Posted by KidSpirit Online on March 20, 2017

By Chris Woods in the KidSpirit Happiness Issue

I was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. Shortly after I was born, my family moved and we became parishioners at a Byzantine Catholic Church — Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic to be precise. Ever since I have been brought up in that tradition, and my views of the world have been deeply influenced by it.

Very few people even know of the beautiful tradition I grew up in, so here is its history: A few centuries after the founding of the Christian Church, two different traditions developed in the East and in the West. These traditions gradually grew further and further apart until they separated from each other completely around the 11th century. Though long foreseen, the split occurred when the West added to the Creed that the Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son (added portion in italics) without consulting the East.

A few more centuries passed . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on March 2, 2017

By Olivia Bailey for KidSpirit's Happiness issue.

It’s Thursday, the best day of the week, no question. Thursday is the day my mindfulness group meets, which means that at 11:15 a.m. I get to leave my classes and escape the overwhelming social life of a 12-year-old. Instead, I spend 30 minutes with my amazing mindfulness teacher, Mrs. Parr, doing things that actually make my life better in so many ways.

Mrs. Parr opens calm.com, our favorite meditation website, and we do a five-minute mindfulness exercise by sitting quietly and paying quiet, nonjudgmental attention to different parts of our bodies. It only takes five seconds for me to feel absolutely calm and centered. Mindfulness is being in the present moment, on purpose, without judgment. By the time I open my eyes, five minutes have passed and I can’t even tell. That’s how great it is.

It usually takes me a few moments . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on February 15, 2017

By Ariana Resauladin for KidSpirit's The Soul of Gender issue.

I’m a 12-year-old girl who has grown up in a community of Bahá’ís.

It is really astonishing to be a part of a religion that is not common around New York, or any place, actually. There are only about five million people that are documented Bahá’ís. Bahá’ís believes that God is one, man is one, and all religions are one.

The Bahá’í faith was established in Tehran . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on January 27, 2017

By Nathan Zhang for KidSpirit's Heritage issue.

I still remember walking down a dusty country road in the Chinese city of Chongqing early last summer with my dad, my little brother, and my grandmother. We were walking toward a cemetery lined with graves of the forgotten.

A car rushed past, and the sun sent waves of heat down upon us. Far ahead was a shop. We walked closer and closer until we were right next to it. My grandmother spoke in the Sichuan dialect and said, “We’ll take five incense sticks and two of each paper money.”

After we bought the goods . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on January 16, 2017

By Samarth Jajoo for KidSpirit's Heritage issue.

From a young age I was taught to stand up for my beliefs. More importantly, I was taught to appreciate diversity.

We can choose to appreciate and tolerate the beliefs of others, along with honoring our personal beliefs. I have grown up with friends from different religions like Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam, and have always valued the friendship and meeting of minds over religion.

My family is very devoted to God. . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on January 3, 2017

By Melynn Oliver for KidSpirit's The Nature Truth issue.

I have been raised in the Catholic faith since the day I was adopted. As a baby, I received the first sacrament: Baptism.

Baptism symbolized my entrance into the Catholic community. From there, I attended Mass with my parents every Sunday at the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi. I started Sunday school at the tender age of six. Every Sunday, instead of going to church with my parents, I was sent to a small extension of the building used to study religion. There I would sit with my classmates and hear children’s versions of stories from the Bible. Being so young, I didn’t question what was going on. To me it was as simple as going to school every day.

Eventually, the time came . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on December 21, 2016

By Maria Christian for KidSpirit’s The Word issue.

Dear Santa,
Your identity was revealed to me in a book. The book was written for people three times my age, but I read it because it had the word Christmas on the cover and I loved Christmas more than anything. Believing in you until I was 11 is pretty good, I think — it’s better than most kids.

My family is not religious, though my parents are the children of Catholics. We had one plastic manger, which was kept in my room when I was 11, the last year of my childhood. That’s why I remember it so well. But I liked baby Jesus, anachronistically blond and pale, with a star above his crib. That was the beginning and the end of my family’s Christianity. You, Santa, were the real reason for celebration.

Santa Claus, did you know that I thought . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on December 9, 2016

By Ryeaan Chaudry in KidSpirit's Human Dignity issue.

Today, society seems more socially and technologically evolved than ever before.

With smartphones and social media, we are able to get timely updates of world events. Observing the many conflicts around the world today, I can clearly see disregard for the important concept of dignity.

Dignity is the connective tissue of any relationship . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on November 23, 2016

By Jung Woo Be for KidSpirit’s Happiness issue.

There is a widespread view that happiness is obtained through reciprocity — in other words, that how much we receive in any given exchange dictates how much joy we feel.

But what happens when we give without an expectation of anything in return? Are we left feeling empty, or left feeling full?

My Catholic faith has shown me . . .

Posted by KidSpirit Online on November 9, 2016

By Ammara Mohsin for KidSpirit’s Discovery and Progress issue.

It was with much excitement over the prospect of being able to visit a different country, albeit from afar, that I visited the Indo-Pak Wagah Border in Lahore.

This is the boundary dividing India and Pakistan, with the eastern half of the Wagah village in India and the western half in Pakistan. I am from Pakistan, and as our car came to a screeching halt some miles away from the border gate, so did my anticipation. A whirlwind of emotions hit me. The first was disappointment, for India and Pakistan are as similar as a pair of monozygotic twins. Where was the “other country” I was promised?

Secondly, I felt profound confusion . . .

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About This Blog

Young people are brimming with vision and prophetic wisdom. This blog features 11- to 17-year-olds in deep and often surprising explorations of spiritual life. Their original writing and artwork was first published in KidSpirit, the sole spiritual magazine by and for global youth. Their words call us to approach eternal questions with wonder. More