December 16, 2022

Worship and Evangelization Outreach / Ken Ogorek

Strive for a childlike faith on your earthly pilgrimage

Ken Ogorek

We’re not getting any younger. Many of you reading this are in your golden years.

You’re not a kid anymore. Yet Jesus commands us to be like little children—even those among his disciples who are now elderly folks.

How can we be childlike without becoming childish? Whether you’re a senior citizen or have an elderly person in your life—or both—these reflections might help complete the circle of faith as eternal life draws near.

Childlike, Not Childish

A childish person is very self-centered. Stubbornness is also a childish trait.

“I don’t want to take a nap!” is often on the lips of a child. A childish adult manifests this thought by being unbalanced—by not giving work and life, activity and rest their proper proportion.

The Faith of a Child

Here are 10 traits of a childlike faith. I encourage you to ponder them.

  • “Why? Why? Why?”—Children tend to be curious. Hold on to your curiosity about God.
  • Sense of family—Kids depend on their families. Retain a strong connection to your family, the Church.
  • Opportunities for others to practice virtue—“Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.” Enough said.
  • Run to Mom for comfort—The Blessed Virgin Mary sees you with a mother’s eyes, no matter your age. Continue including Mary, plus all the angels and saints, in your prayer life.
  • Close to Baptism—Most Catholic kids are pretty fresh off their baptism as infants. Reflect on your baptism often, pondering its meaning for your life at any age.
  • Open to learning—“Teach me! Teach me!” You’re never too old to learn more about our Lord Jesus or deepen your understanding and appreciation of the Trinity, Church, sacraments, etc.
  • Awe of God’s love, creation, saving action—Wonder and awe are pretty easily observable in a child. Do you pause and allow wonder to fill you at the immensity of God’s love, the beauty of his creation, his selflessness in offering you salvation from sin and death by the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus?
  • “Again! Again!”—Little kids never tire of revisiting a fun activity, an engaging story, an “I love you” received or given. While you can, treasure good memories in your heart, grateful to God each time they resurface.
  • Resilient—A tendency to be resilient is often observed in children. Embracing the paschal mystery at every age, we remain confident that our struggles and hardships are never the ultimate end of life’s story. We strive to bounce back, persevering in prayer and faith.
  • Docile—Stubborn fits aside, kids will often comply with simple requests. Docility to the Holy Spirit never loses its value, doing as we’re told through God’s voice in sacred Scripture, Church teaching, a sacramental prayer life and all the ways our heavenly Father reveals his loving will to us.

I had the pleasure of sharing these thoughts and more in an interactive presentation to a group of elderly nuns a while ago. If a session focusing on this topic for older folks in your parish (or elsewhere) is of interest to you, feel free to reach me using the contact information below.

Let’s strive for a childlike faith throughout our earthly pilgrimage. And when we reach the pearly gates, may we hear Jesus say, “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”

(Ken Ogorek is director of catechesis within the archdiocesan Secretariat for Worship and Evangelization. He can be reached at

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