July 9-15: 14th Week of Ordinary Time
St. Benedict + Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin + St. Kateri Tekawitha + St. Bonaventure
8 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS THIS WEEK
|1. Get the best practices of other Catholic parents. We asked a bunch of Catholic bloggers and parents on our PB & Grace Parents Facebook group, “What’s your best family faith formation practice…the one you do well, or the one you’re most proud of having figured out?” And guess what? You get to crib off their answers! Get some crowdsourced wisdom: Our Best Family Faith Formation Ideas: Catholic Bloggers and Parents Share.
|2. Evangelize your kids in the car. Use your car as a vehicle to bring your kids closer to the Lord . . . and closer to heaven, says Michelle Gelineau. She’s got ideas and inspiration to get you started.
|3. Make a family rule of life. It’s the feast day of St. Benedict, the founder of western monasticism, on Tuesday. Among other things, he came up with a “rule” for how monastic communities should live together. The rule of St. Benedict became extremely popular, and formed the basis for many other monastic rules. Now, some Catholic families are adopting their own “rule of life,” prompted especially by the popularity of The Benedict Option. But before you invest in the book, check out Heidi Indahl’s article, Making a Family Rule of Life: A Time for Work and a Time for Play.
|4. Get a little rest. “I will give you rest,” Jesus says in this Sunday’s Gospel. Preview the Sunday readings with your kids using Breaking Open the Word at Home.
|5. Teach your kids meditation. Teach your kids the many ways that Catholics practice meditative prayer so they can experience the fruits of this rich spiritual tradition, now and as adults. Here are 10 ways to begin.|
|6. Go above and beyond in chore training. Heidi Indahl, who contributes regularly to Peanut Butter & Grace and who just came out with a new book about pregnancy loss and who just had a new baby (whew!) has written an excellent post over at Work and Play, Day by Day about going above and beyond basic chore training by using a timecard system with kids. You can get all the details at her blog.
|7. Take your kids to Eucharistic adortion. Building on our theme of teaching kids meditative prayer, check out our article on how to do Eucharistic adoration with kids (yes, even the littles!). We’ve even included some testimonials from real-life parents to inspire you. Pope Benedict XVI recommended that children be taught to appreciate spending time in the presence of the Eucharist as part of their preparation for First Communion. But how do you introduce kids to this vital prayer practice? Here are a few tips.|
|8. Introduce your kids to Louis and Zelie Martin with Flowers for Jesus, a picture book by Becky Arganbright with lively illustration by Jeanie Egolf…the story features little Therese Martin, of course, and her quest to make a spiritual bouquet for Jesus. But it also features prominent “cameos” by her parents…making it the perfect way to celebrate the Martins’ feast day on Wwednesday! You can get the book from Gracewatch Media or from Amazon.com.|
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SAINTS FOR YOUR KIDS TO KNOW & LOVE
Servant of God Fr. Augustus Tolton (Monday). Born into slavery, after the Civil War, Augustus went to Catholic school. He wanted to be a priest, but no U.S. seminary would let him, so he went to Rome to be ordained, becoming the first known African-American priest. Some fellow priests treated him badly, but in the end he won the respect of the whole U.S. church. “The Catholic Church deplores a double slavery—that of the mind and that of the body,” he said. “She endeavors to free us of both.”
St. Benedict (Tuesday). Benedict (480-550) started several monasteries and wrote a new kind of Rule for people living the monastic life—a rule that emphasized a balanced life. The Benedictine Rule became the model for monks and nuns for centuries afterward.
Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin (Wednesday). All five of Louis and Zélie Martin’s daughters became nuns; the most famous of them became known as St. Thérèse of Lisieux, whose autobiography
spoke of her loving and holy parents.
St. Clelia Barbieri (Thursday). Clelia grew up in a poor family, but loved God from a young age, teaching other children about the faith and doing good works for those in need. She and some friends formed a community that became a religious order—all before her death at age 23.
St. Kateri Tekawitha (Friday). Kateri was a Mohawk Indian who was baptized into the Church after her parents died of smallpox. This angered her community, forcing her to flee for her life. She said: “I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus.”
St. Bonaventure (Saturday). Bonaventure was a learned scholar who joined the Franciscan Order and was elected its leader. He guided the order wisely as it grew. He once kept the pope’s messengers waiting outside while he finished washing the dishes. He said: “If you learn everything but Christ, you learn nothing.”
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.
MARK YOUR (CATHOLIC) CALENDAR FOR . . .
- St. James (July 25)
- Ignatius of Loyola (July 31)
ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE READING…
…Chime Travelers, by Lisa Hendey, a book about a brother and sister who travel through time meeting various saints and figures from the Bible. Think Magic Tree House, but with a strong Catholic theme, and church bells rather than a treehouse as the magical means to new worlds. The books are for kids in grades 2-4. “Each book features prayers and a short bio to introduce children to a major saint’s life and legend. Discussion questions about saints, sacraments, and Catholic life help children understand what they’ve learned through the stories.”
“Soon we’ll have the intimate happiness of the family, and it’s this beauty that brings us closer
—Louis Martin in a letter to Zélie
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
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.
GET MORE PEANUT BUTTER! GET MORE GRACE!
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 Book. The 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 Wisdom. Little 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 Prayers. Sense 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.