|(photo from Gwinnettmagazine.com)|
A lovely new book from Jane G. Meyer illustrates this examination and cultivation perfectly: The Hidden Garden, illustrated by Masha Lobastov.
Within every heart is a hidden garden. We can neglect it until the weeds take over and the flowers wither and die. Or, with the help of Christ, we can care for it and make it a place of beauty, grace, and joy. This charming parable will encourage children (and adults) to open the gate to Christ and tend the garden of their heart with loving care. -Product description from Conciliar Press (update 12/13 - now Ancient Faith Publishing).
Don't miss Jane's new picture book - here just in time for Lent! Through the eyes of an old man we learn how our heart can be like a desert, where we wander all alone with our anger and selfishness, not even willing to open the gate to Someone who knocks.
How can we find the key that will let Him in to show us "how to turn the desert into a place of color and beauty"? You'll have to get the book to find out (and I guarantee it's a beautiful place you'll want to step into over and over again!)
Children will also like the practical tips "To Help Tend Your Garden" at the end of the book - reminders for everyday, but especially as Lent starts.
|This is a photo of my dad, Fr. Peter Gillquist (of blessed memory), |
as a little boy - taken in the 1940's for a church bulletin.
The gift of Lent is that it is a time of preparation - to draw closer to God and to acknowledge that He is the reason that we exist. We need to seize this opportunity with our children to grow spiritually, so that it doesn't become just a "what-food-are-you-giving-up-for-Lent?" experience.
Books About Prayer for Kids...
|The Monk Who Grew Prayer, |
by Claire Brandenburg
|Anytime, Anywhere: A Little Boy's Prayer, |
by Marcus Hummon
|Prayer for a Child, |
by Rachel Field
|Give Me Grace... A Child's Daybook of Prayers, |
by Cynthia Rylant
|Special Agents of Christ: A Prayer Book,|
by Annalisa Boyd
|Hear Me: A Prayerbook for Orthodox Teens|
More Lenten Reading:
FOR KIDS & TEENS:
The Tale of Three Trees, by Angela Elwell Hunt
The Book of Jonah, by Niko Chocheli
The Life of St. Brigid, by Jane Meyer
Saint Patrick, Enlightener of the Irish, by Zachary Lynch
The Blackbird's Nest, St. Kevin of Ireland, by Jenny Schroedel
Song of the Swallows, by Leo Politi
Saints: Lives and Illuminations by Ruth Sanderson
Letters to St. Lydia, YA Novel by Melinda Johnson
The lenten spring shines forth,
the flower of repentance!
Let us cleanse ourselves from all evil,
crying out to the Giver of Light:
Glory to You, O Lover of man!
-from Cheesefare Wednesday Vespers