The Glory of God by Maria J. Bain is a lovely picture book designed to introduce children to living how God wants them to live. The title takes its name from a quote by St. Irenaeus: “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” The book invites children to consider what that means.
Children have choices each day to follow God or to turn away from Him. Each moment they get to make decisions to do the right thing or not. Following the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments (both of which are listed in the book) is the clear path to living as God wants us to. The Glory of God shows children that when they choose not to follow God, their soul needs healing just as their bodies need healing when they are sick. The Sacrament of Reconciliation exists to provide that healing. An Examination of Conscience for children and an Act of Contrition are included as aids to help children when they are learning about the Sacrament of Reconciliation or preparing to receive the sacrament.
The illustrations by Dave Hill are attractive and add to the text. The children and adults in the drawings are of various colors and ethnicities which is wonderful! There are two images of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. One shows the priest on the other side of the grille, the other shows Jesus. It is a good illustration of the fact that we are truly confessing to Jesus.
The ideal age range for this book is first through fourth grade, although the message is a good reminder for everyone, including adults. It would be great to use it as part of sacramental preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Glory of God is highly recommended for at-home or classroom use as well as for inclusion in a parish library.