What exactly does it mean to be like a child?


#1

I am just curious as to what exactly this means. Jesus says we must be as children if we want to go to heaven, but what exactly does that mean?

Also, I was curious about another thing. I was hoping to find some good examples, possibly a saint, of someone who lived a somewhat ordinary life. What I mean is, someone who gets married and has a family, etc. I know St. Joseph but there isn’t really much about St. Joseph’s life. Most of the examples I read about of Saints are so extraordinary that I just don’t know how I could follow them. For example, they usually end up giving up all they have, living a extremely poor life and giving their all to the poor, etc. Of course I understand that is the kind of life Jesus wants of us but is that the only one? I am going to be married soon, it isn’t possible for me to give up everything and live a poor life when I have to support a family. I want to do the right things and live a life following God’s will but it seems hard to find good examples.


#2

To be childlike is to be humble and simple.


#3

What do you mean exactly by humble and simple? I can understand humble, but what about simple? Simple in what way?


#4

Simple, like, “I do what God says without questioning it or challenging it or complaining about it.”


#5

Yes, it may seem like a simple answer to you but unfortunately it isn’t so simple to me. I try to follow the teachings of Jesus and the Church but things aren’t always so clear. I don’t try to question, challenge or complain about what God says, but I am not always certain of what I should or shouldn’t be doing. Of course the basics are simple enough, don’t kill, lust, envy, have too much pride, etc. etc. Those are pretty much cut and dry, but I tend to feel like I am in situations where it isn’t so simple as that. Where it isn’t black and white but a lot of gray and I try to do the right thing but I worry I am not. Perhaps I am scrupulous, I don’t know, but I worry about a lot of things.

Also, anyone have an answer for me about the other question? I would really love to learn about a Saint who might be a good example for me.


#6

Bl Louise Martin was a husband and father:

saints.sqpn.com/saintl3k.htm

You may want to read the writings of this saint, using our state of life to God’s work:

saints.sqpn.com/saintj12.htm

The website that I am using has so much good info on Saints!


#7

Rely on your Heavenly Father for everything you need, like a child with a good parent.
If He has called you to be a spouse and parent, then He’ll provide the graces for you to do just that, to go about your daily life, going to work, doing laundry, dealing with the sniffles, sit in that traffic jam, paying bills…but you can accept this is what you must do, grow in your spiritual life, and give all these things simply to God and they will become means of your sanctification. And then someone (maybe your own children) can use you as an example when someone someday asks them the same question you posed here.

God bless!


#8

Dear friend,

If you want to know a saint who lived a “normal” life, try Gianna Beretta Molla. She was married, had several children, and worked as a doctor in an average city. The extraordinary thing of her life was the wonderful way in which she “lived” her faith in everything she did, up to the ultimate choice she made with her life. She had cancer, but she refused cancer therapy during her pregnancy, for the sake of the child she was carrying. The child was born healthy and normal, but Gianna’s cancer was by then too advanced for any cure, and she died shortly after. This is the heroic way in which we bring our faith to the situations of a “normal” life.

God bless you,


#9

Correct. However, you first must be sure that you are being guided in the right direction. You do have a right to test the spirits/question authorities. You don’t take candy from a stranger.


#10

St Therese lived a very simple life, though she was a religious :slight_smile: she also wrote a lot about being like a little child in her book “Story of a Soul”…


#11

To be simple is to live simply in the truth. He who always speaks the truth, lives according to the truth, and loves the truth, dose not need to lie, which cause trouble, and dose not need to fear, for God will vindicate him before his enemies and save him from every danger, and dose not get tangled in the webs of falsehood, superstition, untruth, and confusion. From this simple life in the truth comes different forms of simplicity, which all men desire and which some mistake for the truthful life itself. These forms of simplicity include modesty, humility, purity, kindness and industriousness. They are all in a life of truth, just as a life of truth is in a life of charity, for truth is love and love is truth, because God, who is the Truth and Love Itself, is One. Simplicity and humility come from God, so man must go to Him and rely on Him to have a share in His Life.


#12

To be a spiritual child:

  1. Trust. – A little child is all trusting.
  2. Forgiving. – A little child always forgives.
  3. Loving. – A little child only knows love interiorly.
  4. Innocent. – A little child is born innocent.

We are born with all of these traits. It seems that “the world” works to take these from us. I myself am having to relearn these. I see all of these traits when I look at my infant nephew. He just looks up and smiles. Trust I won’t drop him. Loves me without condition. Upon reflection of St. Therese’s “Story of a Soul”. I also see these traits.

Life is struggle. Life is suffering. Its what you do with the struggle and the suffering. St. Therese implores one to learn to suffer joyfully. In being little, we give all we have and are to the good God. We place all our trust in his will for us. We strive to love and forgive. We endevour to regain our lost innocence.

– Cadian :knight1:


#13

Hi, I’ve also struggled with this comment from Jesus about being a child. Coming from a troubled family background, I’ve found it very difficult to understand what it means to be a child, because I don’t have much good childhood experience.

But, God has a way of showing me! And He did that by giving me the Blessed Mother Mary. I am confident that the easiest way of learning spiritual childhood is by nurturing a devotion for the Blessed Mother. After all, a child needs a Mother and a Father. God is our Father, and He gives Mary to us as our Mother. For me personally, after receiving Mary as my Mother, I’ve been taught by her how to act like a child with her and with God my Father.

Hope that helps!


#14

My dear friend

My opinion is that He is refering to the way we were meant to be before the fall. To see things with purity, simplicity, innocence, trust, faith and have unconditional love of God. To be childlike in our unconditional trust in God. To be like a baby when it sees the rattle and is astounded at how magnificent such a simple thing is. We should look at all of creation with awe, wonder and love like the baby does the rattle. Think about all the fine qualities we admire in babies and children and we are supposed to possess them though we have matured. We are not supposed to be tough, proud, macho etc. To be sinless like the child too. The child gives us the best example of what we’re meant to be like because the child is without sin up to the age of reason, and possibly beyond. They are tainted by original sin but if we take this away we see how we should be, that is the qualities we should possess. Jesus is trying to show us a model of sinlessness and perfection that we can understand ( the closest model anyway ). This is meant to be our goal.

Hope it helps.

God bless you dear friend:thumbsup::slight_smile:
John


#15

You’ve received lot of good answers. I like to share with you a story to answer your question of being childlike.

Once there was a remote village suffered severe drought for long time. No crops could grow, life was very hard. Finally one day the priest of the town called all to church and asked people to pray for rain. As soon as he made his request, a little girl quickly rushed out. The priest was puzzled. That little girl was the most obedient child. Why did she run away?

As everybody was quiet down and about to start the communal prayer, the priest looked to the entrance and tears fell down his cheeks. He saw the little girl hurried back with an umbrella in her hands.

That is how our faith becomes childlike. All other people just gathered to pray, but the little girl believed the rain was coming and went to get her umbrella.


#16

From: ewtn.com/library/CHRIST/divChild.HTM

In the Gospel, Jesus said: Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever humbles himself like This Child… Whoever humbles himself like This Divine Child…, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

And the Divine Child shows us the way and that is to live each of our present moments fully, whole-heartedly with the eyes of faith. And this is how the Little Child is leading us to the Father’s House by showing us and calling us to live the present moment like a child who worries not of the past nor of the future.


#17

Thank you for all the kind replies. This is a great story, I love it. I like to think that I believe in this way but sometimes it is hard to know if I am or not. I will continue to strive to be more like that child.


#18

My dear friend

I forgot to offer an answer on your other question. If you want to become a Saint in the modern world living and working and perhaps have a family the best you can do in my opinion is get involved with Opus Dei.
You can look them up here opusdei.us/
Read the founders works here escrivaworks.org/
Its very, very good. Completely orthodox and as good as it gets incl. free spiritual direction. They have many saints under way like your looking for too.

God bless you dear friend:thumbsup::slight_smile:
John


#19

It is important to have the faith Jesus said in Mark 11:24, **“Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it, and it will be yours.” ** However, that does not mean if we “believed we have received it”, we will always get a “yes” for our petition . Equally important is the **faith of obedience **to trust that God knows far better what is best for us.

There is no conflict between the attitude of “believe we have received” and the faith of obedience - thy will be done". We ought to ask with faith, but also trust that after doing all our part - necessary work, efforts and prayers - we completely trust in God. Know that God will not make any mistake.

We give thanks and praise to God for the result - yes, no, or wait. That is the childlike faith to my thinking. Hope it makes sense.


#20

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