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What Is Stored in Your Heart? • Family Time!

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Reading Time: 6 minutes

March 3-9: Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

St. Casimir of Poland + St. Kieran of Saighir + Ash Wednesday + Sts. Perpetua and Felicity + St. John of God + St. Frances of Rome


Just in time for Lent, here’s a practical guide for doing works of service as a family, no matter the ages of your kids or your family circumstances. This title is hot off the press, so we don’t have a full-book preview up yet, but look for that early next week. In the meantime, you can be the first person on your block to have a copy when you get it on Amazon. Boy, are the neighbors going to be jealous! Maybe you should get them a copy, too…that would be a work of mercy in itself!


A few options for Catholic moms and dads to try with kids next week.

Get the Family Time! Lent Printable Pack…all of the Family Time! printable calendars for Lent (March 3 – April 20), plus three extra pages.

1. Indulge in sweets then shelf the treats for a day of fasting and abstinence. Are your kids ready for Lent? Kick things off right by celebrating Shrove Tuesday and observing Ash Wednesday. Here are nine things to do with your family and resources to go with them.

In case you missed it last week, here are ways to make a successful Lenten plan your family.

2. Make lentil soup for Lent. Abstaining from meat during Lent doesn’t mean indulging in a lobster dinner, but it also doesn’t have to mean fish sticks and custard every Friday, either. This Lent, try some rustic lentil soup from chef and mom Theresa Wilson in this week’s Cooking with Catholic Kids.

If you like that idea, consider trying soup for supper for nearly all of Lent. That’s what Heidi Indahl did last year and she is going to do it again this year; you can read about her family’s creative family plan here in Work and Play, Day by Day.

3. Produce good fruit. What’s the state of your heart? Your words and actions reveal a lot about where it’s at, according to this Sunday’s readings. Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry will help you preview the readings with your kids in this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home.

4. Carry on St. Katharine Drexel’s ministry. Participate in the Collection for Black and Indian Missions, and tell your kids her story while they color in a coloring page offered at our Gracewatch Media store.

5. Give “alms” to your kids. In case you’re thinking, “Wait a minute … I do nothing BUT give to my kids,” read on. Almsgiving, of course, is not so much about the quantity of our giving as the quality of our giving. Here, then, are a few suggestions for “alms” you can give your kids this Lent.

6. And now it’s the kids’ turn to give alms. Encourage your kids to put on a show, scrounge for change and try other neat ways to give alms this Lent. They can start by collecting cash for Catholic Relief Service’s Rice Bowl, which helps fund the Church’s relief and development programs around the world.

7. Carry on St. Katharine Drexel’s ministry. Participate in the Collection for Black and Indian Missions, and tell your kids her story while they color in a coloring page offered at our Gracewatch Media store.

8. Tell the story of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity. It’s the feast day of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity this week; you’ll find a super-short story about them from Maria LaVoy in this Saints for Kids installment…plus Mike LaVoy has created two gorgeously detailed coloring pages that you can download in the Living Sparks of God coloring book.

9. Stick toothpicks in a pot filled with dirt. …then take them out every time someone does a good deed without complaining! By Easter, you will have a pot ready for your Easter flowers. Read about this activity and learn more about St. Frances of Rome, a perfect saint to model this Lent, in this edition of Playing with the SAINTS!



Get a free full-book preview of the My First Communion Journal at the Gracewatch store.



The glow of the bonfire frolicked over their eerie faces. Like gargoyles, the bounty hunters chuckled at Waljan’s fate. Their distorted orange faces fit the sinister mood of this chilly fall evening.

Waljan of the Realm, famed Knight of Abidan, felt more like Waljan of the Fools, Snared Rabbit. He’d been snared before. But since the Battle of Centennial Court, he’d ridden high on the gratitude of the citizens of Mortinburg, and things more often went his way.

The prickly rope chafed Waljan’s wrists. Lashed to a rough pine, he struggled against the restraints. The knots only tightened. At least the numbing cold dulled his pain. As his captors rested and discussed his fate, Waljan thought, Some hero I’ve turned out to be. I can lead a successful battle against corruption but can’t free myself from a small band of half-wits!

After expelling the manipulative Judge Asmodeus and his goons from the city of Mortinburg, Waljan had enjoyed his status as resident hero. At first, celebrity fit him like the boots of a much larger man. But he grew into it quickly—or so he thought. After all, it was celebrity and heroism that led him to his current dilemma. Now all he could do was sit, wait, and hope.

So he sat. He sat as he had for hours, studying his captors as they ate, laughed, and told tall tales. One particularly irksome fellow tossed around a smooth opalescent stone he’d taken from Waljan’s pack. Mack, as his gang called him, recounted an old myth about Maweth, the Shadow Assassin. It was clear to Waljan that the man made up the entire story just to belittle him.

Maweth, in his fury,” Mack said with deliberate suspense, “conjured up the malevolence contained in his ghostly death stone.”

“Oh for pity’s sake, it’s a speaking stone, you witless lump!” Waljan murmured as if arguing with his own flickering shadow.

The man continued, “Unseen, unheard, undetected, the malevolence seeped from the death stone and crept through the land. One by one, it turned Maweth’s enemies to dust. With each offense, it gained strength, leaving no traces of the assassin’s evil acts. Justice could never touch him. Until today, eh, lads?”

The men broke out in cheers and laughter. They taunted Waljan, “How’s it feel, Maweth, to finally face justice? Ha!”

“I have told you,” Waljan spewed. “I am Waljan of the Realm, Knight of Abidan. Free me now or suffer the wrath of the king!”

The men laughed all the louder as Mack shouted orders for more ale and rapped a tin cup against a rock….

Continue reading the first three chapters for free


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Family Time! and Peanut Butter & Grace is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust. Find out about our contributors.

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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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