SIMPLICITY AND PURENESS OF HEART
1. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God (Matthew, 5: 8).
2. And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the Kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And He took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them (Mark, 10:13-16).
3. Pureness of heart is inseparable from simplicity and humility. It excludes all ideas of selfishness and pride. This was why Jesus took infancy as the symbol of purity and humility.
It might appear unjust to make this comparison seeing that the Spirit of a child could be very old, and on being reborn to corporeal life might bring with it the imperfections which it had not been able to cast off during previous incarnations. Only a Spirit who has reached perfection can offer an example of true purity. However, from the point of view of our present life it offers an exact comparison because a child, having had no opportunity as yet to manifest any perverse tendencies, presents us with an image of innocence and purity. So it becomes clear that Jesus did not say the Kingdom of Heaven was meant for children, but for those who resemble them.
4. Since the Spirit of a child has lived before, why does it not show itself as it really is right from birth? Everything in God's work is full of wisdom. A child needs special care which only a mother's tenderness can bestow, tenderness which stems from the frailty and ingenuousness of the child. For a mother, her child is always an angel and this is the way it must be in order to captivate concern. She would not be able to offer the same solicitude if, in place of ingenuousness, she saw virility and adult ideas in the infantile features, nor if she came to know the past of that incarnate Spirit.
From the time of birth ideas gradually take on shape and impulse according to the development of the organs, from which it is possible to say that during the first years the Spirit is truly a child, because all ideas which form the true character remain dormant. During this period of dormancy, in which the instincts are also latent, the Spirit is more malleable, more accessible to impressions which can modify the character and which helps the Spirit progress. All of which makes it easier for the parents to educate the child at this stage.
The Spirit then, wears a temporary tunic of innocence and so Jesus was right when, not withstanding the anteriority of the soul, He takes a child as the symbol of purity and simplicity.