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Showing posts with the label praying with children

Lenten Exercise for Children

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How's Lent going?

We're coming up to the Fourth Sunday of Lent: Laetare ("Be joyful!") Sunday. Just a bit past the halfway mark in Lent, this rose-colored celebration encourages us to stay faithful to our fasting, almsgiving, and prayer.

Here at the Apostleship of Prayer, of course, our favorite part of that Lenten trifecta is prayer. Our mission is to encourage children to cultivate vibrant, personal prayer lives of their own. The spiritual giant Romano Guardini warned against "empty reciting" in prayer, so the Apostleship of Prayer encourages ways of praying that will grow with young people as they mature.

©2015 APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER

One of my favorite resources for children in 3rd through 7th grade is our "3 for 3 Prayer Experiment." It challenges students to observe three deliberate times of prayer each day for three days, and then reflect on the results. Perfect for a middle-of-Lent prayer boost!

Join me at Praying with Grace for the juicy details…

Whispers in the Pew, Part 2

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When my son Paul was a toddler, his favorite book was “The Pig in the Pond.” It’s one of those books where each page complicates the plot by adding a farm animal and, of course, the sound it makes. The first time I read the book aloud, I mimicked the animal sounds with gusto and enhanced the experience by shouting and jumping at the appropriate times.

Paul was hooked, and I was doomed: from then on—no matter how exhausted I was or how many times I had read the book that evening—that story required hugely energetic noises and movements.

The way we share stories matters.

At every Mass, we share our story. The Liturgy of the Word invites us into Jewish Scripture, the Psalms, the letters of the apostles, and the Gospel. Every Sunday reminds us of our universal human story: we are created tenderly by God, but we are not God. Because we tend to sin, God lovingly sent his Son into the world to accompany us, teach us, suffer for us and save us.

This is our story. And the way we share it matt…

More Good Books for Children

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Warning: If you don't like books, then STOP READING!

If, on the other hand, you agree with Cicero that “a room without books is like a body without a soul,” then come with me. . . .

I'm continuing my articles about interesting books for children. I keep running into authors at conventions and discovering new books, you see, so what else can a book lover do?!

Here's the latest from Catholic Kids:

In Gifts from Our Father: A Catholic Prayer Book for Kids, author Tom Wall and illustrator Martin Whitmore offer a truly unique collection of All Things Catholic: prayers, definitions, teachings, devotions, and feast days.

Read all about it at Praying with Grace!

The Family Fully Undead

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Thousands of people will pour into Philadelphia this September to celebrate the Eighth World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis. On June 25, the Vatican officially presented the theme for the event:

Love is our mission: the family fully alive Lovely! On the other hand, do I want my family to be fully alive? That sounds like a handful. There are, after all, so many ways to be alive. My neighbor is alive at 6:50 am every Saturday and Sunday, cleaning his deck with a leaf blower powered by an engine from a Boeing 747. Alive was the man who cut me off in traffic yesterday, swearing at me colorfully through his open window. Children who fight over whose turn it is to wash the dishes? Very much alive.

Sometimes "alive" feels more like "undead."

But the World Meeting theme recalls the famous line by the second century theologian St. Irenaeus: "The the Glory of God is man fully alive." Pope St. John Paul II admired Irenaeus greatly and explained the context of…

Make Room for Mary

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The most fascinating mother I like to consider is the mother of Jesus. The Bible tells many stories involving Mary, which means the Holy Spirit invites us to contemplate her role in the Christian story. The wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-12) is my favorite scriptural encounter with Jesus and Mary. Today's video explores why.

Not all of my Christian friends are entirely comfortable with the idea of asking Mary to pray for them, but the Bible shows Mary's intimate relationship with--and unparalleled faith in--her son. People who have been in love know that meeting the mother of their beloved is a big deal. Whether that momentous first encounter turns out to be splendid or horrid, the ongoing relationship with the beloved's mom has a deep and lasting effect on the two lovers.

Lovers of Jesus and readers of the Bible can't avoid encountering Mary. Jesus pays close attention to her, even when it seems he doesn't want to, as at the wedding feast. Imitators of Christ ben…

Prayers to Know as a Catholic Family

Recently, I have been compiling all of the prayers I want our kids to have committed to memory, that I believe we should know. I feel firmly that we would be in grievous error if our children were not baptized, attending Mass faithfully, and praying at mealtime.  But I don’t want to stop there. I don't want to do just the bare minimum when it comes to their rich faith. I want them to be hungry for knowledge and wisdom. I want to help them to come to a rich understanding of Catholicism. Thus, I have been compiling the things (besides the Catechism) that they are committing to memory.

Here is the list.
You can view and/or print my Memory Work document here, on GoogleDocs. I included English and Latin versions for some of the prayers.

{read the rest at pictureaskyline}

The Pajama Revolution--an Online Conference for Moms

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Do you want to know my favorite thing about the New Evangelization? The pajamas.
Yes, the pajamas!
This all makes sense (I promise) at Praying with Grace.

Visit the slick Catholic Conference 4 Moms website to register!

Praying with Music

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Come! Let us sing to the Lord
and shout with joy
to the rock who saves us.
Let us approach him
with praise and thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.
Psalm 95:1-2
"Americans spend more money on music than on sex or prescription drugs."
"There is no known culture now or anytime in the past that lacks [music], and some of the oldest human-made artifacts found at archaeological sites are musical instruments."
Both of these provocative lines come from books written by Dr. Daniel J. Levitin. The first is from his 2006 best seller This Is Your Brain on Music: the Science of a Human Obsession, and the second is from his more recent book (2008), The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature. Once a professional musician, sound engineer, and record producer, Levitin is now a neuroscientist who runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University.
In The World in Six Songs, Levitin explains that when people sing togeth…

Should Children Memorize Prayers?

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Want to start a fight? Ask two teachers what they think about memorization as a learning tool. (Go ahead! Try! I'll wait here with some bandages and antiseptic ointment.)

Personally, I have always been a fan of memorization, even though (or perhaps because) I don't have a great memory. In the Google Age, of course, facts are always just a click away! But I often feel annoyed with myself when I am forced to do an Internet search for something I should just . . . know. When Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries flew into the news after 9/11, I was ashamed that I had never memorized the geography of that region. When the US invaded Iraq, I had no mental context for the battle and had to spend time searching for maps of the Middle East. Sure, the maps I needed were easy to access, but I was frustrated, even embarrassed, that my brain had never permanently recorded a basic image of that region of the globe. Memorization provides perpetual, immediate access to helpful detai…

Announcing the "Praying with Children" Video Series!

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The Apostleship of Prayer is happy to share our new video series: "Praying with Children." Check in here each week for a new prayer tip!

I've had conversations with countless parents and educators over the past few months. These gracious people have helped me enormously as I finalize the manuscript for my upcoming book, cleverly named Praying with Children. And while we look forward to the fall 2015 release of the book from Ave Maria Press, many parents and educators requested that the Apostleship of Prayer also make brief videos of the most practical, succinct prayer tips from the book. Ta Da!

Read on at Praying with Grace!