Painting by Alfredo Rodriguez

by Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children

Working in many art forms, using talent easily and spontaneously, finding that their creations are respected and useful, slowly children cross the bridge that connects art and work, and bring their sense of creating to bear on the more subtle arts of daily life.

They discover that setting a table — or hanging the wash, folding the sheets, planting the garden — can be a design.

They discover the rhythm for kneading dough, milking a goat, hammering a nail, rocking the baby. There’s a pace for raking, another for sweeping. There’s a pattern for scrubbing the floor, another for ironing a dress.

Kneeling to comfort a child is a reverence, as genuflecting. Praying out loud together is a harmony, just whispering together while the baby sleeps.

Walking with pails of water for the goats is measured and careful; walking back from Holy Communion has another measure.

These things children learn instinctively, but with more alacrity and with willingness to discover the beauty and satisfaction in ordinary acts if they have had many experiences exploring with their own creativeness.

No one is really “all thumbs.” Everyone has special gifts that set him apart from his fellows and make him a special person. But many times they’re never discovered.

It’s not work that’s ugly, nor working that’s unendurable, but the wrong work with the wrong person attempting it that can make it seem ugly and unendurable.

Creative artists we must have, and God provides them abundantly in every generation, but the others are no less creative for the practicality of their arts. And the gifts given to these are no less special; they must be sought just as carefully.

Creativity can be found in all types of work. We’ve committed many sins against man’s creativeness with our modern snobbery about work. We’ve accepted a norm for work that’s based on reward, approval, and selfish gain rather than on motive, integrity, and creative service.

We’ve become confused; we esteem work that’s respected rather than work that’s respectable. Horror is the reaction of most parents to whom it’s suggested that domestic service is appropriate work and training for a young girl looking forward to marriage.

It does not occur to such parents that the creative arts she would practice in so-called menial employment are the same arts she’ll practice (with greater grace for her training) when she’s a wife and mother.

How does sending her to work in a factory, to file papers and stack cards in an office, train her in the art of homemaking? This is how far we have strayed from the recognition and understanding of creativeness.

We respect people for the creativeness of their hobbies, not their lives, and admire the successful fellows who work creatively in wood or paint or whatever on their weekends, more than carpenters, plumbers, and farmers, who work creatively all week along.

For Christian parents who want to help their children find their whole usefulness, how to use their whole lives — not just certain departments— creatively in the service of God, these points need thinking out.

People are not haphazardly created with a dash of this and that added for interest by a Creator who dabbles in variations on the same old theme. Each one was made to serve Him in a special way.

The discovery of how begins when they’re very little and learn to make visible and tangible their own ideas, formed by the knowledge of God, His love for them, and the truths Christ teaches.

In your living room and bedrooms, you should have at least one symbol of your faith–a statue of the Savior and the Blessed Mother, a crucifix, pictures which bring to mind events in the life of Our Lord. -Rev. George Kelly, 1950’s (afflink)

The Catholic Boy’s and Girl’s Traditional 30-Day Journals! Let’s keep our youth engaged in the Faith! Let’s teach them how to be organized, how to prioritize, how to keep on top of, first, the Spiritual things in their lives, and then the other daily duties that God requires of them… Available here.

Beautiful items at Meadows of Grace!

The Catholic Girl’s Traditional 30-Day Journal

Let’s keep our young girls engaged in the Faith! Let’s teach them how to be organized, how to prioritize, how to keep on top of, first, the Spiritual things in their life, and then the other daily duties that God requires of them!

Nothing is more valuable than this type of education…an education for life! That is where this journal comes in! It will give your girls a feel for keeping a To-Do List, with spiritual things at the forefront! What more could you want for them?

Let this journal help you along the way, Mothers! The girls will have 30 days of checklists, beautiful thoughts to inspire them for the day, some fun things…like drawing their day and other things to keep them focused.

This next 30 days will be invaluable to them…to learn life skills, to have the satisfaction of checking off the activities they finish, to learn to be thankful for the good things God has given us, to offer up their day for someone in need, etc.

This journal is for girls 8 (with the help of Mom) to 16 years of age.

It is a beautiful journal, full of color and loveliness! Your girls will treasure it and be able to look back on it for inspiration and encouragement!

Our attitude changes our life…it’s that simple. Our good attitude greatly affects those that we love, making our homes a more cheerier and peaceful dwelling! To have this control…to be able to turn around our attitude is a tremendous thing to think about!
This Gratitude Journal is here to help you focus on the good, the beautiful, the praiseworthy. “For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 – Douay Rheims).
Yes, we need to be thinking of these things throughout the day!
You will be disciplined, the next 30 days, to write positive, thankful thoughts down in this journal. You will be thinking about good memories, special moments, things and people you are grateful for, lovely and thought-provoking Catholic quotes, thoughts before bedtime, etc. Saying it, reading it, writing it, all helps to ingrain thankfulness into our hearts…and Our Lord so loves gratefulness! It makes us happier, too!

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