downloadable PDF: Women of Faith Resources February 2021
“In February’s dark, we watched the stars explode until daybreak.” ~ Laura Veirs
“The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.” ~ William C. Bryant
“February days are a marketing gimmick; love happens every day.” ~ Randeep Hooda
Our Virtue for February – CHILDLIKENESS
CHILDLIKENESS can be facilitated in adult living. In fact, it is an incentive for happy living. We realize that “too serious” is even overbearing for others. Jesus told us we must become as children. To be childlike is to be spontaneous, creative, fun-loving, and curious. It is also to be trusting, unsuspicious, daring, and simple.
Childlikeness is not to be interpreted as childishness. Childishness in adulthood is self-seeking and self-centered. Childishness in adults leads to unhappiness and rejection by others. In our faith life, to be childlike is to pray with utmost confidence that God is close to us and only wants goodness on our pathways. The grace of childlikeness favors wonder, cheerfulness, elation, and generosity. It claps hands and laughs at the marvels in daily life. It seeks adventure, glee, and wonder at every bend in the road of daily living. Childlikeness is akin to simple living and to living one day at a time. Childlike people bring joy, hope, and peace into the lives of their families, friends, and co-workers. We might indeed say that childlikeness has love as its foundation, a love that breaks down barriers and boundaries and builds up communication and collaboration. Childlikeness is a special treasure to the person who embodies it and a gift to those who see it in action.
Childlikeness in Scripture
Matthew 18: 1-5 About this time the disciples came to Jesus and asked him who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus called a child over and had the child stand near him. Then he said:
I promise you this. If you don’t change and become like a child, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven. 4 But if you are as humble as this child, you are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And when you welcome one of these children because of me, you welcome me.
And this rendition:
Matthew 18:2-4 Jesus called a little one to his side and said to them, “Learn this well: Unless you dramatically change your way of thinking and become teachable, and learn about heaven’s kingdom realm with the wide-eyed wonder of a child, you will never be able to enter in. Whoever continually humbles himself (or herself) to become like this gentle child is the greatest one in heaven’s kingdom realm. (The Passion Translation)
Practices for CHILDLIKENESS
During this ongoing COVID Season we seek to overcome dark times with some practices for CHILDLIKENESS by reliving our best selves as children:
- Be authentic and vulnerable with feelings and emotions.
- Find your favorite childhood book online and reread it. Or read it to your grandchild, niece, or nephew.
- Re-watch a favorite film from your childhood days. (Many are online.)
- Remember the games you played as a child. Share your memories with another adult or play them with your grandchildren.
- If you can, revisit your childhood neighborhood or your elementary school.
- In your free time, do something you really liked doing as a child.
- Reconnect with nature in a way you connected with nature as a child. (Ok, so eating snow might not be a good idea.)
- Prepare and eat a meal that reminds you of your childhood AND really enjoy it.
- Prepare and eat a food from another cuisine that you have always wanted to try.
- https://holisticlifebykate.com/2018/09/01/15-simple-ways-to-be-childlike-when-you-are-a-grown-up: Is there a hobby you have always wanted to try? Go for it.
- Play the music you loved as a child or recite nursey rhymes.
- And what else did you do as a child that you could do today?
(Ideas culled from “15 Simple Ways to Be Childlike When You Are a Grownup”.)
The following articles can nurture our sense of CHILDLIKENESS in our daily life. You are invited to prayerfully reflect on the contents as you read.
St. Therese and Spiritual Childhood: John F. Russell, Order of Carmelites, publishes at “Society of the Little Flower.” In an age that develops insights on maturity and accountability, speaking of being childlike might seem out of context. Yet, as we know from Scripture, Jesus Christ, emphasized the importance of childlikeness when asking the disciples to bring the children to Him. We, too, are called to be childlike, to develop a spirituality of childlikeness. St. Therese of the Child Jesus understood spiritual childhood.
Spiritual Awakening – Childlike Looking and Wonder by Mike Anthony Jenkins, submitted to Ezine Articles on January 11, 2013. Jenkins stresses having a sense of awe and wonder in the miracles of everyday living.
Music that nurtures CHILDLIKENESS
The music listed below can guide and enhance our experience of childlikeness.
Songs of Childlike Wonder by Zelda Vasquez: 82 videos updated on Dec 9, 2020.
Art that Depicts CHILDLIKENESS in Adults
Spend some time in prayer as you gaze on the artwork below. Let the images enter your heart to guide your daily lived experience of CHILDLIKENESS.
This woman appears to be delighting in the beauty of a snowfall. On what would you be reflecting if you were in her place right now?
Remember Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh? Imagine a conversation with Winnie the Pooh. Ask him about life today, about spirituality, about adult childlikeness. For an added treat, view the movie, Christopher Robin. Rent it online or at your favorite movie rental store.
Websites that Spark Adult Childlikeness
To get through this COVID time, let us choose CHILDLIKENESS together.
Like the Little Prince, may we never lose our sense of faith-filled wonder.
Women of Faith SSA