Posted tagged ‘Prayer’

Lesson Notes: Divine Mercy Sunday

April 17, 2017

Happy Easter, everyone!

Divine Mercy - Copy

This week’s lesson is on Divine Mercy Sunday, a fairly new celebration established by Pope John Paul II in 2000.  The heart of all is a series of visions given to a young Polish nun less than 100 years ago.  As Jesus was teaching her about the amazing depths of His mercy, he instructed Sr. Faustina to keep a diary so the teachings could be shared.

In this Family Formation version of the message, we’ve boiled it down to a couple of mnemonic devices that will make it easy for your family to remember and picture God’s boundless mercy.

First of all, the ABC’s of Mercy:

  • Ask for His mercy.
  • Be merciful to others.
  • Complete trust

And second, because God’s mercy is a feast of graces … the richest food … a whopper of a deal … (do you see where we’re going with this?)

The Big Mercy Burger is a silly analogy with a serious message.  As you work your way through all the meditations on the burger toppings*, your kids will get a fuller picture of the richness of God’s mercy and how they can better participate in it.

You should also have a CD of people actually praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and a helpful pamphlet explaining it.  Try it at least once this week: not only will your kids have their memory assignment nailed, but your family will be better prepared for Sunday’s beautiful celebration!


*Yes, I realize that sounds ridiculous.  Just open the packet and try it, okay?

Looking for an easy way to pray?

March 14, 2017

Try Pope Francis’ 5-Finger Prayer:

5 finger prayer

Hat tip to Church Pop (via Lisa)

Image Credit: Catholic Link Library of Resources

50 ways to talk to God

December 13, 2016

Camera 360

This week, while we’re particularly focusing on prayer, think outside the box of what you normally do.  Just as there are many (many, many) ways to let someone know you love them, there are many (many, many) ways to have a conversation with God.

I’ve posted this article before, but now is a perfect time to re-read!

50 Ways to Talk to God, by Meg Hunter-Kilmer

And remember:

Christianity is so much more than a list of rules and pious practices, friends. It’s a relationship, a love like none you’ve ever known before. It’s the meaning of life, the God of the universe made man for you. Please don’t be content with empty prayer and an unabandoned heart. Ask for more. He always answers that prayer.

Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour

October 3, 2016

I don’t know how this has escaped our attention until now, but THIS FRIDAY all the children of the world are invited to participate in a Eucharistic Holy Hour.  It will be broadcast from our own Cathedral and Bishop Andrew Cozzens will be the presider.


The EWTN broadcast begins at 10:00 a.m., but will go on for 40 hours giving everyone an opportunity to participate.  The broadcast concludes on Saturday, Oct 8, from the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.  How cool is that!

Watch the video for Bishop Cozzens’ invitation and you can find a few more details in this National Catholic Register article and here, on EWTN’s schedule page.  (More in the Press Release  near the top of their home page.)

UPDATE:  If you hope to participate in this event at the Cathedral, please email Nancy Schulte from the archdiocese to check on seat availability and get instructions.
And please remember that our perpetual adoration chapel here at Church of Saint Paul is always open and children are always welcome!  You can stop in for a full hour or even a short visit.  If you would like a little more information about Adoration Etiquette, check out this article from our archives.

Who is my patron Saint?

February 26, 2016

CCC 956

In the novena section of this week’s lesson we offer a simple variation in which you ask the prayers of your patron, but just how do you know who that patron might be?

There are several ways to determine this, and all are good ideas:

  • Your patron could be randomly chosen.
  • Your patron could be someone who shares your name.  (This is also sometimes referred to as  your name day.)
  • Your patron could be the one who celebrates their feast on your birthday.
  • Your patron could be someone with whom you share a common interest.  (For example, St. Joseph is a patron of fathers.  St. Luke is a patron of artists.  St. Nicholas is a patron of children.  St. Thomas Aquinas is a patron of students, etc.)
  • Your patron could simply be a saint you’ve chosen as a special friend.  (For example, many people feel an affinity to St. Therese for her very simple way of following Jesus, or to St. Francis deSales for his practical advice.  This category of patron can just be thought of as a friend you’d like to invite out for coffee.J)
  • All of the above.  You don’t have to limit yourself to one patron.  Just as you may ask many earthly friends and family members for prayer, you can do the same with your heavenly friends.


The challenge of novenas

February 23, 2016

medievalknighthorseThere is no shortage of things to pray for and since novenas are typically more intention-based they will always be a popular choice to fill that need.  The hard part is consistency.  Unless any prayer is part of your routine, it may be difficult to keep up the nine day format.

Pray More Novenas to the rescue!  Simply sign up here and, free of charge, you will have daily reminders sent directly to your email.  Their next novena starts the second week in March, so sign up today!

  • Get Novena prayers delivered to your inbox!
  • Feel the power of praying together with 204,751 people!
  • Never forget to finish a Novena again!
  • They never share your email address so there is no spam and no ads.



Lesson Notes: Catholic Prayer Traditions

February 20, 2016

Catholic Prayer Traditions

Gosh, I love new lessons!  This one was particularly fun to write because I learned a lot and because I got help from several families who successfully put these methods into practice with children of all ages.  Special thanks to Donna, Stephanie, and Emily for their very practical suggestions!

People have been praying to God since the dawn of creation and in all that time have developed some very creative, effective, and satisfying methods of prayer.  Some of them have survived the test of time and even though they are very ancient, they are still embraced today.  We focus on three of them in this lesson.  The goal is for you, parents, to learn about all three but then choose one to focus on now with your family.

NOVENAS: In a nutshell, a novena is typically nine days of prayer in a row, for a special intention (asking or thanking). Novenas are still a very popular form of prayer and there are hundreds to choose from, most asking for intercession from Mary or a particular Saint. There are three novenas included in this lesson, one asking the prayers of your patron Saint, one to the Infant Jesus, and one asking the prayers of Saint Therese.  Take a look and choose one of them.

A word of warning on novenas – It is pretty common to remember to pray for the first few days and then forget one or two.  Don’t be discouraged!  Simply pick it up again the next day and continue until your nine are complete.  Obviously, there is a value to developing the discipline to pray daily, but God will not give you a failing grade if you don’t do things perfectly and it is not a lucky charm that only “works” if you do it right.  (But of course you already knew that.J)

ladderLECTIO DIVINA: Arguably, the best spiritual reading you can possibly do is to read Scripture and Lectio Divina takes that a step further to help you pray through the reading and listen to what God is telling you there.  There are many variations but they all include the same parts: reading, listening, praying and contemplating.  Before you look at this method and think it’s impossible for your squirrely kids to listen and meditate, keep going to pages 7 and 8 of the lesson where we share all sorts of adaptions and suggestions that will make it possible for your family.

LITURGY OF THE HOURS:  Liturgy is the the rites and prayers that make up the public worship of the universal Catholic Church.  In the same way, this form of prayer is one that people all over the world are constantly praying together.  Think about how you can to to Mass anywhere in the world and the readings are exactly the same.  It’s like that with the Liturgy of the Hours: a cloistered nun in France is praying the exact same prayers as a priest in Africa and your family in your living room.  Isn’t that awesome?

The Liturgy of the Hours is mostly centered on the Psalm, but also includes prayers, other Scripture reading, and meditations from spiritual masters.  Priests are still required to pray the Divine Office (another name for it), but everyone is invited to pray any or all of the hours.  We recommend you try it out with Night Prayer because it is the shortest hour to pray, taking only 5-10 minutes, and may already be a time when your family has established a prayer tradition. We’ve included two prayer guides for Night Prayer for Sunday, but we also highly recommend the online versions noted on page 10 of the lesson.  They’re all free and very easy to use.  The best part may be that you’ll have an expert to lead you through the steps.

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