Saturday, September 16, 2006

God Listens to Our Children: a review

God Listens to Our Children by Kelly Renz

Paperback: 256 pages; Our Sunday Visitor (February 2006). ISBN: 1592761852

This book is filled with prayers for children from cover to cover! The premise of author Kelly Renz is that formal prayers are too distant from the language children use everyday. Moving through the liturgical year and reflecting specifically a reading from each daily mass, the prayers have been written in simple language and are of short length--five to seven lines at the most.

God Listens to Our Children may be very be useful in Catholic homeschool both for families that make it to daily mass and those who are not able to do so. In the first case the children will enjoy the opportunity to revisit the daily reading and in the second case they will have an opportunity to reflect on the mass readings. Sundays readings display cycles A, B and C options, while daily readings in ordinary time have both Year I and Year II passages.

The author has given each set of readings a simple theme, such as Trust, or Belief, Mercy, or Hearing God. An index lists all of the prayers' themes in the end, so users can also look for prayers specific to their changing needs. She has also listed one related Catechism passage below each set of daily prayers. The responsorial psalms for each day are also included.

If you are interested in purchasing this book to aid in the praying with your children, you might want to leaf over it beforehand and read a few prayers just to make sure the style is to your liking (I include a sample below). Although I am one to promote teaching children the richness of the formal (and more complex English) prayers of the Church, these simply phrased ones could be welcome and helpful at times.

Another note is on the absence of prayers related to the saints' feastdays. The author did, however, include prayers related to the two major Marian feasts of Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, as well as for All Saints Day. Maybe this would be material for a follow-up book?

Twenty-Fifth Tuesday in Ordinary Time

Pleasing God

Dear Lord, the book of Proverbs tells me a lot about how You see things. You look at each person's heart. May You look at my heart and be pleased. Show me how to make my heart more pleasing to You. Inspire me to read Proverbs and other books in Your bible.

Reviewed by Ana Braga-Henebry, M. A.

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