Devotionals and Stories for Children


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I will be posting children’s devotionals and  special day stories . I hope you and your children will enjoy reading them . Come back often.

God's name2God’s Name is Sacred         March 14, 2013

To use the name of God is a solemn thing, not to be taken lightly. To invoke the name in a curse against the innocent is to call him who is Justice to be unjust and him who is Life to be death. Scripture is adamant that to do this is an extremely dangerous violation of the covenant. Salt and Light

God has many names. He’s called Jesus, Jehovah, El Shaddaih, and Yahweh. No matter what He’s called, we need to use His name with respect. I’m sure you’ve heard God’s name used as a curse word? Why would someone dishonor Jesus’ name. To us God’s or Jesus’ name in anger is childish. I guess it’s supposed to scare us or show how angry a person is, but we all know it’s wrong. It is one of God’s commandments..

I stop listening to what people are saying, when they are so disrespectful. We all need to stop and think, when we’re angry. It sounds silly, but say a small prayer instead. (God help me.) Those few seconds will give us time to cool down. He would have respect for us, if we call on him. We need to find other ways to handle our anger. Let your friends know you don’t appreciate it, when they curse using God’s name. God doesn’t like being the vessel for our anger.

Lord remind us to choose our words wisely. Remind us to be reverent to You and to your Father.

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity                       March 7, 2013

St Felicity2Perpetua a beautiful, well-educated, a noblewoman of Carthage in North Africa. Her father was a pagan, (he had no religion) while her mother was a Christian. Petpetua’s father loved her, but he knew she could be put to death for her beliefs. He begged her to give up her Christianity.Comparing herself to a teapot, she asked if the teapot could be called anything else. Her father answered no and she replied it was the same with her. She was a Christian and could not be called by any other name.

Perpetua, comforted her father in his grief over her unwillingness to give up her Christianity. She told him it was her belief that whatever happened was God’s choosing. She didn’t depend on her own power, but on the power of God.

Perpetua and Felicity (a slave woman and mother to be) and some other friends were threatened with death by the authorities, if they didn’t give up their Christian beliefs. The women didn’t. Perpetua was 22, when she and her friends were imprisoned. They were all sent to the amphitheater, where all the public games were played. The day before the games Felicity gave birth to her baby girl. The women were either put in the arena with the lions or publicly executed.

 

Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862)   2/27/13

St Gabriel of the lady of sorrows

Francis was born in Italy into a large family. Francis’ mother died, when he was only four years old. He received an education by the Jesuits. He became serious ill twice during this time and was cured. He came to believe that God was calling him to the religious life. Francis wished to join the Jesuits. The Jesuits turned him down because he was not yet 17. Following the death of a sister to cholera, his need to enter Jesuits became stronger.The Passionists accepted Francis and named Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. 

Gabriel had many great qualities. His spirit of prayer, a love of the poor, consideration of the feelings of others, observance of the Passionists Rule and always subjecting himself to the will of his wise superiors made a deep impression on everyone. He became popular and cheerful was successful in his in his faithfulness in the little things of life. 

His superiors expected great things from Gabriel. However, after four years of religious life he developed tuberculosis. He patiently bore the painful effects of the disease and its restrictions. He  looked for no special attention and died peacefully on February 27, 1862. He was only 24, but had been an example to both young and old.  Cannonized in 1920, Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows became the Patron Saint of Clergy.

Comment: We all should remember to take care of the little details of our lives and the larger details will take care of themselves. Francis lived his life in a prayerful and loving way. His prayer life, caring for the poor, and consideraton of the feelings of others was his way of life. It should be the way we live ours, too. Canonized in 1920, Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows became the Patron Saint of Clergy.

  

Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio  1502-1600

February 25, 2013

 blessed-sebastian-of-aparicio-01Sebastian’s parents were Spanish peasants. At the age of 31 he sailed to Mexico and worked in the fields. He eventually turned to building roads to help farm trading and other businesses. He built a 466-mile road from Mexico City to Zacatecas. It took 10 years to build and required careful dealings with the local people along the way.

In time Sebastian became a wealthy farmer and rancher. At the age of 60 decided to marry and provide a respectable life for a girl without a dowry (a payment made to the future husband). After his first wife died, he married again for the same reason. She also died young.

At 72, after his second wife’s death, Sebastian distributed his belongings among the poor. He entered the Franciscan Order, as a brother. Sebastian was elected to a community at Puebla de los Angeles south of Mexico City. He spent the next 25 years collecting alms (donations) for the friars. His kindness and charity earned him the nickname “Angel of Mexico.”

Sebastian continued to bridge-build throughout his life by helping men and women find their God-given worth and purpose in life. Sebastian is known as a patron of travelers.

Blessed John of Fiesole February 18, 2013

Fra_AngelicoBlessed John of Fiesole was born around 1400 in a village overlooking Florence. He started painting as a boy and studied under a local painting master. At 20, he joined the Dominican Order. He took the name Fra Angelico, perhaps a tribute to the devotional tone of his works. He continued to study painting He perfected his own techniques, which included broad-brush strokes, vivid colors and generous, lifelike figures. Fra Angelico sought to generate a feeling of religious devotion in response to his paintings. Among his most famous works are the Annunciation and Descent from the Cross. He is known as the patron of Christian artists.

Michelangelo once said of Fra Angelico: “One has to believe that this good monk has visited paradise and been allowed to choose his models there.”

He performed in leadership positions within the Dominican Order. Pope Eugenius once asked John to serve as archbishop of Florence. He declined, preferring a simpler life. Blessed John of Fiesole died in 1455.

The Annunciation                                                    Decent from the Cross

 

 From Nobleman to Noble Man                               February 17, 2013

saint-luke-resizedLuke Belludi was born a nobleman. In 1220 he met St. Anthony, while the Franciscan was preaching the people of Padua. Luke Belludi, humbly asked to join the followers of St. Francis. Anthony personally recommended him to the friars, who then received him into the Franciscan Order.

Luke was only 20, when he became Anthony’s companion. In their travels and preaching, Luke took care of Anthony and continued to do so until his last days. Luke took Anthony’s place as head guardian after Anthony’s death.

In 1239 enemies overtook the town and put to death the mayor and council. They closed down university of Padua and Luke was cast from the city. Under cover of night, Luke returned. He and the new guardian visited the tomb of St. Anthony in the unfinished shrine to pray for his help. One night, Luke heard a voice from the tomb telling them that the city would be delivered from their enemies.

After Luke’s message from the tomb came true, he was elected provincial minister. He completed the great basilica in honor of Anthony, his teacher and friend. He founded many Franciscan convents. Luke also had the gift of miracles, like his friend Anthony. He truly became a noble man. Upon his death he was laid to rest in the basilica that he had helped finish. People continue to visit and pray up to the present time.

Like Anthony, we need someone to offer support and help through our life and spiritual journeys. Luke did this by a life of serving others. We can carry on Luke’s mission and help others through their journeys.

February 16, 2013

imagesCAUBH40PDo you find it hard to admit when you’re wrong. Even though you want to do what’s right, you sometimes fail. The harder you try to be good, the harder it gets. We can fail on a daily basis. If you understand that, it allows you to find the forgiveness and grace  you need to change your life.

A quick prayer in the morning let’s God know we want his help. If we run into trouble during the day, stop and ask for guidance. Praying reminds us that we aren’t alone in figuring out what is right. Thank God at night for his help. He’s your friend and is always with you.

A Gift from St. Valentine              February 14, 2013

St. ValentineValentine’s Day is a very exciting time. You wait to count how many valentines you will get from your friends. You feel the more valentines you have, the more friends you have. In addition, there’s all the candy you might get. However, do you know why we celebrate Valentine’s Day? We celebrate Valentine’s Day because there was a St. Valentine, who was a martyr. Because of his gift, we have a Valentine’s Day.

St. Valentine was well-loved priest that lived thousands of years ago in 269 A.D. The Roman people loved him and huge crowds gathered at the temple to hear him speak. While he was preaching and marrying people, the Emperor Claudius was trying to build an army to defend his empire. However, he couldn’t get married or single men to join the army because it meant leaving their families. That made the emperor angry, so he made a law that no one could get married.

Valentine didn’t like the new law and married people in secret. He didn’t want people to live in sin. When the authorities caught the priest, they arrested him and threw him in prison. While Valentine was in prison, the emperor became fond of him. The Claudius realized that the priest was a good speaker and very smart. He tried to convince Valentine to give up his faith and stop marrying people. The priest refused and condemned to die.

While waiting for execution, Valentine became friendly with one of the jailers. He asked the priest to teach his daughter, Julia. Julia was blind. Valentine read her stories, taught her math, and told her about God. There was some talk that Valentine’s prayers cured Julia of her blindness.

On February 14, Emperor Claudius executed Valentine. The priest’s last words went to Julia in a note, urging her to stay close to God. He signed it “From your Valentine.” The phrase ‘from your valentine’ has become permanent. Starting this Valentine’s Day, say a prayer of thanks to St. Valentine for his gift – a special Day to celebrate our love for each other. Your prayer would be a gift to St. Valentine.

Today Is The First Day of Lent             2/13/13

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the season helps us  get ready for Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday always falls 46 days before Easter. Since Easter falls on a different date each year, Ash Wednesday does, too. Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, but attending mass and receiving ashes on this day marks the beginning of the Lenten season. This special ritual gives us a connection with the beginning of a very special season with God.

palms_cross1Do you wonder where the ashes come from. The priest makes the  ashes by burning the blessed palms from the previous year on Palm  Sunday. Members of the church return any palms taken home. After the priest blesses the  ashes, he  sprinkles them with holy water. We receive them when the priest dips his right thumb in the ashes and, makes  the of the cross  on each person’s forehead and says something  similar to, “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return”.

Ash WednesdayThe ashes are to remind us that during lent we repent (are sorry)  for our sins. In the early Church, Ash Wednesday was the day on which those who had sinned and who wish for readmittance  to the Church, would begin their public penance. By leaving the ashes on our foreheads all day, we show our humility.

Most Churches ask us to fast and abstain from meat. Fasting means people over the age of 18 and under the age of 60 are to eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day, with no snacks. People who are over the age of 14  eat any meat, or any food made with meat, on Ash Wednesday.

Jesus fastingFasting and abstinence are a form of penance or being sorry for our sins. Fasting also helps us in our spiritual lives. Jesus fasted for forty days and He didn’t eat anything. We are only asked to eat one large meal. We do get to eat.

Instead of concentrating on fasting, we can use the time to make spiritual goals to reach before Easter. Spiritual goals are changes you make in your life to become  a better person. You can do this instead of or along with giving up a special food item for Lent . There are many ways to  discover your Lenten goal. Tomorrow, I will give you some questions to ask yourself before you choose a goal for Jesus. Join me in this Lenten Journey.

 

mardi grasMardi Gras Day (Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday)  2/12/13

I’m writing this on Monday because I want you to have time to plan a special celebration with your parents  for tomorrow because it’s Fat Tuesday. For your dinner, or for later, each of you should choose your favorite food and have a party.

In Mid evil times, Christians needed to use up their eggs, butter, and milk because they were forbidden during Lent. They used up their dairy products by making pancakes, crepes, and pastries.

We’ve continued to follow that tradition and use Mardi Gras Day or Fat Tuesday as our last chance to party hearty before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday starts Lent which is a season of penance for Christians. We usually fast or give up a favorite food, during lent. Fat Tuesday gives us one last day of feasting. Pig out on your favorites before lent starts. Celebrate Tuesday night and prepare for Lent and Easter.

St. Scholastic    (480-542?)         February 10, 2013

St. Scholastica

St Scholastica had a twin brother Benedict. They were born in 480 of wealthy parents, Scholastica and Benedict were raised together and shared like interests and goals. Benedict eventually left central Italy for Rome to continue his studies.  Later, she founded a religious community for women five miles from where her brother governed a monastery. The twins visited each other once a year in a farmhouse because Scholastica was not permitted inside the monastery. They spent these times discussing spiritual matters.their spiritual lives.

It’s said the brother and sister spent their last day together in prayer and conversation. Scholastica knew her death was close and asked Benedict to stay with her overnight. He had a rule the monks could not spend the night outside and refused her request because he would break his own rule. Scholastica asked God to find a way her brother could stay. A thunderstorm broke out and it was a five-mile walk, so Benedict remained.

Benedict cried out, “God forgive you sister, What have you done?”

Scholastica replied, “I asked a favor of you and you refused. I asked it of God and he granted it.”

Comment:  This is the kind of relationship we should want with God. We should lean on Him in good times and bad. He is always there to help us. God will answer with what He believes is best for us, just like our earthly parents.

St. Colette (1381-1447) 2/7/20 13

 st colette

Colette was born in Corbie, France. At 21 she joined an order called the Third Order Rule and became an anchoress for the group. An anchoress a woman who is walled into a room and its only opening was a window into a church. St. Colette remained walled for four years of prayer and penance in her cell. With approval and encouragement from the pope, she joined the Poor Clares and reintroduced the primitive Rule of St. Clare in the 17 monasteries she established.The Clares were known for their poverty

Colette told her sisters: “We must faithfully keep what we have promised. If through human weakness we fail, we must always without delay arise again by means of holy penance, and give our attention to leading a good life and to dying a holy death. May the Father of all mercy, the Son by his holy passion, and the Holy Spirit, source of peace, sweetness and love, fill us with their consolation. Amen.”

This is how people should live their lives. As followers of Jesus, we should keep their promises to God. If we fall  short through our human weaknesses, we should pray for forgiveness and  begin living a good life again. God wants us to forgive to forgive us and is always there to help us live a saintly life.

St. Francis-The Gentle Saint

St. Francis de SalesSt. Francis is known as the “Gentle Saint,” even though it took him 20 years to conquer his temper.  No one ever suspected he had a temper because  good-natured kindness  was his usual manner of acting.

St. Francis’ father wanted him to become a lawyer, so Francis could take his place as senator. Francis went away to study law, got his doctorate and returned home. Francis, however, wanted to become a priest. At first his father opposed the decision. After a lot of gentle persuasion, his father allowed Francis’ decision. Francis was ordained and elected provost of Geneva.

Francis preached and wrote and  distributed  little pamphlets he wrote to explaining  Catholic doctrine. Francis’ gentle character was a great asset in winning souls. He wrote many books including the Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God besides pamphlets and a lot of letters. His gentle way of writing, let lay people know that they  are called to be saints, too.

Lord we aren’t saints and  aren’t perfect. Help us to  work hard at being good. Help us to become saints by following Jesus, looking for the goodness in others and treating people kindly.

God’s Gift to Us

MC900444830Do you  realize that God’s call to have a  special relationship with us is possible. You are good enough and holy enough for God to love us in this personal way. Scriptures remind us that God’s love is not earned: it is a gift. Talk to God today and tell him your worries, dreams, give him your love today.

       A Family of Saints        January 10, 2013

2213825544_19d72cd653_t              

St. Gregory of Nyssa lived around 330-395 A.D. He was born in Cappadocia, Asia Minor.  His parents were St.Basil and Emmilia. However, Gregory was raised by his older brother, St. Basil the Great, and his sister, Macrina, in Turkey. Gregory was an excellent student was expected to succeed in great things. He became a professor of public speaking. Eventually, Gregory’s brother Basil and his friend, St. Gregory of Nazianzen persuaded Gregory to become a priest and to devote his learning and energy to the Church. Gregory went on to study for the priesthood, became ordained and married. The church allowed priests to marry  during this time in history.

In 372 A.D. Gregory was chosen as Bishop of Nyssa. This helped Basil’s effort to develop supporters in the struggle against the Arian heresy. The Arians were denying that Christ was God. Gregory and Basil defended the Faith against the attacks of the Arians. Even Saints have troubles. He was falsely arrested for embezzling Church funds. St. Gregory was removed as leader because of the false claims made by the heretics. His position as bishop was finally restored in 378.

St. Basil died in 379 A.D. and after the death of his brother Gregory gained a reputation as a defender of the teachings of the church. St. Gregory of Nyssa is as one of the great contributors to spiritual tradition and Christian spirituality. Gregory became the leading theologian in the East.  St. Gregory was a philosopher, theologian and a mystic. His fine reputation stayed with him for the remainder of his life.

St. Andrew of Canterbury

st. Adrian2St. Adrian lived a long time ago, in the years 635-710 AD. He  was born in Africa, however, around the age of ten, his family fled the Arab invasions  and settled in Naples, Italy. Naples had many famous monasteries. This is where Adrian decided to become a monk, when he was a boy.

Eventually, he was appointed abbot of the monastery of St. Peter and Paul in Canterbury. While holding this post,  he became acquainted with the Emperor Constans II. Constans introduced Adrian to Pope Vitalian while visiting to Rome. Adrian became an advisor to the Pope and, three years later, he was offered the Archbishopric of Canterbury. He politely declined, but was persuaded to accompany Pope Vitalian to England as a trusted counselor.

Because of some troubles in Europe, Adrian agreed to move on. Upon his arrival in Britain, Adrian received a temporary appointment as Abbot of St. Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury. Adrian did most of his work in Canterbury. He soon established a thriving monastic school there, where many future bishops and abbots were educated in Latin, Greek, scripture, theology, Roman law and arithmetic. His monastery outshone the best educational facilities of Western Europe. Thanks to Adrian’s leadership, the school became an important center of education.

Adrian taught for 40 years. He died there and was buried in the monastery. Hundreds of years later, when rebuilding was being done, Adrian’s body was discovered. People flocked to his tomb, which became famous for miracles. Young schoolboys in trouble made regular visits there. St. Adrian is still remembered for his contribution to the religious life.  His monastery outdid the best educational facilities of Western Europe.

Day of Giving       November 5, 2012

Kids and Parents,

If you can  donate to the people who have lost their homes, please do. Ask your parents to donate even $1 to the Red Cross in your name. Every dollar will help. Today is the day to help. They need it now.

I live in upstate NY. I battened down the hatches as the saying goes and we were lucky. I never would have been prepared for what happened. No one is. Help if you can. God Bless you and God Bless them.

Disney and ABC is  having a “Day of Giving” today to raise money for the people made homeless during the hurricane. Millions of people have no food, shelter, heat, or light. Help them to feel the love of their countrymen. Hurricane relief efforts start this morning on Good Morning America  and end with “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ABC shows will remind us all day by asking others to help by making a donation to  the American Red Cross.

There are many ways people can donate:

  • TEXT: Text ABC to 90999 to give a $10 donation to the Red Cross.
  • BY PHONE:  Call 1-800-HELP-NOW. This number will bypass all the other menu options and direct your call to Hurricane Sandy relief.

Hurricane Sandy has left millions homeless along the East Coast. It caused huge devastation and destruction. The emergency crews are scrambling to get supplies.  Supplies cost money and so does rebuilding. The relief effort may be the most expensive in U.S. history.

The Walt Disney Company gave a $2 million donation for Sandy relief and rebuilding efforts, including $1 million to the American Red Cross and $1 million to organizations working on rebuilding efforts. Please Give. Show we’re a caring nation.

Feast of Martin de Porres       November 3, 2012

martin de porresJuan Martin de Porres was born in the city of Lima, in Peru, on December 9, 1579. He was the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a black former slave who was born in Panama. His mother couldn’t support him and he grew up in poverty. Martin was placed with a surgeon-barber to learn the medical arts. He spent hours in evening prayer. At the age of 15 he asked for admission to the Dominican Convent of the Rosary in Lima and was received first as a servant boy, and as his duties grew he was promoted to almoner. This means he gave alms (money or food) to the poor. Martin did not eat meat. He begged for alms to get the necessities the convent didn’t have. In normal times Martin did well with his alms and made enough to feed 160 poor persons every day, and distributed a remarkable sum of money every week to the needy. Martin spent his whole life as a lay brother at the Dominican Friary.

Along with his daily work in Martin’s life reflected God’s extraordinary gifts: ecstasies that lifted him into the air, light filling the room where he prayed, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures and an amazing bond with animals. St. Martin’s showed love equally to humans and animals, including vermin. He excused the raids of mice and rats on the grounds because they  were underfed. He kept a cats and dogs hospital at his sister’s house. His spiritual wisdom was demonstrated in his solving his sister’s marriage problems. He raised a dowry for his niece inside of three day’s time and resolved theological problems for his order and bishops.

This holy man died on November 3, 1639 and was canonized on May 6, 1962.  Because of his love of all things, Martin is the patron saint of African-Americans, barbers, hairdressers, race relations, and Social justice.

All Souls Day        November 2, 2012

Soul Cakes

Today is all Souls Day. We should pray for departed souls, not just in the month of November, but throughout the year. The practice of remembering the dead is as easy as including a prayer for the dead into our daily prayers. The custom of visiting and praying at the graves another practice. Here’s a short prayer to include in your evening prayers.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

And may perpetual light shine upon them.

May they rest in peace. Amen.

Did you know that doughnuts were called soul cakes. They were  plain round buns. Boys begged for soul cakes. However they didn’t really pray for the souls. They only thought of their hungry bellies. A clever cook decided to help them remember why they had been given the cake. Instead of making plain round buns, she made buns with a holes in the middle. Back then the circle was common symbol for everlasting life and our passage to it. The result of her cleverness was a doughnut, a reminder of prayer.

Use the recipe below and make some soul cakes for All Souls Day with your family. Have your Mom or Day light a candle, sit and have some hot chocolate. Take the time to remember your family, friends and others who have died. All Souls Day reminds us of our connection with the faithful departed. It’s a connection that isn’t even broken by death.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine
  • 3-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup wheat germ

DIRECTIONS

Add sugar slowly to eggs, beating constantly. Stir in buttermilk and melted butter or margarine. Mix and sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt; stir in wheat germ. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture. Chill dough until easy to handle. Roll out 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick on floured pastry board, rolling half the dough at a time. Cut with doughnut cutter. Fry in deep fat heated to 375°-380°, turning once after doughnuts have risen to surface and are golden brown on the underside. Drain on paper towel. Makes 30 to 36 doughnuts, depending on thickness.

Recipe Source: Cooking for Christ by Florence Berger, National Catholic Rural Life Conference, 4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310, 1949, 1999

All Saints Day November 1, 2012

Today is the day for remembering  all the Saints. To join the company of the saints in heaven, we need to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, conform to His image, and follow the Father in all things. We can do this by  devoting our lives to God and by helping our neighbors. In this way, our holiness will grow into an abundant harvest of good, like the lives of the saints. Today we celebrate known and unknown saints.

There are some things we can do to celebrate All Saints Day:

  • Visit a cemetery and pray for your relatives and saints during the Octave of All Saints’ Day (November 1 through November 8).
  • Spend a little time after Mass thanking God for all the unnamed saints, some of whom could be our own relatives.
  • Plan a special dinner this week.
  • Have your mom light a candle during dinner in honor of your family and the Saints.

On http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/recipes/view.cfm?id=1060, I found a recipe for Coffee Braid.It’s a favorite pastry  for November 1 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, among the Slavic nations, in Hungary, and in some Latin countries. Have your mom copy this recipe and bake the bread together.

Here’s the Ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry, or cake, yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sugar
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds

DIRECTIONS

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Reserve 10 minutes.

Stir in flour, salt, milk, 2/3 cup sugar, butter, egg yolk with yeast mixture until firm dough results. Add raisins; mix until smooth. Knead on floured board until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Let rise until double in size.

Form 4 rolls 2 inches thick, 2 rolls 1 inch thick, 2 rolls 1/2 inch thick. Gently and loosely braid 2-inch rolls, fastening strands at ends and tucking under. Place on lightly greased baking sheet; brush with egg white. Braid 1-inch rolls; place on top of large braid. Brush with egg white. Braid 1/2 inch rolls; place on top of medium braid. Brush with egg white: cover. Let rise 1 1/2 hours in warm place. Bake 50-60 minutes at 300°. Sprinkle with sugar, almonds.

Recipe Source: Catholic Cookbook, The by William I. Kaufman, The Citadel Press, New York, 1965

Unfortunately, I’m writing this on the feast day, but the Octave of All Saints is from November 1-8 you still have time to bake the bread and celebrate the saints. If you believe that saints lived only in ancient times; remember many thousands of persons are leading lives of holiness at this present moment. Be one of them.

Guardian Angel Day

 Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this night/day be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

I’ve believed in guardian angels, since I was small. I prayed the Guardian Angel prayer each night. My Guardian Angel has been with me since I took my first breath and will with me  for my  last breath.  Your angel will look out for and will stay with you wherever you go and what ever you do. You are never alone!

My guardian angel is Jhudiel. St. Jhudiel is the guardian of people born on Friday. He is one of the Holy Archangels and is bearer of God’s mercy and love. His image holds  a flaming heart pressed on his chest representing the love of God. In times of confusion or stress I feel comforted to know that my angel is guarding me. Find out what day you were born and then check and see which guardian angel is yours.

Conflicts in Life

bully

Proverbs 28:25 the greedy stir up fight, but those who trust in the LORD will prosper.

I still remember the mean kids in Junior High. They amused themselves making fun of others. I cringed, when I heard their sarcastic voices in the hall. I knew they were getting ready to pounce on someone. A few times I received their taunts. Junior High wasn’t an easy time.

You’ve been back in school a while. I bet you can pick out the kids, who receive the attention. There’s always someone, who tries to run over everyone else. What can you do to stop the harassment? You can take a deep breath, count to ten, and say a silent prayer for help. This gives you time to think. If you go back at the person in anger, his anger will turn to you. The silent prayer will give you the strength to speak calmly and walk away.

Everyone has these moments, even adults. As an adult, it’s not easy to walk away from an argument either, but that’s what we have to do. Fighting doesn’t prove anything. These are the moments that we have to trust in our Lord. Only His strength will conquer the feelings we are battling. We will be the winners in the end.

Lord, help us to trust in your care. Help us to stay calm in times of conflict. Help us to have the courage to walk away from the unimportant conflicts that trouble us each day.

 The Circle of Forgiveness                                9/28/12

                         For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14 NIV

Jesus asked that I forgive seventy times seven. By doing this, I will lose count. Jesus gave his life, so I could be forgiven, so I need to forgive. Forgiveness helps me let go of bitterness and thoughts of getting even. I may not forget the hurt, but by forgiving, I will be peaceful. Forgiveness helps me have better times in my life.

Have you ever had another person hurt you by lying about you, or accuse you of doing something wrong? It’s really painful, if it’s a family or friend. Holding  hurts, makes things worse. Sometimes you build it up in your mind, until you can’t forgive the person. Forgiving is a part of our daily lives.

Forgiving doesn’t mean you overlook the things done to you. It gives you peace that stays with you. Forgiveness creates kindness and acceptance for others. If we forgive others, God will forgive us and that’s more important than any hurt. Forgiveness is a circle of love that flows from God, to us, andto  others. The circle widens, until it includes everyone.

Lord, forgive us, when we are unforgiving. Help us forgive the ones who hurt us. Help us let go of any bitterness and anger and include others in our circle. Help create a loving circle of forgiveness.

.

Obeying Parents                                             September 22, 2012

Ephesians 6:1  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Sometimes my kids found it hard to follow rules I gave them. My rules conflicted with the fun they felt they were missing. In their heart, they knew I had their best interests in mind. However, the lure of their friends was greater. Fortunately, their disobedience wasn’t on huge issues and things worked out okay. 

Do you sometimes choose to follow your friends and go your own way? It isn’t always easy to say “no” to your friends. Eventually, there will be consequences for your disobedient actions. It may not be until you have your own children, and they copy the bad behaviors you have let grow in your life. God asks you to obey your parents because they have lived a lot longer. They know the dangers in the world. If you remember to obey your parents, you will please God and your parents. You will have fewer penalties and be a better  son or daughter and perhaps a better parent, when you become an adult.

My children have their own children now and have the same worries. When they chose to disobey and do their own thing, they paid the consequences and their children might, too. They worry their children will learn the hard way that “mom and dad” have rules for a reason.

Lord, help me to listen to your command and obey my parents because it is the right thing to  do. Help me to have the courage to say “no”, when my friends want a “yes”. 

Peace Begins With                       You 9/21/12

“If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”—Romans 12:18.

That sounds like a hard thing to ask, but God isn’t trying to make things hard. He’s trying to help us make life easier. How can we live peaceable with everyone? I know it’s not easy, and I know it’s easy to blame others, when we do get upset. I sometimes do the same thing. After I calm down, I realize how silly I was. I caused a fuss for nothing. I made myself upset or angry. Then I’m embarrassed and have to apologize for my actions. I didn’t have to react the way I did. 

Living peaceably with others doesn’t depend on the other person. It really does depend on you. Do you get upset, if your mom doesn’t let you have sugar cereals for breakfast? You mom wants you to stay full until lunch. The sugar will make you hungry again in a short amount of time. See if she’ll let you have the sugared cereals on the weekend. Then you’re both peaceful.

Does the teacher make you angry, when she questions why you don’t hand in your homework on time?  Do you say”She’s mean. She’s always picking on me.” You’re not angry at the teacher. You’re angry at yourself for not remembering to do the homework or bring it to school. 

Do you yell at your little brother or sister because they annoy you as soon as you get home? You’d rather chill out with a video game, after a hard day at school. They want you to spend a few minutes with them, when you get home because they missed you.  These are all things you can control.  Start today and begin to live peacefully with everyone.

Father, help us to live peacefully with everyone. Help us to be aware of our part in making the world a  better place to live.

Isaiah’s Light

Matthew 5:13-16   “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

Isaiah and his father continued climbing the mountainside. There were many people crowded around Jesus. Isaiah wanted to get closer so he could hear. Jesus was sitting on a rock among His disciples, teaching them. Isaiah sat on a rock just beyond Jesus, where he could hear.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

“Father, what does he mean?”

“He means, if the salt looses its saltiness, it is not worth anything. We cannot make it salty, again. Only God could do that. Our saltiness is God’s word. If we lose God’s word from our hearts, we are worth nothing. We will be trampled underfoot.”

“Oh.”

Jesus continued, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

“Father, I understand some of what the master says. But, what light am I supposed to shine?” Isaiah asked.

“He means live a good life. Your life is a light that shines before others. When they see that you are living a life guided by God, your light will shine before them. They will know that your good deeds are the result of God being in your life.

“How can I be a light? I’m not a grown up.”

“Think about it Isaiah. That’s what we all have to decide about our life. Will we be followers and how.”

That night Isaiah tossed and turned in his bed. Could he figure out how to be a light for Jesus?

Parable of the Sower

Based on Mark 4:1-20 NIV              

Isaiah and his father Micah, went down by the sea to listen to Jesus preach. Because the crowd was so big, Jesus got into a boat and preached from there. Jesus taught the people many things with parables. Isaiah loved to listen to Jesus’ stories.

One of Jesus’ parables was about a farmer, who went out to sow his crops.  As the farmer spread the seed in the rows in the field, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on the rocks, where it had no soil to grow. It sprang up too quick, because the soil was shallow. The plants sprouted on the rocks, but withered because they had no root. Other seeds fell among thorns, were choked, and they did not bear grain. The seed that fell in good soil came up, grew, and produced a crop. Those plants multiplied thirty, sixty, or a hundred times. Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

But some people don’t listen to everything is that’s said in parables so that, “‘they may be seeing and hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn ask for forgiveness and live their lives different.

When Isaiah and his father were alone, he asked his father about the parable. He didn’t always understand. His father explained that Jesus meant that the word of God was “The secret of God’s Kingdom. His father explained that the farmer represented the sowing God’s word. Some people become the seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear the words, Satan comes and steals away the good words.

Others, are the seed that falls on the rocky places. They hear the word and receive it with joy. Since their faith has no roots, their joy lasts only a short time. When trouble or bullying comes because of the word, they quickly fall away from their faith.

The seed that falls among thorns are the people who hear the word; but because of the worries of their daily life, seeking  wealth and the love of other things, the word is choked out. It’s not shared and does not multiply or bear fruit.

However, the seed sown on good soil is the people who hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop. They take the word into their heart and share it and the word multiplies thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was given to them.”

Isaiah hugged his father. He was glad he asked his father to explain the story. He knew he would keep Jesus’ word in his heart and share it with others. He could hardly wait until his father took him back to hear another of Jesus’ parables.

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