A Childlike Spirit

An excerpt from “Marian Consecration for Children” by Dr. Carrie Gress:

Several times in the Bible, we hear how much Jesus loved children and how important children are in God’s kingdom. He says things like “unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3), and in Mark, “whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child, will not enter it” (Mark 10:15).

For adults, our goal is to become like children, to become childlike. There is a difference between childlike and childish. It is childish to throw a tantrum, it is childlike to trust wholly in God’s plan for our lives. It is childish to only think of ourselves, it is childlike to notice the needs of others and want to attend to them, no matter the cost.

Every Christian is striving for this childlike spirit, but a childlike spirit has a funny twist. It is only when we become childlike that we can actually become mature Christians, or most fully like Christ in our ability to trust, act charitably, and see with pure eyes. This is part of the reason why children have a great capacity to become holy and develop a deep relationship with God, because children are already childlike! St. Dominic Savio captured the idea well when he said, “I am not capable of doing big things, but I want to do everything, even the smallest things, for the greater glory of God.”

(note: The idea of a 33-day consecration may seem daunting, but Dr. Gress’s book really makes it simple and achievable for families. By presenting this excerpt, I hope you will be encouraged to do your family’s consecration to Jesus through Mary.)

From “No Greater Love” by Saint Teresa of Calcutta:

Love Jesus generously. Love Him trustfully, without looking back and without fear. Give yourself fully to Jesus. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your weakness. Believe in Him, trust in Him with a blind and absolute confidence because He is Jesus. Believe that Jesus and Jesus alone is life, and sanctity is nothing but that same Jesus intimately living in you; then His hand will be free with you.

Who is Jesus to me?
Jesus is the Word made flesh.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the cross.
Jesus is the sacrifice offered at holy Mass for the sins of the world and for mine.
Jesus is the Word to be spoken.
Jesus is the truth to be told.
Jesus is the way to be walked.
Jesus is the light to be lit.
Jesus is the life to be lived.
Jesus is the love to be loved.
Jesus is the joy to be shared.
Jesus is the peace to be given.
Jesus is the hungry to be fed.
Jesus is the thirsty to be satiated.
Jesus is the naked to be clothed.
Jesus is the homeless to be taken in.
Jesus is the sick to be healed.
Jesus is the lonely to be loved.
Jesus is the unwanted to be wanted.
Jesus is the leper to wash His wounds.
Jesus is the beggar to give Him a smile.
Jesus is the drunkard to listen to Him.
Jesus is the mentally ill to protect Him.
Jesus is the little one to embrace Him.
Jesus is the blind to lead Him.
Jesus is the dumb to speak for Him.
Jesus is the crippled to walk with Him.
Jesus is the drug addict to befriend Him.
Jesus is the prostitute to remove from danger and befriend Her.
Jesus is the prisoner to be visited.
Jesus is the old to be served.

To me: Jesus is my God.
Jesus is my spouse.
Jesus is my life.
Jesus is my only love.
Jesus is my all in all.
Jesus is my everything.

JESUS, I love with my whole heart, with my whole being. I have given Him all, even my sins, and He has espoused me to Himself in all tenderness and love.

“My life is nothing more than an instant, a passing hour. My life is nothing more than a single day that escapes me and flees. You know, oh my Lord, that I have only today to love You.” -Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

From “True Devotion to Mary” by Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort:

[Jesus] did not will to come into the world at the age of a perfect man, independent of others, but like a poor and little babe, dependent on the cares and nourishment of this holy Mother. He is that Infinite Wisdom, Who had a boundless desire to glorify God His Father, and to save men; and yet He found no more perfect means, no shorter way to do it, than to submit Himself in all things to the Blessed Virgin, not only during the first eight, ten, or fifteen years of His life, like other children, but for thirty years!

He gave more glory to God His Father during all that time of submission and dependence to our Blessed Lady than He would have given Him if He had employed those thirty years in working miracles, in preaching to the whole earth, and in converting all men, seeing that His Heavenly Father and Himself had ruled it thus: quae placita sunt ei facio semper (“because I always do what is pleasing to Him” –John 8:29b). Oh! how highly we glorify God, when, after the example of Jesus, we submit ourselves to Mary!

….Moreover, this devotion is a practice of great humility, which God loves above all the other virtues. A soul which exalts itself abases God; a soul which abases itself exalts God. God resists the proud, and gives His grace to the humble. If you abase yourself, thinking yourself unworthy to appear before Him and to draw nigh to Him, He descends, and lowers Himself to come to you, to take pleasure in you, and to exalt you in spite of yourself.

On the contrary, when you are hardy enough to approach God without a mediator, God flies from you, and you cannot reach Him. Oh, how he loves humility of heart! It is to this humility that our peculiar devotion engages us, because it teaches us never to draw nigh of ourselves to our Lord, however sweet and merciful He may be, but always to avail ourselves of the intercession of our Blessed Lady, whether it be to appear before God, or to speak to Him, or to draw near to Him, or to offer Him anything, or to unite and consecrate ourselves to Him.


A child of Jesus and Mary.

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