The classroom activity for 4th-6th graders this coming month is to spend 20 minutes in silence with Our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration. Before skeptical you shakes your head in disbelief that this can ever be successful, I want you to read this article by Elizabeth Foss on how it’s more likely our group of 4th graders will appreciate this experience than if we were to do it with an equal number of adults.
Children are actually more inclined than adults to approach the Blessed Sacrament with full faith and trust in the mystery before them. In their innocence and purity, they accept that Jesus is really present somehow in the monstrance and that they are exceptionally blessed to be able to kneel before the King of Kings. But they need someone to get them there.
And so you’re not tempted to just allow this to be a one-time experience for your kids, consider the findings of Father Antoine Thomas, whose ministry, “Children of Hope,” has brought children’s Holy Hours to parishes worldwide:
“After many years of leading Holy Hours for children, I can tell you the benefits are numerous for both children and their families:
- Children who previously had only the weekly experience of Mass discover that the host is actually the person of Jesus, mysteriously hidden.
- They develop a greater interest in the mysteries of our faith and the liturgy of the Mass.
- They understand — more than other children of their age who have not experienced Eucharistic adoration — the relationship between the gift of the Eucharistic presence of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross out of love for mankind.
- They become much more aware of the various degrees of sin and seem very eager to receive the sacrament of confession often.
- Families accompanying their children witness a growing desire for peace and forgiveness within the family.”
Those are pretty substantial returns on your investment of an hour (or even less than a half hour for very young children).
We have perpetual adoration available at the Church of Saint Paul and you are welcome to stop in with your children for any length of time, day or night, for a visit with Jesus. This article from our archives may help you to prepare your children so the experience is more successful.