"Do not yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon yourselves to false solutions which often seem the easiest way to overcome problems. Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication. Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love! Live fully this time in your life so rich and so full of enthusiasm."
"Let us look with greater hope to the future; let us encourage one another on our journey."
~ Papa Benedict XVI

Sunday, March 27

Stations of the Cross

On Friday we joined some homeschoolers to celebrate the end of their 8 week co-op session, by celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation.  We had a wonderful time!  One of the moms talked to the children about the Annunciation (usually they would read a story.)  Then the children did a craft.  They made a grotto that held a picture of the Annunciation in a popsicle stick frame, decorated with stones...all on a piece of cardboard.  (You can buy a ready-to-make craft like this from Illuminated Ink and Catholic retailers who carry their products.) After the craft the children were split up into two groups.  The 6 and unders went to Adoration.  Now that may sound crazy but after a quick reminder of what Adoration is and that they need to be very quiet, they were wonderful for the 3 or 4 minutes they were in there.  I was only able to stay a moment due to Miss Cat, but truly, it was a beautiful site.

While the younger ones went to Adoration the older ones started Stations of the Cross in the church, then headed over to Adoration after.  The little ones headed into the church for Stations not long after the older ones. 

Usually during Lent many people go at least once, if possible, to Stations of the Cross.  With children sometimes its hard to do that due to the hour the Stations are done.  This was a nice, child friendly time where if someone did act up they could be taken out without the looks and stares normally found among those who don't have children with them. 

The other thing about this morning was that it reinforced a beautiful tradition of the church as well as the facts behind it. 

Many times we forget...forget to say thank you, forget to remember, forget to be in awe of the love showered upon us and the graces that are freely given to us. Many times we forget about God.  We forget about how Christ gave His life for every one of us, how God gave His son, how the Holy Spirit continually fills us with grace.

The passion and death of Jesus is an ineffable mystery of love in which the three divine Persons are involved. The Father takes the free and absolute initiative: it is he who loves first and, in delivering the Son into our murderous hands, exposes his dearest possession. As St. Paul says, he "did not spare his own Son", that is, he did not keep him for himself as a jealously held treasure, but "gave him up for us all" (Rom 8:32).

The Son fully shares the Father's love and his plan of salvation: He gave himself for our sins ... according to the will of our God and Father" (Gal 1:4).

And the Holy Spirit? As in the intimacy of Trinitarian life, so too in this exchange of love which takes place between the Father and the Son in the mystery of Golgotha, the Holy Spirit is the Person-Love in whom the love of the Father and the Son converge. (Spirit Is Present in the Paschal Mystery, Pope John Paul II, General Audience, June 10, 1998)

Stations of the Cross should be done weekly, throughout the entire year.  We should be reminded to remember, aways. 

Sometimes, especially with the younger ones, that is not so easy.  Yesterday over at Catholic Icing Lacy posted about a Stations of the Cross File Folder activity she created.  (i have tried to post a picture but it just does not want to cooperate! anyway...)  What a beautiful way to teach and reinforce the Paschal Mystery!

I plan to make one for our kids as after Friday they have been reading the Stations to themselves before bed (mainly the younger ones.)  I found at the local catholic bookstore a very nice copy that is simple enough to do quickly yet well - if that makes sense.  They each have a copy and they sit on Ladybug's bed and go through them.  It does a mother's heart good. 

So as i said, i plan to make a set for our children ...and a set to give away.  It will not be identical to Lacy's but it will be similar in style.  Its an activity that can be used year round - Thank you Lacy, for such a wonderful idea!

No comments: