Soon after his story of Jesus telling his disciples to be like children, Matthew makes clear that they have not understood:
Then were little children presented to him, that he should impose hands upon them and pray. And the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such. Matthew 19:13-14
So how do we forbid, or prevent, or hinder little children from coming to Jesus? How should we enable them to do so? Jesus warns us not to scandalise them, and to remember that
their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 18:10-11.
Teresa, Newman and Blake recall a youthful vision of glory, lost a while. Thérèse shares memories of her early days and remarks that with her character, if she had been raise by Parents lacking in virtues she would have been hindered from coming to Jesus: ‘I would have become very naughty and possibly I would have lost my soul.’ But Jesus was able to use her faults to ‘help her grow in perfection’.
Those parents are now to be officially recognised as truly virtuous when Pope Francis canonises them as Saints Louis and Zélie Martin. May the rest of us parents have the grace to help our children grow in perfection by encouraging the qualities that are the sunny side of their faults.