Family and homeschool activities for the rest of Lent

File:Caravaggio - Taking of Christ - Odessa.jpg

Ready to celebrate the rest of Lent as a family? Here are several activities you can do together, whether or not you homeschool.

p=suitable for grades 1-3
m=suitable for grades 4-6
j=suitable for grades 7-9
s=suitable for grades 10-12
 BooksBesides reading the Gospel accounts of Holy Week, try reading and discussing the following books that deal with sacrifice, martyrdom, or resurrection:

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (p).
The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt (p+).
The Queen and the Cross: The Story of St. Helen by Cornelia Mary Bilinsky (p, m)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (p+ for reading aloud; m+ for independent reading).

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Some Anti-Catholic Bigotry at MSNBC

When MSNBC was reporting on the Hobby Lobby which was going to be argued before the US Supreme Court, Joy Reid’s video package included some naked Catholic bigotry.

Rather than settle for arguing the merits of Sebilius v. Hobby Lobby  for the State (as is MSDNC’s wont) on whether corporate personhood can include religious convictions, Joy Reid impeached the credentials of two thirds of the nation’s highest court based on religion.

While Reid’s legal analysis might acknowledge the  Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, she is blissfully ignorant of Article VI paragraph 3 of the Constitution regarding no religious test.

Catholic Supreme Court Justices 2013-2014 session

To think that an originalist like Associate Justice Antonin Scalia or natural law jurist like Associate Justice Clarence Thomas would vote en bloc with their wise Latina co-religionist Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor is drinking liberally spiked Kool-Aid around the ugly fever swamp.

Jeff Dunetz observed that MSNBC is hypersensitive about racial implications.  So if court commentators hypothetically opined about three African American judges voting together, this would be condemned as racism.


The Transfiguration teaches us detachment

File:Gherardi, Cristofano - Transfiguration - 1555.jpg

Last week’s Gospel was about the Transfiguration of Jesus. As you recall, Jesus took Peter, James, and John up Mt. Tabor. Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke with Him about His coming Passion. Hearing the Gospel, I was struck by what it teaches us about detachment in the spiritual life.

Moses represents the Law. Elijah represents the Prophets. The Law and the Prophets together form the basis of the Old Testament.

From the good to the perfect When Peter saw Moses and Elijah, he said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” He suggested building booths or tents in which the three religious figures could stay. No doubt he wanted to speak with Moses and Elijah and hear their wisdom in person.

But this was not God’s plan. God the Father spoke to the Apostles from the cloud. Then they looked up and saw Jesus standing before them alone.

The Law and the Prophets prepared the way for Jesus. But now that Jesus had come, they had to give way. They were good, but the Gospel is better. Moses and Elijah served their purpose in pointing towards Jesus. As St. Paul said, “When the perfect comes, the imperfect passes away” (1 Corinthians 13:10).

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Frodo, Abraham, and You

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Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins

Today’s post is a throwback to last year’s series Finding God in Children’s Literature. J. R. R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is not children’s literature, per se, but is suitable for reading aloud with the entire family. I’ve been thinking about a passage from The Fellowship of the Ring lately, and Sunday’s reading on Abraham fits perfectly with it.

If your mind wanders to books during Mass, let it be to great literature that can teach you lessons about the spiritual life! (Yes, I admit I was thinking about Frodo at Church.)

Traveling to an unknown land“The LORD said to Abram: ‘Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you’” (Genesis 12:1).  To fully understand the import of this verse, we must look to the New Testament.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go (Hebrews 11:8).Abraham followed God down a dark path. He did not know what his destination was, but he trusted God to lead him to a good place.

Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.

The Lord delights in you!

 File:Mystic Marriage.jpg

One of the readings we chose for our wedding Mass was Isaiah 62. It reads in part:
You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My delight is in her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.  For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you (verses 4-5).“The Lord delights in you.” Have you ever thought about that? I can easily understand our delighting in the Lord, but His delighting in us? What could that possibly mean?

God is our divine Bridegroom. He calls us to be His bride. When a young man falls in love, he doesn’t dwell on his beloved’s faults. They appear as nothing to him. He sees goodness and beauty that others have overlooked. He desires to give himself fully to her.  He desires to know everything about her.

Above all, a bridegroom yearns for fruitful union with his bride.

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Keep LOVE in Lent 2014

 Welcome, friends…to the 2nd Annual
 Catholic Bloggers Network 
Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2014!
We’ll be sharing tips, stories and 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. Are you a Christian blogger who’d like to share Lenten ideas? You’re welcome to join in! Please scroll to the linky at the bottom of this post and visit the Catholic Bloggers’ posts linked up!
CBN Lent LinkUp

Publish your post telling us how you plan to Keep Love in Lent!
Don’t forget to include the introduction to the Keep Love in Lent link-up, along with the linked button.


Link up your post below or at the blogs of our Catholic Blogger Hosts by March 10!


Take a moment to follow our Catholic Blogger Hosts!


We want to hear from you!  We appreciate your participation in the  Follow Frenzy.  You will be assigned a group of ONLY FIVE Keep LOVE in LENT posts to visit and leave meaningful comments during the week of March 10-17.

Don’t forget to include this Keep LOVE in LENT button, linked to the Catholic Bloggers Network:

 Keep Love in Lent 2014
and include an intro like this:
Join in on the 2nd Annual Keep Love in Lent Link-Up!
Add your inspiring LENT post at one of the following Catholic Blogs:
and discover NEW WAYS to Keep LOVE in LENT!

Big Clicks Awards: Cloistered Heart, Joy of Nine9 and Equipping Catholic Families and The Beautiful Gate

 Announcing the Big Clicks Awards for February!

#1 The Cloistered Heart for No Exterior Hindrance in the Readings and Reflections (RR) category.

#2 Joy of Nine9 for When a Minute Encompassed Eternity in the Readings and Reflections (RR) category.

and  #3 Equipping Catholic Families for Presentation of the Lord Craft in the Liturgical Calendar Category.

and #4 The Beautiful Gate for The Cure for Double Yoke Syndrome

Join us for the
Link up your LENT post starting March 3
and discover some awesome and inspiring Catholic Blogs
just in time for Lent!
A Big Thank You…
to some awesome Catholic Bloggers who have agreed to help out with various features and events of the
Catholic Bloggers Network!

Chris has been doing an AWESOME…diligent and consistent job at promoting our Catholic Bloggers’ posts on our FB page and group, as well as coordinating the
(Official Launch March 3!)
It’s easy to join up…just link your post and prepare to visit 10-12 other Catholic posts.
Help us build up our Catholic Bloggers Network!
Chris has submitted her first article as a Catholic Bloggers Network Contributor for Seton.
Monica is continuing as the main admin of the Catholic Bloggers Network, coordinating the Link-Up Blitz and Big Click Awards, cohosting the Keep Love in Lent 2014,  coordinating different CBN features and events and working with Seton as a contributor…and liaison for the Catholic Bloggers Network.
Tina is helping to coordinate and host the Keep Love in Lent 2014 Link-Up Event
Tina has also agreed to be a Catholic Bloggers Network Contributor for Seton.

Tracy is helping to host the Keep Love in Lent 2014 Link-Up Event
Tracy has submitted her first article as a Catholic Bloggers Network Contributor for Seton.
Laura has been busy promoting our Catholic Bloggers’ posts and has agreed to be a Catholic Bloggers Network Contributor for Seton.

Steed has agreed  to promote our Homeschooling Catholic Bloggers’ posts
and will likely be a Catholic Bloggers Network Contributor for Seton.

Jen has been busy promoting our Catholic Bloggers’ posts!

Jennifer has been consulting with Monica at the Catholic Bloggers Network
to make the website more effective as a venue to promote our blogs!
Chelsey has agreed to promote our Catholic Bloggers’ posts!

Lisa is helping to host the Keep Love in Lent 2014 Link-Up Event
and will likely be a Catholic Bloggers Network Contributor for Seton.
I’m sorry if I have forgotten anyone who has offered to help out at the Catholic Bloggers Network. Please let me know and I’ll will make sure you get recognized in the next announcement!
Would you like to help us build up the
Catholic Bloggers Network?
Email Monica at mmcconkey a t rogers c o m
subject line “Catholic Bloggers Dream Team”
and tell us how you’d like to help us!
Catholic Bloggers’ post promotion on FB or google+ or twitter
Visit Catholic Bloggers’ posts and leave meaningful comments
Visit Catholic Bloggers Contributor posts and leave meaningful comments
Be a host of an upcoming Catholic Bloggers Event
Suggest a new Catholic Bloggers event or feature
Help coordinate future Catholic Bloggers Network Directory
Help format, publish and promote Spotlight Interviews
Moderate the Blog Help page
Could you help us willy-nilly style?
1. Please visit our Contributor Pages and leave comments!
2. Please visit our Catholic Bloggers’ linked blogs at the Blitz
and leave meaningful and encouraging comments!
3. Promote Catholic Bloggers’ posts on FB and twitter!
Link up your post and visit 10-12 others and leave comments!
5. Display the Catholic Bloggers Network button proudly on your blog.


Sing the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary with children

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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!

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

 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,
include the following introduction,
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
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
 (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

* 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!