Monday, May 14, 2007

Review: Come to Jesus!

Come to Jesus! A Kid’s Book for Eucharistic Adoration
by Anne Flanagan, FSP

2006, Pauline Books and Media, 48 pages, softcover

Cultivating a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament through Eucharistic Adoration is an excellent way to keep children Catholic. Those who love Jesus in the Sacrament are less likely to leave Him and will have a lifelong joy in His presence. But, from my own experience taking my children to Adoration, it does take planning and preparation. What is a young child to think, say, and do while sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament for a whole hour? This book gives some practical suggestions in the form of planned outlines for three different Adoration hours.

Each of the 3 outlines has a theme for meditation: We Adore Jesus Who Promises Living Water; We Adore Jesus with His First Followers; We Adore Jesus Who Give Us What is Good. Each outline is divided into 3 parts: Jesus the Way, Jesus the Truth, and Jesus the Life. The hour begins with an opening prayer. In the section “Jesus the Way” there is a scripture reading followed by a quiet time. In “Jesus the Truth,” there is a prayer of repentance and another quiet time. In “Jesus the Life,” there is a litany of praise and prayers of intercession followed by quiet time. Near the end the children are instructed to pray a prayer of spiritual communion.

Intended for groups, this could be adapted for use by a family. The instructions to speak out loud while the children are in quiet time could be modified so as not to be so intrusive. Also, in the “Practical Recommendations for Using this Book with Groups” section at the back of the book, there are explanations of some gestures that the children could use that may not be those in accepted use by individual families, for example, raising hands during intercessory prayer. But the suggestions for a method to move through a holy hour could help a family who wants to start this devotion, but doesn’t know where to begin. It also might be useful for homeschool cooperative groups who want to make a holy hour. For some families, there may not be enough for a whole hour with each outline. We like to add praying the Rosary to our Adoration time. And each child brings his own devotional reading material.

Other resources for encouraging Eucharistic devotion in children include the following: the website of Father Antoine and his book Praying in the Presence of the Lord for Children; the book Eucharistic Texts and Prayers throughout Church History by Daniel Guernsey; Eucharistic Adoration Coloring Book by Katherine Sotnik; I THE LORD AM WITH YOU ALWAYS: Prayers and Meditations for Eucharistic Adoration, Compiled by Christine McCarthy; and the Real Presence website.

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