We have developed a great morning routine for our family devotion. I found three resources that really have engaged our children and can tell they look forward to each morning. We begin each morning reading three stories out of this picture bible. They beg me for more every morning. We have enjoyed several aspects of these stories, but mainly I have found three themes in almost every story that have really affected my own life. First, everybody is always moving looking for a better life somewhere usually to no avail. Second, most biblical figures began their lives being a man or woman after God's heart and once wealth or power came to them they soon forgot God. I always say after each story, "Once again..." and the kids say, "They forgot God." Lastly, most figures fall out of grace either through wealth, power, or for a man or a woman. I also noticed that everybody seemed very happy when their lives where simple. God's voice was clearer and they were happier. LEARN THE LESSON! John tells the kids different current events that relate to these stories. What is fascinating is that not much has changed since the beginning of time! Jealousy, restlessness, envy, murder, unfairness, war, drama. Repeat cycle over and over until 2013+. LEARN THE LESSONS!
We just started this book after Christmas and again each story is fascinating and they always ask "Who are we reading about tomorrow?"
MY FAVORITE. Technically, the booklet is for Lent, but I have learned from every word typed on these pages. There seems to be a beautiful silence that comes over the kids when I am reading this. Each day, the author gives spiritual challenges to the family to work on and are very doable for a child. She tells a little story about Mother Teresa which always focuses my day and reaffirms my mission each morning. This booklet will go down as one of my all time favorites for spiritual reading. I cannot believe the cost is only $2.50.
Lastly, I bought a pretty little notebook at Barnes and Noble for our "Intentions." Each morning, I ask the kids who their day is going to be for and who are they going to offer up all their sacrifices for. Rose offered her day today for a little boy named Nathaniel. He has a very serious form of cancer and today his parents were going to receive the results of his MRI. Rose had to get a shot this morning and as I was holding her she turned and whispered in my ear, "I am doing this for Nathaniel." She didn't even flinch. What a little saint! I feel that if they can understand the concept of offering up their sufferings for other people or intentions, they are going to light the world on fire. You can do anything if you keep that goal. I always tell them that nothing is too small or too big for God. Even if you see a book on the floor and you return it to the shelf out of love for your intention, God is so pleased with your gift.
I also had to share this little gift my mother gave to me. My mother orders our scapulars from Rose Scapular Company.
They are well made and recently provided the option for you to order your scapular with a brown THICK cord (not pictured.) I LOVE them. Please spend the extra $1.00 for the thick cord. Their site offers a variety of scapulars worth your viewing. Scapulars are spiritual armor, please wear one.
The promises attached to the Brown Scapular are incredible! Our Lady said,"Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular, shall not suffer eternal fire." This implies that she will intercede to ensure that the wearer of the Scapular obtains the grace of final perseverance and dies in the state of grace. In addition to this, the Sabbatine Privilege consists of Our Lady's promise to release from Purgatory through her special intercession, on the first Saturday after their death, those who meet the following three requirements:
1. Wear the Scapular.
2. Observe Chastity according to your state in life.
3. Pray daily the Little Office of Our Lady OR Observe the fasts of the church together with abstaining from meat on Wednesdays and
Saturdays OR substitute the Rosary with permission of a confessor OR substitute some other good work with the permission of a confessor.
In addition to all of the above, Pope Benedict XV granted an indulgence of 500 days for devoutly kissing your scapular.
There was also an emphasis on the Scapular during the apparitions at Fatima and Sister Lucia said, "One could not follow the Message of Fatima unless he fulfilled the five conditions, one of which is wearing of the Brown Scapular all the time--day and night."
The Morning Offering
O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary (here kiss the scapular as a sign of your consecration), I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world, joining with It the offering of my every thought, word and action of this day. O my Jesus, I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can, and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, that she may best apply them to the interests of Thy most Sacred Heart. Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!