Monday, March 10, 2014

An Online Daily Mass Schedule

My Lenten resolutions are nebulous—to do a little fasting and spend more time with the Lord.  But I think that works for me this year—there are many ways to pray, and if I dabble in several of them I'm bound to find that I have in fact shared more of my life and my heart with Him, and I may even form a new habit with the kids.

Here's one option, since I still have squirmy little ones who need some training on behaving in church: Mass online. It's certainly not the same as being there in person, but it has advantages. I can pick a time most convenient, explain or correct as loudly as I need to, even pause (if it's an uploaded version rather than streaming).

Here are a few options, in case you feel similarly inclined. All times are Eastern.

EWTN—8:00 AM (Live)
Catholic TV—9:30 (Live)
Daily Mass (YouTube channel)—about 11:00 AM
EWTN—12:00 PM
The Daily Mass—by 12:00 PM (requires you to submit e-mail)
EWTN—7:00 PM
EWTN—12:00 AM

More here

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Children's Stations

Yesterday we went to the Stations of the Cross. It was one of those things that I decided in the back of my mind that I need to do with the kids this Lent. We always seem to skid into one Friday Stations service in all of Lent (a few crucial minutes late, likely as not), and I felt that we were all missing something vital in our devotional lives not to put more emphasis on it. (I've been feeling similarly about daily Mass lately.)

So we went. When I take all the kids to church by myself, I count it as a success if most of us are present inside for most of the time, and nobody loses any bodily fluids in the pew. Today I was obliged to exit with both little girls right when the procession was closest to our pew. The two-year-old kept bowling her brother over going back and forth to the holy water font; and while I managed periodically to stave off the three-year-old's otherwise incessant whining by pointing out that everyone was looking at her (being in the direct line of vision between the entire congregation and the priestly procession), I could not stem the wails that followed her solid and self-inflicted blow to the head on the hymnal rack.

It was a relief to read Leila's words at Like Mother, Like Daughter about taking children to the Stations of the Cross.

Now, here’s the important part. You need to go there so that you can pray the Stations as your devotion. Not to “teach” the kids. They are coming along because they go places with you.

Will they be squirmy? Probably.

Will they slide under the pew and hit their heads on the rack that holds the missalettes and hymnals? Yes.

Will they have no clue as to what’s going on? Pretty much.

That’s okay. Little by little it will dawn on them. It may take years (and will certainly take years in the case of the one-year-old, of course).

The important thing is that they experience it as something outside of themselves, something about Jesus, something that inspires wonder precisely because it’s mysterious and desperately sad and also beautiful. They will sense a closeness to Jesus, if only through your own closeness.

That is living your Lent with them.

Don’t require affirmation from them. Don’t look for signs that they are getting it or experiencing wonder. Just live it.

Oh, Auntie Leila, you do know, don't you?

There are a lot of wonderful suggestions at the post for bringing this devotion to your children, and bringing them into it. I love a good new idea. I think I might plant a seed in one or two of them about building their own stations somewhere in the house or outside, let them "come up" with the notion and run with it.

I have some fine arts images of the Stations of the Cross that I can think up some uses for; and some of the fold-out miniature Stations printout activity that was available online a while ago. And when we came home, my seven-year-old asked if they could watch the Stations of the Cross for children that they remembered seeing some time ago.

I'm looking forward to this Lent, due in no small part to an eagerness to share with my family and witness their growing devotion, God bless their sweet hearts.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Renegade Poetry Friday honor of my fifth-times-two child, who keeps us all busy. I haven't seen or done a Poetry Friday in a long time, but this well-known poem ebbs and flows in my insides, begging me to claim it.

“Song for a Fifth Child (The Value of Values) “
by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth!
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullabye, rockabye, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Lullabye, rockabye, lullaby loo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo,
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my “Roo.”
(Lullabye, rockabye, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs;
Dust, go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby,
And babies don’t keep.


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