THE FAMILY ZONE
Equipping the Domestic Church/ISSUE 99/11.13.22
Glory, Gratitude and Anticipated Hope!
Click on the link below for the readings that you will hear at the Sunday Mass for the coming two weeks. This will give you a chance to prepare your heart and mind for full and active participation in Mass this weekend! For a Mass schedule in our diocese click on the grey button below.
Sunday Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112022.cfm
Family Stories: Here are some stories to help children cultivate a sense of gratitude:
My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith
Our Table by Peter Reynolds
Gracias/Thanks by Pat Mora
My Gratitude Jar by Kristen Wiens
1. Choose 4 special books with a Christian Advent or Christmas Theme. Place the books in a basket next to your Advent Wreath or Calendar. Share a family story on each of the four Sundays of Advent. Have a special snack and time for chatting about the story afterward!
2. Decorate a Jesse Tree with Bible-themed, homemade ornaments. Here is a link for a special plan https://www.faithward.org/jesse-tree/#:~:text=What%20is%20Jesse%20Tree%3F,story%20on%20your%20Jesse%20Tree.
3. Celebrate a Catholic Feast Day that falls during Advent such as St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucy's Day, or Our Lady of Guadalupe. Follow this link to get you started in planning your special family day! https://www.catholicicing.com/advent-saints-feasts-days-to-celebrate-during-advent-with-catholic-kids/
4. Attend a special Advent offering at your parish and spend some time in quiet prayer. If possible, take a quiet walk to see Christmas lights, before the service to set the tone, and get the jitters out of busy kids.
5. Set up the manger at the beginning of the season, but only put the animals in. Slowly move Mary and Joseph toward the manger during the month. Make a special point of watching the progress on their journey! Fill the manger with a piece of straw or thin strip of yellow paper each time your family shows kindness to others during the month. Put Jesus in on Christmas Eve!
6. Keep your tree undecorated until Christmas Eve to signify ringing in the Christmas season and closing out Advent or slowly decorate the house with just one item daily so that kids see the difference between Advent and Christmas!
O God, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of all things, we pray in gratitude for your steadfast presence in our lives, even when we fail to see you at work. We offer, at the close of another year, our deepest thanks for the fatherly care with which you have watched over us during the past, for the many times you have protected us from evil, and for the countless blessings, you have showered upon us. Please God, accept the praise of our grateful hearts which we offer in union with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
When you are feeling rushed this holiday season, consciously slow yourself down. Breathe, pray and sit in solitude for a bit. Listen before responding, and work to live in the moment. Also, avoid your impulses for immediate gratification. Train your brain to slow down by engaging in tasks like a jigsaw or crossword puzzle. Little by little, your patience will grow! This is a great skill to pass along to our children!
TEACHABLE MOMENT: Getting the Gimmes
WORD OF THE WEEK!
- How does it feel when I don't thank someone that has been thoughtful toward me?
- Do I say thank you for daily ways my family members help me?
- How often should I say thank you to God?
- Would my family and friends react differently if I showed gratitude more often?
- How does my mood change when I think about what I am grateful for?