Catholic Family Meeting {Pentecost Sunday, Cycle B}

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

This Sunday, with the celebration of Pentecost, completes the season of Easter.  Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit and the start of the Church.  What wonderful things to celebrate!

Imagine being present as the Holy Spirit was sent down to the apostles with a "noise like a strong driving wind" and "tongues as of fire which parted and came to rest on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues."  From there, the apostles went out and proclaimed the gospel.  (Acts 2:1-11).  

What would seem to be a terrifying event (what with wind and fire and all), leads to God providing His apostles with the only means of doing His will in the absence of Jesus - the Holy Spirit.  

Just as with the apostles, the Holy Spirit provides us with what we need in order to do God's will in our lives.  

I really love St. Augustine's Prayer to the Holy Spirit:

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.  Speak in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.  Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.  Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.  Amen.

The Holy Spirit can be difficult to understand as adults, and therefore challenging to explain to children.  The Catechism thoroughly explains the Holy Spirit.  Obviously, Pentecost and the Holy Spirit are the focus of this week's family meeting.

Catholic Family Meeting {Seventh Sunday of Easter / Ascension, Cycle B}

Thursday, May 14, 2015

This Sunday is the Seventh Sunday of Easter, but many parishes (including mine) also celebrate the Ascension, which is 40 days into Easter.

Jesus ends His work on earth to take His place at the right hand of the Father.  Beforehand, He tells His disciples

He does not leave them to do His work on their own, as it says in Mark 16:20, "But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs".  

We too are not alone.  We do not have to do God's will all by ourselves.  Jesus is in heaven helping us.  All we have to do is to ask and be open to His grace.

When I am attentive to my relationship with Jesus, I am best able to do His work and live out His will.  

I hope to continue to grow in this area in my own life and pass this on to my children. 

Click here for the Our Catholic Family Meeting slideshow document.

Friday Five - 5 things from this week #1

Friday, May 8, 2015

I thought it would be fun to share a little about my week, so I'm going to attempt a (fairly) regular Friday Five post of 5 things from the week.  So here goes the first (hopefully not last) Friday Five...

I. A birthday!

This past Saturday, Grace turned 6!  For her birthday she wanted to go camping, so we headed out to Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont, MD for a 1 night campout.  

It was a little chilly at night (in the 50's), but otherwise absolutely gorgeous weather and such a needed break from everyday life.  There is nothing more humbling and refreshing than being out in nature.  

II. A little mass and a little Mary 

(Well, actually a gigantic Mary, but we will get to that.)

Sunday we went to mass, smelling like campfires of course.  But it wasn't a typical mass.  

One of our favorite places to visit that we just discovered this past year is the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg.  We went Labor Day weekend for the first time and then again in January for my birthday.  No matter the season, it is one of the most beautiful places.  So as I was planning our camping trip, I read that there would be a special May crowning of the 20 foot tall statue at the Grotto.  When we got there we found out the mass was going to take place outside at the Grotto.  Win!

These pictures really don't do it justice. 

The girls actually did great at mass, and then we processed down to the May crowning, which required a crane.  All around, an awesome Sunday.


III. My cute 3 year old...

When reading the gospel reading for Sunday, we asked Ada (3), what word stood out? (knowing that she has pretty much no idea what's going on)

Ada: "shepherd" (which, by the way, was not in the reading)
Matt:  "why?"
Ada:  "Because there is only one Mary" (while pointing her finger at me)
Me:  "Well, there are other Mary's..."
Ada:  "But deres only one Bwessed Modder"

Completely unrelated to the gospel reading, but I'd say she's getting something!

IV. How did we get here?

Two years ago, I was using this book to teach first graders.  Today, my kindergartener is reading this book.  How did my girl get so old?  

I have watched kids learn to read, which is always very cool, but when it's your own kid, it's like a miracle.  <sigh>

V.  This song.  

Cause it rocks.

Cool side note, Moriah Peters is newly married to one of the guys from For King and Country.  And apparently they had their first kiss at their wedding.  Pretty cute!

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Sixth Sunday of Easter, Cycle B}

Monday, May 4, 2015

This week's readings seem to be about one thing: love.

In the gospel reading, we hear Jesus tell His disciples:

It sounds so simple, "love one another as I love you".  

For probably as long as I can remember, I have been struggling with my short-temper.  I like to say that I'm not that analytical, in that I don't spend a lot of time pondering and analyzing each word someone has said, what they meant or didn't mean, how I should interpret it, etc.  This also means that I don't think a whole lot before I say things myself....which often times means that my short-temper gets the words out before I've even had time to think enough to stop it.  It is something I pray about and struggle with everyday, especially with small children who tend to fight against control (which I tend to impose too much of) and who have their own God-given personalities and ideas that can sometimes run counter to mine.  Life doesn't fit into the perfect little box that I seem to be inclined to fit it into.

Needless to say, I want to live each moment of each day selflessly loving my children, my husband, my family and friends, my acquaintances, and strangers.  I know that to do this will take prayer and practice.  

Recently I heard Matthew Kelly speak, and he said that the saints didn't lead lives of complete holiness.  The saints lived many holy moments.  So from this, his idea for becoming holier was to aim to build moments of holiness.  First for 1 minute of holiness, then when you've got that, go for 2 minutes, 3 minutes, etc.   

So that's what I'm going to try to do.  Live moments of holiness in which I am loving all others as Jesus loves me.

Pray for me!   

Here is this week's Catholic Family Meeting slideshow: