Enjoy this excerpt from The Catholic Parents’ Survival Guide.
Question: Do young children have the capacity for a relationship with Jesus?
—Javier and Gloria, parents of one
Answer: Yes, children have a very real capacity to understand and develop a relationship with Jesus. Let me share this story with you. When my daughter was 3 years old, she could be a bit of a challenge at Mass. Coming forward to receive Holy Communion, for example, was always interesting. She would accompany me and wave and smile at people and whisper little greetings to her friends along the way. One Sunday, as I was kneeling in prayer after communion, she asked me if Mass was almost over. I replied that very soon we would sing one more song, say goodbye to Jesus, and go home. She then darted into the middle of the aisle, kneeled for a few moments, and began to wave at the altar. Our pastor saw her and waved back. At the top of her voice she loudly exclaimed, “Not you, not you! I am saying goodbye to Jesus before we go home!” Despite the interruption, we all smiled, and it gladdened us to know that in our daughter’s heart Jesus is as real to her as the people she sees before her. Oh, that we would all approach Jesus with the same childlike simplicity and trust!
—Wayne and Julianne, parents of three