Thursday, October 29, 2015

All Saints Day. Or Not.

J.M.J.


I do not have the energy to coordinate a full-scale All Saints Day party this year.  So instead, I have decided that the kids will simply dress as Saints and attend a local Catholic church's Trunk-Or-Treat party.  Sure, it is not nearly as exciting or fortifying as an All saints Day celebration, but the kids still get to dress up and Mom will still get a few bites of chocolate!

Meanwhile, here is a link to an article I wrote about All Saints Day, describing a time when I was a better Catholic mother....

Lets Celebrate the Saints!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Catholic Virtue Training for Children Using the Rosary

J.M.J.

For years now, I have been helping families and the occasional Catholic school and parish teach children a few of the treasures hidden in the Rosary: The virtues!  St. Louis de Montfort has shown us in his book, The Secret of the Rosary, that each Mystery of the Rosary has within it a virtue or grace to be prayed for.  Our Lady emulates each virtue and grace perfectly within the Mysteries, teaching us how to imitate her.  She is a perfect example of who we should strive to become.  Don't we want to show our children her example as well?

To celebrate October - the month dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary - I am giving you the complete lesson plans and workbook pages for the first Joyful Mystery, which we pray for humility.  I never claimed to be an artist but humility calls me to post my pictures of the Mysteries online anyway LOL Anyway, below is a sample of my Rosary Quilt program, along with some extra files to enhance your family rosary time.  Couldn't we all benefit from a lesson or two in humility?  (Be careful how you answer that one!  LOL)  Enjoy these pages!

ROSARY QUILT LESSON PLANS

1.    The Annunciation: For the Love of Humility Activities


Read Isaiah 10:15. Talk about what kinds of jobs can be accomplished by using such tools. Lay out a few tools your child may use for her own talents. For instance, a pianist needs a piano; a painter needs a brush, a writer needs a pencil, a carpenter needs sandpaper and a saw. Explain that your child is the piano, paintbrush, saw, etc. and God is the pianist, artist, carpenter, etc. Your child is simply the tool for the things God wants done. Just as it is silly for a paintbrush to take credit for a painting, it is also foolish for us to take credit for the work God does through us.

Practice responding to compliments. When someone compliments you on one of your talents, respond with something that directs all glory to God instead of to yourself: “Thank you! I have been very blessed.” If pride/boasting is a temptation to your child, make sure he/she receives a petal for responding appropriately to compliments.

**(WB pg 4) Help your child make a list of her God given talents. Have her write God a thank you note, thanking Him for these talents and noting how she might use them to bring Him glory.

Have your child look in the mirror and pretend to be “snooty”. It should not be long before he closes his eyes and sticks his nose up in the air. When he does, say, “Freeze! This is what a prideful heart looks like.” Explain that turning one’s nose “up” at someone else shows pride. It tells other people that you think you are better than they are. Now ask him what he is looking at when his eyes are closed. (“Nothing” or “My eyelids”) Ask him where his nose is pointed. (“Up” or “Towards the sky”) Explain that when one is not humble, one is sticking his nose up towards God. When children’s eyes are closed, they are not looking for God’s will, nor are they able to see God’s hand in whatever success they are being “snooty” about. They are, in essence, snubbing God and denying God’s hand in their successes.

Have your child look humble. This usually looks like a shy look: head cocked to the side (listening for God’s will); chin down (and not vain or prideful), eyes looking upwards (towards God above). Tell him that a humble heart looks like this. Which heart did Mary have? Which heart should we have? Take pictures of your child “acting” out these two traits. Put them in your scrapbook and label each feature and what they are saying to others.

Discuss the fall of Adam and Eve – Satan tempted them with the idea that they too could be like God. What a thought! One of the effects of Original Sin is a temptation to make ourselves into our own gods! The Catechism tells us that the meaning of life is: To know, love and serve God in this world so that we may be happy with Him in the next. Original Sin makes us want to make others know, love and serve US in this world so that we may be happy in this world. Make your children more aware of how we all make ourselves into gods during the day. Discuss how this makes others feel. What happens when our entire household is filled with people trying to make themselves into gods?

Discuss with your children the trend our society has to build and protect self-esteem at all costs: schools adjusting test scores or passing students who may need to be held back, bombarding children with over exaggerated compliments, etc. How is this harmful to souls? How can this be harmful to society? How does this affect a person’s earthly life? What will happen to these children when they grow up and live “in the real world”?

Discuss Proverbs 15:33.

 

Examples of humility

 

The fall of Lucifer: Aside from being pure spirits, angels also have a perfectly informed intellect. Because of this, the angels knew God’s plan for humans and for our salvation. They knew of God’s power, too. He gave the angels a chance to serve Him and two thirds of the angels joyfully announced that indeed they would serve Him! Unfortunately, Lucifer, who was the brightest and most beautiful angel, dared to say that he would not serve God. A third of the angels also made this decision. Why would they do such a thing? They knew of God’s power and His love, yet they would not serve Him! Lucifer was full of pride. He was bright, powerful, and beautiful, but he was created to serve God. He thought he was better than a servant – he wanted to be a god. And not just any god, but he wanted to take over God’s throne in Heaven and be God Himself!


Matthew 8:5 – 10: In this story, the Roman Officer, though pagan, acknowledges Christ as an important person. He admits he is not worthy to receive Him in his home, but has faith that all his servant needs to be healed is Jesus’ word. Recall the words we speak before receiving Communion at Mass, as the priest holds the Blessed Sacrament up: “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” Both this story and the words we speak during the Mass represent the degree of humility we need to strive for.

 
Philippians 2:1-11: Paul challenges us to imitate Christ in His humility. The verses also show us how great Christ is because of His humility.


The Cure’ of Ars: This Saint performed many miracles in his life. When each miracle occurred, he humbly, and appropriately, directed all eyes to God instead of to himself. He shied away from praise from the villagers and always credited other Saints’ intercessions and God for the miracles for which he himself prayed. His humility did not even allow himself to believe that it was his own prayers that God was responding to – he always believed that it was another Saint’s intercession on his behalf that the miracles occurred.

 

Verses for memorization

Proverbs 30:32

Proverbs 16:5  

Proverbs 22:4

Luke 18:14


WORKBOOK PAGES  (Pages correspond to activities above)








BEADS PAGES  Family members suggest their intentions for each Hail Mary.  Who suffers from pride?  Who needs to accept God's will instead of forcing their own will?  etc.  Read the prayer at the top to announce the Mystery.  Announce each intention before each Hail Mary. Recite the prayer at the bottom of the prayer to end the Mystery.


Here is the page with the Annunciation bead.  Print and laminate it for your younger children to hold as you pray this Mystery.  It can also be used along with the Rosary Quilt itself.  (The activity blanket which is explained in the manual)  The blank beads may be copied and used to help young children keep track of their prayers.  (There are actually 10 blank beads in the file, not 2)



What is NOT pictured here is the Virtue Chart which goes with the set.  All I could get was a portion of it, pictured below so you can't really use it, but I wanted to at least show you what it is.  Its purpose is to help keep track of your child's progress, whenever you catch your child being good.  The manual explains this concept in a little more detail, but you get the idea.




I hope you enjoy using these prayer aids!  I would love to hear how you like these pages. 
 
If you are interested in obtaining the 5 digital file set for $20, please contact me at
poppe clan at gmail dot com