You know what I love about our Catholic faith? There’s always next year. Or next week. Or, hey, the next hour!
Here it is, Good Friday. Have I prayed the Stations? No, I have not, and don’t even ASK if I’ve prayed them with my children. My litany of excuses is long and impressive, but it’s still just a list of excuses.
I love the idea of the Stations, but I’m not very comfortable with them. Blame my convert status, though I suspect it has more to do with my laziness.
But, thanks be to God, in my basket of review materials, I have two new books that will help me.
I love that both of these books are beautifully hardbound and illustrated. They’re not dumbed down, but they’re also written at a level that I know my children will be able to understand.
The Garden Way of the Cross
Based on the writings of Father Thomas A. Stanley, Illustrated by Louise Tessier (Novalis, 2013)
Oh, how I love my garden. And so do my children. And that makes me love it all over again, even more.
This book is an approach to Stations that speaks to my garden girl mentality. The opening encourages the reader, “As you meditate on each station along The Garden Way of the Cross, imagine yourself walking slowly in a quiet garden.”
And isn’t this appropriate in so many ways? Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemene. Gardens are quiet and naturally lend themselves to prayer.
At each station, as you pause in your quiet garden walk with Jesus, there’s the traditional opening prayer (“We adore you, O Christ”), a passage of Scripture, and a meditation based on a plant or a flower. The plant is illustrated on the facing page.
The way the plants and stations are interwoven is a beautiful experience. I think I’ll be doing some adding to my flowerbeds based on what I’ve prayed in this book.
Walking with Jesus to Calvary: Stations of the Cross for Children
By Angela M. Burrin, Illustrated by Maria Cristina Lo Cascio (Word Among Us Press, 2014)
This is a book that can read like a storybook, which I know will engage my younger kids. The story’s told at each station, and it’s followed by a four- or five-line prayer.
The book opens with an explanation of what the Stations of the Cross are and how to pray them.
It’s appropriate for ages 5-10, and I can see where this would be a great resource for catechists of all ages, though with older kids you might just use the explanations and not the pictures (though don’t discount the power of pictures).