Archdiocese of Washington: Year of Faith series
Dominican Brothers of the Province of St. Joseph
Children love to ask questions. “Are angels real?” “Who was Jesus’ daddy?” “Did Jesus have a doggie?”
I once heard a mother ask her daughter, “Where does God live?” The little girl immediately reached up with her left arm like she was trying to grab her favorite toy from the top of the refrigerator and pointed straight up to the sky.
Children have great faith. They are curious about the world, and when you tell them a little bit, they want to know more.
Children also have a great sense of wonder.
I remember the day a fifth grader ran up to me at school, pulled me aside, and wanted to ask me about angels, with a glow in his eye. We talked for five minutes, but I was on my way that same day to visit an eighth grade classroom.
The response from the eighth graders was very different. Let’s just say a bit of that childlike wonder had dimmed. Those eighth graders had already learned how to be tough, and they were surely skeptical. When I asked how many of them believed in angels, one girl – only one – raised her hand.
Children grow up quickly these days. Our faith sometimes grows tired and weak as we get older.
We don’t remain children forever. But, what happens to our faith? Are we stuck thinking that faith is just a childhood memory?
Have you ever wanted – once again – that same glow you see on a child’s face?
Try this: ask those same questions children ask.
For one year, beginning next week, we’ll help you ask a weekly question. The questions will be the exact same questions grade-school students are asked in Catechism class. We’ve taken them directly from the yearly assessments given to second through eighth graders in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
We are calling the series, “Are You Smarter than a Fifth-Grader?” Let’s see if you can pass the test!
That’s not all. After you have had a chance to think about the question, we will follow-up with a short, relevant, and hopefully insightful reflection to go along with the answer.
Whether you know it or not, next week begins the Year of Faith, called for by Pope Benedict XVI. To help celebrate the Year of Faith, the Archdiocese of Washington has asked three young Dominicans – members of the Order of Preachers – to give a weekly series that reflects on the wonderful truth of our faith.
The Order of Preachers was founded 800 years ago by Saint Dominic to help others come to understand the truth of our Catholic Faith and to pass that understanding on to the people of God, so that we all might grow in love for the source of that truth. While there may not be a written portion on the entrance exam for heaven, a greater knowledge of the faith can only draw us closer to Jesus Christ, who is both the source and the goal of our happiness.