Sing the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary with children

 File:Jean Clouet 008.jpg

Back in Advent, Dan and I sang The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came as part of our Evening Prayer. It struck me how perfect this hymn was for teaching children about the Annunciation. I conceived the idea (yes, that’s a pun) of teaching children the meaning of the mysteries of the Rosary through song. Here it was I came up with for the Joyful Mysteries.

My primary goal in our Contemplative Homeschool is to teach our children how to grow in union with God. Christian meditation is a vital part of that process, teaching all of us to listen to God’s voice in the Scriptures, and to ponder His character in order to love Him better.

The Rosary provides a bridge between the vocal prayers we learn as children and more mature mental prayer. Through the Rosary, we meditate on the most important mysteries of our faith.
Many people have created ways to share the Rosary with children. In Singing the Rosary, I have the following goals:
leading children to see the Rosary as a means of meditation, so they are not just trying to concentrate on the words of the vocal prayersteaching them in detail about each of the mysteries, so they have plenty to meditate onlimiting the number of prayer repetitions until they understand what the Rosary is for
Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Seeking the face of God in prayer

File:Claude Mellan - Face of Christ - WGA14764.jpg
he Face of Christ by Claude Mellan (Wikipedia).

  
Early versions of the new constitutions for the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites defined OCDS members in part as those who ”seek the face of God in prayer” in order to be of service the Church and the world. I love this imagery. Seeking the face of God is the most important aspect of Christian prayer. It separates prayer from eastern meditation techniques and self-seeking under the guise of holiness.

Pope Francis is fond of reminding us that the Christian life is an encounter with Christ. As important as morality is, it cannot take central place. Even such fundamentals as protecting human life and supporting traditional marriage cannot stand alone. Atheists can be pro-life. Muslims can support the traditional family. But only Christians truly encounter Christ.

Created, redeemed, and destined for love The Apostle John summed up the Gospel in this manner: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The Gospel begins with God’s love for us. God’s love is at the center of the Christian life.

God created us out of the abundance of His love. When we sinned, He sent God the Son to redeem us. By believing in Jesus, we can come to share in God’s eternal love in Heaven. This is what Christianity is all about.

Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.

Keep LOVE in LENT Event 2014!

Are
you looking for a new approach to Lent this year?

 

Then the Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Carnival 2014 is for you!

 
The carnival is open to all
bloggers, particularly Catholics and Christians of all denominations
who observe LENT. Share your unique perspective and  write about anything
that pertains to the blog theme!

 
For example:

* tips on how you and your
family keep LOVE in LENT

stories to encourage others to do so
* books and activities (even recipes!)
that help keep the Lenten observances of fasting
* extra prayer, sacrifices, cleaning
and giving clothes away to the poor;
* special Catholic devotions and
practices such as extra weekday Masses or Stations of the Cross, etc.
* any other relevant Lenten focus on
praying, fasting, giving alms

PLEASE NOTE:  Kindly write about the theme provided.
We do not moderate or screen posts but we do reserve the right to exclude your
entry from the list of link-up participants should your post be offensive,
irrelevant to the link-up theme, contain personal attacks, off-topic articles,
articles that are anti-Christ or articles aimed to market products or services.

Thank you.

 

To participate, please follow these
steps:

 1. Complete this form  by Feb 24, 2014

2. Write your blog post on the
theme, “Keep LOVE in LENT” 

**
At the beginning of your blog carnival post,
please
include the following introduction,
along
with the Keep Love in LENT button ~~~

 

 

“I’m participating in the Keep LOVE in LENT
Blog Link-Up 2014,

We’ll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and
real-life experiences that will help us focus on 
 Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds
 and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE.

 Please visit any of these 6 hosts, to link your own
Keep LOVE in LENT blog post!

 

3. Link your post to any of these
hostesses’ blogs  between  Monday March 3 and Monday March 10:

Monica at Equipping
Catholic 
Families  (Equipping Catholic Families on Facebook)
Chris at Campfires and Cleats (Campfires and Cleats on Facebook)
Tina at Truly Rich Mom (Truly Rich Mom on Facebook)
Tracy at A Slice of Smith
Life  
 (A Slice of Smith Life on Facebook)
 
Lisa at Home to 4 Kiddos (Home to 4 Kiddos on Facebook)
 

Please remember to
copy and paste our info to the bottom of your post so that your readers, who
may also blog,  can join in the fun and link up.

All five of us who are  hostessing
are committed to strong visibility on social media for the benefit of the
Catholic Bloggers’ Network Lenten carnival. Our blogs are accessible by email
subscription as well. We encourage all who participate in the Keep Love in Lent
link up to click to all of the hostesses and follow us so that you don’t
miss updates about the Lenten carnival! And besides, we’d love to stay in
touch regularly! 

 

4. Mandatory  FOLLOW FRENZY:

We require that all bloggers who
link to the  Keep Love in Lent carnival  participate
  in the FOLLOW FRENZY. We’re sorry, but this time
around, the follow frenzy is not optional. However, you will have a minimized
group of only 10-12 bloggers to click to, read, enjoy and comment upon.

 
Here’s how:

* Once the linky closes on 3/10/14, the
admins of the Keep Love linky will  email ALL who’ve linked. We will
provide you with  info  regarding a group to which you will be
“assigned.”

* You are  asked to visit the
blogs in your group  ( there will be approx 10-12 ) and
 leave meaningful comments.

* You are asked to visit and comment
 between Monday 3/10 and Monday 3/17.

 
~
And that’s IT for the participation guidelines.~

 ~ Important Dates~

 

1.      Complete
  this form  by Feb 24, 2014 so that the admins of the
Keep Love in Lent carnival can assess interest level.  This is not
a hard and fast commitment; we are just gauging interest.

 
2. Write your post and include the special intro information, link-up button and hostess links

3. Link your Lenten post between 3/3/14
and 3/10/14 at any of the five hostesses’ blogs using the linky tool.

4. Participate in the mandatory follow frenzy
between 3/10/14 and 3/17/14.

We’re excited to read your entries and help spread
the word on how to keep LOVE in LENT!

 

Is there a magic bullet to holiness?

 File:Image Thérèse Lisieux.jpg

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for a magic bullet to bring me closer to God. Let’s be honest: the Christian life can be a slog. Day in, day out, struggling against sin and making little measurable progress. I’m always looking for the secret to help me reach sanctity faster. But is there one?

St. Therese asked herself this same question. She sought a fast way to climb the ladder to Heaven, as it were. The Little Way of Spiritual Childhood was her discovery. She said that if she made herself little, Jesus could lift her up in His arms. His arms would be her elevator to help her advance quickly.

Why am I still not a saint? But there is a catch. As much as we might think the Little Way means Jesus does all the work for us, we still have to strive against ourselves. The Little Way is not magic. We can’t just say a few words and be instant saints.

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Pizza and disordered attachments

File:Mmm...Pizza!! (5457397858).jpg

On Sunday I made pizza for supper. Herbed crust, thick, garlicky sauce, uncured pepperoni, black olives, and two cheeses. Is your mouth watering yet? Is pizza among your disordered attachments?

As you may know, I’m focusing on being more truly detached from everything except God this year. Before you read the rest of this post, you may want to read or review these:

What is detachment in the Catholic spiritual life?Why is detachment necessary?How can you know what your spiritual attachments are?Why do you have inordinate attachments?I can’t work on every possible type of spiritual detachment at once. I have to slice it into small pieces. Here is an easy way I’m trying to start. Every time I experience pleasure or enjoyment, I am immediately turning my thoughts towards God.

As I’ve said before, we are not Puritans. We don’t reject the goodness in God’s creation. The world was damaged by Adam’s fall, but not destroyed.

Enjoying pizza, a good movie, splashing in the rain, or time with your spouse is not sinful. But when we dwell on these pleasures we take them out of their proper context.

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Celebrate the SEASONS of the Liturgical Calendar

Celebrate the Seasons Link Up!

 

Do you want to celebrate the Seasons of the Liturgical Calendar with fun crafts, activities and traditions?  Do you want to share your own family’s ideas about celebrating Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Ordinary Time?

We’ve just opened the Celebrate the Seasons Link-Up for 2014 over at
Equipping Catholic Families. 

Add your special posts by the SEASON of the Liturgical Calendar!

Advent, Christmas and Ordinary Time will remain open for the remainder of this
Liturgical Calendar year!
Lent will open SOON in preparation for this important season.

Add your ideas…pick up new ones! Celebrate the Liturgical Calendar!

Celebrate the Seasons!

January Big Clicks: Faith of the Fathers, Equipping Catholic Families and Joy of Nine9

This year, we are organizing the Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz a little differently, with just ONE link-up, but you are welcome to categorize your linked post by the initials of the category at the beginning of the title name.

RR= Readings and Reflections  
CA= Catechism and Apologetics  
HS = Homeschooling  
LC = Liturgical Calendar  
FJ = Family Journal
 
We’d also like to ramp up the excitement a little, by opening
NOMINATIONS for the Big Clicks Awards!
 
NOMINATE your favorite Catholic Link-Up Blitz posts by doing one of the following:
 
1. Leave a comment over at the Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz, mentioning a particular post that deserves special consideration!
“I NOMINATE *this blogpost*”
 
2. Mention your favorite Catholic Blogger’s linked post over on the
“I NOMINATE *this blogpost* for this month’s
Big Clicks Awards: blogpost url”
 
or
3. Mention your favorite Catholic Blogger’s linked post over on the  
“I NOMINATE *this blogpost* for this month’s
Big Clicks Awards: blogpost url”
 
Be sure to share the LINK  to your favorite linked posts…
to bring it some extra Catholic Bloggers attention!
 
…and for the MONTH of JANUARY,
the prestigious WINNERS of the BIG CLICKS AWARDS go to
 
 

1. Faith of the Fathers for the post

“Ex-Catholics” in the Family Journal category
 
 
 
 
 

2. Equipping Catholic Families for the post

in the category of Liturgical Calendar
 
and
 

3. Joy of Nine9 for the post

in the Catechism and Apologetics category
 
 
Remember to link up…up to 2 posts per week at the
Visit OFTEN!
Leave COMMENTS!
Share GREAT POSTS!
 
 
 
 
 

TWO NEW Catholic Link-Ups for 2014!

Celebrate the SAINTS Link Up

 Add your special posts of crafts, activities, festivities and traditions to celebrate the SAINTS each month! Join the Celebrate the Saints Link-Up!
January and February are still open!

 
 
Celebrate the Seasons Link-Up
 
Add your special posts of
crafts, activities, practices and parties
to celebrate the SEASONS of the Liturgical Calendar!
 
Advent, Christmas and Ordinary Time are still open!