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Whoever Receives Me • Family Time

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Reading Time: 12 minutes


July 2-8: 13th Week of Ordinary Time

St. Thomas + St. Elizabeth of Portugal + St. Maria Goretti + Blessed Catherine Jarrige




1. Teach your kids meditative prayer. All the coolest Catholic saints and mystics agree: meditative prayer is vital to the spiritual life. And yes, you can teach kids as young as five meditative prayer! We’ve got a simple six-step method for you to try, plus nine more very Catholic meditation methods: Meditative Prayer for Catholic Kids: 10 Ways to Get Started.
2. Take your kids to Eucharistic adoration. Speaking of meditation, you may as well try a visit to your local adoration chapel…or your church’s tabernacle, if you don’t have adoration near you. Kimberly Fries and her husband bring their five-year-old and three-year-old every week…and if they can do it, you can do it, too! Find all the strategies in How to Do Eucharistic Adoration with Kids.
3. Re-boot your family rosary. Can you tell it’s meditative prayer week here at Peanut Butter & Grace? It is, because the rosary is first and foremost a meditative prayer, according to several recent popes. Get tips on how to make it so with even the youngest kids: 12 Tips for Praying the Rosary with Kids.


4. Talk to kids about the true meaning of freedom. Somewhere between the potato salad and the fireworks this Fourth of July, be sure to talk to your kids about the true meaning of freedom. Then tell them the story of St. Elizabeth of Portugal, whose feast day it will be; she was a royal monarch whose approach to power was one of service. Check out her story below.
5. Cash in on the prophet’s reward. This Sunday’s first reading and the Gospel reading focus on the theme of hospitality, and the rewards of offering it. Preview it with your kids in Breaking Open the Word at Home.
6. Teach kids about forgiveness. It’s the feast day of St. Maria Goretti on Thursday; be sure to tell your kids her remarkable story. You’ll find ample resources at MariaGoretti.com, including a page about how to forgive (see her bio below for the link). And younger children will enjoy the latest installment of Playing with the Saints!, which features St. Maria Goretti.
7. Celebrate St. Thomas the Apostle with Indian food. It’s the feast of St. Thomas on Monday. The apostle established churches in India, so it makes sense to celebrate his feast day with Indian food. Fortunately, Catholic Cuisine has four options for doing just that. Chaldean Coconut Cookies, anyone?



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St. Thomas (Monday). St. Thomas may have gone to India after the Resurrection; when Portugese explorers landed in southern India for the first time in the 1500s, they found Christians there who traced their community’s founding to St. Thomas. Christians in that part of India still call themselves “St. Thomas Christians” today. Stories about the apostle’s ministry in India survive today: “According to the legend,” says Wikipedia, “Thomas was a skilled carpenter and was bidden to build a palace for the king. However, the Apostle decided to teach the king a lesson by devoting the royal grant to acts of charity and thereby laying up treasure for the heavenly abode.”

St. Elizabeth of Portugal (Tuesday). Elizabeth became queen of Portugal by marriage. After preventing a war between her husband and grown son, she became known as “the peacemaker,” and negotiated peace between other warring leaders…when she wasn’t busy praying or building homes and hospitals for the poor. She said: “God made me queen so I could serve others.”

Blessed Catherine Jarrige (Wednesday). A lacemaker by trade, Jarrige took vows as a Dominican tertiary, praying and serving the poor. During the French Revolution, she hid priests, brought them babies to baptize, and praying with those who were to be executed. In one case, “Jarrige accompanied the priest to the gallows . . . and after his execution took some of his blood and smeared it on the face of a blind child, who was cured,” says Wikipedia. The executioner saw this and began to lose composure: ‘I’m lost. I’m lost. I’ve killed a saint!’ Jarrige was also arrested several times for her actions in 1794 but the authorities released her each time fearing riots since she was a popular figure.”

St. Maria Goretti (Thursday). After being stabbed by her 18-year-old attacker, Maria forgave him the next day before dying, saying: “I forgive Alessandro Serenelli…and I want him with me in heaven forever.” While in prison, he was visited by her in a dream in which she expressed forgiveness and urged him to turn to Christ. When she was canonized in 1950, he
attended, a changed man. MariaGoretti.com has a nice page on “How to Forgive,” which is a great angle to take on this child saint.

Peanut Butter & Grace recommends families use Give Us This Day or another daily missal for daily readings, saint stories, and prayers. Give Us This Day is available at Amazon or directly from Liturgical Press. The app is available from your favorite app store.



  • St. Benedict (July 11)
  • St. Kateri Tekawitha (July 14)



…from the Catholic T-Shirt Club for Kids, a subset of the Catholic T-Shirt Club. This is one of those get-a-box-every-month clubs; the kids’ boxes ship in a girls’ version and a boys’ version (just like McDonald’s kids meals!) and cost $16 a month. The box comes with a coloring page, a parent discussion card, a sacramental, and a Bible verse memory card. But the real draw here is the t-shirt, which became our seven-year-old’s go-to t-shirt…even though it had a very Marian theme. He even wore it to his public school…easy evangelization! We were less impressed with the other materials in the sample box, but the t-shirt alone may be worth the price. The next box ships July 20.



The U.S. Catholic bishops this week released a more detailed critique of the health care plan being proposed in the U.S. Senate. “Removing vital coverage for those most in need is not the answer to our nation’s health care problems, and doing so will not help us build toward the common good,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. “For the sake of persons living on the margins of our health care system, we call on the Senate to reject changes intended to fundamentally alter the social safety net for millions of people.” You can read the entire statement here.



You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy—the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud.

—-St. Vincent de Paul



We’re doing a “crowdsourcing” event around best family faith formation tips over on our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents. It’s a closed group, so you’ll need to request to be added.



Join us on Facebook @peanutbutterandgrace and on Pinterest.



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).

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.

MISSION:CHRISTIAN June-July 2017 includes features on Pentecost, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, St. Pierre Toussaint, St. Kateri Tekawitha, and more. A checklist of fun summer activities, plus “Christian missions,” Scripture readings, prayer prompts, and saint profiles for every day will keep your kids busy!

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 Jerry Windley-Daoust:

Publisher, Gracewatch Media

Jerry Windley-Daoust is a writer, editor, and father of five. He writes essays and stories at Windhovering and is the show-runner for Gracewatch Media, a small Catholic publisher. You can follow his latest publishing projects at gracewatch.org.

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