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THIS, of course, is a challenge for all of us. We must learn how to remain childlike in spirit despite our old age and maturity, and gain more life experiences. We must remember that if we have this spiritual childhood we can expect God to reveal himself to us. That is what Christ clearly said:
“I will praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, you have revealed them to children.” ( Mat 11,25 )
We must be careful of our tendency to think and act as if God is less necessary if we gain more worldly knowledge and wisdom. The best thing that happens is that the wiser and wiser we are, the more humble and simple like a child.
Being like a child, of course, has its share of weaknesses, but what is obvious is that being like a child is innocence, the absence of malice, bad intentions and bad thoughts. These are the values we must uphold. These qualities make us have the simplicity of a child.
And simplicity helps us to accept and live in faith. This is what makes us children who accept things first, who allow ourselves to be guided and taught, before asking, not out of disbelief but for greater understanding.
Remember what our Lord said about the kingdom of heaven. He went on to say that it was for the little children because of their simplicity: “Let the little children alone, and do not forbid them from coming to me. For the kingdom of heaven is for them.” (Mat 19,14)
We must create an internal mechanism, more spiritual than material, to keep ourselves childlike even as we grow in worldly knowledge and skills, and easily think that we can live on our own, which independent of God.
This mechanism can include anything that enhances our presence with God throughout the day, the habit of correcting our intention and relating everything we do to God. We need to break the barrier of laziness and incompetence in this area. We definitely have ways. What is missing is our will to use this mechanism.
And so that we do not think that simplicity is a futility and indulgence, let us remind ourselves of what our Lord said: “Be wise as serpents and simple as doves.” (Mt 10,16) Simplicity is not true simplicity if it is not accompanied by wisdom and intelligence.
Our Lord himself, the example of simplicity, is also the example of wisdom. Remember how he reads people’s minds, and formulates his statements according to what he knows!
That practice may be hard to follow, but we can always try. We have life itself, with all the cultures, civilizations and our expanding personal experiences, to teach us how to be wise and simple as our Lord wants.
But we must always be aware of our need to develop this virtue of simplicity. We cannot neglect this duty, because the logic of our flesh and the logic of the world tend to complicate us.
The false glitter of the celebrity world, the escape mechanisms of sex and drugs, the anomalies of abortion, contraception, same-sex partnerships, etc., indicate the extent to which the our complications. We are ripe for disaster unless we change.
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