Thanks for your participation in the Keep Christ in Christmas Link-up back
in early December with the optional Follow Frenzy.
I’m working on a low-maintenance link-up
party called Blog in a Blink: Best 13 of
December 30-January 1!)
I tried a similar link-up a couple months
ago, but it didn’t get a lot of publicity or attention:
THIS link-up will be VERY LOW MAINTENANCE!
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Just collect your favorite or most popular
posts from your blog in 2013, make a collage of images if you can and be ready
to post on December 30 or 31.
Add the html code (below) to the bottom of
your post and voila! …the entire
collection of posts will appear at the bottom of your post!
Please spread the word to your Catholic Blogger friends!
Fill up the sign-up
…only if you want a reminder before December 30.
Here is the code (the link-up opens on
December 30 until January 1)
<!– start InLinkz
+ new Date().getTime() + ‘”></script>’);
<!– end InLinkz
Thanks and God bless you this Christmas
Season…and happy 2014!
|The Angelus by Millet. In past centuries, Church bells rang three times day to signal |
everyone should stop what they were doing and pray.
St. Paul urges us to “pray constantly” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). But what does this mean? How can we practice it? When we reach a high state of the spiritual life, we will be in constant communion with God (see, I am assuming we are all going to make it that far). But in the meantime, we can form habits that help us pray throughout the day.
When two people fall in love, they want to spend as much time together as they can. Not only do they go out on a date very evening, they also contact each other during the day. When I was younger, we would call each other or send emails. Today, couples might text each other. Just to hear the other person’s voice or read his words of love would keep the smile on the loved-one’s face for hours.
We need the same kind of contact with God. Our “date” with God is our daily time set aside for nothing but prayer. But we should also talk to God throughout the day. At first, this might be difficult. It might even seem strange until we have formed the habit. We should remember that our little ways of connecting with God are acts of love.
Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.
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Two Girls Praying By Emil Munier
Are you a contemplative? Some people, faced with this question, would answer an enthusiastic, “Yes!” Perhaps they are saints, at a high stage of union with God. Or perhaps they practice Eastern (as in Hindu or Buddhist) forms of meditation that they equate with contemplation. Some would call themselves contemplative because they are thoughtful and quiet. The rest of us might answer, “No.” Since we are not saints, we wouldn’t dare think of ourselves as contemplatives in the proper sense.
Nevertheless, everyone, no matter his stage in the spiritual journey or his vocation, can live a contemplative life.
A contemplative life is a life ordered toward union with GodIf you have read The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila, you know Teresa divides the spiritual life into seven stages, which she called mansions. (To be completely accurate, she says that a soul goes back and forth among these stages, rather than proceeding from one to the next in a straight line.) Supernatural contemplation begins in the third or fourth mansion. But contemplative living can begin at our first conversion, even in childhood. Contemplative living prepares us to receive God’s gift of supernatural contemplation.
Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.
D lights the first Advent candle a few years ago.
Advent is here and with it our six-week break from homeschooling. Instead of doing school work, we do an activity each day preparing for Christmas. Some are distinctly religious. Others are not. Here are some ideas for activities you can do with your family.
Learn and sing Advent hymns
Sunday at Mass, D was amazed that I knew many of the verses of O Come, O Come, Emanuel by heart. Well, that was the only Advent hymn I learned in Catholic school, and I don’t recall singing any other one at Mass in the 70s and 80s. It wasn’t until I started praying the Divine Office as an adult that I learned some of the beautiful hymns I had been missing. Here are some you will want to learn along with your kids, if you don’t know them already:
People, Look East. This song by poet Eleanor Farjeon helps you to see all the preparations for Christmas–including setting a merry table–as preparations for Christ. This is a good one to start your Advent.Wake, Awake, the Night is DyingCome, Thou Long-Expected JesusO Come, O Come Emanuel. Sing this one beginning December 17, when the Church prays the O Antiphons.Behold, a Rose of Judah. My personal favorite for Advent, save this one for the last week or two before Christmas.
Read the rest of the ideas at Contemplative Homeschool.
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Keep Christ in Christmas too!
Instructions for Parents I recommend that you meditate on Luke 17:11-19 in your own prayer time before presenting it to your kids. If you’re not sure how to do this, look at last Thanksgiving’s meditation. Talk to the Lord about it from your heart. Ask Him to teach you to be truly grateful, and to lead your children towards thankfulness.
Next, read and discuss the passage with your children. Use your favorite children’s Bible. Define any words they may not know. (I have highlighted some words in the meditation you may want to define before praying with them.)
Choose one or two of the optional activities at the end of this post to help them dig deeper into the meaning of the passage.
Finally, read the meditation aloud to them, pausing for several seconds to a couple of minutes after each of the first two paragraphs. Ask them to repeat the final prayer after you, sentence by sentence.
This meditation works best with children ages seven to ten. For younger or older children, see the variations. It is especially appropriate for those making their First Confession this year.
Read the meditation at Contemplative Homeschool.