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Frank X. Jelenek is a member of Thomas Keating's Contemplative Outreach, dedicated to teaching and practising centering prayer to people of all ages. He works for Scholastic Book Fairs and shares his passion for books and prayer with his twenty nieces and nephews.
Ann Boyajian is also the illustrator of Samantha's Friendship Fun (in the American Girls(tm) series), and many other books.
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 o