter 26 (Modern English version by Leslie Laurio)

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