February 4-10: Fifth Week of Ordinary Time
St. Joseph of Leonissa + St. Agatha + St. Paul Miki and companions + St. Juliana of Bologna + St. Josephine Bakhita + Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich + St. Scholastica
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7 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS
1. Help your kids solve their own fights. When kids fight, how should parents respond? Ignoring the conflict or solving it for kids are two ways to go, but teaching your kids to solve their own fights gives them the conflict-resolution skills they’ll need as adults—and means you’ll ultimately spend less time playing peacemaker. Here’s what to do. (By the way, this topic was inspired by Jerry Windley-Daoust’s guest spot on More 2 Life, which you can hear here.)
2. Let Jesus heal your broken heart. Feeling the winter blues? Or is something more serious upsetting you? In the readings for this Sunday, Feb. 4, we’re reminded that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. He did it by meeting us where we are and inviting us to something better. This week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home includes discussion questions for you and your kids, and has a bonus activity to help your family focus special intentions on those who really need it this week.
3. Plan how you’re going to navigate the Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day mashup. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day—a major conflict for kids and couples alike. You could put off your celebration of Valentine’s Day until the weekend…or you could lean into it, celebrating the two days together. Jen Schlameuss-Perry argues for the spiritual advantages of the latter option with these ten ideas.
4. Get a free coloring sheet and make a kindness chain on the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita. Can you imagine being sold into slavery at the age of 7? It was so traumatic for poor little Josephine that she couldn’t remember her own name. After years of being tossed around as a slave, she finally won her freedom and entered a convent where she lived the rest of her days. Read more about this resilient saint who was known for her comforting voice and learn how to make a kindness chain in this Playing with the SAINTS! And here’s even more neat information and a coloring sheet to help you celebrate her day.
5. This Lent, give up nagging your kids. We have so many simple and practical resources for you and your family to help make Lent holy and meaningful. Here are a few quick links to get your started for Lent, which begins Feb. 14:
- Do your kids ignore you until you raise your voice? Do you find yourself exhausted by constant nagging? This Lent, give up nagging your kids by focusing on the 4 C’s instead.
- Use the U.S. bishops’ interactive calendar for Lent. For many more resources, look to the right-hand column on the website.
- Stay tuned for more ways to fast, give alms and make sacrifices this Lent with your family. We will have family-friendly meatless recipes starting next week.
6. Cozy up to your better half. That’s because it’s the beginning of National Marriage Week, which runs Feb. 7-14. So take an extra moment to gaze into each other’s eyes, hug a little tighter, and say some prayers for the health and happiness of your marriage. Looking for more ideas? Get a marriage tip a day and check out For Your Marriage which will soon be revamped with a virtual marriage retreat and more resources.
7. Learn about a pair of saintly siblings. Did you know St. Benedict had a sister? Like her brother, St. Scholastica spent her days praying. She prayed so fervently one day that it would rain hard enough so that her brother would be stuck there to keep her company. What do you know? Boom roared the thunder, and her prayers were answered! Read more about St. Scholastica and learn how to make rain with water and a mason jar in Playing with the SAINTS!, St. Scholastica-style.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE…
The engaging discussions over at the PB & Grace Parents Facebook group are alive and well! We are talking about resources for Lent, Easter, teaching kids about the Bible and how to face bullying in Catholic schools. Join the group, introduce yourself and join in the conversation. It’s a closed group, so you’ll need to request to be added.
We’re moving the saint biographies in Your Catholic Calendar to the shiny new calendar app at our website, Peanut Butter & Grace. This new format will provide more information in a searchable, interactive format. We hope you like it! Click through for a thumbnail sketch of any saint, or visit the calendar page here.
Sunday, Feb. 4
Monday, Feb. 5
Tuesday, Feb. 6
Wednesday, Feb. 7
National Marriage Week begins
Thursday, Feb. 8
Friday, Feb. 9
Saturday, Feb. 10
COMING UP . . .
- Our Lady of Lourdes (Feb. 11)
- Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14)
- First Sunday of Lent (Feb. 18)
- Feast of the Chair of St. Peter (Feb. 22)
ALL THE COOL CATHOLICS…
…are checking out this video of Nick Foles, the unlikely Super Bowl quarterback for the Eagles. He shares his faith journey in this short, family-friendly clip. Who are you rooting for? The Eagles, the Patriots, the commercials or the junk food?
RAISING FAITHFUL CITIZENS: PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-life Activities, called the Senate’s inability to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act appalling. The legislation would have protected unborn babies from abortion 20 weeks after fertilization.
“Abortions performed in the second half of pregnancy usually involve brutally dismembering a defenseless unborn child, while also posing serious dangers to his or her mother. The Senate’s rejection of this common-sense legislation is radically out of step with most Americans,” Cardinal Dolan said in the statement, which can be read in full here.
“I am definitely loved and whatever happens to me, I am awaited by this love. And so my life is good.”
— St. Josephine Bakhita
Family Time! is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust.
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).
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.
MISSION:CHRISTIAN December-January includes a saint, Scripture reading, Christian mission, prayer prompt, and fun facts in every daily entry…plus, special features and activities for Christmas and Advent.
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.
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.