“You are only a child!”

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“I wonder whether we take seriously enough, we grown men and women, the stress that Jesus puts on being a child in order to receive what God has to give?  It means God can come fully only to the little one.  It means renouncing all ideas of our own spiritual importance, of what we do for God, what we give to God, our own supposed goodness and virtue.  It means casting aside any concern for that image of ourselves, so precious to ourselves, that we are indeed truly spiritual men and women.  Julian of Norwich maintains that, in this life, we can have no other stature than that of childhood.  I think that when Jesus takes the child in his arms, sets him in front of himself, pointing to him as a model, it is to himself he is pointing.  His inmost heart was always that of a child and that is hwy he could live with such freedom, courage and self-squandering.  To my mind this is the nub of the truly Christian faith, this grasp that all is gift and our work is simply to receive, to learn how to receive.  Certainly, when I myself get the spiritual ‘fidgets’ and become anxious about myself and my life, I find my answer in simply saying to myself: ‘You are only a child!'”  (Ruth Burrows)

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