SOLEMNITY OF MARY, THE MOST HOLY NAME OF JESUS, EPIPHANY, ELIZABETH ANN SETON, BAPTISM OF THE LORD, RESPECT LIFE
What a beautiful way to start out the year! We go to Holy Mass to start the year right with God at the center! We celebrate and recognize Mary as mother of Jesus who was God and man. We recognize Mary’s yes to God, her trust and faith in God and her love for us!
A New kind of New Year List!
As a society, we have grown accustom to make lists of things we want to accomplish for the new year. People are so eager to make health and certain things top priority on their list, but what about the spiritual? Improving on health, improving on getting certain things done, and add how the spiritual can improved upon.
Talk about your heritage.
Jesus was God and Man. A fun way to explain that is to get out a map with the kids and talk about what your heritage is. Where you are from? My dad is Swedish and my mom is Salvadorian, and I was born in Florida. Talk to the kids about where they are from and where they were born on a map. Then, talk about Jesus being part man from Mary and part God from heaven. Jesus was divine. He was born in Bethlehem.
Color in a picture of Mary with Baby Jesus!
I LOVE this printable of Mary and baby Jesus! It is so beautiful! This website has a lot of beautiful coloring pages.
“Thornton was McCorvey’s third child. All three of McCorvey’s daughters were adopted by different families, but her pregnancy with Thornton was the direct impetus for the Roe v. Wade case. On June 2, 1970, she gave birth to her third daughter at Dallas Osteopathic Hospital. Three days later, Thornton was adopted by Ruth Schmidt and her husband, Billy Thornton, of Dallas, according to the report. For years, neither parents nor daughter knew anything about her connection to Roe. Thornton was 2 ½ years old when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in 1973. That ruling forced states to legalize abortion on demand and led to the deaths of nearly 63 million unborn babies to abortions.”
"The month of January is especially important in the celebration of life, because this is also the month when we are reminded of our challenges. It was on January 22, 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled that the constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion."
Because of this case, and the pill we have slowly gotten to the culture that is only rapidly growing where promiscuity and killing our own children in order to keep doing that are adored, as opposed to purity, promoting abstinence and self-discipline and self-control, love of God, the sanctity of marriage and creating life within a marriage are persecuted. What does this say about our culture and society.
“Playgrounds were a source of distress: Empty, they reminded Norma of Roe; full, they reminded her of the children she had let go.
Norma was ambivalent about abortion. She no more absolutely opposed Roe than she had ever absolutely supported it; she believed that abortion ought to be legal for precisely three months after conception, a position she stated publicly after both the Roe decision and her religious awakening. She was ambivalent about adoption, too."
Recommended read: The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity
The premise of the book is that femininity is not feminine at all, and ever since the rise of the pill, women have been trying to be like men, and have been taken out of the home, out of raising a domestic family and church at home.
Did you know that THE “Sodom and Gomorrah” from Genesis in the first book of the The Bible, were found in September of 2021? Sodom, is the city in which we get the word “Sodomy” which defines immoral acts that are being normalized today? They did not arrive to their immoral ways overnight. They slowly got there overtime in the same direction that our culture and society is headed as a whole. We don’t think that things are a coincidence. Everything is in God’s perfect timing.
“The ruins of the biblical city of Sodom reportedly have been discovered by U.S. archeologists in southern Jordan. “God punished the wickedness of the citizens by destroying the city with brimstone and fire, the biblical story explains. Only the righteous inhabitants were allowed to escape the destruction and were spared by God.”
“In the Book of Genesis, God “rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven,” and “the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” According to the Gospel of Luke “on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them.”
The name Jesus was given to the Holy Child at God's command in Luke 1:31.
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
From Apostolic times, the Church has professed the Holiness of the name of Jesus. Philippians 2:10-11
"that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Through the efforts of St. Bernardine of Siena, devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus was promoted through the inscription of the monogram of the Holy Name (IHS) and the addition of the name Jesus to the Hail Mary.
To celebrate this feast we can begin by
-Explaining why we must show reverence for Our Lord, and the holiness of His name. We can start to make a practice of bowing our heads every time we hear His holy name.
-The 3rd commandment clearly states in Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain
We should never say the name of God inappropriately.
We should always say His name with the upmost respect and love.
-Talk about making prayers of reparation to Him whenever we hear His name taken in vain.
Example of a prayer of reparation:
O Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer, Son of the living God, behold, we kneel before Thee and offer Thee our reparation; we would make amends for all the blasphemies uttered against Thy holy name, for all the injuries done to Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, for all the irreverence shown toward Thine immaculate Virgin Mother, for all the calumnies and slanders spoken against Thy spouse, the holy Catholic and Roman Church. O Jesus, who hast said: "If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you," we pray and beseech Thee for all our brethren who are in danger of sin; shield them from every temptation to fall away from the true faith; save those who are even now standing on the brink of the abyss; to all of them give light and knowledge of the truth, courage and strength for the conflict with evil, perseverance in faith and active charity! For this do we pray, most merciful Jesus, in Thy name, unto God the Father, with whom Thou livest and reignest in the unity of the Holy Ghost world without end. Amen.
(Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954)
-Color in and display
The most simple and powerful prayer we can say is the Holy name of, “Jesus.”
A great prayer is, “Jesus, I love you.”
-Talk about the different names of Jesus, such as Lord, God, Jesus Christ, Savior, HIS
Cross stitch, paint, or color in the Holy Name of Jesus!
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton laid the foundation for what became the American parochial school system. She trained teachers and prepared textbooks for use in the schools. She also opened orphanages in Philadelphia and New York City. Although we have school systems, we mustn’t forget that the Church makes it clear that, we the parents are the “primary educators” when it comes to forming their faith and character.
Write thank you cards from Christmas in January from kids! Focus on gratitude and penmanship! How much they can write or do will obviously vary with each child. With the younger ones learning how to write, this is a great activity and motivation to write, even if at least, “Thank you”, and their favorite usually is drawing a picture of their gift. This is all around an exciting activity. It shows them at a young age to be grateful, and to put some time and effort in a gift back of a thank you card. Mail is exciting for kids! They love putting their mail in the mailbox and lifting the red flag up!
Epiphany is celebrated the day the Three Kings arrived in Bethlehem, 12 days after the birth of Christ and recognized Him as the son of God.
Symbolism of Gifts!
The magi knelt down for the baby Jesus and “offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
The Gift of Gold represents Jesus as a king with an everlasting throne.
The gift of frankincense is said to have been an acknowledgement of Jesus’ priesthood, setting him apart from all other kings.
The Gift of myrrh is an oil symbolic of death.
Activity: Home Blessing!
On this day every year, it is tradition to bless our homes using blessed chalk and writing above our entrance door. The letters C, M, and B, plus the year, above the main entrance to the home. Have your priest bless the chalk, and have the head of the house lead in prayer as the rest follow in the blessing!
20 + C + M + B + 21
The letters are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also represent the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, which means: “May Christ bless the house.” The cross represents the cross.
Select a time when the whole family can gather by the front door and do this together!
The prayer can be found below on the official USCCB website!
‘They will know we are Christians by our love” and by the blessing above our door!
Exodus 12:13 is from the Old Testament, and because Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, so we write in chalk in recognition of this. “The blood on the doorposts will be a sign to mark the houses in which you live. When I see the blood, I will pass over you and will not harm you when I punish the Egyptians.”
Activity: Make a King Cake for desert!
This is an Epiphany tradition in many cultures brought to the U.S by the French. The King Cake is a sweet cake in which a small figure of the baby Jesus is hidden. Searching for the baby Jesus in the cake imitates the Magi’s search for the baby Jesus. It's exciting to find Jesus! Order a king cake baby online in advance. Many can be found on Etsy.
This one is my favorite!
Activity: 3 Spiritual Family Gifts to offer to Jesus, the king of your life!
What gifts could you as a family give to Jesus this year. This could be like your spiritual family new year resolution together.
-Go to daily Mass for Him as a gift
-Watch less tv, and read The Bible as a family or some spiritual reading
On this day we celebrate John the baptist. He was the cousin of Jesus. Saint John the Baptist, baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
Baptism takes away sin, gives us eternal life and unites us with God. Baptism in the trinity in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and brings to human nature His divinity.
After the resurrection Jesus told his disciples, his followers, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”Matthew 28:18-20
Activity: Find out your baptism date.
Find out your baptism date! Add those days to your calendar! Each year, CELEBRATE and recognize the day that you became a child of God! It can be as simple as having a cake, dessert, or going out for ice cream!
(Ice cream cone cakes! Image from Betty Crocker.)
Activity: Make Holy water a normal part of your life
Bless yourself and bless your family often!
Holy water is an awesome sacramental! We have a holy water font at home, and it is a great practice to bless ourselves, our family and our children with Holy water regularly.
Saint Teresa of Avila said, “From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue.”
As we are trying to live holy lives, we will experience oppression, evil from others, spiritual attacks, some people may experience them as anxiety...but we all experience some sort of oppression and resistance from trying to live holy lives, and it's just a wonderful practice to have holy water at home when there is a lack of peace, to bring peace once again through the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Keep your Christmas decorations out and up until the Baptism of the Lord. Traditionally, Twelve Days of Christmas, from 25 December. The Vatican leaves it's decor up until then too when the Christmas Season officially ends.
Sanctity of Human Life Month. This is the anniversary day of Roe Vs. Wade, when killing our own children became legal, and overtime normalized in society. This is a time to pray.
This is a day of prayer and a day that all people that honor and follow God's commandment of "though shall not kill" gather together in suppot of the pro-life movement in Washington D.C. and other cities.
In a time where people value giving into the desires of lust and killing life created, it is imperative to stand up for human life. A society that does not stand up for human life over time deteriorates in killing its own...starting with the babies, then the old, and it will keep perpetuating. Value human life, and raise your children to value all life from conception when it scientifically begins to natural death. Give your family and children something holy to stand up for, not something evil as death of innocent life to water down their morals.
Here we are at the March for Life in January. The kids were excited to help make personalized signs. We have talked about this issue on their level. We also go to planned parenthood with fetal models to show women that babies are babies, not blobs, little people, not invisible, little humans, not little nothings, that in seeing them they may see what wants to stay in the dark, to bring it to the light, their little child.
Pray a novena.
Father and maker of all,
you adorn all creation
with splendor and beauty,
and fashion human lives
in your image and likeness.
Awaken in every heart
reverence for the work of your hands,
and renew among your people
a readiness to nurture and sustain
your precious gift of life.
Grant this through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in
the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.
Here are different images of our baby #4 in the womb!
This is a 12 week old model of a baby in the womb in my hand.
Having these little models to show children and to give to others has made an impact, and I hope makes a difference in the future. When a child sees what the little developed little human looks like in the womb, a little baby, they don't forget this.
I love having the little fetal models to show children and people alike. Especially when I am pregnant, I keep one with me in my purse, to show others what the baby looks like inside! It is such a great opportunity to witness! Today is a great day to talk about and show children how little they start out! They love seeing the models. We have different sizes.
(This is why practicing Catholics that take their faith seriously, do not
contracept. All forms of female contraception are abortive. Life is still created, and life is taken. All forms of male contraception deprave the marital act in accordance with God’s purpose of unitive and creative.
Look into Humanae Vitae written By Saint Pope Joun Paul VI)
Discovering God together by Dr. Gregory K and Lisa Popcak is an excellent book! It is a great resource on raising Catholic children from young to teenagers and on. It makes a great point to say that Children are looking for an identity, and if we do not nurture and direct that identity in the correct way through Christ, that they will find something. Kids are searching for identity, relatability, involvement in causes and it is a great gift to pass the faith-based causes based on morals and science, rather than the passions and spirit of the world which drives people with anger. Cultivating family friendships in like minded morals strengthens this. These causes of faith are out of love. God is love, and God loves all His creations.
New additions are coming soon!
...and you will be too! Love what you see!? Then don't forget to sign up to get the newest additions! -Ingrid Bernard, Liturgical Living