The Wonder of Children
Wonder comes quite naturally to children. Their curiosity to know the deepest reality of the world around them is often animated with questions of “why” and “how.” As adults, we seek to respond to their inquiries with the truth, beauty, and goodness of this world in hopes that the children entrusted to our care will grow in wisdom and virtue to follow the Lord’s call for their lives.
Despite the prominent wonder and curiosity of children, there is the temptation for us as adults to somewhere along the way lose our sense of wonder. This possibility is especially strong amid the busyness of the Advent and Christmas seasons. As a parent agonizes over the ever expanding to-do list in those short weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a child approaches in wonder asking questions such as, “Why is the baby Jesus in box of hay in the manger?” or “What does swaddling mean?”
The Lord speaks to us in the wonder of children. The particular wonder of children during the Advent season is a reminder to us of how the Lord wishes to reawaken us to the great mystery of God becoming man at Christmas and the joyful anticipation of the Advent season. “We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders,” wrote G.K. Chesterton. We can learn much of our own need to contemplate and reawaken our passion for the wonders of God’s mysteries from the spiritual wonder and curiosity of children.
One of the great blessings of our Catholic schools is their unique ability to nurture the wonder of children during the Advent season. Our Catholic schools are diligent in ensuring that the Advent season is filled with opportunities for our students to ponder and joyfully anticipate Jesus’ birth at Christmas and the consequences of God’s love poured out in the Incarnation.
As you travel through our network of Catholic schools during the Advent season, you will find that wonder and joyful expectation are palpable. You will experience our students performing Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy ensuring that those in need are not forgotten. Our students gather around Jesse Trees and Advent wreaths to prayerfully reflect on the story of Salvation and mark the weeks of preparation for our Lord’s coming. Our student’s echo John the Baptist’s call to “prepare the way of the Lord,” by partaking in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our Catholic schools reverberate with joy as the voices of children join together in Advent songs, concerts and Christmas pageants.
As we enter this holy season of Advent, may we all be encouraged by the wonder of children and be inspired to ponder and prepare for our Lord’s coming at Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and your family! May God bless you with his peace, love and joy in the year ahead.