19 August
Mt 19:13-15

Little children were being brought to Jesus in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs." And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.

The great French mystic, Jeanne Guyon (1648-1717), wrote, “The simple ones, so far from being incapable of perfection, are, because of their docility, innocence, and humility, peculiarly adapted and qualified to reach it; and as they are not accustomed to reasoning, they are less employed in speculation, and less tenacious in their own opinions. Because they know that they know little, they submit more freely to the teachings of the Divine Spirit: whereas others, who are blinded by self-sufficiency and enslaved by prejudice, give great resistance to the operations of Grace.”

We must never become cynical about human gifts: it would be no compliment to the Giver of all gifts.  It would be very short-sighted to take up an anti-intellectual attitude to the Faith.  However, we have to distinguish between the gift of intelligence, and the more subtle gifts of intuition and wisdom.  Rational intelligence is able to mount an attack on these and to destroy them by leaving no room for them.  Then it becomes a form of darkness and a defence against the light.  “The eye is the lamp of the body,” Jesus said.  “So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Mt 6:22-23). 

Young children have very little knowledge compared to the average adult.  But they ‘know’ a lot of things that have become frozen over in adults.  It is to such as these, Jesus said, that the kingdom of God belongs. 




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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 


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