August 13-19: 19th Week of Ordinary Time
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary + St. Maximilian Kolbe + St. Helen + St. Joan of the Cross
Go back to school with Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper!
And get a sneak peek of Be Yourself! A Journal for Catholic Girls
The journal is printing and should ship the week of August 21-25.
6 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS THIS WEEK
1. Celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with your kids. Tuesday marks the Solemnity of the Assumption; it’s a holy day of obligation in the United States, and we’ve got a whole raft of resources for you. Get some basic background on the feast, as well as kid-sized explanations and things to do, in Celebrate the Feast of the Assumption with Your Kids. Next, head over to Tracy Bua Smith’s article, Celebrate the Assumption with Some History and Crafts for a couple excellent videos you’ll want to share with older kids and a couple crafts to do with younger ones. Finally, Heidi Indahl reflects on how Mary healed her heart on the Feast of the Assumption.
Do you know about our Illuminated Rosary prayer books? They’re great for teaching kids the rosary…or for adults who want to pray the rosary with sacred art.
2. Join a new Facebook group for pregnancy and infant loss. Speaking of Heidi Indahl, the author of Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss is launching a new private Facebook group “specifically dedicated to the spiritual side of healing following pregnancy and infant loss. The group will be focused on prayer, support, and spiritual encouragement. The group is in the early days of getting to know each other and we would love to have you join us! Starting in September. I will be sharing a weekly video with an in-depth, expanded look at one of the mysteries of the rosary. Throughout each week we will pray together, share our struggles, and encourage one another in continued growth.” You can find the group on Facebook.
3. Help your parish plan for a Catholic VBS next summer. Tracy Bua Smith has a list of great Catholic vacation bible school programs, plus four tips about how to gently nudge your parish in the direction of Catholic-themed summer camps: 4 Steps to a Catholic Vacation Bible School at Your Parish.
4. Listen for a whisper. This weekend’s Sunday readings feature a soft whisper…and a stormy lake. Jen Schlameuss-Perry helps you preview the Scriptures with your kids in Breaking Open the Word at Home.
5. Start a before-school prayer ritual. Whether you homeschool or send your kids off in a yellow bus, the start of the new school year is the perfect time to begin a simple before-school prayer ritual—or to “upgrade” one that you’ve been using for years. Here are some suggestions.
6. Scatter prayer prompts around your house. You can encourage family members (and yourself) to pray throughout the day—and in many different ways—by placing prayer prompts throughout your home. Here’s how.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
Join our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents, to continue the discussion. It’s a closed group, so you’ll need to request to be added.
UPGRADE YOUR FACEBOOK MEMBERSHIP
Make sure you don’t miss a Peanut Butter & Grace post on Facebook (@peanutbutterandgrace). Go to our FB page, then click on Following, and select See First.
SAINTS FOR YOUR KIDS TO KNOW & LOVE
Monday: St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (1894-1941), the Catholic priest and evangelist who founded the City of the Immaculata in Poland and Nagasaki, and who offered his life for another at Auschwitz. He had a relatively normal childhood, notes Word on Fire, with one exception: “One night in Kolbe’s childhood, Our Lady appeared to him in a dream holding a white crown and a red crown. He later related, ‘She asked if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both.’ So, yes, St. Maximillian had a normal childhood, but with one tremendous difference that was to define the course of his life.” See 9 Things to Know about St. Maximilian Kolbe at the Word on Fire website for…well, eight more fascinating facts about this modern saint!
Thursday: St. Joan of the Cross (1666-1736), the French shopkeeper known for her greed and stinginess, until a change of heart led her to close her shop to serve the poor and the sick.
Friday: St. Helen (250–330), the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, who legalized Christianity. He sent her to Palestine to search for the true cross on which Christ was crucified. While there, she built churches at the holy places connected to biblical events.
Saturday: St. Emily of Vercelli (1238–1314), the young Dominican nun who became the leader of her convent at the age of twenty. She had a vision in which Jesus encouraged her to receive the Eucharist often, out of love. She once brought the Eucharistic presence of Jesus to three sick Sisters, who were immediately cured. “I am not alone, Sisters. See, I bring Jesus to bless you.”
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.
MORE GREAT IDEAS FOR CATHOLIC PARENTS
A roundup of wisdom from around the web….
How to Write a Family Mission Statement (Not So Formulaic): “The family finds in the plan of God the Creator and Redeemer not only its identity, what it is, but also its mission, what it can and should do.” So says St. John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio, and Ginny Kochis runs with it, offering a process for developing a family mission statement as well as some good thoughts about how to use it.
6 Ways I’m Teaching My Children the Beauty of the Catholic Faith (A Beautiful, Camouflaged Mess of a Life): Anni Harry shares six basic practices that she hopes will help her kids realize the beauty of the Catholic faith.
Discipline of Children (Lion of Design): “I am not one for wasting time on trial and error when I know there is a better way. This led me to consult family friend Charles Piccirilli, who is a veteran expert in holy discipline and family counseling. His wisdom and insight have been so helpful to our family and I believe so many others can benefit as well.” Kimberly Cook’s interview with Mr. Piccirilli is presented in question-and-answer format.
MARK YOUR (CATHOLIC) CALENDAR FOR . . .
- Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Aug 22)
- St. Augustine (Aug 28)
“And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him.”
—St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
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).
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.
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.