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Part IV: Why we only carry Faith and Life and Image of God Religion Series or…

Why the USCCB’s approved religious education book list is only slightly more useful than a magic eight ball.

Week four has come and gone (as well as five and six). Boy am I behind!

Week four is entitled “We Praise and Thank God.”

The closest corresponding chapter in F&L is chapter 15 “Let Us Pray”.

BAW starts off by talking about reasons why people give thanks using holidays like birthdays, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day as examples. The bottom of the page asks “Why do God’s People give thanks?” and points the reader to the next page. Today’s story is actually a surprise in that it gives an answer to the question. Not only that, it gives a partially CORRECT answer to the question. The story talks about King David praising God for His goodness and for the gifts that God had given the people.

The next page reinforces these two reasons for prayer but neglects the other reasons for prayer. Alright, all you Baltimore Catechism fans, which one of you can name the four reasons to pray? Not surprisingly, F&L includes all four reasons in its chapter. According to the Baltimore Catechism “Prayer is the lifting up of our minds and hearts to God, to adore Him, to thank Him for His benefits, to ask His forgiveness, and to beg of Him all the graces we need whether for soul or body.”

F&L starts off its chapter on prayer with the story about the Apostles asking Christ how to pray. The chapter then goes through the Our Father explaining each part. The chapter also explains that Jesus told his followers to “pray always” and that God will answer prayers for things that are good for us. It also says that prayer must be patient and sometimes persistent. The chapter ends with a definition of prayer from the Catechism along with several references for more detail and finally with the Morning Offering.

The page after the deficient explanation of prayer in BAW has the “Glory to God” on it along with children holding various instruments including a bell, a triangle and the stalwart hippie instrument, the tambourine.

The next page asks the children to write a prayer of thanks and another of praise that will be used in their weekly “Prayer Celebration.” Oh goody.

This week’s Prayer Celebration page is as follows:

Singing is an important part of Mass. It is also an important way to pray. When we join with our church community to sing, we give thanks and praise to God.

Leader: Heavenly God, we give you thanks. We praise you in song.

All (sing): “Glory to God…”

Leader: Let us now share our prayers of thanks and praise.

The kids now share their prayers that they wrote on the previous page.

Leader: Heavenly God, we give you thanks. We praise you in song.

All (sing): “Glory to God…”

Apart from the consistent refusal to use the word “Father” when referring to God, this activity is pretty harmless.

The next six pages of BAW are a review of Unit 1 that reinforce the same doctrinal errors found throughout the unit.

Unit 2 “We Ask God’s Forgiveness” is coming up! I can’t wait!

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