Roman Catholic 
Diocese of Ogdensburg

EVANGELIZATION

The Office of New Evangelization exists
To support parishes in forming
Joy-Filled, Intentional,
Missionary Disciples of Jesus Christ
So that On Fire with the Holy Spirit
They will be witnesses that
transform the culture around them.

God Loves the Autistic Mind: Prayer Guide for Those on the Spectrum and Those Who Love Us

 

240104 autistic mind

BOOK REVIEW:

God Loves the Autistic Mind: Prayer Guide for Those on the Spectrum and Those Who Love Us
Author: Father Matthew P. Schneider, LC
Pauline Books and Media 2022

 

The first part of this book is an exploration of the unique strengths and challenges faced by individuals on the autism spectrum from the perspective of a priest who himself is on the spectrum. As is often said, if you know one autistic person, you know one autistic person, and not every topic will relate to every neurodiverse person, because there is a great diversity in the autistic community.  Yet, the book helps the reader gain insight and understanding of what it means to be autistic from the inside out. Society tends to view autism from the disability perspective, but it can also be seen as an asset, a strength and a unique way into a relationship with Christ and his Church.

The second part of the book is a series of 52 meditations to assist the autistic individual to develop that deeper relationship with Jesus.  Each meditation includes a story, a biblical passage, a reflection, and a short prayer to help the reader enter into prayer in whatever unique way they are comfortable communicating.  

This is book is primarily aimed at the autistic individual, to assist them in prayer and navigating the challenges of their unique neurodiversity within the Church and faith environment. But this book is also for those who love someone on the spectrum, equipping them with a deeper understanding of the autistic experience and providing insight in how they can support and accompany autistic individuals on their spiritual journey. This book should also be read by catechists and other leaders of parish ministries to help them create welcoming and inclusive spaces for neurodiverse persons.

What struck me as I was reading this book is that when we make accommodations for people who are differently abled, whether it is a physical disability or a matter of neurodiversity, it accommodates everyone.  Although the 52 meditations in the second part of the book are written with the autistic individual in mind, these meditations would be fruitful for anyone, whether on the spectrum or not. If you are looking for practical material to help you deepen your own prayer life, this might be the book for you.

 


 

A Few Advent Resources for 2023

Advent begins on December 3 this year.

 

 

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Reimagining Advent is a free daily email series from Loyola press based on the book by Fr. Mark Thibodeaux, SJ.  You can sign up HERE. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC0FGQLBp7w

Advent in 2 Minutes is a great little video to share on social media that explains the basics of Advent. Just click on the video to play.


 

Advent Calendar from the USCCB: a downloadable pdf calendar suitable for printing with suggested prayers or actions for each day of Advent. You can download it HERE.


 

 

Rejoice! An Advent Pilgrimage into the Heart of Scripture, Year B is a prayer resource that offers daily reflections on the Sunday mass readings that will help you enter more deeply into the season of Advent.

Together with the weekly videos, this journal will help you to grow in your understanding and appreciation for the incredible gift of Christ's Incarnation. As you slow down and meditate on the readings each week, you'll find your experience of Advent transformed. By contemplating the coming of the Prince of Peace at Christmas, you'll find your own heart filled by his peace and joy.

To purchase the books and videos click HERE, or to watch the free short weekly reflection and other downloadable material click HERE


Two Advent Programs from Formed

Formed has many Advent programs, but there are two new programs available in Advent - one for adults, the other for Children.  You can access them HERE .

The adult program is a  22-episode series that guides Catholics through a daily Advent reflection using the Jesse Tree model traditionally practiced by families. Each seven-minute episode introduces the ancestors of Jesus Christ, shares a Scripture passage, and offers an engaging, practical reflection.

 

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The program for children is an art program that teaches children to draw different scenes from the Christmas story, including the Annunciation, shepherds' visit, the Nativity scene, and more. With compelling storytelling, Ms. Kim points out key details from Scripture and Catholic tradition.

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Links and Apps:

USCCB Resources

Hallow App – this app has both free and in app purchases and is a great resource for prayer.  Simply search the app for Advent

Catholic Relief Services Advent Calendar – an online calendar reflecting on needs around the world

Dynamic Catholic Advent Resources

Word on Fire Advent Reflections

Daughters of St. Paul Advent and Christmas Books

23rd Publications Advent Resources

St. Mary’s Press articles and resources

Catholic Apostolate Center Advent Resources