Looking for our videos?
Check out the Teen Take and Kid Korner
Sooo....summer is here and in full swing! (This mom says Yay!!) Although I am still waiting for it to calm down a bit, I know that there are moments when we may be looking for other ideas and things to keep the kids busy during those down times or rainy days. At one of our reader's suggestions, we've decided to put up a Lego and Craft Challenge up for the summer. This year we have decided to change it up a bit and put our summer challenges on a monthly schedule with a broader idea base that can inspire different takes throughout the month.
So here is this month's theme:
June - a month for Popes!!
The feast days for several popes occur this month, including the feast of St. Peter, our first Pope! Make a creation that celebrates any of our blessed popes who have sat upon the seat of Peter.
We would love to see some of your creations on this theme! :)
Feel free to make a Lego creation, sand castle sculpture, painting or anything that tickles your artistic fancy.
And, as always, we'd LOVE it if you would take a quick picture and upload it to our Catholic Challenge Zone above.
The possibilities are endless. God bless your creative juices as you praise Him through your works!
The love that St. John Paul the Great had for teens and youth was no secret. He understood all too well that the success of the Church and bringing the Good News to the world lies with them. But his love for them went even deeper than bringing Christ to the future human race. He sincerely and deeply desired each child and teen to experience the joy that only Christ can give - one that, if experienced authentically, can wipe away even the darkest sorrow on this earth. This great Pope knew this deep joy and was living proof that it is possible and even expected to attain.
So, when Autotunes created this cover song, my affinity for it was instant! I LOVED how they literally tuned the Pope's words, spoken by himself, to fit the song phrases. The song stuck with me the second I heard it! In fact, it is because I heard my two daughters singing it to themselves today that I realized that I should put this out on a blog post. I HIGHLY recommend playing it for your teens and youth. They will come away with a glimpse of the great love he has for them and will remember verbatim some of his famous speech phrases.
It's an awesome win-win!
Hope you enjoy it; but be warned that it will likely not leave your head for the next week!
We love getting comments on things here at the blog or on our YouTube channel! We had a great comment from a teacher who shared her success in using the Sacrament Song in her classroom, requesting that the lyrics be available. We completely agree, so here is a PDF version of the lyrics.
Feel free to download the lyrics by clicking on the image above, but keep in mind that the copyright is pending. :)
God bless your Saturday!!
Did you ever wonder how often things actually go as planned? I know that God allows this to increase our reliance on Him, although when things get repeatedly in the way it becomes necessary to discern if we are getting in the way of God's plan or the evil one is really unhappy with what we are doing.
This has certainly been the case with this video! Forced to make this discernment, we've decided that although the evil one is likely an unhappy camper about our focus on the Trinity, this has also been a test of perseverance as well.
This very simple, supposedly quick video was created as a way to inspire kids to look for ways to understand the deeper mysteries of our faith in the world around them, specifically using the idea of the Holy Trinity. It has taken a week and a half to finally get it posted after crazy issues with iMovie, corrupt files that required reshooting of footage, and YouTube full-blown public shut-down on uploads (a major complication for YouTube that just happened to occur as we were uploading).
I will admit that given the lack of time we have had lately, getting this "quick" video done had became very frustrating and disheartening to say the least. We have some much more complicated (and exciting!) videos in the planning stages and can't wait to get started on those, but this last video of craziness attempts to bring with it a bit of doubt and trepidation for these future ones.
However, I say...Fear Be Gone! (Imagine a superhero voice...)
We are here to do God's work - no more, and no less! :)
So here is this short unassuming video about searching for the Holy Trinity...we hope the kids enjoy it and are inspired to search for more correlations on their own!
Happy Feast of the Holy Trinity!!
I have a distinct memory from when I was a kid that centered on the Trinity. I had just overheard two adults talking about how hard it was to wrap their minds around "three Persons in one." I remember feeling shocked and confused. Without considering that I might be out of place due to my youth, I assured them that it wasn't hard at all to understand it! Somewhere I had gotten the image of a three-bladed fan that I correlated with the Trinity, and I shared this with them. Although they appeared to be impressed, my guess is that they were likely patronizing me a bit. However, that memory still lingers, and I have thought about it often throughout my life. Were those two church-going adults truly confused about the three-in-one concept, or were they actually puzzled about one of its deeper mysteries?
This feast is one of the few feasts designated in the church that centers on a specific mystery. I think that this is perfectly understandable given that it is so central to our faith.
Personally, I think that the Trinity is mindboggling.
There is so much to learn and so many avenues to follow in exploring its depths that one could easily spend a lifetime searching and only cover part of it.
For those who love learning and the thrill of discovery, the Trinity is a perfect go-to. Revelations abound, so getting into this intense mystery provides lots of reward for those explorers willing to dive deep.
And for those of us not feeling the call to take that plunge quite yet, there is still so much to gain in just touching the surface. Understanding the Trinity is to understand who we are. Unearthing some of its truth means we can find some of the answers to the questions of why we are here, what we are called to be, and where we need to be going. We all need these answers. The whole world needs these answers.
So let's not be afraid to take a chance and stick our toe in the pool! I think we'll find the water cool and inviting, drawing us ever deeper into an understanding not only of God but of ourselves as well!
"You sure are quiet back there," I said, looking at my 8 year-old guy through my rear-view mirror. My son has inherited my gift of gab, so silence lasting longer than two minutes prompts immediate questioning.
"Are you OK?"
We had just left unicycle practice early to pick up a load for our small store, deliver it then head out to a concert that our girls were playing at an assisted living facility in a neighboring city. Coming off of yet another busy day the day before, I figured he was probably pretty tired.
I watched as he gathered his thoughts, unprepared for the unorthodox statement he was about to make.
"You know, you can only levitate if you have the Holy Spirit."
My eyes widened with this unusual observation that seemed to come out of nowhere. Unsure of what to say, I couldn't help but smile.
"You're so right," I nodded in agreement.
"Yeah. I mean, I think that only the Holy Spirit can give us superpowers. What other ones can we have?"
I had to think for a second about that one.
"Well, we can bilocate. Many saints have been documented doing that, like St. Martin de Porres."
"What's that?" he asked, getting excited.
"Well, it's when a person is documented to be at more than one place at one time."
We talked a little more about this concept and then moved on to other superpower possibilities. Interestingly, almost every power he could come up with that might be found in a modern marvel movie could be equated with the workings and gifts of the Holy Spirit. As often happens, a statement from the faith of a child precipitated an incredible conversation that explored our faith in ways I would never have considered.
To speak in his lingo, it was very cool.
I realized after I got home that our conversation had occurred on the weekend of the birthday of Christianity: the Feast of Pentecost. Suddenly, the conversation had become even cooler.
You see, I love Pentecost. It is AWESOME. Literally.
Having a deep desire to play my part in changing the world and bringing the Good News of Christ to a thirsty world, I take the story very personally. I love to envision myself on both sides. How amazing it would have been to be on the side of the Apostles so filled with the Holy Spirit that their fear of mortal danger and rejection was replaced with a burning fire to spread His love, literally converting thousands of people from countless ethnic and religious backgrounds. And then to be on the side of the traveler, confused and in awe of the language barrier that was suddenly and magically broken, allowing any listener within earshot to hear the Apostles' words in his/her own language. Would I have believed immediately, or would I have needed time to process and work through the mysterious happenings I had just experienced?
Either way, today I am part of that story, as the Holy Spirit continues to fill and move me to search for Him and spread His truth and love. We are all part of that story, whether we know it or not.
Where are you at in your relationship with the Holy Spirit? Given the carnal nature of God-made-man, Jesus tends to be an easier person of the Trinity to develop an intimacy with. This was the case for me until just the last couple of years, when the Holy Spirit made Himself more known to me. Getting closer to the third person in the Trinity has been an unexpected and crazy journey, and one that I hope to reveal more about as I blog here in the future.
For now, I urge you to take a leap of faith and pursue the Holy Spirit, if you haven't already. For certain, if you are open to His promptings, you will experience life in a way that you never have before.
God bless you in this journey! The Trinity is so intense and deep, offering unfathomable love, wisdom, and peace in more ways than we could ever come in contact with on this earth. Let's work together to step out in faith, becoming all that were created to be!
What a weekend! Celebrating both the Feast of the Ascension and Memorial Day: what an incredible combination.
If I were to take both days and look for a commonality, one very quick and easy one comes to mind: a theme based on the word GO.
On the day when Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave us the Great Commission. This commission, put into its simplest form, could be summed up in the word "Go."
Go and make disciples of all nations. Go and spread the Good News to my people. Go and be My light to the world.
When the angels approached the disciples who were waiting and staring at the sky, they reminded the Apostles to go and wait for the Paraclete that would be coming to them. This Paraclete would provide them all they needed to go forth and carry out Jesus' Commission.
It can be hard to fathom why God would choose His now-flawed creation to be co-redeemers in the grand plan of Salvation. One could wonder why He didn't just stay and be our earthly King, leading us clearly on the right path. Leaving detailed theological answers to those with far more brilliant minds, I will only state the fact that He did, and you and I are that creation. You and I are purposely chosen to help save humanity.
Now, switching gears for a minute, let's consider Memorial Day. It is a day in which we honor those who died so that we might have freedom. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? These precious creations of God responded to the word "Go," leaving the comforts of home and familiarity to enact their commissions. They understood the risks that their commissions held, but offered it all for the sake of helping to save humanity from the evil at work in the world.
What would happen if each of us responded to our commissions from Jesus with the self-abandonment and offering of their lives that these men and women did? No doubt, the world would be a VERY different place. There would be so much less pain, substantially fewer problems, and a greatly diminished existence of heartache. The visibility of God's reign and dominion would be significantly clearer and peace and joy would take deeper root in humanity.
The point here is pretty obvious. We need to GO!!!!
As we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom as well as reflect on the Ascension, let's not be afraid to put it all out there.
It's time for us to GO.
Let's get out there and complete our commission and fulfill our purpose. You and I were created for a reason.
Are you with me?
Then, get ready...
Photo Attribution: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=129718&picture=american-flag-and-blue-skies
Last year we made this cute balloon project made with things around the house. It went so well and we had so much fun!! I thought it would be worth re-posting since we received several comments last year expressing how much fun it was for other families.
God bless you and I pray you have a BEAUTIFUL and grace-filled Holy Feast of the Ascension!!
God's mercy is incredible. We all know that, right? Well, apparently God felt I needed another blazing reminder, so He allowed a pretty amazing thing to occur the other day; a story of love and mercy that just begs to be told.
The story started the week before, when my husband was given several prescriptions that needed to be filled at the pharmacy. Attempting the usual drop-off, the pharmacy tech and I realized that the doctor had somehow written down the date to be filled as the year 2012! Confused, (especially since the printed portion showed the year as 2017), the tech realized that she could not fill the prescription due to the incorrect date.
"I'm afraid that these are no good. You'll have to get new ones." Given the busy day I was already having and knowing that this doctor's office was 25 minutes away, I was a tad annoyed.
"Would you be able to call them for the prescription?" I suggested, hopefully.
"I'm sorry, but these prescriptions are for a drug that requires us to have a written prescription from the doctor." She paused, glancing at me with pity, adding, "With the correct date."
I thanked her and left, already dialing up the doctor's office to explain the situation.
Naturally, I had to leave a message.
That message turned into 2 messages, then 3 messages as the week continued. Since my husband would soon be going out of town for a week, the need to fill the prescriptions was becoming urgent and I could no longer wait.
I spent a full day calling repeatedly, and finally the doctor returned my call to say that she could not give me new prescriptions until I had returned the previous ones.
"No problem," I responded.
After hours of fruitless searching in all of the expected places (followed by all of the unexpected places), I continued to come up empty. Stunned, I kept replaying the last time I had seen them, hoping for some sudden recollection that might lead me to their whereabouts. I did remember the thought crossing my mind that I could probably get rid of them since I no longer needed them. However, considering that I save almost everything, I felt that it was highly unlikely that I had tossed them. And when I say toss them, I mean burn them, since in my neck of the woods burning paper products is part of our contribution to recycling. I played that moment in the kitchen over and over in my mind, and always came to the same conclusion: there was no way I had put them into the "burnables" can.
Then where could they be???
I called the doctor and explained that I had not been told to save the prescriptions and could not find them, hoping she would understand and make things right, but again she insisted that she was unable to give me new ones, even though it had been her mistake in the first place.
The reality that my husband would have to go without crucial medication that he needed for his medical conditions for an entire month was almost too much for me to bear.
As I was driving in the car on the way home later that day after speaking to the doctor, real tears of frustration about the injustice that was occurring and the suffering my husband would soon be facing filled my eyes and I cried out to God. I had already approached St. Anthony, begged for God's help, etc. yet I felt lost and extremely worried about the coming weeks.
Then, suddenly, as I prayed, I came to a realization. Although the attempt was there, I was not giving it over to Him - not ALL of it. I was still trying to control the situation, giving anger permission to take over my thoughts and rationale and allowing my pride to rule.
I realized that I was at one of those points when I could make the decision to truly walk the talk. My pride attempted to talk me out of it, but I knew God was calling me to something greater. I was at a spiritual precipice that, if maneuvered correctly, could really extinguish some of the fire in the devil's arsenal.
So, I literally took a deep breath and said out loud, "Lord I trust in You." Not completely sure what to do next, I then prayed the Diving Mercy Chaplet, focusing on trusting in His greater plan and asking for His mercy upon our situation.
After the Chaplet, I felt much calmer. Peace had found its way to my soul and I realized that I really was trusting the Lord and His plan for us. I began to replay those last memories of the when I had the prescriptions still in my possession, still coming to the same conclusion. I knew I had not burned them.
But wait...who says that they had to be burned?
I suddenly remembered waking up that morning to find that not one neighbor's garbage had been picked up, an extremely odd occurrence that virtually never happened. I had been concerned about it, hoping that the truck would finally appear since we needed to clear our very full garbage container.
As I sat remembering this as I drove home, my mouth fell open.
"Are You telling me that it's in the garbage container? Is that why it was never picked up?" I actually questioned out loud.
"No way," I mumbled, and I felt a spark of hope and excitement building.
I pulled into the driveway, astonished to find the garbage container still full and waiting. Trying to act nonchalant, I grabbed the container, pulled it down the drive and began burrowing through the bags. Disappointment set in as I reached the last bag. I had really thought I had figured out God's plan.
I opened that last bag, began my search, then cried out in triumph. Lifting two very soggy prescriptions out of the bag, I praised God for His incredible mercy. How could I have ever doubted?
Today, I picked up my husband's medication, and I can only imagine the pharmacy tech's wariness as she handed it over to the woman with the goofy, knowing grin on the other side of the counter.
Yes, God is merciful. And now I don't have to look any further than my garbage can to remember just how great that mercy is.
May we never doubt His faithfulness!
Photo Attribution: Jamie Grill/ Getty Images
If you had the chance to watch our recent video on our First Communicant interviewing Deacon Bobby, a soon-to-be ordained priest, this post will interest you! This past Friday, in a breathtaking, awe-inspiring Mass, our Deacon Bobby joined seven of his fellow brothers to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, joyfully accepting his call by Our Lord.
Then, today, we were truly honored and blessed to be able witness his first Mass. There are few words that could aptly describe it. Still, as I participated in this momentous occasion when heaven met earth, one word would not leave my mind. That word? JOY.
Throughout the entire Mass, joy literally permeated in and out of all aspects of this special liturgy, finding its way to the hearts of its witnesses, as evidenced by the smiles continually seen as the Mass proceeded. This joy was so contagious that I wished that other young men could share in this moment to catch a glimpse of why the vocation to the priesthood is so beyond what many think in today's culture. Father Bobby's excitement and intense love of his God reminded me of the love of a bridegroom at his wedding, and it was truly a blessing to witness.
If you have never had the opportunity to experience a first Mass, believe me when I tell you that it is not something that can be easily forgotten. I can only imagine what it must be like to experience the Consecration for the first time. There are probably no words to humanly describe that moment!
We are beyond proud of Father Bobby and sincerely grateful that he answered God's call. With his "larger than life" personality, gifted singing voice and story-telling abilities and intense training, he is well-equipped to set out on his journey to share his deep love of the faith and spread the Word of God to a thirsty people.
May God pour His blessings upon all of our new priests that are being ordained throughout the world right now!! And may we continue to help with this calling, encouraging others to be open to the vocation of religious life. Thank you, Lord, for continuing to send such incredible harvesters out to Your waiting fields!
Looking for our videos? Check out the Teen Take and Kid Korner tabs above!!
Be With Us, Holy Spirit!
Enjoy some songs to help us become closer to the Third Person in the Trinity!
If a song's title includes (family recording), please refer to the blog entry on 3/8/16 for info...
Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
Click below to subscribe!