The Secret to Holiness

(Repost but still relevant!)

Catchy title, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t claim to truly have the secret to holiness, obviously. However, I think that as I’ve been The Secret to Holinessgetting older, I’ve discovered the secret of holiness for me.

In reality, holiness is nothing more than growing into a deep, living and personal relationship with God. We get to know God through liturgical and personal prayer, frequenting the sacraments, practicing virtue, reading scripture and studying our faith. It is living our lives in Jesus, and through Jesus, with the power of the Holy Spirit, with the Father. It is having our hearts aligned with God.

Isn’t that what the saints did (do)? They have an abiding prayer life – even when it is dry and difficult for them. They receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession, regularly. They practice virtue, often to an heroic degree, daily. They often have a great understanding of scripture and the precepts of our faith, as well. (FYI, knowledge of scripture doesn’t always mean being “learned.” There were, and are, many “uneducated” people who have great knowledge of the ways of God!)

The saints make no excuses. They are consistent in following the ways of the Lord. Instead of falling into complacency they actively seek God and work to serve Him. And, therein, for me, lies the secret to holiness: consistency. Consistency is key.

I don’t know about you, but I make excuses. It is just SO EASY to make excuses or to put other things first. I make resolutions and fail to keep them. I justify myself when I fail in virtue (he “made” me be impatient, because he won’t do what I want!). Sometimes I feel like I am the seed that was choked among the thorns (Matthew 13:1-23). I start out promising to be patient or pray more or go to daily mass or whatever; then, life gets in the way. Or, rather, I let life get in the way. I don’t manage my time properly or get my priorities mixed up. I’m inconsistent in living my faith, not only the way I “should” live it but the way I ultimately WANT to live it.

Is it a lack of faith? Maybe. I’m not sure. Maybe, if I had the faith of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20), all the excuses, justifications, and inconsistencies would disappear. I don’t know. I do know that I need to work at being more consistent and focused.

How about you? What do you think about this? what does holiness mean to you? What do you think is the secret of holiness to you?

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Tweetable: The Secret to Holiness

Product Review: Super Saints Craft Kit and Giveaway

About the Super Saints Craft Kit

The Super Saints Craft kit is a set of 54 saint cards that gives families a fun way to learn about the lives of the saints. It also comes with rules for two games, Super Saints Stats and Super Saints Showdown.

Super-Saints-cover-54

My Comments

In the past, I have reviewed two products from Equipping Catholic families, Lingo Bingo and Journey with Jesus: Sacraments. Therefore, when I had the opportunity to review the Super Saints Craft kit, I was happy to do so. In addition, because I enjoyed Lingo Bingo and journey with Jesus, I had high standards for the kit. I am happy to report that the Super Saints Craft kit not only met my expectations, but exceeded them.

Now, I didn’tย  have the time or have the chance to professionally print the cards at Staples or Office max, so I printed them out myself. I pretty much used up all my ink, but I wanted to try out the cards and get the review up in time for you to participate in the giveaway. It was worth it, and I’m glad I printed them out; however, I highly recommend you get them professionally printed and laminated so that they are sturdier and easier to play with.

And play we did! It was a lot of fun to play the games and I learned just as much as Andrew did about the saints. The craft gift is a game that we will play over and over again. The cards are adorable and contain simple and interesting facts that are easy to memorize.

Also, I can see the cards as being very versatile. For example, I am thinking that I may print out two copies of the cards and using them as Catholic version of “go fish.” They can also just be used as simple flash cards. I am pretty sure that those who are more creative than I will come up with better ideas of their own.

So, as you may have guessed, I definitely recommend the craft kit and give it four (4) stars.

The Giveaway

To celebrate the release of these Super Saints Craft Kits, Monica is hosting a giveaway. You can win a $40 gift card for any of the Catholic printables on equippingcatholicfamilies.com. The giveaway ends tomorrow (Thursday, August 20) at 11pm, so don’t delay in getting in your entry!

 

Product Review: Journey With Jesus: Sacraments

Journey with Jesus

via http://www.armadei.blogspot.com

Monica over at equippingcatholicfamilies.com was kind enough to give me the “Journey with Jesus: Sacraments” craft kit to review.

Journey with Jesus is a 23 page printable kit that teaches children about each of the 7 Sacraments as well as the Mass, the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and the Stations of the Cross. Each page has fill in the blanks, prayers, Catechism and Scripture quotes and information regarding the Sacrament being studied. There are also pictures related to each Sacrament that the child can study. Once the pages are completed they can be made into an accordion scrapbook like in the picture above, or put into a store-bought scrapbook or one that you’ve created yourself.

My experience

So far, Andrew and I have worked on the Baptism and Sacrament of Penance pages. He is seven and will be making his First Holy Communion next year, God willing. My plan is to work on the pages as much as we can, put the scrapbook together and then revisit the book each time he receives a sacrament. And not being very creative (!) I’ve opted to just make our scrapbook out of construction paper.

So far Andrew and I have enjoyed working on the pages together. It’s been so wonderful talking about Baptism and Penance with him and watching his understanding and knowledge of our faith expand. I’ve read the Scripture and Catechism passages, having Andrew read the words he knows before he colored and glued and the pages to the construction paper.

If I had one slight criticism, it would be that the fill in the blank lines are a little too small. I’ve had to write the answers down for him because he’s not able to write that small yet. Having said, that, there really isn’t anyway to make them bigger and include everything on each page.

Andrew’s experience

When I asked Andrew how he like the craft kit, and told him I would be writing a review, he told me that he wanted to give his own review. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is what he said:

I like this stuff, except there’s too many words I don’t know. I like the pictures to color and I like gluing.

Here are a few pictures he wanted me to take of him working on the pages:

Andrew coloring

Baptism page

Finished Baptism

Happy Andrew

I definitely recommend this Sacrament craft kit and give the program four (4) stars. ๐Ÿ™‚