Listening to the child with respect and humility was the foundation of educator Maria Montessori’s work. We invite you to read through these posts from our collection of art, theological comments and prayers of children, and share your own reflections. Considering these responses together may help us deepen our understanding of the mysteries of the child and God.
Listening to the Child
During the presentation on the Eucharistic Presence material, I asked about what the Good Shepherd does with the sheep. Nissa, age 4, replied, “Takes care of the sheep.” When I asked about how the Good Shepherd takes care of the sheep, Nissa replied, “gives food and water and grass.” Kara, age 4, said, “his life.” With a questioning tone, I repeated, “his life?” Kara replied, “yes, gives his life to the sheep.”
Yvonne, age 3, was working at the altar material. I had lit the candles saying, as always, “Christ has died. Christ is risen.” Yvonne said, “I like those words you say when you light the candles.” I wondered why and she replied because they mean “Baby Jesus and Peace.”
Tobias, age 4, was working with the City of Jerusalem material. He was touching the tomb and said, “they fell down like dead men.” When I asked why they had fallen down like dead men, Tobias replied, “angel.” When I asked what the angel had said, Tobias replied, “do not be afraid” and when I asked what the angel had said about Jesus, Sylvan said, “risen.”
As I was about to read the scripture booklet for the Women at the Tomb material to Tobias, age 4, he said, “They saw nothing nothing.”
Xander, 6: See that candle? (the Paschal Candle) It's Jesus and God. There's at least 50,000 darkness out here and only one light. And that light challenged the darkness and won.
Simon: When Jesus was killed on the cross, his light got snuffed. But when he rose, it was like his light lit up a pile of firewood--and the light was MUCH stronger. Everyone was amazed!
Xander's response to Simon: It doesn't matter how big the darkness is, it can't put out the light. But even one little candle can light up this dark room.
Resurrection, by a child age 7.
Ulysses, age 5, had been working repeatedly with the Women at the Tomb recently. He had again worked with the material and listened to the scripture booklet. When I wondered why the women had run from the tomb, Ulysses replied, “because they’re happy.” When I wondered why they were happy, he stated, “Jesus was coming back alive.”
During a presentation on the Found Coin, Edward, age 6, commented that the parable of the Found Coin is like the parable of the Kingdom of God and the Pearl of Great Price. Willa, age 6, said, “He also rejoices and calls together friends and neighbors in the Found Sheep!” Olivia, age 6, said, “I think the woman could be us, looking for Jesus.” Opal, age 6, said, “We can be lost from Jesus/God by choosing to hurt others.” Opal and Willa both said that God will try to bring us back if we are lost. Willa said that “we use love, peace, joy… all good things to find God again.”
While working on the Geography Cards, The Life and Ministry of Jesus, Damian, age 8, said, “Jesus is not alive.” Tess, age 7, answered, “Yes, he is.” Damian asked, with assertion, “Then where is he?” Tess replied, “He’s in our hearts.”
During the presentation on The Lord’s Prayer, Braden, age 8, Nieve, age 7, and Tess, age 7, chose to focus on the phrase: “Our Father.” This is the prayer they created together: “God as father – creator, special, stays with us, comforts, is kind and wise, looks after us, loves us and never lets go. And also like a mother – because everyone is born of God. [God is] Everybody’s father and mother – no one is excluded, even includes angels.”