Spiritual childhood – as I understand it – is what is meant by the letting go of all the things we have striven for and fought for and clung to as we grew up, all the things the world told us we had to do. It’s not that those things are unnecessary (some of them are, but not all) but that we must let go of self and self-determination in the same way as a tiny child relies on Mummy and Daddy for every part of life. It is a surrendering, but at the same time a sublimation, a transformation, into something new and unexpectedly beautiful.
But it does take time (a lifetime?) so instead of worrying about the times we don’t get it ‘right’, we can let go and humbly begin again. And, in time, the changes on the inside begin to show themselves on the outside, and we wonder how it happened, because we know we couldn’t do it without Him.
Spiritual childhood has become an obligation ever since our Lord took a little child by the hand, put him in the midst of the grown men who were arguing over who would have the first place and who were dreaming of an earthly kingdom, telling them, “If you do not become like little children, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3).
Little Sister Magdeleine (1898–1989)