The lessons in this talk is just as good for any adult as it is for your children. Take some time to read it to them.
From Christopher’s Talks to Catholic Children by David L. Green stock, 1944
I have mentioned to you in some of the former chapters that, because Jesus was God, He knew all about us while He was on this earth and long before we ever came into this world. He knew who our parents were going to be, where we were going to be born, where we should be going to school, how we were going to live and how we were going to die. In fact, He knew everything about us.
This thought is expressed in the Catechism in these words, “God knows and sees all things, even our most secret thoughts.” I want to talk to you about that for a moment before we go on to anything else.
First of all, there are two ways in which we can think of this complete knowledge God has of all our actions however small. We can picture God, for example, as a big policeman, always watching us to see when we do something wrong and always ready to catch us when the chance arises. To look at it in that way would not only be very wrong but also a great pity. God is not like that at all, and if we go on thinking of Him that way, it will mean that we shall stand a very poor chance of making Him our friend, and that is what we should aim to do.
God is love. He loves us much more than our parents can ever hope to do, and He is always ready and willing to help us in every way possible. I want you to think of this Presence of God and this knowledge of all that we think and do, in that way.
Here are two pictures of very ordinary things in the life of any child. One shows a little child going to school in the morning with his school books in his hand. You will notice that God is there with him, and is always watching over him to see that he is perfectly safe. In the other picture you can see some children swimming. God is there too.
In other words, think of yourself and God as two friends who are always together. You are never alone. Your faithful companion through life is God Himself. In all your actions He is there, not to catch you out in something which is wrong but to be a help and guide through all the actions of your daily life.
Of course, He also sees your sins, too, if you have the misfortune to commit any, but He does not condemn you for them unless there is nothing else to be done. On the contrary, He tries very hard to lead you away from those sins and back to His Love and Friendship. That is the only thing which interests Him.
Think of what a wonderful thing that companionship with God can really mean to us all. If He is with us all day, and if we are never really all alone to face the dangers and the difficulties of this life, how much more pleasant that makes things! That thought naturally leads us on to think about the subject of prayer.
Prayers are really nothing more than little conversations with God, our Friend. If we could only see them in that light, perhaps it would be much easier for us to remember our prayers and to say them well.
Here is a little child saying his morning prayers. Now let us see what that really means. He knows that God is really and truly present in that room with him although he cannot see God. God has not been far away from him all through the night, but has been there watching over him and waiting for him to wake in the morning to begin another day.
Accordingly, when he gets up, he kneels down for just a moment or two and says what we call his morning prayers. That is another way of saying that he says “Good morning,” to God.
Perhaps he says the Morning Offering, which is just simply the offering of all the actions of the coming day to God. Perhaps he says the “Our Father” and the “Hail Mary” to sanctify his day by calling on God and Our Lady to help him to live it well. Whatever it is that he says, it is really nothing more or less than, “Good morning,” to God.
Exactly the same is true of our night prayers. We are just going to sleep and we know that God will be there all the time to watch over us while we are asleep, so we just offer ourselves to Him again and say the Act of Contrition for all the little wrong things which we may have done during the day. He will love us very much for that offering and for that sorrow, and He will forgive us as He always does, because He loves us so much.
You see how much easier prayer becomes if you think of it in this way. It is not just a very unpleasant duty which has to be done first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It is a conversation between us and our best Friend, to offer ourselves to Him, and to say “Good morning,” and “Good night,” to Him as we should.
There are many prayers which you will learn while you are at school and also from your mother. They are all very good, and you should try to learn them well and to say them when you are in church, and say them as well as you can. But that should not be all you do in the way of prayer.
God loves us to take an interest in Him and to talk to Him in the same way in which we would talk to one of our friends. That is to say, with our own words and in our own way. It is a good thing to use a prayer book, and you should always take one to church with you, but you will find that there are many thoughts in your head at times about which you may want to talk to God and which are not contained in any book.
Then the thing for you to do is to talk to God about them in your own words and in your own way. Remember that He is your greatest friend, and that He understands you so very well. He will not mind if the things you are trying to say are not very clearly expressed or in the best possible form of words. It means a great deal to Him you are trying to talk to Him, and we should all try to get away from prayer book language occasionally and rely on our own words.
Here is a boy walking along a road. He has had a quarrel with one of his friends, and he is rather unhappy about it.
God is there with him and they are talking it over between them. How happy God is to be able to listen and to help in some way.
Even the very smallest things in our life are of great importance to God. Our holidays, our friends, our interests—they are His too, and He wants us to tell Him all about them and to talk to Him of them when we feel like it.
There is no need for us to go to church every time we want to talk to God. We can do that wherever we are, because God is always there. Of course He will love it very much if we do go into church occasionally during our walks, because that is His home and He likes to see us there. It shows Him that we do know that He is there, and that we remember Him, not only on Sundays when we have to go to church, but also some other times in the week too.
Here is a little child going to see his great Friend in His own home.
They have very many things to talk about, and you may be sure that God is going to be very interested, and that He will help in every possible way.
Remember that you are never alone, that God is always with you, not to catch you out, but to help and to guide you in all that you do. Talk to Him, that is what is meant by prayer, and don’t be afraid to use your own words or to talk to Him in your heart while you are walking about or while you are playing quietly by yourself or with others.
He is there, and He loves to see that you are enjoying yourself. He probably gave you that find day today just because He knew that it would please you and that you would enjoy it so very much. When you come to say your evening prayers just remember to say a big “Thank you” for everything that He has done for you during the day.
He loves you so very much, and you must try to love Him a little in return. He will always be your friend, and will never turn against you whatever you do. The only way you can drive Him away is to commit some big sin against Him. Then He has to leave you because you have forced Him to, but even then He is always trying to get you to call Him back so that He can be with you again.
God is your best friend, remember that, and try to treat Him as a friend and love Him all you can.
Forgive. “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” ~ Ruth Bell Graham. This is one of the truest statements ever made. Decide you’re not only going to be his lover – you’re going to be his forgiver. Be quick to forgive and get good at it. You’ll probably have lots of opportunity to practice it. -Lisa Jacobson, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband https://amzn.to/2EkBO3F (afflink)
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Drawing on the wealth of the Church’s living tradition, Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, calls on all of us to turn to St. Joseph, entrust ourselves, our Church, and our world to our spiritual father’s loving care, and then watch for wonders when the Universal Patron of the Church opens the floodgates of Heaven to pour out graces into our lives today. Definitely a book for our time, Consecration to St. Joseph is dedicated to meeting the challenges of the present moment and restoring order to our Church and our world, all through the potent paternal intercession and care of St. Joseph. This book has everything you need to take your love and devotion to St. Joseph to a whole different level: a thorough program of consecration to St. Joseph; information on the 10 wonders of St. Joseph; and prayers and devotions to St. Joseph. Accessible, motivating, this book will kick off a great movement of consecration to our spiritual father and change the world.
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