O Lord, how the whole of nature marvels at innocence! Strained and pained laborers in the presence of sinners — the lake and the sun are transfigured in the presence of children. What a magnificent temple of the Lord the lake becomes, when children are in it, and what an inspired high priest the sun becomes, when its rays cross the rays of children’s souls.
“Let the children come to me,” whispers the whole of nature, “and you will understand that I myself am also a child. To the soulless I seem to be soulless, to the saints I am an altar. Whoever seeks the beast in me, will be sent a beast; whoever seeks God in me, will be shown God. Sinners call me a slaughterhouse, the righteous call me a sacrificial altar. Only to innocence do I manifest myself as innocence, and only to children of God do I reveal myself as a child of God.”…
“Why children, O Lord, why do You seek children?” those who are made and not born ask the One who was begotten and not made…
“Only children recognize Me, for I too am a child. As a child I am not My own, and as a child I do not seek glory for Myself. As a child I do not think anything on My own, I do not speak anything on My own, and I do not do anything on My own. Instead, like a child, I think what My Father taught Me, and I speak what I hear, and I do what I see.
“Children cease to be children, but I never cease being a child. Children cease to be children because of all their wicked guides, who prevent them from continuing to sojourn with Me and teach them the time-worn wisdom of the world. But I do not cease to be a child, because I nourish Myself with the eternally youthful wisdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who in old age rid themselves of their wicked guides and the wisdom of those guides, which makes one old, sick, and dead. Whoever turns to Me, even if he has been made old by the world, I shall make him a child and as an eternal child he will reign in My kingdom, to which the elders of the world have no access.
“I tell you that My kingdom is a kingdom of children.”
~St Nikolai (Velimirovich) Prayers by the Lake (LXXVII)
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome [the world], because He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world.” (1 Jn 4:4)