CGS Connection – Catechists in the Field – Part 3

As adults, we often pray in petition for our needs and for others.

The 6-12 year old children, forming their social beings, naturally offer prayers of intercession for others and for situations they’ve heard about. The 3-6 year old children, however, with hearts filled with innocent joy, most naturally offer prayers of thanks. And so, this week we asked Mrs. Erin Miller, Beloved child of God, Wife, Mother, CGS USA board member and CGS Level 1 Catechist in the Diocese of Youngstown, to share with us about the hearts of the little ones in order for us to learn from them:

“Our Sunday Level 1 atrium children have loved singing the song Thank you God at our prayer table:
Thank you God for this fine day,
Thank you God for this fine day,
Thank you God for this fine day,
Right where we are.
Thank you God for giving us…
At this point in the song, the children repeat the line “Thank you God for giving us…” three times while inserting different things for which they are thankful. Their responses are concrete – they say the names of family members, they thank God for the sun, for the atrium, for plants and flowers, for books and colored pencils. They are thankful for the people they encounter and the things they see and enjoy around them.

I have been blessed listening to them celebrate with great joy the many gifts of God and it has made me more essential in my own prayer. Sofia Cavalletti says ‘Because the gift is meant to establish a relationship, it is of uppermost importance that we pause to ponder the gift. In so doing, we allow ourselves to be drawn to the giver in an attitude of wonder and amazement.’ The 3-6 year old child is the most excellent example of contemplative prayer – pondering the gifts freely given and responding with joy and thanksgiving to the Giver.”

Source: Sofia Cavalletti, The Religious Potential of the Child: 6 to 12 Years, trans. A. Perry and R. Rojcewicz (Chicago: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Publications, 2002), 30.