June 18-24: 11th Week of Ordinary Time
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ + Solemnity of the Sacred Heart + Nativity of John the Baptist + St. Thomas More + St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Now available: I Can Be Happy, Too: A Book about Attitudes
Read a full description in the OUR BOOKS section of this issue.
8 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS THIS WEEK
|Pray without ceasing. “We must pray without ceasing, in every occurrence and employment in our lives,” said St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. One way to do that is by pausing to pray in response to the events in our lives, both ordinary and extraordinary. When we do that, we not only sanctify the world; we also teach our kids that our faith is about everyday life, not just what happens in church on Sunday. Not sure where to begin? Here are fifty moments that ought to prompt us to pause in prayer and blessing.|
Celebrate Father’s Day. It’s Father’s Day on Sunday! Get your kids to make a Father’s Day card or poster listing all the virtues their father has taught them by example. And check out Ryan Langr’s reflection on real fatherhood in What a Trip to the ER Taught Me about Real Fatherhood.
Get fed. It’s the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) this Sunday. Jen Schlameuss-Perry invites us to consider the deeper meaning of Eucharist and Communion as she helps us preview the Sunday Scriptures with our kids in Breaking Open the Word at Home.
Break out the birthday cake. Yep, it’s the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist on Saturday. Read the day’s readings, then celebrate by making a little honey cake…you can find lots of recipes all over, but we’re tempted to try this Jewish one from Once Upon a Chef: “This cake is tender and moist with tremendous depth of flavor—there’s coffee and booze in it!—and the taste of honey shines through. What’s more, it couldn’t be easier to make. You mix the batter the old-fashioned way—in a single bowl with a wire whisk—then pour it into pans and place it in the oven.” Be sure to read the Mass readings for the day as you enjoy a little honey cake on the birthday of John the Baptist. Locusts optional.
Use a raclette to have your very own potluck. Potlucks remind Ryan Langr of what happens in the Preparation of the Gifts that opens the Offertory at Mass: In both cases, everyone is invited to bring forth their own gifts. He has four ideas for how to mimic a church potluck at home…including with a Swiss raclette grill…in Potlucks, Raclette, and the Mass Offertory | Catholic Cooking with Kids.
Stand up for freedom. June 21-July 4 is the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom. The event calls on Catholics to pray, reflect, and act on behalf of religious freedom; check with your diocese and parish for local events, or check the USCCB website for a wealth of resources . . . including a list of current threats to religious freedom in the U.S. and abroad.
This is a good time to talk to your kids about the universal right to religious freedom, and about the meaning of freedom more generally. You can paraphrase for them Catechism #1738: “Every human person, created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized as a free and responsible being. All owe to each other this duty of respect. The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common good and public order.”
It’s also important to teach kids the true meaning of freedom. While American culture defines freedom as the ability to do whatever one wants, the Church says true freedom is always directed toward the good—and ultimately, toward God (Catechism 1731).
|Welcome refugees. It’s World Refugee Day on Tuesday; you can mark the day by teaching your kids about the refugee crisis with numerous resources from the U.S. Catholic bishops’ World Refugee Day page. Did you know that the bishops have an entire section devoted to migrant and refugee services? You can also check out resources from Catholic Relief Services, including their video, 17 Years Is Too Many to Lose—a reference to the average time refugees will be displaced—as well as their FAQ, 11 Things You May Not Know about Refugees.|
Consecrate your family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It’s the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday, and you can find an Act of Family Consecration to the Sacred Heart, plus background information, talking points, and other ways to practice devotion to the Sacred Heart at Celebrate the Feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
SAINTS FOR YOUR KIDS TO KNOW & LOVE
St. Romuald (Monday). Romuald spent a wild youth in luxury—until he saw his father, Sergius, kill a man. Wanting to change his ways, Romuald joined a monastery. Seeing how happy his son was, Sergius joined him there. It’s a great story for Father’s Day!
St. Aloysius Gonzaga (Wednesday), whose father wanted him to be a soldier. Instead, Aloysius became a Jesuit. He washed dishes, prayed, and cared for victims of the plague, which is how he died. He is the patron of young people.
St. Thomas More (Thursday). Thomas More (1478-1535) was a father, lawyer, and scholar. His friend, King Henry VIII, made him chanellor. But when Thomas wouldn’t swear that the king, not the pope, was the head of the Church of England, the king had him beheaded.
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 . . .
- Fortnight for Freedom (June 21-July 4)
- Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29)
- Peter’s Pence Collection (July 2-3)
- Independence Day (July 4)
You don’t know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and as soon as you have said, “Lord, I don’t know how to pray!” you can be sure you have already begun.
—St. Josemaria Escriva
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
We continue the discussion every week on our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents. Join us! It’s a closed group, so you’ll need to request to be added.
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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.