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Rich in Mercy • Family Time!

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Reading Time: 15 minutes

March 11-March 17: Fourth Week of Lent

St. Saint Eulogius of Cordoba + St. Maximilian of Tebessa + St. Nicephorus + St. Matilda + St. Louise de Marillac + Blessed Torello + St. Patrick

 

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GET OUR CHILDREN’S JOURNAL FOR HOLY WEEK

New! The Way of the Cross Journal for Children is a great way to make Holy Week really special for your kids, because it invites them to “walk with Jesus,” step by step, along the Way of the Cross in story, prayer, reflection, and action. Kids get to track their “acts of love and sacrifice” on the way to Easter with writing and coloring activities. It makes a great companion to our Stations of the Cross books and posters!

Remember to enter GRACE15 at checkout for 15% off.

9 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS

1. Celebrate Laetare Sunday. Laetare means “rejoice,” which is what we’re urged to do this Sunday, because Lent is more than half over! Here’s one super-simple idea for celebrating, if you have little kids: Dance your prayer! Not into dancing? Try making Laetare Sundaes … use strawberry ice cream for the rose vestments, and put a cherry on top, just because.

2. Be saved by God’s boundless mercy. Hey parents, can you ever think of a time when you particularly needed God’s forgiveness? As you might have discovered, his mercy is without end. This Sunday’s readings include a famous Gospel from John and all focus on our continued need for God’s unending mercy. God wants to save us from our sins so we are free to be authentically ourselves. Reflect and discuss with your kids with this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home by Jen Schlameuss-Perry.

3. Plan for St. Patrick’s Day. As your kids chew on those sticky, gooey Irish potatoes, make sure they digest the real story of St. Patrick with these great resources:

Order our five-star children’s book, Paddy and the Wolves on Amazon, or go to the Gracewatch store for a full preview of the book, the coloring book, and the board game.

4. Introduce your kids to the Seven Penitential Psalms. One way to nurture kids who aren’t afraid to admit their faults — and who trust that God’s mercy and healing lies on the other side of that confession — is to pray the psalms with them, particularly the Seven Penitential Psalms. Here are the psalms as well as tips on how to pray them with your kids.

5. Show compassion toward a bully.  Traditional ways of addressing bullying don’t work, says anti-bullying expert and bestselling author Jodee Blanco. What really works? Compassionate discipline. Here’s why. This is the second in our series on bullying.

6. Fill that Easter basket with Catholic goodness. Starting to plan your kids’ Easter baskets? Here are dozens of fun ideas that honor the religious meaning of the holiest day in the Church year. (Sneak preview: There’s so much more to offer than chocolate bunnies and plastic grass!) By the way, we’re continuing to generate new ideas in the discussion thread on PB & Grace Parents.

You can also look at a hand-picked selection of books appropriate for Easter baskets from the Gracewatch store.

7. Sign your kids up for Catholic summer experiences. Get your calendars and/or spreadsheets ready—with the arrival of spring, it’s time to plan out your kids’ summer experience. Here are some Catholic options.

8. Late for Lent? No problem. Catch up on all things Lenten at Peanut Butter & Grace, or head over to the USCCB Lent resources page.

9. Get kids involved in the Catholic Relief Services collection. The annual collection is this weekend, and it’s the perfect opportunity for kids to practice almsgiving this Lent, either by tithing their income or doing something to earn some cash for the poor. Missed the collection? You can still donate online at the CRS website.

 

WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE…

We are sharing our pictures, old and new, of our family’s first holy Communion celebrations in our closed Facebook page for parents: PB & Grace Parents. It’s a fun and beautiful way to mark the upcoming sacramental season of first reconciliations, confirmations and holy Communions. That’s one of the many topics we’re talking about on the page, a lively and friendly community of Catholic parents sharing ideas and suggestions for you and your family. Join the conversation and find unique ways to teach and celebrate the faith with your kids. You’ll need to request to be added, because it’s a closed group to keep the threads private.

 

YOUR CATHOLIC CALENDAR

Try to learn one new prayer as a family this week.

Our new calendar web app features saints’ feast days and important Church events, with links to more resources, images, a variety of viewing options, and the option to sync with your own calendar.

 

Sunday, March 11

Day Lights Savings Time begins

Laertare Sunday

Annual Catholic Relief Services Collection 

St. Saint Eulogius of Cordoba

Monday, March 12

St. Maximilian of Tebessa

 

Tuesday, March 13

St. Nicephorus

 

Wednesday, March 14

St. Matilda

 

Thursday, March 15

St. Louise de Marillac

 

Friday, March 16

Blessed Torello of Poppi

 

Saturday, March 17

St. Patrick

 

COMING UP . . .

  • feast of St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (March 19)
  • first day of spring (Mar 20)
  • Holy Thursday (March 29)
  • Good Friday (March 30)
  • Easter Sunday (April 1)

 

ALL THE COOL CATHOLICS…

…are checking out Growing Young Spirits, a delightful children’s journal from Beaver’s Pond Press by Christy Olson, with illustration by Melissa Marroquin. “What is holy? Who is our neighbor? These questions are at the core of faith. “Growing Young Spirits” provides families a place to discover the answers together. This book is a unique family experience with wonderful beginning reader poems, beautiful illustrations, and art pages for creating.” Young readers are invited to draw their responses to the poems and artwork. A clever idea, beautifully illustrated!

 

RAISING FAITHFUL CITIZENS: GUN VIOLENCE

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, called on the nation’s leaders to work together to comprehensively address gun violence.

Noting the recent attack of a lone gunman that resulted in 17 murders at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the church leader said: “Specifically, this moment calls for an honest and practical dialogue around a series of concrete proposals — not partisanship and overheated rhetoric. The idea of arming teachers seems to raise more concerns than it addresses. Setting a more appropriate minimum age for gun ownership, requiring universal background checks (as the bishops have long advocated), and banning ‘bump stocks’ are concepts that appear to offer more promise. We must explore ways to curb violent images and experiences with which we inundate our youth, and ensure that law enforcement have the necessary tools and incentives to identify troubled individuals and get them help.” The full statement can be accessed here on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 

PARTING WORDS

“If, at times, the flame of charity seems to die in our own hearts, know that this is never the case in the heart of God! He constantly gives us a chance to begin loving anew.”

— Pope Francis in his 2018 message for Lent 

 

Family Time! is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust.

 

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Join us on Facebook @peanutbutterandgrace and on Pinterest. Make sure you don’t miss a Peanut Butter & Grace post on Facebook. Go to our Facebook page, then click on Following, and select See First. 

 

OUR BOOKS

Remember to grab 15% off your order at Gracewatch Media with coupon code GRACE15.

Here’s a list of most of our books, ordered by publication date (most recent first).

The Stations of the Cross for Children
The Stations of the Cross for Children was designed especially for younger children, with colorful illustrations and simple text that introduces them to the Passion of Jesus Christ on their level. Each station takes about two minutes to complete, including about thirty seconds of silent prayer. Optional prayers and Scripture references for each station offer a variety of ways to adapt and expand The Stations of the Cross for Children for older kids. And the opening and closing prayers place the Passion in the larger context of Jesus’ mission…and every Christian’s call to continue that mission in the world today.

Molly McBride and the Party Invitation
Molly McBride is turning six, and her momma is planning a BIG party. Everyone in Molly’s class is supposed to get an invitation. But should a certain class bully be invited, too? Or would it be better if his were “lost”? Join Molly and friends as they learn that doing acts of charity, while always a good thing, isn’t always a party. It’s Molly McBride and the Party Invitation: A Story About the Virtue of Charity.

The Catholic Family Book of Prayers
Do you want to introduce your kids to the richness of the Christian prayer tradition? The best way to do that is to pray with them, and now there’s a beautiful collection of Catholic prayers and meditations designed just for that purpose: The Catholic Family Book of Prayers: A Treasury of Prayers and Meditations for Families to Pray Together. It’s packed with prayers, blessings, meditations, saintly wisdom, and artwork—all selected specifically for Catholic families to pray together. Available in digital, softcover, hardcover, and handcrafted editions.

Lectio Divina for Teens: Reading God’s Messages to You
Lectio Divina for Teens: Reading God’s Messages to You introduces young people to the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina in a guided journal format. It features a brief, accessible introduction to lectio divina, walking readers through the method step by step, then turns them loose to try the method themselves in eight pre-selected readings. Seven additional blank journal entries provide space for readers to choose their own readings; a list of suggested texts is included. The colorful, beautifully designed interior provides a warm and welcome space for reflection and prayer. Lectio Divina for Teens has received an imprimatur from the Diocese of Winona.

The All Saints’ Day Party
Maggie and Max can’t wait for the All Saints’ Day party. There’s just one problem: they can’t decide which saint to dress up as…and the party is just a week away! Join Maggie and Max as their friends and family tell them about six holy men and women who offer living examples of what it means to be a saint…even if you’re a kid!

Turning Grief Inside Out: Surviving Pregnancy Loss with God’s Help
Drawing on her own personal experience of pregnancy loss, Christine Hendersen offers practical and spiritual advice—as well as a hopeful path forward—for grieving mothers and the people who love them.

Be Yourself! A Journal for Catholic Girls: “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire!” Those words are at the heart of Be Yourself! A Journal for Catholic Girls, which is designed to help girls explore their identity and purpose in life in light of the wisdom of the Catholic Church, including half a dozen female saints. Ages 9 and up.

I Can Be Happy, Too: A Book about Attitudes uses simple rhyme accompanied by Scripture verses and sweet, expressive illustrations, to teach children that while we can’t control the bad things that happen to us, we can control how we respond to disappointment and adversity.

Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss invites grieving mothers to let the Blessed Mother accompany them on their journey of grief and healing. Mary not only understands their loss, but wishes to bring mothers to healing through the saving work of her son. For each mystery of the rosary, author Heidi Indahl compassionately shares her own experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss, offering insights about how those losses are connected to the experience of Jesus and Mary as revealed by the mysteries of the rosary.

In the Realm of Mist and Mercy, our new YA fantasy/adventure novel with a Catholic heart and sensibility; it comes with an accompanying Lesson Plan book that helps parents and kids connect the story to teachings of the Catholic faith.

The Illuminated Rosary hardcover complete set. “I can lead the rosary now!” That’s what we hear kids saying when they have one of the Illuminated Rosary books in their laps. The words of the prayers are printed on every page, opposite a sacred artwork depicting the mystery of the rosary being said. Kids love these books, but so do adults and grandparents! Available in hardcover (allow extra time for shipping) or softcover sets.

The Stations of the Cross for Children. Here’s a downloadable PDF with sacred art depicting each of the Stations of the Cross, along with a simple reflection and prayer, geared for young children.

77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids, now in hardcover from Dynamic Catholic; to celebrate, we’re offering hardcover copies for $12, about 50% off the cover price, while supplies last. Whether you are just getting started with family prayer or wish to broaden your horizons, 77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids can help, offering practical, kid-friendly guides to Christian prayer practices both ancient and new. Features include: age-appropriate adaptations for young children, older kids, and teens; articles on a wide range of practices; Talking Points…explanations of prayer practices that kids might have questions about; cross-references to the Catechism, Scripture, and church documents; an appendix containing thirty-three common and useful Catholic prayers; a quick-find index makes it easy to find prayer ideas, and doubles as a checklist to track your progress.

Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper. Kids love the spunky young Molly McBride and her feisty sidekick, the wolf-pet Francis. In this book, Molly faces off against the dreaded plaid jumper that she’s going to have to wear when she starts school in the fall. Along with her new friends, Dominic and Fr. Matt, she learns all about uniforms and our true identity in God.

Paddy and the Wolves. Young Paddy can’t sit still during morning prayers, but he’s more than happy to help the shepherd, Barra, watch sheep for the day! But who will watch Paddy when he wanders into the woods? As he explores the wilderness of coastal Britain, Paddy encounters many delights and dangers—and ultimately, the One who watches over him through it all. Available as a hardcover or softcover storybook, or a coloring book with complete text; also available is a downloadable board game. Features the art of Catholic folk artist Jen Norton.

The Children’s Little Advent BookThe Children’s Little Advent Book is designed to help parents with children ages 4-7 on a journey through Advent to Christmas. Each day’s entry includes a brief Scripture reading, a reflection, discussion questions, a brief prayer, and a simple coloring page for children to complete after praying with their families. With The Children’s Little Advent Book, parents have an Advent resource specifically designed for short family prayer services with young children.

Corporal Works of Mercy Cards. Teach a lesson about the Works of Mercy with these downloadable cards and teaching guide.

Little Lessons from St. Francis of Assisi. “Make me an instrument of your peace.”  The Peace Prayer of St. Francis, beloved by people of all faiths around the world, beautifully captures the spirit of “the poor little man” from Assisi, as well as the aspirations of our time: for hope, for reconciliation, for peace.

Flowers for Jesus: A Story of Thérèse of Lisieux as a Young Girl. Little Thérèse Martin could be a very stubborn young girl. All too often, if someone wanted her to say “yes,” she wanted to say “no”! But then, as she is preparing for her First Communion, Thérèse discovers a way to turn her everyday trials and tribulations into something beautiful for Jesus. Join Thérèse (and her family) as she learns to “gather roses from amid thorns.” Available in hardcover and softcover editions.

La Florecita de Jesús: Una Parábola de Santa Teresita Del Niño Jesús. This is the Spanish-language edition of The Little Flower. La autora Becky Arganbright ha adoptado las enseñanzas de las orecitas de santa Teresita en esta encantadora parábola para niños. La joven Teresita aprende que aunque es pequeña, con la ayuda de Dios, su pequeñez puede ser una manera de hacer grandes cosas para Dios.  La ilustradora Tracey Arvidson da vida a la joven Teresa Martín, y a sus ores en la parábola, con sus maravillosas ilustraciones.

Molly McBride and the Purple Habit. Meet Molly McBride! Molly loves her new purple habit — it’s just like the ones her friends, the Children of Mary Sisters, wear. She loves it so much, in fact, that she doesn’t want to take it off…not even for her sister’s big day! Join Molly and her wolf-pet Francis as they learn all about nuns, habits, and giving your heart to Jesus.

Living Sparks of God: Stories of Saints for Young Catholics to Color. Here are fourteen lively two-minute stories to introduce young Catholics to some of the Church’s most beloved saints. Each story is accompanied by two coloring pages: a gorgeously detailed portrait of the saint, and a scene of the saint in action.

The Gift of Birth: Discerning God’s Presence During Childbirth. Is the process of giving birth a medical problem to be solved, a hurdle to be overcome on the way to motherhood . . . or is it something more? Could it be, as Susan Windley-Daoust proposes, that giving birth is a gift from God, laden with signs that speak to women about their identity, their calling, and their destiny? If so, then learning to read those embodied signs during pregnancy and labor could transform the way women experience childbirth. These signs reveal that God is not only powerfully present in the whole birthing process, but desires to actively work with women to bring forth new life.

Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux: An Introduction to Her Words and WisdomLittle Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux presents brief excerpts from Story of a Soul as a way of introducing those unfamiliar with Thérèse to some of the essential themes of her spirituality. The words of St. Thérèse  are accompanied by the artwork of award-winning watercolorist Jeanine Crowe, a wonderful aid to prayerful meditation on the words and wisdom of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux includes twenty-one selections from the words of St. Thérèse, twenty artworks, and ten questions for reflection and discussion.

The Little Flower: A Parable of St. Thérèse of Liseux. Becky Arganbright has adapted St. Thérèse’s lesson of the little flowers into a delightful parable for children. The young Thérèse learns that even though she might be little, with God’s help, her littleness can be a way of doing great things for the Kingdom of God. Illustrator Tracey Arvidson brings the young Thérèse Martin (and the flowers of her parable) to life in gorgeous illustrations.

Sense of the Sacred: Illuminated Book of Catholic PrayersSense of the Sacred: Illuminated Book of Catholic Prayers contains thirty traditional Catholic prayers every child should have at hand, each accompanied by a beautiful, hand-drawn illustration to aid in prayerful meditation on the mysteries of the faith.

Sense of the Sacred: A Coloring Book for Young Illuminators. For centuries, the Catholic Church has used art to illuminate the sacred mysteries of the Faith. Now, your child can follow in that tradition by making sacred art with the help of Sense of the Sacred: Coloring Book for Young Illuminators. This book contains 30 hand-drawn illustrations and accompanying Bible verses, drawing on the rich legacy of statues and stained glass in our Catholic Faith.

Follow Regina Lordan:

Regina Lordan, a digital editor at Peanut Butter & Grace, is a mother of three with master’s degrees in education and political science. She currently reviews books for Catholic News Service and is a former assistant international editor of Catholic News Service.

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