The child within | Inquirer Opinion
Moments

The child within

QUOTE CARD FOR MOMENTS: The child within

The story is told about a teacher who wrote on the blackboard: “Write five words you know.” While the others were struggling with what to write, a little boy wrote down and submitted right away to the teacher the words: “write,” “five,” “words,” “you,” “know.” Smart boy!

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Today is the Feast of the Sto. Niño. In today’s Gospel (Mark 10:13-16), we are reminded how Jesus had a special love for children. “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” May the children remind us adults of the values and characteristics we could learn and relearn from them.

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Neil Diamond had a song entitled “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore.” It’s about a love that has grown cold and has lost its fervor. So, what are the traits of a child that could help us recapture and renew our fervor for the Kingdom of God?

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COMPASSION. Children are naturally caring and compassionate. They have a deep sense of pity and empathy for the suffering, for the little ones, and even for pets. As we grow older and become more “practical,” we begin to be more rational and more suspicious, and even cynical, and judgmental of others. May we not belittle nor shun “matters of the heart.” Matters of the heart do matter!

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HUMILITY. We grow up, fine, but our pride also grows up. All our added decorations—wealth, power, titles, and so-called “achievements” make us think and feel that we are big and strong, better than others, and so indispensable and entitled! And so, we forget our need for other people and even our need for God. Grown-up pride makes us hide our fears and tears inside and we don’t say “I love you” or “I need you” anymore.

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INTEGRITY. Child-like innocence and purity of heart, and the sense of what is wrong and what is right are washed out by the environment around us. Honesty has become such a lonely word. Social media has invaded our homes and the children at such a young age. We have become experts in lies, half-truths, compromise, and rationalizations.

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LIBERTY. A child is a free spirit, open, trusting, expressive, and willing to learn. As we grow on, we take roles, get inserted into molds, become imprisoned with impositions, control, and expectations, and become prisoners and pretenders. We hold back our loving and caring, our giving, and even our smiling. We even lose our freedom, just to be ourselves.

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DEPENDENT. The world tells us to be independent. Fine. But the world makes us want to believe that we don’t need others and that our rights are above other people’s rights. We need each other! We are dependent and interdependent on one another. And we need God. We do need God! We must learn to let go and let God.

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Many of us have become warriors in this world by necessity, maybe to survive. May we not forget though that there is always the child that is within us. Take time to listen today to the beautiful song of Gary Valenciano, “Warrior is a Child.” It is a song that touches the heart and reminds us who we really are deep inside.

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Sharing with you a line from the song “Warrior is a Child”: They don’t know that I come running home when I fall down; They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around; I drop my sword and cry for just a while; ‘cause deep inside this armor; The warrior is a child.”

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Let us try to remember the way we were—how we were more simple and joyful then, how we were more trusting and humble then, how we were more prayerful and faithful. Let us bring back that loving feeling, the joyful living, and the generous loving. Amen!

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, help us not to forget or suppress the child within every one of us. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Moments, religious column

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