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First Communion

First Communion

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  • ISBN-13: 9781482622546
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Feb 23, 2013
  • Pages: 518 pages
  • Dimensions: 1.17 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches


THIS book of Preparation for First Communion, which it is my privilege to introduce to the reader, was originally undertaken at the suggestion of the late Father John Morris, S.J., who as long as he lived took the warmest interest in its progress. Unhappily only a few chapters had been completed at the time of his lamented death, and in the sense of that great loss the work for a while was laid aside. It would have been a matter for much regret if the author had made this decision a final one. The book now completed has suffered, we cannot doubt, from the lack of Father Morris's always helpful criticisms, but the originality of its conception and the knowledge of child nature displayed in it can hardly fail to justify its publication. In the address "To the Children" which will be found further on, it is stated that the book is intended to aid the little ones to prepare themselves for First Communion. Perhaps it may be well to add a word of explanation here to anticipate possible misconceptions. It is not in any way the idea of the author that a child should be presented with a copy of this work and then cut adrift without further help, in the expectation that when the proper time comes the needful process of preparation will have worked itself out automatically. None the less, it is believed that many children are quite capable, under the supervision of parents or teachers, of reading for themselves instructions couched in simple child's language such as this book offers them, and furthermore the author has assumed that it may be helpful to some who have to prepare others for First Communion, and who, while conscious of the importance, are not a little embarrassed by the difficulty of their task. To cram children's minds with certain facts of dogmatic knowledge about the Blessed Eucharist is comparatively easy, to prepare their hearts so that they may approach this Divine Mystery full not only of faith, but of love, this is a duty sometimes relegated by teachers to a secondary place simply from a sense of helplessness and ignorance of how to set about it. While the method developed in this volume does not pretend to be better than many others which might be devised, it will be found, I believe, to possess many advantages of its own. And here I cannot do better than quote a few sentences from a Prospectus previously issued, in which the idea of the book is described in the author's own words: "To make the Life of our Blessed Saviour enter largely into preparation for First Communion seems the most natural way of drawing the hearts of the young to Him. It would be sad to think of children coming to the altar-rails knowing little or nothing of His Life beyond such facts as the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist supposes. Yet there is danger of this. There is so much to be done in the simple teaching of the Christian doctrine during a child's school life, that the time devoted to it barely suffices. But in the preparation for First Communion time might surely be found, and ought to be found. Their hearts are fresh and tender, and full of an eager longing, that will never again in their lives be quite the same. If we could tell them a little more about Him then, His character, His ways of dealing with us, and so bring them to the altar able to say, in their own fashion and degree: 'I know Whom I have believed,' would there not be solid work for the future done in their souls? Knowing Him better, they would come to love Him more. Faith, Hope, and Charity would have a firmer foundation; they would make the acts more easily and more fervently, for there would be a living picture of Him in their hearts."

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