As I read today’s Gospel reading, one thing jumped right out at me: God reveals Himself to the childlike. There is much to be pondered here. The child sees value and delights in truth and beauty in a way that is most honest and revealing. The child does not ponder about the intrinsic beauty of a daisy, she is simply taken in by it and allows it to touch her by it simply being what it is. She appreciates it as a daisy and she finds joy in discovering it and playing with it. In this same way, children understand that love is love. For children, love means no trickery and it gives itself in full because there is no quantity that can express love; thus, the little girl who just learned how to count tells her mom that she has run out of fingers and toes to express how much she loves her. There is no complexity to reality; there is only beauty and wonder. It is no wonder, then, that we are so fond of our childhoods. We yearn for simplicity and sanity. That apostle of common sense, Gilbert Chesterton, understood how important it is to be childlike. For that reason, he suggests that “the madman is not the man who has lost all reason, but the madman is a man who has lost everything except his reason.” Let me conclude by quoting Chesterton once more:
Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
Happy Advent and Tuesday, my friends.