Keep LOVE in LENT: 53 Inspiring Posts!

Check out these Lent posts!
Leave a comment here about your favorite!
Searching Mamma: 15 Ways to Experience a More Meaningful

All Year: My Biggest Lent Fails and How I Learned

Little Ones: Keeping Love in Lent

Crafty Treasures Keeping Love in Lent

Wrongs Patiently: Lent for the Scrupulous

Mom: Keeping Love in Lent

7.10: Teacups {Keeping the Love in Lent}

Saints in the Making: Keep Love in Lent

with Full Hands: Keeping love in Lent- Praise Him

Chaos: Our Own Personalized Lenten Journey

Little Blessings: Gifting Love this Lent

Cajun Catholic: The our Father; a lenten reflection

Rich Mom: Keeping Love in Lent… Even When It Is


Pang Sulyap – Fullness Of His Love

Keeping Love in Lent – Finding Balance

Loves Iggy: love in lent

Oysters: Empty (Keeping LOVE in LENT)

Heart Rosary Decades to Pray for Others

Diary of a Sower: Our Lenten Prayer

Living Garden — Giving for Others with Love: Keeping LOVE in

Catholics: Motivated by my childrens’ activities

Fiat: Keeping Love in Lent… Barely

to Wisdom: Keeping Love in Lent: Bands of

My Heart: An Anniversary Lesson duringLent

All for Jesus Lent Challenge


The special All for Jesus LENT CHALLENGE is sponsored by Equipping Catholic Families and Catholic All Year, and inspired by the Catholic Toddler Letters of Frankie and Adam.
Frankie and Adam are two toddler penpals discussing large families, Mass attendance and Catholic traditions and their letters are graciously transcribed and published on their Mom’s blogs.

Every week during Lent, people are invited to choose their best Lent challenge or a special chore they carried out, keeping Jesus’ Sacrifice in mind (so doing the work, without the grumble).  They can visit Equipping Catholic Families or Catholic All Year to enter their weekly challenge after they completed it. At the end of Lent, a couple entries will be chosen (by Frankie and Adam!) and the winners will select their favorite Cathletics Craft Kit PDF to win!

Check out Equipping Catholic Families for more details!

If you are curious, check out the Catholic Toddler Letters of Frankie and Adam.

Monica is a wife, Mom of 5+ kids, a designer, an architecture school survivor, an author and a crafter who thinks it’s cool to be Catholic! Check out the Arma Dei Shoppe for solid Catholic, fun teaching tools and gifts to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith and subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families for family-building and Faith-centered crafts!

Join the Keeping LOVE in LENT link-up! Register today and spread the word!

Are you feeling pressured to have your holiest, sacrifice and prayer-filled Lenten Journey this year? Do you ever find that you start out on Ash Wednesday with ashes on your forehead and so many sacrifice and prayer resolutions, but get discouraged by the second week because you can’t stick to them all?
How about focusing on one solid resolution or Lenten program or one different challenge each week: one that our families might be able to stick with, will draw all of us closer to Jesus, and one that we can carry out with love in our hearts instead of grumpy Lent faces?
Do you want to share what your family is doing for Lent this year?
Then join us, Tina of Truly Rich Mom, and Erika of Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, and Monica at Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families in the
Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013.
We’re also going to incorporate a totally optional Follow Frenzy feature for those who want to be inspired by other people’s posts, with the added benefit of getting meaningful comments and new followers to your own blog.

A blog link-up is where we each write a blog post on the same theme. Everyone will get links to other bloggers’ posts to multiply your reach, and to help spread the message of Keeping LOVE in LENT!
You will have the option to participate in the Follow Frenzy, committing to visit and leave meaningful comments on 20 different blog posts that are part of the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up (and receiving 20 meaningful comments on your own blogpost!)
Please note: You don’t have to participate in the Follow Frenzy, especially if reduced blog time is part of your Lent!

The link-up is open to all bloggers, particularly Catholics who observe LENT. You may write about anything that pertains to the blog theme, e.g. share 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, abstinence from meat on Fridays, extra prayer, sacrifices, cleaning and giving clothes away to the poor; special Catholic devotions and practices like extra weekday Masses or Stations of the Cross, etc.

To participate, please follow these steps:

1. Register by filling out the registration form at the end of this post or clicking here no later than Pancake Tuesday, February 12, 2012.
2. Write your blog post on the theme, “Keeping LOVE in LENT” in the first part of LENT and publish the blog post on February 19-20, 2013, filling out the form we send you with the direct URL link to your blog post, no later than February 20, 2013 at 9AM (EST).
You will receive the complete list of blog post links by noon on February 20, 2013 (EST) for you to add at the bottom of your post.
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 Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, Truly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. 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 scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”
The deadline for registration for the carnival is February 12, 2013 (Pancake Tuesday).
Posting instructions and link-up rules will be e-mailed to all participants on February 14, 2013 and the link-up will go live on February 20, 2013. PLEASE PUBLISH YOUR BLOGPOSTS no later than 9am EST on February 20, 2013.
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 are articles aimed to market products or services.
Important Dates:
1. Use this REGISTRATION FORM to register your blog by February 12, 2013
2. Publish your blog post on February 19 or 20, 2013. (No later than February 20 at 9am EST).
3. Send in the URL to your blog post for the link-up (by filling out the LINK FORM we will send you) as soon as you publish your blog post, no later than February 20 at 9am EST.
4. You will receive a final list of link-up participants as soon as it is available on February 20, 2013.
Add the list of link-up participants to the end of your blog post by February 20, 2013 at noon.

5. Specify in the registration form that you intend to participate in the FOLLOW FRENZY.
6. You will receive your list of blogs to visit on February 20 by noon EST.
7. Visit, leave meaningful comments and hopefully subscribe or follow 20 newly discovered Blogs by February 24, 2013.
Thank you very much!
We’re excited to read your entries and help spread the word on how to keep LOVE in LENT!

A Sunday Reflection

“In this age, turning our backs on traditional Christianity is seen as original and a sign of free-thinking. What is truly original and a sign of free-thought is embracing tradition and love of Christ which stands in the face of this world and its idea of “values”.
The so-called Enlightenment of prior centuries has badly harmed Christians. One looks at the French Revolution and other revolutions that grew out of this movement and see how they have mocked and injured Christ. Brothers and sisters, we cannot free ourselves by breaking away from God’s hands, when we break away from God, we subject ourselves to the darkest form of slavery.
 Oh that we would give ourselves back to God! We were made for him to love Him and serve Him. When our service turns back on ourselves and becomes self satisfying, it is indeed slavery. But it is reward and preventable to be of service to Something greater. We are foolish to think we can ever break “free” of God. It is written in the Psalms “Where can I go from your Spirit. Where can I flee from your presence?” And the prophet Jeremiah did write “Shall a man be hid in secret places, and I not see him, saith the Lord? do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord?”
He who made us will always be with us and any ideology which excludes Him seeks to take away our humanity and often does. Where else do we get our humanity but from Him. As did say Augustine of Hippo “Our hearts are restless, O God, untill they rest in you.”


Rachel M. Gohlman is a convert to Catholicism from Evangelical Protestantism. She is the author of the “Misadventures of Cardinal Fratelli” series and is known on facebook for her apologetics work. She is a graduate from Bradley University in Peoria.

Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers Awards for January 2013

Welcome to the 
2013 Catholic Blogger Link-Up Blitz.
Announcing the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers 
for January 2013!
In the category of…

Readings and Reflections,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is:
The Breadbox Letters for the post
The Triumph of Light

Liturgical Calendar Crafts and Homeschooling,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is:
Equipping Catholic Families for the post
Kitchen Table Felt Castle

Catechism and Apologetics,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is
JOY for the post
Protecting Life in a Neonatal Wing

Catholic Family Journal and Random Ramblings,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is
Catholic All Year for the post
An Open Letter to the Church Lady

Spread the word!! Let your friends know about these popular posts on the Catholic Bloggers Network
and help promote Catholic Bloggers!

The new Monthly Round-Up for FEBRUARY will be up and running on February 1st! Make sure that you add your posts and visit often!!
You can also always revisit our Archives!

ALSO! Congrats to the Winners 

Coming soon!

Coming soon!  
The First Ever Catholic Bloggers Follow Frenzy!
Make sure that you are subscribed to this blog, “like” our Catholic Bloggers Facebook page or that you’re a member of our Catholic Bloggers Facebook Group to be the first to be a part of this new Comment-Craze and Follow Frenzy!
(Leave a comment if you are intrigued…or just if you have read this far down the blogpost!)

…You could also sign up to our Catholic Bloggers Mailing List to receive the INFREQUENT Catholic Bloggers Network News Flash for current events, link-ups and features at Catholic Bloggers Network.

Don’t forget to link up to our Monthly Round-Up for the FEBRUARY 2013 and keep clicking to discover other great Catholic posts and awesome Catholic blogs!

Tell your subscribers about the Catholic Bloggers Network and help us increase traffic and promote all these awesome blogs! We have 430 awesome Catholic blogs linked up so far!

Check out our Catholic Bloggers Spotlight! and get to know our Catholic Bloggers!

Monica is a wife, Mom of 5+ kids, a designer, an architecture school survivor, an author and a crafter who thinks it’s cool to be Catholic! Check out the Arma Dei Shoppe for solid Catholic, fun teaching tools and gifts to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith and subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families for family-building and Faith-centered crafts!

Lot's of Links for February Feast Days!!

I pulled together a huge number of arts, crafts and activities for Candlemas/the Presentation of our Lord, Our Lady of Lourdes Feast day, and St. Valentine’s Day. Come take a look and see if you find anything that you’d like to do with your kids to celebrate these holy days!
Here is the link to the Presentation/Candlemas crafts and activities. 
There’s lots of coloring pages, too!
Our Lady of Lourdes feast is on Feb. 11
You might like to take a look at these crafts and activities.
Celebrate Saint Valentines’s feast day before Lent starts!
Here is loads of Catholic printables for you and you kids!

Jennifer, is a wife and a mom of 9 kids (ages 14 -1) She spends her days homeschooling in PA. Whenever time allows, she blogs about the Catholic activities she creates with her kids. She likes to make all things fun with hands-on activities!  
Visit her at Catholic Inspired for more fun arts, crafts and activities, which are inspired by our Catholic faith! 

What Young Catholics Truly Want

Attention Pastors, Youth Pastors, Music Directors, Deacons and Catechists:

I have oft heard the complaint from you that “The young people aren’t interested in Catholic faith, they don’t come to Mass and they don’t volunteer to sing, lector or help with ministries…it seems there is little hope these days!”
I’ve come to tell you, there is hope! The young people can be drawn to Catholic faith, Mass, choir and any church-related ministry. You can get them interested!
The Problem:

Frequently, young Catholics feel ignored, not that they aren’t being pampered or praised or given special attention, I mean they are trying to tell you exactly what they like, what they expect from the Church, what they are yearning for deep in their souls… but you simply aren’t listening.
I am in my twenties, part of the tail end of what they call “the John Paul II generation” I came into the Catholic Church just as John Paul II went out. My RCIA class was on fire for faith, for learning and for yearning. We did homework, read our catechism, got on the internet, immersed ourselves in it all! The parish that nurtured this crop of oncoming-converts was steeped in reverence and awe for tradition. Not just going through motions and singing empty songs. On Ash-Wednesday, we proudly explained the odd mark on our heads, we debated Protestants on the Bible, we learned basic prayers- in Latin AND English. Sunday night Mass ensued in candlelit splendor, amidst clouds of incense and to the tune of Laudate Dominum. You could never look at these young people and say “They just don’t care”.
After RCIA and graduation, I returned home and attended what you’d call your average parish church. I descended from a world of splendor to bare walls, hurried Masses and barebones hymns. Still fervent in the sacraments, the Eucharist and the Early Church Fathers, I lived on. Come 2012, I attend a parish in central Florida. Art covered the walls, thank God, but it was rather bare art. Mass was still hurried and hymns still barebones. Something however was very familiar: no Latin during Ordinary time, nor during Advent, nor during Lent, no incense, no Laudate Dominum.
I spoke up once during choir practice (I’d since then joined the choir because I enjoyed singing and praising the Lord). I said “You know, I’d really like some Latin hymns…Maybe we can have some silence after Mass during Lent- you know for reverence…” I suggested to our priest once: “I think a Eucharistic procession around Christmas to celebrate the incarnation would be cool…” Deaf ears in reply. I was told by the music director: “We don’t do that anymore…Silence bores the congregation…” and by the priest “A procession would be inconvenient…”
What I gave was the opinion of a young Catholic- a real, live young Catholic. They didn’t want it.
The problem is all these pastors, youth pastors and music directors keep telling us young folk what bores us, what we really like, what we find interesting. And guess what, THEY’RE WRONG! If one listens to the young Catholic voice, one would find we are yearning for beauty, for tradition and for truth. Traditional Catholicism honestly fascinates us! We go all week hearing perky pop-songs, jumping techno and chatter that doesn’t leave a minute of silence. We go to church and we get exposed to the same exact things. Thus, of course we find it boring! Why should we go to Mass when we can stay home and sing “Gather us in”, listen to a preacher on tv and fill our rooms with noise? Young people are sick of the world. We long for a safe habitat where we can bow before God and think. We crave contact with ancientness, with a strong grounding, with strong Catholic identity. God’s people are chosen out of the world, set apart, destined for a heavenly home. We want a taste of that!!
What young Catholics want:

First, we wouldn’t mind if you listened… Stop telling us what we think and what we like.  Look at traditional Catholic parishes, they are overflowing with young people and traditional seminaries are crowded with young aspirants. The next generation wants precisely what your generation has put away and tried to hide from us. There’s a proverb: “The son longs to remember what the father longs to forget!” Remember it! We hate guitar Masses. We hate bare hymns and Masses that must be kept under 45 minutes. We want the red meat that is the 2,000 year old Catholic faith and not only that, we want to sink out teeth into it!
When young people see that Mass is not like the rest of the week, that it’s not like the world, that it requires us to think and act differently- as if we’re present when heaven touches earth, we will be interested. We will wander in with curiosity, saying “what glorious thing is this?” and we will stay there.
And this is not a dilemma that has gone unnoticed either.  An article on states: “The Roman rite was always different from all of the eastern rites, of course, but the sense of the transcendence of God, which once marked our liturgy strongly, seems rarely to find expression in our worship today. And we trashed, just trashed, a glorious tradition of liturgical music which the council fathers at Vatican II explicitly commanded be fostered. We replaced it with . . . On Eagles’ Wings.” I can tell you that many of our young people agree with this! Our generation is immensely attracted to the statements of Pope Benedict XVI that ask for a return to tradition in liturgy.  I hear countless, young Catholic college students, facebook-ers and bloggers begging: “Please, give this back to us.”
People can pretend that worship is a strictly spiritual matter, pretend that it does not involve shallow, physical things but the Mass is precisely opposite. It is very physical just like the union of two lovers is very physical. No sane person declares love is just a spiritual thing, that saying “My dear” doesn’t matter, that singing a serenade or reciting a sonnet doesn’t matter or that a candlelit banquet makes no difference. Our worship became VERY physical the moment Christ assumed human flesh. Catholics are people of the incarnation. We don’t go to Mass to philosophize and have Bible study- no, we go to Mass to taste and see the goodness of the Lord! Mass isn’t about social gathering- no, it’s about each soul receiving perfect union with God! Shouldn’t our pastors and music directors be showing us that? Shouldn’t our priests be saying with their actions and words and prayers: “Hey, this isn’t part of the world that bombards you with noise and ugliness, that constantly seeks to entertain you, this is heaven!”
Jesus Christ came to give the hungry world that which they were so long deprived of. He came to give meaning, to give mystery, to give us the awesome presence and tender love which is God. Jesus didn’t say “Let’s get the young people interested.” He said “Feed my Lambs.” So, I sincerely ask our pastors, youth pastors, deacons and music directors to give young Catholics a taste of heaven, give us mystery, give us that presence and awesome love of God. Hit us with a meaty Catholicism that makes us stop and think, that makes us truly perceive the miraculous thing that is happening at every Eucharist, and causes us to bow down and say “Truly this is the Son of God” “Truly this is the New Covenant” “Truly this is the Promised Land- our heavenly home”!
If you just listen, maybe you will hear…
Young people are crying out- answer them.
They are hungry- feed them.
They are burdened down- lift them up.
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.”
-Psalm 34:8

Plinko with the Happy Saints!

This converted to Catholic classic game has been renamed!
Please check out Plunk! with the Saints!
for 10 ways to use this printable and the tutorial for how to make the game!

Does anyone remember Plinko? It was on The Price is Right…which began in 1956, was revamped in 1972, hosted by Bob Barker and since 2007, is now hosted by Drew Carey. Plinko was a cool game where these little disks are dropped at the top of a steep platform with little pegs.  Depending on which path the disk zigzags down, money was won by which exit route the disk took. It looked like this:

Look at that pink carpet!
How about playing PLUNK! to learn about the SAINTS?

I’ve had my eye on the little Happy Saints for a while and now that I finished my Happy Saints Tokens Tutorial, (adding these awesome Saint images to poker chips) I present…Plinko with the Saints!

I ended up making the PLUNK! with the SAINTS game with an empty picture frame and double suction cups from the dollar store.      
I also put a few little graphics together for my PLUNK! PRINTABLE that you will also find in my PLUNK! tutoriall at Equipping Catholic Families. This printable does not include the awesome Happy Saints, but it does have a cool Saint Token Template that I think you will find helpful for other Saint crafts and activities as well! 

Monica is a wife, Mom of 5+ kids, a designer, an architecture school survivor, an author and a crafter who thinks it’s cool to be Catholic! Check out the Arma Dei Shoppe for solid Catholic, fun teaching tools and gifts to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith and subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families for family-building and Faith-centred crafts!