Thursday, April 11, 2013

Our Catholic children...

They're just so cute aren't they? Most of the time. :) But I've really been enjoying the prayer time I've established with Henry since Lent began, so I thought I would detail.

All though Lent we prayed 1 decade of the rosary together. I got Henry a beautiful set of rosary beads to commemorate his first confession and he was very excited to use them. He still adores his rosary beads, but towards Holy Week I could tell that he was looking for a change in our routine. I got him a Stations of the Cross book (well, two actually: The Way of the Cross for Children, part of the St. Joseph Picture Book series, and Magnificat's The Way of the Cross, his preference is the former) and this is his new favorite devotion. We said them on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and we just prayed them again the other night.

The new thing that we've incorporated in is reading a few lives of the saints. He LOVES this. His very favorite book for this is one that he received over a year ago, the now very hard to find A Catholic Child's Lives of the Saints. You can get a used copy on Amazon Marketplace for pennies though. I *highly* recommend it. Each featured saint has a full page color photo on thick glossy paper, plus a well-written description of their life, highlighting all the key facts that kids find fascinating. Everybody you would expect is in here, but it's obviously not exhaustive.

Since this has been going so well, while I was making another Amazon order over the weekend (I wanted a copy of Patrick Madrid's More Catholic Than the Pope: An Inside Look at Extreme Traditionalism and the library didn't have it; I've been on a real liturgy/traditional kick lately) I added the Illustrated Lives of the Saints Boxed Set from Catholic Book Publishing Company into my cart, which I've been wanting to get Henry for awhile. Right now this two volume set is priced at Amazon for a  steal at $15.22. These books are encompassing of all the saints on the Church calendar, and then some, is my understanding. And they are beautiful golden-edged books with ribbon page markers.

They arrived last night and Hank and I were both excited to bring them up to his room at bedtime. So far, my impression is cautiously mixed. The books are gorgeous, but the stories aren't as kid attention-grabbing as the other book that we already had, and some of the descriptions are what I would call "flowery," almost too pious and not heavy enough on real-life details. However, it is so nice to have an option to bring in saints we wouldn't have otherwise had a story about and learn some new things. Plus, the longer entries do have more detail (there are some short ones for lesser known saints), so I think we need to give it some more time to get used to. I'm sure we'll use it again tonight.

This time with Henry has been such a blessing to me. I've really felt more energized in my prayer life since Lent. Not that God is speaking directly to me or anything :) but I know that I'm putting more into it, and consequently I'm getting more out of it. It's nice to have these fruitful periods to reflect back on when a spiritual dry spell hits, and that is inevitable for everybody. I'm feeling very grateful.

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