Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The feast of our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows with seven arrows piercing her
Pic Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

On September 15th, the Holy Catholic Church celebrates the feast of our Lady of Sorrows. The title “Lady of Sorrows” is given to our Blessed Mother Mary, which focuses on the intense sufferings and trials she had endured, especially from the moment of the Birth of our Lord Jesus. This feast honors the Seven Dolors (Sorrows) that Mother Mary that she endured which were: 
    1. The Prophecy of Simeon 
    2. The Flight to Egypt 
    3. Search for the Child Jesus in Jerusalem 
    4. Mother Mary Meets Jesus Carrying His Cross 
    5. The Crucifixion of Jesus 
    6. Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross 
    7. Jesus is Laid in the Tomb 


What do we learn about our Blessed Mother during this feast? 

Our Blessed Mother’s sorrow exceeds anyone else’s because she is the Mother of Jesus, who was not only Her Son, but Her Lord and Savior; she truly suffered with Her Son. She teaches us how to respond to suffering; our Blessed Mother received the suffering with courage, love, and trust in the Lord. In these moments, she was still saying “Yes” to God’s will, just as how she said “Yes” during Annunciation. Even in the midst of suffering, she knew that God had a greater plan, she knew the suffering of our Lord Jesus is the plan of salvation of all souls; she held onto great hope, knowing God will give His goodness. We do see His goodness; our Lord Jesus has risen from the dead, defeating sin and death! 


Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of our Lady

The Church meditates on these Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother Mary through the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. 


Our Blessed Mother revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden of seven promises that will be fulfilled in souls to those who pray and meditate on Her tears and sorrows daily wholeheartedly. These are: 

  • I will grant peace to their families. 

  • They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries. 

  • I will console them in their pains and will accompany them in their work. 

  • I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls. 

  • I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy, and I will protect them at every instant of their lives. 

  • I will visibly help them at the moment of their death; they will see the face of their Mother. 

  • I have obtained this grace from my divine Son: that those who propagate this devotion to My tears and sorrows will be taken from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven, and My Son will be their eternal consolation and joy. 


I invite you to pray with your families this Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of our Lady daily! 


Here are the instructions on how to pray this rosary: 

Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of our Lady 


By Tina Makkanal


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Do you want your child to be Spiritually healthy?

 đź‘‰remember to give them Spiritual supplements 



Tips to avoid spiritual malnutrition and improve spiritual fitness 


Family of four in the kitchen
1. Oxygenate them with Prayer 

2. Water them with love 

3. Feed them with word of God 

4. Nourish them with sacraments 

5. Protect them with the precious blood 

6. Cover them with mantle of mother Mary 

7. Cherish them with gratitude 

By Sheena Roy, TX

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Doing a Matthew 2020

Matthew 20.20

Mother knows best, isn’t it?
In this Scripture verse we see how a mother pleads her children’s case to Jesus. She definitely did not understand the seriousness of her own request and Jesus confirms this in His response to her. But we learn later that James is the first to be martyred among the Apostles and John was the Apostle who received all the visions in the Book of Revelation and is often nicknamed as the 'Apostle of Love'. Among the three apostles whom Jesus often called and took along with Him, two were the sons of this poor mother. 

What did this mother do right?
Many a times when praying for my children, I often wonder if I’m asking for the right things. It was one such occasion when I happened to open my Bible to Matthew 20:20. When meditating on this verse, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me that what I ask for my children isn’t significant. Rather the only one thing that is needed is that I should kneel before my God everyday for my children. 

Mom kneeling and praying in church


I have begun to call this posture a Matthew 20:20. Not just for their own children, but may the Lord Jesus give every mother the burden in their heart to bend their knees in the grace of Matthew 20:20 for all children.  

By Shikha Jose, WA

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Plugged In

Parents and a young boy watching TV

This online resource for families brings reviews of the content kids are exposed to via movies, videos, music, TV, games and appsPlugged In looks at content through a biblical worldview filter, keeping families—especially those with children in the home—ultimately in mind. 


Check out https://www.pluggedin.com/

Friday, July 31, 2020

Value the gift of our children

Parents holding their child's hand

Married couples always long to have children of their own. Children are blessings that make married life meaningful and fruitful. 



Receiving gifts, awards and recognition from world renowned leaders always make it to the headlines and becomes unique memories of our life time. So how much more valuable are the precious lives of our children whom we received from the very own hands of our Heavenly Father? Yes, the Lord has entrusted them to us for the span of their earthly life, to return to Him when asked of us. 

Pope Francis says 
"Children are always gifts, even in tough circumstances"

Prayer

Lord Jesus thank you for the gift of our beautiful children. We receive it from your very own hands. Thank you for trusting us to raise your children as our very own. Lord, grant us wisdom to raise them, love them and guide them especially in times of trials. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

By Greena Pallithanam, OH

St. Alphonsus Ligouri

On August 1st, it is the feast day of St. Alphonsus Ligouri! He is the patron saint of moral theologians, arthritis, and vocations. 


He was born into a devout noble catholic family in Naples, Italy. From a young age, he devoted himself to God. At age of 18, he joined the Confraternity of our Lady of Mercy, volunteering his time to works of mercy and compassion, caring for the sick at the hospital for “incurables”. Obeying his father’s wishes, he studied to become a lawyer. Although he was a successful lawyer, he was not satisfied. He left the profession and entered into priesthood. 


As a priest, he dedicated himself completely to the service of the poor and the abandoned. With this mission in mind, he sought other brothers who were called as he was and formed a religious order called Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, commonly known as the Redemptorists. He was later appointed a bishop.


God had him defend moral theology and strongly fight against Jansenism, which was a popular heresy in his time. St. Alphonsus Ligouri had a great devotion to the life of Jesus, especially of His Passion, and the Blessed Mother Mary. From this devotion, he was inspired to write more than 100 spiritual books.


He was sickly for most of his life, but especially as he got older, he suffered from arthritis with great pain that confined him to a wheelchair. Yet through these difficulties, he persevered in prayer and intercession of our Blessed Mother. Because of his deep prayer life and intimacy with the Lord and the Blessed Mother, he was titled “Doctor of prayer” in the Catholic Church, when the Church declared him as a doctor of the Church after his death. 


Fun facts: 

  • St. Alphonsus loved to paint! Here are some of his paintings that show his devotion to Jesus and the Blessed Mother.


  • St. Alphonsus Ligouri wrote many prayers inspired by the Holy Spirit. We actually have been praying a prayer written by Him especially as many of us have not been able to attend Holy Mass: Act of Spiritual Communion. 
  • Another saint who was inspired by St. Alphonsus, and later professed his vows as a Redemptorist in front of him was St. Gerard Majella
  • St. Alphonsa professed her final vows as a Franciscan Clarist nun on St. Alphonsus’ feast day, and in honor of him, she took him as her patron and took his name.

By Tina Makkanal


Friday, June 26, 2020

Life in Thorns



Have you ever seen a rose bush? With its luscious petals and pretty leaves, it is a gorgeous flower. 



But when you take a step closer, you can clearly see the thorns that poke out. With these thorns, it becomes difficult for us to pluck the flower. Our life is a lot like a rose bush. The rose itself is, Heaven. But along the way there are thorns....our struggles, sufferings, and sins. When we fall, we may be discouraged to keep going. 

But we know one thing for sure. Our Lord Jesus walked through these thorns first, for our sins. Though he fell on the way of the Cross he kept going for us. So when we stumble and fall, we can run to Jesus, who can lead us to our final destination, Eternal Life in Heaven with him.





By Adonia John, Dallas TX

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The symbols of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus


Sacred Heart of Jesus
June is the month devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In your homes or in church, you probably have seen an image of Jesus with His heart exposed. 

Have you ever wondered why His heart is expressed this way?


The Fire

Burning flame

We see that Jesus’ heart is burning in flames. This symbolizes how Jesus is a living sacrifice for all of us.Another explanation of these flames indicates the presence of His divinity. In the Old Testament, God appeared to Moses through a burning bush. When the Israelites traveled to the Promised Land, at night time, God appeared to them through the pillar of fire to give them light (Exodus 13:21). This fire is also symbolizing the burning love of Jesus that He has for each one of us! 


The rays of Light

 The rays of light in yellow and orange

The rays of light symbolize how Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). These light rays also symbolize His divinity as we see His glorious light in the transfiguration and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus also appeared to Saul in glorious light (Acts 9:3). 


The Crown of Thorns

Crown of thorns

The crown of thorns represent how Jesus experienced suffering of his heart and piercing when He was crucified. This crown of thorns became the crown of victory after the Resurrection of Jesus. Why? Because Jesus has defeated all sin and death! 


The Cross

 Cross

We see the Cross as if the Cross is planted into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This shows that the Cross is supported by the weight of His Sacred Heart. 


The Arrow and/or Bleeding

Golden arrow piercing the heart

In traditional images of the Sacred Heart, you will see a golden arrow piercing His heart. Many times, you will see Jesus’ heart bleeding without the golden arrow. 

This arrow represent our sins, and our sins pierced His heart.This revelation was given to Sr. Marie of St. Peter.  However, out of His Sacred Heart, flows blood and water, oceans of mercy for all of us. 


Happy Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus!


How to draw the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus


How to draw the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Step 1 Draw a heart

Draw a heart

Step 2 : Draw a flame on top of the heart

Draw a flame on top of the heart

Step 3 : Draw wines going across the heart


Draw wines going across the heart

Step 4 : Draw the thorns on the wines


Draw the thorns on the wines

Step 5 : Add a cross to the top of the heart in front of the flame


Add a cross to the top of the heart in front of the flame


Step 6 : Add drops of blood

Draw drops of blood
Step 7 : Draw rays of light


Draw rays of light

Step 8 : Color 


Color the sacred heart


Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus


This novena prayer was recited every day by Padre Pio for all those who asked for prayers. 
Sacred Heart of Jesus
I. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of [insert your intention.]

Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory be to the Father…Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.


II. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask any thing of the Father in my name, He will give it to you.” Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of [insert your intention.]
Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory be to the Father…Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.


III. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.” Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of [insert your intention.]
Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory be to the Father…Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.


O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender mother and ours.


"Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen."


St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.


Read about the symbols seen on the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

How to draw the Sacred heart of Jesus

Sunday, May 31, 2020

How does the Holy Spirit kindle the fire in our hearts?

Every year, during the Feast of the Pentecost, the Church invites us to turn around, with a willing heart, to come closer to the Holy Fire, and to kindle our cold hearts again. What does kindle mean? Watch Little Evangelists from Seattle explain how the holy Spirit kindles the fire in our hearts.


Pentecost Sunday

"O come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful 
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your spirit and they shall be created 
and you shall renew the face of the earth."

Mother Mary and the Apostles
in the Upper Room 
on the day of Pentecost 

How is it that we can prepare our little hearts to receive the Holy Spirit this Pentecost? One of the ways in which we can do so is by digging into our Bibles. Hmm… Now where should we start? The Acts of the Apostles would be a wonderful start! In the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2 is where we read about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Now the same Holy Spirit from thousands of years ago still desires to come to you! In fact, did you know? Every single day of our lives as children of God can actually be a mini Pentecost if we ask the Holy Spirit to come to us every single morning!

The Holy Spirit is what was promised to us by God the Father in Acts chapter 1 and verse 4. This Holy Spirit will strengthen us and give us power to become holy! Do you want to be holy? Tell the Holy Spirit and you will be guided. As His precious children, let us all take the time to prepare our little hearts to receive the Holy Spirit this Pentecost. Holy Spirit come!

Click to download: Pentecost Activity Sheet 

Fruits of the spirit

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A CROWN FOR MOTHER MARY

A woman crowning a statue of Mother Mary with a crown of flowers
Crowning of Mother Mary at Bethany Chapel
 in the Archdiocese of Boston. Photo credit: George Martell
The month of May is dedicated to Mother Mary. The Catholic church has a tradition of crowning Mother Mary in the month of May acknowledging her as the Queen of Heaven. Every year, catholic churches around the world have a celebration honoring Mother Mary by placing a crown on her statue. This year, since churches are closed to public, we cannot go to the crowning. But staying home, we can still celebrate the May crowning!

Do you have a statue or a picture of Mother Mary at home? We can make a paper crown and give the work of our hands to her and dedicate the month to her. Follow the steps given below to make a crown for Mother Mary.

Use any size of paper - 3in. x 3in. to make a small crown or 6in. x  6in. to make a bigger one. We used plain 8in. x 11in. construction paper in our example since it is easily available. You can use any colored or patterned paper. We also made 12 crown pieces to make a big crown to present to our Mother! You can make a smaller crown by reducing the number of crown pieces.

How to make a crown for Mother Mary

Supplies Needed

  • 12 sheets of Origami paper or any plain or patterned paper cut to squares of equal length
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive Gems or other embellishments
  • Glue
Steps
  • Follow steps 1-7 in the pictures below to make a crown piece. We made 12 crown pieces for our crown. 



Boy holding finished crown piece


  • Now that you have the crown pieces ready, follow these steps to assemble them.

putting the crown pieces together

  • You are almost there! It's time to decorate the crown. 

paper crown embellished with gems

Little girl crowning a statue of Mother Mary with a crown of flowersYour crown is now ready. Dedicate it to Mother Mary by placing it on her statue or in front of her picture. Don't forget to say the "Hail Mary" prayer. Mother Mary will now wear this crown all month!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Mother's Day Flowers for Mama Mary

Want to learn how to make flowers for Mama Mary and your mom for Mothers's day? Check out this new Young Disciples Youtube video. In honor of Mother's Day this year, we will be dedicating these little flowers for our Mother in Heaven! The Rosary can be translated to "Garland of Roses," meaning that every Hail Mary we pray will help create this beautiful garland! This Mother's Day, along with the flowers we will be making, let us make our Blessed Mother a beautiful garland through our prayers!


For more such videos, subscribe to the Young Disciples Youtube channel!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Whole Armor of God

Did you know that in the Bible, there is an Armor of protection that all of us can wear? If you wear this Armor, you will be always protected from all of Satan’s evil plots.

Pictures of a sword, helmet, shield and breastplate

In St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 6:10-17, you will find the Armor of God.
Can we challenge you to memorize these verses? 

Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians chapter 6 verses 10 to 17

Is it too difficult to memorize? How about we draw it first? Follow the steps given below and draw your own Armor of Protection. Mark each part of the Armor according to the verses in the Scripture. Once you draw and label, it will be very easy for you learn this Word of God by heart.


Draw a helmet  Draw the face
Draw the breastplate Draw shield
Draw hand and legs  Draw sword on empty hand


knight in whole armor
Why is it important to memorize these verses? Once you have it memorized, it will be easy for you to suit up with this Word of God so that you will be ready for Spiritual battle. You are now all set to face any trials, tribulations and attacks of Satan that may come your way.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Divine Mercy Art Work

“Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory." (Diary of St. Faustina, 47 and 48)

Picture of Divine Mercy of Christ with the words I trust in you

This was the instruction Jesus gave to Sr Faustina. Did you know that you can draw and paint this divine image? Follow the instructions given below.


Step by step instructions to draw the Divine Mercy image

Now that you know how to draw the Divine Mercy image, here is something you can try to make!

Make a Bookmark
Cut out paper or card stock to make a bookmark. 
  • On the front : Follow the step by step instructions from the image above to draw your very own Divine Mercy image. At the bottom of the image write, Jesus I trust in You. Color the image.
  • On the back : Write 
  • For the sake of Jesus’ most sorrowful passion, Abba Father, have mercy on us and the whole world.

    Look at the example below!
Template to make a Divine Mercy Bookmark