Liturgical Year

Family Lent Ideas and Resources

Lent is the autumn of the spiritual life during which we gather fruit to keep us going for the rest of the year. St. Francis de Sales

The following are some resources to help your family observe the season of Lent.

Songs:

The Lent song  for kids from Catholic Icing. There is even a video of a lovely lady singing the song. Great for preschool and early elementary.

Crafts: 

Salt Dough Crown of Thorns: This is a project we do every year. The idea is to remove a thorn (toothpick) whenever a sacrifice is made. The goal is for all the thorns to be removed by Holy Week.

My children made this Way of the Cross Circle with their Eucharistic Crusade group and it was a big hit.

This neat idea from Katie has complete instructions for making Resurrection Eggs.   Each plastic egg holds something related to Holy Week and a Scripture verse. There are print outs included which makes this a super-easy project.

Food:

Here is a simple pretzel recipe from Holy Heroes. Lacy has a wonderful explanation of the pretzel over at Catholic Icing. As well as a Pretzel Prayer Printable.

 

Catholic Culture · Liturgical Year

Feast of the Annunciation: March 25

“At that time: the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a Virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the Virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought within herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David his father: and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done because I know not man? And the angel answering, said unto her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God… And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word. ” (Luke chapter 1.)
           By these last words of thine, O Mary! Our happiness is secured. Thou consentest to the desire of heaven, and thy consent brings us our Savior. O Virgin-Mother! BLESSED AMONG WOMEN! We unite our thanks with the homage that is paid thee by the angels. By thee is our ruin repaired; in thee is our nature restored; for thou hast wrought the victory of man over satan! St. Bernard, in one of his homilies on this Gospel, thus speaks: ‘ rejoice, O thou father Adam! but thou, O mother eve, still more rejoice! You were our parents, but you were also our destroyers; and what is worse, you had wrought our destruction before you gave us birth. Both of you must be consoled in such a daughter as this: but thou. O Eve, who wast the first cause of our misfortune, and whose humiliation has descended upon all women, thou hast a special reason to rejoice in Mary. For the time has now come, when the humiliations taken away; neither can man any longer complain against the woman, as of old, when he foolishly sought to excuse himself, and cruelly put all blame on her, saying: “The woman whom thou gavest me, gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Go, eve, to Mary; go mother, to thy daughter; let thy daughter take thy part, and free thee from thy disgrace, and reconcile thee to her father: for, if man fell by woman, he is raised up by a woman.
        ‘ What is this thou sayest , Adam? ” The woman, whom thou gavest me, gave me of the tree, and I did eat?” These are wicked words; far from effacing thy fault, they aggravate it. But divine Wisdom conquered thy wickedness, by finding in the treasury of His own inexhaustible mercy a motive for pardon, which He had in vain sought to elicit by questioning thee. In place of the woman, of whom thou complainest, He gives thee another: Eve was foolish. Mary is wise; Eve was proud, Mary is humble; Eve gave thee the tree of death, Mary will give thee of the Tree of Life; Eve offered thee a bitter and poisoned fruit, Mary will give thee the sweet Fruit she herself is to bring forth, the Fruit of everlasting life. Change, then, thy wicked excuse into an act of thanksgiving, and say: ” The Woman, whom thou hast given me, O Lord, hath given me of the Tree of life, and I have eaten thereof; and it is sweeter than honey to my mouth, for by it Thou hast given me life.”
The Liturgical Year: Abbot Gueranger, O.S.B. ( Lent)

 

Uncategorized

To Mothers of Young Children ~ HANG IN THERE

I often get the question from mothers of young children, “How do you do it?” and I often wonder myself how I DID it. You see, my life now is very different from the way it was just 8 or so years ago. I don’t really remember how I did it when I had so many little children and no big helpers, except that it wasn’t perfect and, only by God’s grace, did I make it through to the current season I’m in.


I think that particular season of mothering, when absolutely everything is on your shoulders, when life is nothing more than waking and serving others all day long, is the most difficult and the most bone-weary time. And as you totally give of yourself and die to yourself when they are so little, you grow personally and are then able to deal with patience as they enter young adulthood. God knows what He is doing and He is preparing you now for future battles.
The frustrations and constant interruptions of our daily rhythm during this season of life serves to break our will. Our entire life becomes a prayer and a penance. When St. Paul states that women will be saved by childbearing, he is talking about the whole package deal. Midnight prayers with nursing babies. Imposed fasting while helping young children eat instead of feeding yourself. All of it!
We enter this thing called Motherhood as very, very selfish people. And we very quickly realize that life is no longer all about us. And then we realize that we need to give much, much more than we have and that is when God steps in and makes up for what we humans lack.
And what you put in now is what will come back to you when they are adolescents and young adults. Your time and effort, your patience, your prayers, your suffering, will all be rewarded when those babies are just a little bit older and are laughing while washing all the dishes you used to have to wash. When they are folding the mountains of laundry that you had to do yourself. When they are taking the babies for a walk so that you can have a bit of quiet. It is a happy, close family when everyone realizes they play a part in making a house a home.
So, the point. HANG IN THERE! It gets easier. Really, it does. Pray hard. Laugh alot. Train the children. Have patience with them. Have patience with yourself. And LOVE THEM every minute… because it goes fast.
Liturgical Year

Restoring Pious Traditions – The Angelus

The Angelus Domini, shortened to “the Angelus,” is the ringing of the church bell — in three groups of three chimes with a pause in between each group, followed by 9 consecutive strokes — at 6AM, Noon, and 6PM roughly, and its associated prayers, which spring from the monastic practice of praying the tres orationes at Matins, Prime and Compline. While the monastics said their prayers at the sound of the Angelus Bell, the faithful would stop what they were doing and say 3 Hail Marys in honor of the Incarnation. Later, since at least A.D. 1612, verses were added to these Hail Marys such that we get the form of the Angelus we have today (see below). During Paschaltide (the Easter Season), the humbling Angelus prayer below is replaced with the more celebratory, joyous Regina Coeli prayer at the direction of Pope Benedict XIV in 1742.

Some of the earliest bells used for this purpose, dating to the 13th and 14th centuries, still survive and are engraved with inscriptions attesting to their purpose. Some of these inscriptions are (from the Catholic Encyclopedia):

  • Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee)
  • Dulcis instar mellis campana vocor Gabrielis (I am sweet as honey, and am called Gabriel’s bell)
  • Ecce Gabrielis sonat hæc campana fidelis (Behold this bell of faithful Gabriel sounds)
  • Missi de coelis nomen habeo Gabrielis (I bear the name of Gabriel sent from heaven)
  • Missus vero pie Gabriel fert læta Mariæ (Gabriel the messenger bears joyous tidings to holy Mary)
  • O Rex Gloriæ Veni Cum Pace (O King of Glory, Come with Peace)
*Source: Fisheaters.com
Catholic Culture

Culture Wars

I ran across a great talk presented by Br. Andre Marie, M.I.C.M titled Controversial Considerations on Culture.   In it, Br. Andre distinguishes between high, low and bad culture.  He makes the point that if a soul cannot ‘detox’ and make a break with bad culture that it will be impossible to hold the Catholic Faith.  Why?  Because bad culture is at variance with Catholic morals, decency and a proper social order.  In short, bad culture is antithetical to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

A Counter-Culture (bad culture) is the dominant culture today.  It is no surprise that it openly attacks and mocks Our Lord, the Church and Christian beliefs and practices in general. As important as it is to hold fast to the Traditional Mass and Sacraments, it is perhaps equally as important to get the cultural element right in Catholic family life.  The burden is on we parents to read, understand, and make the necessary hard decisions to weed out the bad and replace it with the good (and we must replace and not just take away).  Bad culture is probably the greatest threat to children, a happy and godly life here on earth, and eternal happiness in heaven later.

Download and listen to this talk by clicking the link above.  It is only $3.00.