The Holy Childhood of Jesus

Did you know that January has always been dedicated to the Holy Childhood of Jesus? It is a devotion that dates back to the 300’s AD – and even earlier.

I confess that up until a few years ago, I never had any particular devotion to the Childhood of Jesus; however, I have a statue of the Infant of Prague that my Aunt Pat gave me years ago. She always said that if I kept a dollar bill under the statue I’d always have money. (Is that because there’s always a dollar under the statue or because the Lord is watching over me, or a little bit of both?!)

There isn’t a lot of information about devotion to the Childhood of Jesus; however, if you’d like to explore the history and practices of devotion to the Childhood of Jesus (and the Infant of Prague), you can check out the sites here, here and here.

What We Can Learn from Devotion to the Childhood of Jesus

It is a deep and tremendous thing what God has done for us. He sent His only son, Jesus, to save us and show us the way to Him and to heaven. Crazier still, God sent His son to us as a baby. A baby! A humble, helpless baby. Jesus, human in all respects, grew into childhood and teenhood and adulthood. Truly amazing.

As we reflect on the childhood of Jesus we learn humility, obedience, patience, and love. Humility, obedience and patience are not particularly popular in today’s world. It wants what it wants and wants it now! But, it doesn’t always work that way. Through devotion to the Childhood of Jesus we can learn to see the world with a new perspective and understanding of God’s ways – at least in a very small way. Devotion to the Childhood can be (and is) an important part of our spiritual life. I hope that you will take some time to learning about this devotion and consider adding it into your life.

Prayer to the Infant Jesus

“O Jesus, Prince of Peace and King of the Universe, you chose to humble yourself and come into the world, not as a powerful ruler, but as a helpless infant; grant us the grace of humility and gentleness before you and our brothers and sisters. Grant, too, O Lord, that we may always strive to achieve the virtue and innocence of your own Holy Childhood. Instill in us a growing faith you, O Lord, and the strength to resist temptation in a world which so widely rejects you. Look upon us with compassion and forgive us our sins. Fill our hearts with kindness and understanding, especially for children, the aged and those we dislike or who dislike us.

O Jesus, who so loved children that you admonished us, “Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven,” grant us a child-like faith and purity of heart. Give us the grace not only to pray fervently, but to help spread your Gospel by deed as well as word. Amen.” (From Franciscan Mission Associates pamphlet)

(Found the prayer here.)

*********

Tweetable: Devotion to the Childhood of Jesus

The Miracle Prayer

The following prayer was passed out during the Women’s Conference that I attended in December. I have no idea where it came from or who wrote it but think it is a perfect prayer to pray as we get into the New Year.

The Miracle Prayer

I recommend you find a quiet place and pray the Miracle Prayer slowly and with intention. Let the Lord’s love surround you and fill your soul.

The Miracle prayer

“Lord Jesus, I come before You just as I am. I am sorry for my sins. I repent of my sins, please forgive me. In Your Name, I forgive all others for what they have done against me.

(Pause for a short time here and allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind anyone you need to forgive. When He does, for each person say out loud, I forgive. Then continue the prayer.)

I renounce satan, the evil spirits and all their works. I give you my entire self. Lord Jesus, now and forever, I invite You into my life. Jesus, I accept You as my Lord, God and Savior. Heal me, change me, strengthen me, and deliver me in body, soul, mind, and spirit.

Come Lord Jesus, cover me with Your precious blood and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I love you, Lord Jesus. I praise You, Lord Jesus. I thank You, Lord Jesus. I shall follow You every day of my life.

Amen”

*********

Tweetable: The Miracle Prayer

My Word for 2017

For the last couple of years, I have followed the example of Chris Brogan and set “3 words” to focus on for each year. This year, I am doing it a little differently. As I was praying for my words, only one word stood out:

COURAGE

No matter how I prayed or thought about it. It is the only word that stood out for me so I guess God is telling me something here!

My Word for 2017

Thus, 2017 will be a year of courage for me. It will be a year of action and a year of getting out of my comfort zone. I don’t know for sure what this will look like but I know it will mean some stretching and growing on my part. It makes me nervous but I know it will be a good thing!

I do know that I want to put myself out there more in an authentic and helpful way. This blog is all about encouraging and supporting women in their journey of faith and I want to do just that. And that leads me to my question:

What do you need? What struggles or questions of faith are you having? Would you be interested in coaching, retreats or courses about our Catholic faith? How do you think you can best be supported in living out a flourishing Catholic life? You don’t have to answer publicly in the comments. Feel free to use the contact page or email me a carol (@) simplecatholiciving (dot) com.

I’m not Making Goals This Year and Here’s Why

If you are a regular reader here, you know that a few years ago I switched from making “resolutions” to making “goals.” It was more of a mindset and perspective thing but it made a difference for me. I made those goals specific and measurable and I made great strides in accomplishing my goals.

I'm Not Making Yearly Goals This Year

Nevertheless, I sometimes got overwhelmed looking at the whole year and everything I want to do. (Anyone else?) Last year in 2016, especially, was a challenge for me. I struggled physically, emotionally, and felt like failure when I feel behind in my goals/plans. Some goals, like the making videos, were dropped altogether.  By October, I knew I needed to make a change but felt stuck.

That is why I decided not to make yearly goals this year, and instead, I made an outline. As a writer, I often read or hear about the importance of using outlines to guide authors in their writing endeavors. Thus, I sat down and wrote a broad outline of the things I want to accomplish for 2017 and used my calendar to fill in deadline dates. As the year progresses, I will readjust monthly and quarterly.

How does this look like?

For example, I want to write/create a lot of books in 2017. Thus, I  made an outline of how many books I want to write each month for January, February, and March. Then, I took my calendar and picked a “due date” for each book. Then, at the end of each month, I will re-evaluate and see if my goal is realistic or needs tweaking.

For January, I want to create a planner and a short grammar guide (for my carolda.com website). Thus, I took some time during the week between Christmas and New Year’s to fill in the blanks: I created a working title, scheduled writing time, and made a bare-bones outline of the books themselves.

Basically, instead of making goals this year, I am scheduling this year. 🙂

I am really excited about this plan and I can’t wait to see what the New Year will bring. I am ready to take better control and be more intentional with my life and business! How about you? What are your plans for the New Year? What are you doing to take control and make 2017 your best year yet? Do share!

P.S. Don’t worry, I won’t bug you will posts every month and/or quarterly with updates!

Do You Want a Healthier You in 2017?

(I am interrupting my Christmas break to give you some news from one of my favorite bloggers, Money Saving Mom. 🙂 )

15 Days to a healthier You

One of the biggest resolutions people make each year is to lose weight. I’ve made that a goal of mine many a year! But what if you could do it differently? What if you could focus on the “whole you” and not just the diet and exercise bit of getting healthy?

Well, Crystal Paine is on a mission to do just that. She has created a course aptly named, 15 Days to a Healthier You. In this course, Crystal will take a holistic approach and help you make realistic goals, make health a priority, and boost your energy.

In this 15 day course you will get a daily 15 minute live video with Crystal (will be recorded), daily lessons and projects, access to a private Facebook group, accountability and more! It is a great opportunity to get the new year off to a great start.

And guess what? Your investment is only $15. That is a dollar a day. Not bad, huh?! I suggest you go sign up now because sign ups CLOSE on January 3. Then, access to Facebook group opens January 6th and the program starts January 9th.

For more information go here.

Merry Christmas and See You Next Year! (Blogging Break)

Today starts my yearly Christmas blogging break. There are several things going on so I am starting the break a little early this year. You know the drill – “when you make plans, God laughs!”  I’ll be back on or around January 4, 2017, I promise. 🙂 (Wow, I can’t believe I am writing 2017! Where did the time go?!)

I am very grateful for each of you and wish all of you and your families a truly wonderful and blessed Christmas and New Year Celebration. May 2017 be a year of great graces and blessings for all of us.

Christmas manger

Image by publicdomainpictures (2012) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

 

The Immaculate Conception

Today, December 8, is the glorious solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It is a day that all Catholics should celebrate with joy and thanksgiving because this amazing gift to Mary is also a gift for us!

Immaculate Conception

Image by Murillo (1678) via wikipedia, CCO Public Domain

What is the purpose of the Solemnity?

This solemnity celebrates the great grace given to Mary in virtue of the fact that she was to be the mother of Our Savior: She was conceived without original sin.

We are all born with original sin thanks to our first parents, Adam and Eve. At baptism original sin is washed away. But for Mary, she was freed from original sin at the moment of her conception.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in articles 490-493:

“Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135

The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.137″

This is a wonderful mystery that we would do well to meditate upon. I encourage you to go deeper into this mystery and for more information you can go here.

********

Tweetable: The Immaculate Conception

It’s Your Last Chance!

Reminder: today is the last day to get the eBook version of the Advent Prayer Journal for $5 bucks. 🙂 Tomorrow, the price goes back up to $10.

Advent Prayer Journal for Women Cover

You can find out more about the book here. Also, if you are looking for other ideas for Advent, I have 5 ideas to help you get the most out of this Advent Season.

I pray that this Advent Season is a grace-filled, prayer-filled, and peace-filled time for you! God bless.

Saint Andrew and the Christmas Novena

Today is the feast of Saint Andrew, a wonderful and powerful saint. He was a great Apostle and missionary of the Lord. He is mentioned several times in the gospel. In fact, he brought Saint Peter to Jesus. I love that Saint Andrew told Peter, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41) after only one encounter! Of course there were ups and downs in his relationship with the Lord, but after the Resurrection and St. Andrew receives the Holy Spirit he becomes a mighty instrument for the Lord!

Image by unknown author (13th Century) via Wikipedia, CCO Public Domain

Image by unknown author (13th Century) via Wikipedia, CCO Public Domain

Saint Andrew died a martyr on a cross that was in the shape of an X. He was not nailed, but bound, to the cross and suffered for two days before finally passing to the Lord. Saint Andrew is the patron of fisherman and the countries of Russia, Scotland, and Greece. He also has the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena named after him.

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

The Saint Andrew Christmas novena starts today, November 30, and continues until Christmas day. The prayer is very short and simple. All you have to do is say the following prayer 15 times a day, every day from now until Christmas. (I promise you, it only takes a few minutes.)

“Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of his Blessed Mother. Amen.”

By the way, you don’t have to say the prayer 15 times all at once. Some years I do, but some years, I break it up and say the prayer five times in a row, three times a day. I just added it to my prayers before meals. Some years, I break it up and say the prayer two times a day (7 times and then 8 times). Also, don’t be scrupulous if you miss a day or two, I’ve done that, too!

You can get a printable version of the prayer here. No opt-in required.

Resources

Here are some links to peruse and get to know Saint Andrew better.

AmericanCatholic.org

New Advent

Catholic.org

SaintAndrew.us

**************

Tweetable: Saint Andrew and the Christmas Novena

Saints and Feast Days in December 2016

Wow. Just wow. There are only a couple more days left before December. I am so NOT ready! Well, ready or not, here it comes, right?! And, of course, with a new month comes a new set of saint and feast days – the last one for the year.

Image by artemtation (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Image by artemtation (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Saints and Feasts

December 2: First Friday Devotions (optional)

December 3First Saturday Devotions (optional)

December 3: St. Francis Xavier, priest (obligatory memorial)

December 6: St. Nicholas, bishop (optional memorial)

December 7: St. Ambrose, bishop & doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

December 8: The Immaculate Conception (solemnity, holy day of obligation)

December 9: St. Juan Diego (optional memorial)

December 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe (feast)

December 13: St. Lucy, virgin and martyr (obligatory memorial)

December 14: St. John of the Cross, priest & doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

December 21: St. Canisius, priest & doctor of the church (optional memorial)

December 23: St. John of Kanty, priest (optional memorial)

December 25:  Nativity of Our Lord Merry Christmas! (solemnity, holy day of obligation)

December 26: St. Stephen, the first martyr (feast)

December 27: St. John, apostle and evangelist (feast)

December 28: The Holy Innocents, martyrs (feasts)

December 29: St. Thomas Becket, bishop & martyr (optional memorial)

December 30: The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph (feast)

 December 31: St. Sylvester I, pope (optional memorial)

Other Dates to Note

Every Saturday is traditionally dedicated to devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

December is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

December 7: Pearl Harbor Day, 1941 (USA)

December 21: Winter Begins

December 26: Boxing Day (Canada)

You can print out a pdf version of this here (no opt-in required).

*********

Tweetable: Saints and Feast Days in December 2016