Would you like to teach your children how to pray, but are not sure how to go about it?
A locally-produced audio resource for children could be what you are looking for.
Developed by Western Sydney wife and mother Cate Kensey, Time With Jesus is a collection of short five-minute meditations that take children (and adults) on an adventure through 13 New Testament Bible stories to meet and speak with Jesus.
In an interview with Catholic Outlook, Cate explained that the inspiration for the resource came from her experience in the Verbum Dei community and her volunteer work as a catechist for Our Lady of the Way Parish, Emu Plains.
“Verbum Dei’s charism is to help people pray with the Bible, the Word of God. They teach you to sit with a passage and let that passage, particular word or phrase speak to you and then engage with Jesus in that process.
“Praying this way, I saw that Jesus is very real. He is with me and interested in the tiniest bits of my life,” she said.
Children want to know God
“When our son went to school and I started being a catechist, I saw that children have a hunger for God. It’s a very natural thing for kids to understand that God exists, and they want to know who he is.
“I came to a realisation one day. I’m teaching these kids about God and how to pray, but in my heart, I felt that they needed to know who Jesus is. They need to have an experience with Him and know that he’s not just someone we learn about; he’s not just a character in the Bible that we’re reading; he’s alive; he’s with them; he loves them and he forgives them.
“So I started doing simple, basic scripture meditations with these classes, and I was hearing the children say beautiful, profound things in their prayer time with Jesus. These kids were realising that Jesus is somebody who is real,” Cate explained.
This was the inspiration for Time With Jesus.
Developing the resource took three years. Cate reached out to Catholic content creators Parousia Media to record and produce the engaging reflections using different voices, sound effects and music.
In each meditation, a Gospel passage is read. The child is then guided to use their imagination to insert themselves into the story, building that relationship with Jesus in tangible ways, such as walking with him and talking to him.
Who will benefit from Time With Jesus?
“I feel really passionate about helping children develop a real, personal relationship with Jesus, and I feel that this resource is something that can help with that.
“The target audience is children, but adults have told me that they really enjoyed [the reflections] and got something out of it. It’s a powerful family resource,” she said.
Cate is focussed on ensuring Time With Jesus reaches those desiring to get to know Jesus and to grow in their relationship with Him.
“This is God’s project and he will take it where he wants and to who he wants.
“It’s lovely as a parent to see what’s happening in your children’s spiritual life, and it moves me whenever I hear any child speak about their spiritual life, it blows me away.
“Go and try this with your family. Give it a go and see what happens.”