What Are We Teaching Our Children?

I purposely do not get political online (or publicly) and I don’t plan to now; however, I feel called to share my heart. The events that have transpired since election day has been alarming and heartbreaking. It is also aggravating. (Warning: mini-rant below)

What are we Teaching Our Children?

What I am referring to is the rioting and violence that has erupted since Trump was elected. I am referring to the over-dramatic response by many, especially our young people – and not-so-young people. Over the weekend, I heard about someone who was verbally attacked just because she asked someone if they were okay (because the person looked upset and as if she had been crying).ย  I also read about a young boy who was bullied and yelled at by an adult because he voted for Trump in a mock election. On top of all this, you can’t go on Facebook or other social media site without being bombarded by anti-Trump news, protesting and riots.

So, I can’t help but wonder what we are teaching our kids. What is going on when college classes are being canceled and counseling services are being offered for those “adversely affected” by the election? Seriously? Are we really raising a generation of infantile, indoctrinated people with an entitlement mentality?

How about teaching our children about how democracy works? Or, how about we teach them that they can’t always have what they want when they want it? How about teaching them that there is disappointment in life and give them tools for dealing with it more maturely? How about we teach them how to accept defeat graciously. I see what’s going on and it looks like a bunch of babies having temper tantrums just like my son sometimes does when he doesn’t get his way!

Now, don’t misconstrue me. The disappointments and anger of Clinton’s supporters are real. They have a right to their opinions, and feelings. They have a right to be respected and their feelings are valid. And, they have a right to express those feelings. Just like anyone else. At the same time, however, those feelings need to be expressed in better and healthier ways. How is rioting and destroying property helping anyone? How does beating up people or ridiculing people with different opinions (especially those who voted for Trump) make a difference? Those actions will not change the results of the election.

If the Republicans or conservatives did half of what is being done, there would be no media coverage. Or if there is, it would be to bash them for not accepting the results. There is a huge double standard here.ย  But our young people! They have witnessed some the worse anti-Christian behavior, including Christian against Christian.

What example are we giving our children and young people when we slam each other (with our words, and sometimes fists)? What are we doing by allowing our schools to indoctrinate our children with anti-democratic (and revisionist) rhetoric? Why aren’t we teaching our children to have a strong work ethic and empower them to become productive members of society who can think for themselves? Why aren’t we helping them to learn to listen to and respect perspectives and opinions different than their own?ย  We owe them that much. We owe ourselves and our future that much.

The world isn’t going to implode or explode because of the outcome of the election like the over-dramatic babble would like us to believe. We owe it to Trump as our new President to give him a chance, as we had to do with Obama. And guess what? Many of the events and problems which the left / Clinton and Obama supports are so afraid of have existed long before Trump ran for President. Division, discrimination, economic problems, and other issues shamefully existed before Trump and some things even got worse in Obama’s administration (Obamacare has crushed my family financially & coverage-wise). So, for our kids’ sake, we need to take a deep breath and start thinking with our heads. We can’t let fear control our lives.

Besides, we may not know what the next four years (and beyond) will bring but we know that God is control. Therefore, I have hope. I have faith in the power of God. I know that no matter what happens we are in His hands. Our children are also in His hands. So, I will continue to pray. I will pray for President-elect Trump, all our leaders, for our children, and for those with whom I differ. I will pray for those who have rioted and have caused havoc this past week and I will pray for their victims. I will even pray for the media and Hollywood elite who are so far misguided and out-of-touch with common America it isn’t funny.

So, I will pray, pray, pray. Will you pray with me?

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Tweetable: What Are We Teaching Our Children?

A Prayer for our Veterans

(Repost)

A Prayer for Veterans

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation and have laid down their lives
to protect and defend our freedom.

We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war,
whose nights are haunted by memories too painful for the light of day.

We pray for those who serve us now, especially for those in harm’s way.
Shield them from danger and bring them home.

Turn the hearts and minds of our leaders and our enemies to the work of justice and a harvest of peace.

Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor!

May the peace you left us, the peace you gave us, be the peace that sustains,
the peace that saves us.

Christ Jesus, hear us!
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!

Amen.

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Tweetable: Prayer for Veterans

(Prayer written by Concord Pastor)

Here is a video tribute to our soldiers:

Get Out There and Vote!

I don’t get political on this blog or on social media and that is on purpose. So, I am not going to tell you for whom you should (or must) vote. I do, however, want to encourage you to get out there and vote today!

It is your God-given privilege and right to vote. And for us women, who didn’t get the right to vote until 1920, it is especially important that we take full advantage of this right. So please, vote, vote, vote!

Get Out There and Vote

5 Ideas for Advent

Canย  you believe that Advent begins on Sunday, November 27?? That is only 2 1/2 weeks away! That’s not a lot of time to think about how you want prepare spiritually for Christmas.

In the past, I would get so caught up with the material preparations of Christmas that I would get overwhelmed and lose focus on the the meaning of Christmas. I would get stressed, lose sleep, and generally just wish that the whole season would be done and over. (Sound familiar?)

Image by geralt (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by geralt (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Then, a couple of years ago, I decided it was time to take stock and make some decisions to help me focus on the purpose of Advent which, of course, is to prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. The changes made a huge difference for me and so I will follow the same plan.

Now, for me, preparing for Advent (or Lent) isn’t necessarily about adding more things to my schedule. It is about making the most of my current schedule…So here are the 5 things I plan to do this year:

I. Take Care of Most of the Material things early.

Yes, I am one of those ober-organized people who like to do things in advance. ๐Ÿ™‚ For Instance, I already have my shopping list and my card list written. I also hope to have my cards ready to send out by the time Advent starts and some of the gifts purchased. If all goes well, I should be done with all my Christmas shopping before the second week of Advent!

As for baking, I plan to do some baking early and freeze it all. Most baking goods, especially cookies, freeze really well. However, for some items, I will have to wait to last-minute so they are baked fresh. ๐Ÿ™‚

II. Go to Daily Mass Twice a Week.

In the past, I would commit to go to daily mass and fail every year. It just isn’t realistic for this time in my life. Therefore, for this year, I am going to commit to going to daily Mass twice a week. That is definitely doable.

III. Fast Twice a Week.

Fasting isn’t just for Lent! Technically, Advent is a penitential season and this was especially true pre-Vatican II. In fact, the Church still encourages us to fast regularly all throughout the year even though it is not an official precept of the Church.

There are many benefits of fasting and I have wanted to get into this practice for a while. Therefore, I figure Advent would be a great time to finally get started. I will be fasting Wednesdays and Fridays.

IV. Use an Advent Calendar and Advent Wreathe.

Of course, the Advent Calendar and Advent Wreathe are perfect activities to do with children. I will do the Advent Calendar with Andrew each morning and light the Advent Wreathe candle during each meal as a family.

V. Journal.

If you know me, you know writing is in my blood and I journal regularly. In fact, that is one of the reasons I started creating journals in the first place. It may sound crazy but having my own little space to write out my thoughts, dreams, and struggles is important to my spiritual welfare. Writing is my preferred way of communication and it is how I best “talk” to God. Can you relate or is it just me?!

Last year, I created an Advent journal but it was too late to actually use for the Advent season. So, for this year, I will actually be using the journal I created. What I like most about the journal is that it is simple and has a lot of lines and writing space. Each page has a scripture verse that (sometimes loosely) correlates to the daily Mass readings and then lines for writing. It is not a guided journal but some days I will use the scripture as a starting point for prayer and some days I will just write for the heart. It also includes blank pages for drawing and/or pasting and has a section for prayer requests.

If you are interested, you can find more about the journal and purchase it here. Also, for a limited time, I am offering the PDF version of the journal for only $5 bucks! It is regularly $10 so it is half-price but it won’t last long. The sale ends on Friday, December 2, 2016.

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For more ideas for Advent, here are 10 Ways to Make Advent Meaningful and an Advent Meditation.

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Tweetable: 5 Ideas for Advent

Advent Prayer Journal for Women Cover

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging Plan!

Whew! So I made it through the Write 31 Days writing challenge! I feel a sense of accomplishment having managing to do every day of the challenge except one. At the same time, I am feeling a little tired and ready for a break. ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging Plan

Therefore, I am going back to my original blogging plan and will be writing twice a week. I am aiming for Wednesdays and Fridays, for the most part. We will see. However, no matter what, I will be blogging once a week.

I am hoping to start doing videos. I have been wanting to start doing videos for a while but it hasn’t worked out so far; hopefully, it will work out soon. I also have some raw, personal posts that I am writing – I’m just not sure if (or when) I will actually publish them.

Anyway, that is a long way around to say that I won’t be writing as much, mostly once or twice a week. ๐Ÿ™‚

God Bless!

Saint Martin de Porres, Pray for Us!

November 3 is the optional memorial of Saint Martin de Porres. If you are a regular reader here at Simple Catholic Living, you may know that Saint Martin is one of my favorite saints. In fact, I think I may mention him every year on his feast day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saint Martin de Porres, Pray for Us

Image by Anonymous (siglo XVII) via Wikipedia, CCO Public domain

I can’t help myself. He is a saint who suffered great poverty and adversity in his life. He faced rejection (from his own father!), racism, and injustice. Yet, he remained kind, charitable, and humble through it all. He gave what little he had joyfully and loved everyone. Like Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Martin loved all animals, great and small – and they loved him back.

Saint Martin was also one of those saints that received extraordinary graces from the Lord, such as bi-location. However, they were never the focus. Prayer, penance, love. Those are the things that set Saint Martin apart.

Well, it is what sets apart all saints, isn’t it? They love, pray, and give more than the rest. But, since the day I learned about him I have been drawn to him. I want to love God as he did and serve my neighbor as he did.

He is a great model for us all. Saint Martin de Porres, pray for us!

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Tweetable: Saint Martin de Porres, Pray for Us!

Chaplet for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

(I am reposting this prayer because it is a beautiful and appropriate prayer for today, All Souls Day.)

Traditionally in the Catholic Church, November is the month for remembering and praying for the dead – the holy souls in purgatory.

In 2 Maccabees 12:46 we learn that it “is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead.”

I’ve had a great devotion to the holy souls for a long time. I’ve always prayed the rosary, or novena for them and now, thanks to Barb at Suffering With Joy, I’ve discovered a new way to pray for the souls: a chaplet for the poor souls. It is a beautiful prayer that doesn’t take very long at all to pray!

Chaplet for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

For your convenience, I am posting the prayer here, but Barb has a short reflection on the holy souls that I encourage you to read.

Chaplet for the Poor Souls

On the large beads:

V. Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Thy Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the lamb without blemish or spot (1 Ps 1:19)

R. For the refreshment and deliverance of the souls in Purgatory

(One can add here, especially those of your family, or of your ancestry, or of priests. The Holy Spirit sometimes moves one to pray for particular groups of Holy Souls.)

Ten times on the small beads:

V. By Thy Precious Blood, O Jesus โ€“

R. Purify and deliver their souls.

After having said five decades, one concludes with:

V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

V. May they rest in peace.

R. Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!

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Here is a printable version of this chaplet:ย Chaplet for the Poor Souls in Purgatoryย  No opt-in required.

Tweetable: Chaplet for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

Happy Feast of All Saints!

All Holy Saints in heaven, pray for us!

(Painting by Fra Angelico)

Here is a link to a video about All Saints that I posted last year.

Prayer for the Deceased

Yes, today is Halloween but it was originally celebrated as “All Hallow’s Eve.” All Hallow’s Eve was (is) the day before All Saint’s Day which is the day we remember all the “unsung Saints” who are now in Heaven.

Something not so mentioned (or popular) nowadays is All Soul’s Day. It is a day that we pray in a special way for the souls in Purgatory. The official day All Soul’s Day is November 2 but we can (and should) pray anytime for those dear souls. So, let us do so today:

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Receive in tranquility and peace, O Lord, the souls of your servants who have departed this present life to come to you. Grant them rest and place them in the habitations of light, the abodes of blessed spirits. Give them the life that will not age, good things that will not pass away, delights that have no end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”St. Ignatius of Antioch

May all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace!

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Tweetable: Prayer for the Deceased

Hat tip to MyCatholicSource.com which is where I found this prayer.

31 Days Writing Challenge

31 Days of Prayer – Prayer for Vocations

Praying for vocations are near and dear to my heart. As some of you may know, I spent a number of years discerning a religious vocation with the Little Sisters of the Poor. Even though I do not have a vocation, spending time with those sisters was one the best things I’ve ever done. I learned so much about my faith, myself and others. Seriously, sometimes I think everyone should go through a noviate!

31 Days of Prayer - Prayer for Vocations

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Thus, as our month of prayer comes to a close, I think it is fitting and proper to pray for vocations. We need holy priests, brothers, and sisters in the Church!

This prayer for vocations comes from the USCCB website:

โ€œLoving God, you call all who believe in you to grow perfect in love by following in the footsteps of Christ your Son. Call from among us more men and women who will serve you as religious. By their way of life, may they provide a convincing sign of your Kingdom for the Church and the whole world. We ask this in Jesusโ€™ name. Amen.โ€

In your prayers for vocations, don’t forget that marriage is a vocation, and so is the single life. We need to pray for holy and faithful marriages. We also need single lay faithful who are called to serve the church in various capacities! May the Lord send workers into His harvest!

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Tweetable: 31 Days of Prayer – Prayer for Vocations

31 Days Writing Challenge