The Year & Our Children: Catholic Family Celebrations for Every Season
It seems such a short time ago that we sought the Infant Christ at Bethlehem, adored Him, and were sure that we would never offend Him; and already on Septuagesima Sunday in the Introit of the Mass He cries out with the weight of our sins: “The groans of death surrounded me and the sorrows of hell encompassed me….”
It is but three weeks before Lent when Septuagesima arrives, and this is a warning. We have sinned, and the time is coming when we must do penance.
When we are born, we are really very like Adam right after his sin, although there is this difference: we have been redeemed, and at that time, he was not.
We may do what he wished he could do. We may be born again in Baptism and start afresh, although in a fallen world, our souls now radiant with divine life burning there. Lent is the spanning of all that happened between Original Sin and Baptism.
It is the summing up and the climax of what started with Christmas.
The greatest of all mysteries is that God should love man so much.
When man sinned and forfeited his right to eternal life, and there was nowhere perfect obedience or flawless love in any man to merit Heaven, He became a man in order that He might pay the debts of the family He had chosen to join.
It is a kind of divine bargain They made, almost impossible to understand unless we put it in our own words.
It is as though the Father had said to the Son, “How can we work it out so man may still live with us forever as we planned?”
And as though the Son replied, “If there were but one perfect man, it could be done. One perfect sacrifice would pay their debt. One surrender of a man as perfect as Adam was when we created him. Alas, there is none.”
Then it is as though They gazed into one another with that Love that is the Spirit of both, and They knew how it could be done.
In Their gaze, a longing still burned for the creatures who had rebelled.
With a look of infinite love, the Father sent the Son and He became the Man. “0 happy fault, that merited so great a Redeemer.”
A few thoughts….
Father gave a sermon this last Sunday. In it was a story. A priest in the 1940’s was distributing Holy Communion to the kneeling congregation at the altar rail. Each parishioner received Our Lord on the tongue. As the priest continued down the line, he approached a man who, unbeknownst to the priest, was mentally deranged. As Father reached down to give him the host, the man pulled a gun out and shot the priest in the chest.
The shot caused the priest to spring backward, the Ciborium spilling the consecrated hosts all over the sanctuary floor. The people, shocked and dismayed, began to come toward the priest to help him and to pick up the hosts. The priest, in his last breaths, lifted up his hand to stop his parishioners. He told them to stay back. Father, slowly and painfully, picked up each of the hosts and put them back in the Ciborium. He laid back down and died.
His last thought was of protecting the Blessed Sacrament. It is what he lived and died for.
In the next few weeks, may we work harder at making the Blessed Sacrament the center our lives. Let us try this Lent to receive Him as often as we can!
A couple of excellent posts by The Catholic Gentleman for your Ash Wednesday!
“In my own experience, I often begin the Lenten season with the best of intentions. I imagine myself going into full monk mode, fasting and praying as ardently as one of the monastic fathers in the desert. And maybe for the first week I succeed through sheer strength of will. Then, just when I am feeling good about myself, everything falls apart and I come face to face with my own weakness…” Read more here….
Another post from The Catholic Gentleman.
Lent is a time for self-denial. But I would argue there is one hunger we should feed this Lent. Read more here….
New! The Lenten Way of the Cross Picturesque and Prayer-Filled Cards with Handcrafted Wooden Card Holder ~ Family/Children Activity!
Help make Lent more meaningful for you and your family with the Lenten Way of the Cross Cards!
Follow along with your family and prepare your hearts for the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord each year at Lent and Easter using these special picturesque and prayer-filled cards to help keep your mind and heart focused each day There are 41 cards in total.
Keep the cards in a visible spot in your home as a reminder to you and your children.
Comes with the handmade wooden card holder. Cards are approximately 7″ X 4 1/2″. (The wooden card holder is made with the wood from 100 year old pews that were made by boys in a Catholic School in the 1800’s! *While supplies last on this one).
You can look up more details on the Lenten Way of the Cross here.
This journal will lay out some simple activities in which your children will be doing their sacrifices and will have a tangible means of “counting” them for Jesus. You, Mom, will have a place to put a check mark if that the activity is remembered and completed for the day. This journal also includes a place for you to check off whether you are fulfilling your own personal resolutions…your Spiritual Reading, your Family Rosary, etc.
Lenten Journal Available here.
Printable for The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Lenten Journal! Get started right away! Available here.
Meditation is different from devotions. In mediation the ear of the soul is more important than the tongue. St. Paul tells us that faith comes from listening. In a daily Holy Hour, we wait for Him to speak – and He does! -Fulton Sheen
The book that inspired the blockbuster film, The Passion of the Christ. Faithful to the Biblical account of the Passion, it fills in many hitherto unknown details. Edifying, inspiring, surprising, and heart-rending, Emmerich’s descriptions of our Lord’s Passion will melt a heart of stone. This book is the best on the Passion we have seen. It also wonderfully portrays the Blessed Mother’s role in our redemption. Includes a short biography of Sr. Emmerich. A great book for the whole family!
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A very good prep for tomorrow… A blest Mardi Gras to you! 🙂