Introducing Children to Silence and Prayer: For Catechists and Parents

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We encourage them to share the deepest desires of their hearts, for while he already knows these thoughts and desires, he especially loves to hear these from his children.


Share the very words of the saints with the students at their appropriate learning levels, because we know that the saints can guide us to Christ. Take them to Jesus in the tabernacle; guide them in how to share their hearts with Jesus; encourage them to make brief visits to Jesus there on their own. Tell them to give Jesus "Prime Time" in their hearts and in their lives. The need to prepare our students for times of prayer in quiet and stillness is crucial, because it is often in the silence of our hearts that God speaks to us. We learn to pray at certain moments by hearing the Word of the Lord and sharing in his Paschal mystery, but his Spirit is offered us at all times, in the events of each day, to make prayer spring up from us CCC, no.

Listening to both St. Paul and the Catechism of the Catholic Church , we should live in a spirit of prayer, praying always.

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We must remember God more often than we draw breath. But we cannot pray "at all times" if we do not pray at specific times, consciously willing it. These are the special times of Christian prayer, both in intensity and duration CCC, no. When with our students, we guide them in praying unceasingly by looking for situations that call us to pray, in the classroom, in the cafeteria, on the playground, or in other daily situations.

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  4. When a possibly contentious situation arises between students, or while urging students to live like Christ and respect one another in a way that would please God, call the students to prayer. Share an appropriate Scripture verse after quieting them. Allow them to think about the verse, explaining to them its meaning when necessary. Do not be afraid to briefly "preach" on a verse or two, as our vocation as catechists calls us to witness to our students, breaking open and unpacking the Scriptures. Show them that God wants to hear from his children at all times, in all circumstances.

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    Children can be introduced to lectio divina at a young age and be taught to unpack the Scriptures by themselves. This is a valuable skill that will stay with them their entire lives. It is common in catechetical situations to involve our students in Intercessory Prayer. We start our catechesis with the Sign of the Cross, the sign of our faith, usually followed by a formal prayer, and ask our students whom they would like to pray for.

    It is crucial that they understand the importance of interceding for the living and deceased friends and members of our family, all the Body of Christ. These people depend on our prayers for them at all times. We know that there is a need for both formal and informal prayer, both vocal and silent prayer. The Catechism tells us, "The Tradition of the Church proposes to the faithful certain rhythms of praying intended to nourish continual prayer.

    The Child's Capacity for God

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    Cathedral Centre Books. Introducing Children to Silence and Prayer: For Catechists and Parents

    All: Pray for us. Saint John the Baptist. Saint Joseph. Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The names of other saints may be added, especially the patrons of the child to be baptized, and of the church or locality. The litany concludes: All holy men and women. The prayer of exorcism and the anointing with oil of catechumens are omitted. He invites all to pray: My dear brothers and sisters, let us ask God to give these children new life in abundance through water and the Holy Spirit. All: Blessed be God. Catechist: You bring together all who are baptized in water and the Holy Spirit to be one people in Jesus Christ your Son.

    Catechist: You have made us free by pouring the Spirit of your love into our hearts, so that we will enjoy your peace. Catechist: You have chosen your baptized people to announce with joy the Good News of Christ to all nations. Catechist: Come and bless this water in which your servants are to be baptized.

    You have called them to the washing of new life in the faith of your Church, so that they may have eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All: Amen. In your kindness hear the prayers of the Church and of these parents. Look upon these children with love, and keep them from the power of sin. Since they are a gift from you, Father, welcome them into the kingdom of your Son. You have created this water, and made it clean, refreshing, and life-giving.

    You have made it holy through the baptism of Christ, that by the power of the Holy Spirit it may give your people a new birth. Father, may they rejoice with Jesus your Son and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. The catechist speaks to the parents and godparents in these words: Dear parents and godparents: You have come here to present these children for baptism.

    By water and the Holy Spirit they are to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love. On your part, you must make it your constant care to bring them up in the practice of the faith. See that the divine life which God gives them is kept safe from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in their hearts. If your faith makes you ready to accept this responsibility, renew now the vows of your own baptism.

    A Parent’s Prayer

    Reject sin; profess your faith in Christ Jesus. This is the faith of the Church. This is the faith in which these children are about to be baptized. Then he asks them: A Catechist: Do you reject Satan? Parents and Godparents: I do. Catechist: And all his works? Catechist: And all his empty promises? Catechist: Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin? Catechist: Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness? According to circumstances, this second form may be expressed with greater precision by the conferences of bishops, especially in places where it is necessary for the parents and godparents to reject superstitious and magical practices used with children.

    Then the catechist asks for the threefold profession of faith from the parents and godparents: Catechist: Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth? Catechist: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Catechist: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting?

    The “Ben Stiller Method”

    The catechist and the congregation give their assent to this profession of faith: Catechist: This is our faith. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord. If desired, some other formula may be used instead, or a suitable song by which the community expresses its faith with a single voice. The catechist invites the first of the families to the font. Using the name of the individual child, he asks the parents and godparents: Is it your will that N.

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    4. Parents and Godparents: It is. He baptizes the child, saying: N. He immerses the child or pours water upon it a third time. If baptism is performed by the pouring of water, it is preferable that the child be held by the mother or father. Where, however, it is felt that the existing custom should be retained, the godmother or godfather may hold the child. If baptism is by immersion, the parent or godparent lifts the child out of the font. Go to the Acclamations and Hymns Some passages from scripture may also be read, or a sacred silence observed.

      The catechist says once for all the newly-baptized children: God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin, and has given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit. He has made you Christians now, and has welcomed you into his holy people.