My school report was so bad that my eldest brother was commissioned with the task of teaching me to read. But when he could not even manage to teach me how to read the Beano, he resigned his commission and commended me to St Jude of hopeless cases. But even St Jude failed. It seems that in those days it was not only in school, but in heaven too, that dyslexia was unheard of. St Anthony was the only real friend that I had. Most people who now know about dyslexia still do not realise how it affects your short term memory. That is where St Anthony came in. He might not have known much about dyslexia, but he was able to find the things that I was always losing. It was through him that I found St Francis of Assisi who may not have been dyslexic, but on his own admission he had little more than an elementary school education. read on…..
I grew frustrated with traditional quotes from the saints paired with pictures of gloomy people with their eyes rolled back in their heads. Even worse, are insipid flowers surrounding profound spiritual insights. So, using the free site PixTeller, I searched for great Catholic art, sharp, colourful, graphics and paired them with some of my favourite saint’s quotes. I started with St. Augustine and St. Teresa of Avila because both saints are insightful about the spiritual life and combine a wonderful sense of humour with wit. You can see all the memes I have created so far on one of my Pinterest Boards called WOW- Words of Wisdom as well as some of my favourite memes in my post. continue reading
If we are brutally honest, most Catholics must concede we view the world as if we stood at the centre of the universe with everyone and everything else revolving around us. This egocentric stance affects how we think, feel, act, and pray. Even though many committed disciples have renounced a ruthless pursuit of power and money to serve God and His people, most still function more conscious of self than God, living daily life in a state of interior isolation, not in communion with the Holy Spirit. What this self-centred viewpoint meant in my own life was I only appeared saintly on the surface as I mothered nine little people. Despite the fact I honestly longed to live in constant communion with the Holy Spirit, I was focused more on myself than on Christ. The truth is, even when we are praying, we can still remain anchored in our egos. There is a profound difference between a person who is self-conscious, self-aware, sitting on a hilltop praising God for a gorgeous sunset, and someone who is so lost in the splendour of the moment that they become one with God whom they adore. continue reading
Do you ever have trouble remembering what you can eat during Lent? Or maybe you do remember, but you always seem to forget that it’s Friday? (That happens in our house sometimes!) Growing up, my family never observed Lent, so when I married into a Catholic Family, I really didn’t know what to do or how to participate. Although it all seems pretty simple now, I still remember just how confused and frustrated I was when I was first learning the rules. That’s why I made this handy Lent printable — so anyone who is planning on participating in Lent this year could do so easily, without all the confusion and frustration I felt. Want a printable copy for yourself? It’s free! Just head on over to EquippingGodlyWomen.com and you can have your own printable cheat sheet sent straight to your email inbox! This printable cheat sheet not only has all the Lent rules you need to know – all in one place – but it’s great for printing out and hanging on your refrigerator so you never forget when Friday rolls around. Plus, it even has 8 quick and easy Lent meal ideas for those busy nights when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry! Equipping Godly Women, where she regularly shares tips, tricks and encouragement to help Christian women grow in faith and family.
Key Feast Days in January:
- Solemnity of Mary (January 1) Mary Crafts, In the Arms of Mary
- World Day of Peace (January 1)
- St. Basil the Great (January 2)
- St. Gregory Nazianzen (January 2)
- Most Holy Name of Jesus (January 3)
- St. Genevieve (January 3)
- St. Elizabeth Seton (January 4)
- St. John Neumann (January 5)
- St. Andre Bessette (January 6)
- Epiphany of the Lord (January 7) Felt Kings Tutorial
- St. Raymond of Penysfort (January 7)
- Baptism of the Lord (January 8)
- St. Hilary (January 13)
- St. Anthony of Egypt (January 17)
- St. Sebastian (January 20)
- St. Agnes (January 21)
- Day of Prayer for the Unborn (January 23)
- St. Francis de Sales (January 24)
- Conversion of St. Paul (January 25)
- St. Timothy and St. Titus (January 26)
- St. Angela Merici (January 27)
- St. Thomas Aquinas (January 28)
- St. John Bosco (January 31)
New Year’s Resolutions and Liturgical Season: Ordinary Time!Looking for ways to make your New Year’s Resolutions stick? Here are some articles and craft kits that will help you stay on track in your prayer life, living Liturgically…or staying more organized!
- A New Way to Pray
- Prayer Journal Prompts Craft Kit
- Journal Prayers and Novenas Craft Kit
- Sock Baby Jesus (in preparation for the Presentation of the Lord on February 2)
- Make Ordinary Time Extraordinary
- 5 Tips to Help Adults Focus at Mass
- 5 Tips to Help Kids Focus at Mass
- Reconciliation Prep (and Refresher)
- 2018 Website/Shop/Blog Planner will illustrated Saints Days on monthly calendars along with Stats and Records templates to keep track of stats, expenses and goals. You’ll wonder how you got along without it!
- Convert your family calendar to be Catholic with the Calendar Saint Stickies Craft Kit
- The Catholic Prayer Bullet Journal includes lists for projects and posts, a running log, a confession/spiritual direction log and lots of pages for tracking habits, gratitude, goals, prayer intentions, scripture to memorize, house projects, social media stats…and so much more! Use the Prayer Journal Prompts Craft Kit for already formatted prayers and prompts for your prayer journal!
- Speaking of prayer prompts and organizational tools…Check out the Saints, Daily Check-in, Mass and Journal Stamps at the Prayer Impressions Journal Stamp Shoppe at Arma Dei!
Saint Teresa of Ávila, the 16th century Carmelite nun, mystic, reformer and doctor, was graced with spiritual insights into prayer, the soul and the ineffable love of God. With the blessing of Pope Pius IV, she departed her cloister at Avila, and together with Saint John of the Cross, set up a reformed Carmelite Order in Spain and Portugal. Throughout her life, she endured great suffering with joy and equanimity. Among her literary works, her autobiography (The Life of Teresa of Jesus) is a testament to the power of faith and living in imitation of Jesus Christ. Born in 1891, Edith Stein grew up in a devout Jewish family, but would espouse atheism as an aspiring academic and activist. A young woman with immense intellectual gifts, she dedicated herself to the search for truth. After extensive studies at major German universities, Edith became an influential philosopher in her own right, and a renowned speaker on feminism. In 1913, she enrolled in Gottingen University, to study under the guidance of Edmund Husserl. There she encountered Catholics whose intellectual and spiritual lives she greatly admired. Read more…
Raising children is not a default chore for women who were not successful in the world of business, power, and wealth. However, the trend in the last few decades has been to delegate childcare to women who are often treated like second-class citizens. Society seems to dismiss and even ridicule women’s most sacred, natural role as nurturing mothers. I fully realize most mothers have no choice but to work in our present economy. My contention is with prevailing attitudes about children, mothers and child care. From preschool, we are groomed to get ahead, surpass our peers by getting into the best universities and snatch prized careers. But success alone will not make us happy. Just take a look at the generations who have gone before us. The all-too-common mid-life crisis is a testament to the failure of a life focused on career advancement to the exclusion of family. Many women bemoan the fact they did not have time to nurture their children like they would have liked to. Family life often crumbles to ashes, sacrificed on the altar of success. In this milieu, Catholic women continue to grapple with how to live faithful to the teachings of the Church while remaining true to themselves as members of modern society. Sadly, young mothers are dealing with the same issues I did thirty-eight years ago. The problem is a pro-life stance seems to clash with concepts of feminism. continue
The Resurrection, means that Jesus has been swept up out of the world of space and time in which he’d lived before, not to leave us alone, but to be closer to us than ever before, and as he promised ‘even to the end of time.’ Before the Resurrection Jesus was limited by the physical body into which he had freely chosen to enter. His choice meant that he could only be in one place at a time, so meeting him would have been as difficult as meeting any major celebrity in our time. But that’s all changed now, because the same otherworldly power that raised him out of this world on the first Easter day enabled him to re-enter it on every day. So now he can enter into us, as he promised, so that he can make his home in us and we can make our home in him. In the words of St Augustine this means that – ‘He can be closer to us than we are to ourselves’. All this can be possible, not in some distant pipe dream, but here and now. That’s why de Caussade said that ‘The present moment contains far more than we have the capacity to receive, for it is full of infinite treasures’. read on……
Super Cute Bible Tabs to get you flipping through the Bible from Catholic Icing. I turned a soft cover Catholic Bible into a Hardcover Bible and while I was at it, a Journaling Bible. Easy as Abacus Stations of the Cross Just released last week! Kelly Saints Stations of the Cross on a wood frame Abacus, perfect for little fingers to keep track of the Stations! Letters of Love: A Lenten Meditation for Families I’ve signed up and I think I’m ready! I’m hoping that the colorful post it notes, index cards, notepaper, notebook and pens will entice my whole family (including our 4 kids living at home ~from 6 years to 18 years) to reflect, write and draw as soon as we receive the prompts! You can sign up too at Not So Formulaic. I’ll be posting our progress …and any special tips we come up with, after we begin on Ash Wednesday! Easy as Abacus Rosary for hands-on Rosary praying with Kelly Saints illustrations and chalkboard prayer intentions! Pray, Fast, Give Printable from Look to Him and Be Radiant This is a great, FREE printable to help you Pray, Fast and Give! Pick new do-able challenges each day and avoid the discouragement of Lenten Sacrifice burnout. …and one more #CatholicCraft! Not a printable…but a FREE Tutorial! Simple Good Deed Bead Bracelets that even the littlest hands can help make…with beads that slide and stay in place to count special sacrifices and prayers throughout each day! FREE Tutorial at Equipping Catholic Families. Copyright 2017 Monica McConkey. Monica McConkey is a Mom of 5, creator of Catholic teaching tools and gifts and she is the original founder of this website. She spends most of her time posting about crafts and family fun at Equipping Catholic Families and creating things for her Shoppe
This past Sunday, the Gospel reading was Luke 16:1-13. In this reading, a steward, (a trusted servant responsible for the household of his master), has wasted his master’s goods. He is told to prepare an accounting, as he will be removed from his position. In something of a panic, he calls in his master’s debtors and reduces their debts to curry favor with them that he might have some recourse after losing his position. On its face, he appears to continue to mismanage his master’s affairs, again for his own benefit. And then we have this odd reaction from his master: “The master commended the dishonest steward for his prudence…” Luke 16:8a ?? This is followed by Jesus saying to the Pharisees: “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.” Luke 16: 9 So, am I the only one that was ever confused by this? Looks to me like Jesus is telling us to lie, cheat and steal to gain heaven. I’ve never been particularly enlightened by any of the homilies I’ve heard on this either. Most times the focus is on the earlier reading from Amos, which talks about how the people “observe the Sabbath” by not selling and cheating in the marketplace, yet, their hearts and minds are focused on when they can resume their dishonest lives instead of on the worship of God. Let’s face it, there is a lot of material to work with there, in our time as much as 2000 years ago. Continue