Children are the "favorites" of God. Jesus puts them as "models" for adults: always recover and keep in us the child we have been and continue to be. But protecting children is not just surpassing the rates of poverty, lack of protection or super-protection.
It is necessary to provide them with an integral education that includes, in addition to other values â€‹â€‹and skills, education to mystery, transcendence, the meaning of life and the religious. The person is not an "empty", "hollow" being. The person is a mystery to himself, and it is necessary to educate that sense of mystery to meet a man.
Children, as people they are, are no stranger to it. In all of them, there is a predisposition for transcendence and mystery. That is not the work of teaching, but the experience. Mere teaching only produces "knowledge" and just "knowing" the religious can only lead to mere cultural socialization or indoctrination, but not to faith. Faith is not inherited, it is not taught, it is not "transmitted": child like faith is spread, proposed, offered, and shared.
Hence, the essential role in the discovery of childlike faith in a child corresponds to the family, through contagion, participation, and speech. It is about educating the "religious awakening", which is a child's right as a possibility, the right to open himself to all dimensions of the person, of the human being, of his deepest "I".
The child like faith has emotional characteristics in the symbolic relationship with the parents. The radical trust that the sleeping child places in his parents realize in him the experience of trust in the world, in existence, the confidence of being in the hands of someone. Later that radical trust will be named and perhaps it is time to call it "God."
But first, experiences are necessary that "fertilize" the field where the seed can grow and already insert faith. God is ahead of our educational activities. It is the parable of the sower.
Before talking about God, education in certain values â€‹â€‹is necessary without which the experience of God is not possible. The cultivation of interiority is necessary, although this, at least from a Christian perspective, is not enough.
And as important as interiority is the experience of "stillness", of the quiet and useless space of time at rest.
The education of children's faith is a process. Time, says Pope Francis, is superior to space. The important thing is not to ask “where is my son”, my student or my catechism, but how does it grow existentially.