BUT THE SPIRIT OF CHILDHOOD
Jesus said: "Let the children
come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom
If this is true, then growing up
means a loss. Why should I desire to grow up if adulthood deprives
me of the kingdom of God? Why should God give us physical
development when this favors vice than virtue? Why did Christ choose
grown ups as His apostles instead of children?
Someone might suggest this answer:
because children do not bear malice, they do not know how to swindle
their neighbor, they are not vindictive, they do not desire wealth,
they do not covet honors.
That may be true; but virtue is not
founded in ignorance. Children do not do those things because they
are still ignorant of those things. And self-control is not
praiseworthy if it is due to impotence.
Christ is not offering us childhood;
but the goodness that imitates the simplicity of childhood.
He does not put before us inability to sin -- which is not a virtue
-- but the will NOT to sin.
St. Ambrose (PL 15, 1782)