December 16, 2004
Robert Coles , Diane Komp and Carol Dittberner —
Children and God

Maria Montessori, the great 20th-century educational pioneer, observed that children have an intuition for religious life at an early age that is matched only by their capacity to acquire language. During this holiday season, Speaking of Faith explores the spiritual wisdom and intelligence of children—including their ability to process the difficult realities of life.

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Guests

Robert Coles

is a retired Harvard researcher and child psychologist. He's authored many books, including The Spiritual Life of Children.

Diane Komp

is a retired Yale pediatric oncologist and author of several books, including Window to Heaven: When Children See Life in Death.

Carol Dittberner

is an international trainer in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and director of religious education at St. Frances Cabrini.

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5Reflections

Reflections

Loved this podcast! It's so humbling to see and hear how children react to God. Dr. Robert Coles does a great job of explaining how a child's mind explores. Sometimes I think adults should take after the childrens nature and enthusiasm for God.

I enjoyed hearing the children's responses to the plant and the sap. The children responded with all sorts of wonderful answers some said loyalty, respect, love etc.. She said she could use this story over and over and the children would come up with different answers each time. I thought this is truly remarkable.

Overall, I really enjoyed this broadcast. Children's minds are truly incredible!

Beautifully done. I work with preschool children. I have only experienced conversations about God with children who have had a church background. The children who have not been given those words are deeply spiritual in the way they can be compassionate and empathetic, especially to each other.

Listening to this again after many years, I thought about my nephew who was not raised with any religious traditions. And when he was young, up to about 7, he would draw pictures using Transformers, and Sponge Bob Square Pants, and all of those images. And in those picture there would often be a "divine" or "more" that he would include in the story about his picture. Was really amazing to hear him say those things without any reference of that in his family life.

Listening to this again after many years, I thought about my nephew who was not raised with any religious traditions. And when he was young, up to about 7, he would draw pictures using Transformers, and Sponge Bob Square Pants, and all of those images. And in those picture there would often be a "divine" or "more" that he would include in the story about his picture. Was really amazing to hear him say those things without any reference of that in his family life.

Those lovely little people have so much to teach us! They help us remember the essence of who we are. Thank you for this lovely story, that I listened to again after many years. Makes me smile.