by Frank Jelenic – Paraclete Press
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Centering prayer is a way of opening our whole being to God, beyond thoughts, words and emotions. It is simple and practical—a way of preparing heart and mind to receive the gift of intimate relationship with God. Jesus said, “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
Frank Jelenek shows young children just how to do that. The first guide to a contemplative prayer practice for children, Journey to the Heart both instructs and inspires. Many parents and teachers will learn from this colorful treasure of a book, as well! Until now, parents and teachers had no resource available to introduce children to the joys of communicating with God in this special, intimate way.
This loving book makes it easy for children to share in the spiritual nourishment of centering prayer through age-appropriate illustrations and text that provides clear directions and encouragement in simple, fun language. Ideal for ages 3 – 10.
“Contemplative prayer would seem to be a discipline more suited to adults than children, but this easily understandable book offers a framework that even primary-schoolers can work within. The book begins by introducing the concept of the soul explaining that a journey to the deepest part of the heart is time to commune with God and Jesus. First, the book suggests choosing a secret word or phrase such as faith, Father, Jesus, or Holy Spirit.Then, it recommends sitting silently, eyes closed, feet on the floor; if others are participating, it suggests placing chairs in a prayer circle. The next step involves saying the secret word silently while resting within. When other thoughts intrude, participants can let them float away during the six moments of silence they are to spend with God. The session ends with the Our Father. The gentle text encourages children, and the attractive, simple pictures, often depicting people at prayer, are done in warm, gentle colors. An unusual, peaceful offering.” – Booklist