Since my ordination to the priesthood five months ago, I have discovered that my people make the Gospels come to life. The children in the school, ranging from ages three to twelve, are particularly good at this.
Just the other day, when I was speaking to a group of kindergarten students, I was asked by a curious kid, “Father Peter, are your pajamas also black?” Before I could even get a chance to answer, another kid cried out, “and why do you wear a doggie collar on your neck?” After answering these hilarious questions, I was asked, “Father Peter, where does God live, and what does he look like?”
I love all of these questions, especially the last, because they teach us how we are to approach God. Children are so eager to know where God lives and what he looks like. Small wonder that Jesus says that unless we become like little children, we will not enter the kingdom of God. (Matthew 18:3)
To be childlike, as these curious kids show us, means to be filled with wonder. We need to wonder at the goodness of God. So often, as we grow old and are hardened by sin, we lose the wonder that God asks us to have. Without childlike wonder, our faith becomes more habitual and less about a new and personal encounter. Saint Paul says that anyone in Christ is a new creation, the old passes away and something new is born. (2 Corinthians 5:17) This newness is certainly something at which we should wonder. If you are living in friendship with God, the Trinity literally dwells in your soul. This is wonderful news.
When we live life totally captivated by this wonder, we, without even knowing it, bring people to Jesus. All of us, regardless of our age, are. Like my kindergarteners, longing to know where God lives, and what he looks like. Today, let’s ask God for the grace to restore our childlike wonder. In order to do this, begin to make prayers of thanksgiving. Think about the simplicity of a child’s prayers. Nothing gets in the way. They just want to express their love for the God who wonderfully made them. Try this and you will be well on your way to becoming childlike.
Peter grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts with his two sisters and three brothers. In his free time, He enjoy playing and watching sports. he also enjoys hiking, skiing, and reading. He first heard the call to the priesthood shortly after graduating college and was ordained a Transitional Deacon for the Archdiocese of Boston on June 4th. God willing, He was ordained a priest on May 20th.