We attempt to prepare our physical house as well as spiritual house in preparation for the Resurrection of Jesus.
Here is our cleaning outline for the year and pictures from our Lenten cleaning in 2009.
Each child is given a jar and she is responsible for depositing a bean for her act of kindness or sacrifice. We generally do not have the children remove beans but this year we have decided to have the children remove beans from their jar for not being "Christ-like." We wanted to try it this way this year since Sparkles is preparing for her First Communion.
Rose made her first set of Resurrection Eggs with Sparkles' Godmother years ago. We have incorporated them every year since. I'm not sure where she found her material but I have continued to use her narration and eggs contents. I hope to have a tutorial soon since I'm planning this as the craft for my next Little Flowers meeting.
We forgo treats, daily pleasures and wants to donate to our local Life Center & Catholic Bishop's Maternity Home. We attend Mass on Holy Thursday. The girls present their Lenten collection. Rose presents the family's flower offering for the Altar of Repose. It is a long evening for the children. Mass starts at 6pm and ends at 9:30. Mass is followed by Adoration. (We've yet to last through Adoration since we drive 1 hr each way to Mass).
We observe Good Friday in solace. This hasn't always been the case but we finally answered God's prompting placed on our hearts. There are no activities (sports, entertainment, and the like) - only Mass, family prayer, viewing of the Passion and our Good Friday meal.
For years we have eaten tomato soup with a grilled cheese (for kids). The kids We have grown to enjoy this soup very much. So much so, that I'm rethinking its place as a Lenten meal. However, Sweetie does call it Jesus' blood.
It took me more time than anticipated but it's done!
I wanted to create something that could be used for years to come without having to start from scratch every year. I had a wonderful magnetic calendar idea in my head but I decided to go with the less labor intensive option, photo calendar created on my computer. Hopefully I've shaved off some of the prep time this year. I'm sure I'll add more to it over the years.
If anything, it's more colorful than our last year's calendar. The calendar was printed at Costco Photo in 16x20 for the family down stairs and 8x10 for Rose's bedroom. It’s a pleasant reminder of our family goals for lent*:
Grow in CHARITY
Increase prayer life
Learn more about the lives of the saints
Reclaim our family Adoration time
Clean physical house by simplifying and purging
Clean spiritual house by almsgiving, works of mercy, and spirutal readings
*these are in addition to our personal Lenten programs
These are the Lenten Activities we have listed on the calendar:
Lent for Children: A Thought a Day (daily)
Update the bean jar for sacrifices/almsgiving (daily)
I'm all about using what I have on hand and finding free resources to instruct my children. Holy Heroes provides a great free resource which my kids love, Lenten Adventure. Their FREE video clips and resources help to reiterate what we are learning in the home and church.
Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman, Blessed by the Most High! Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era, We join in your song of praise, to celebrate the Lord’s mercy, to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom and the full liberation of humanity.
Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord, Glorious Mother of Christ! Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word, Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word, and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit, attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience and to his manifestations in the events of history.
Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows, Mother of the living! Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve, Be our guide along the paths of the world. Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ, to stand with you before the innumerable crosses on which your Son is still crucified.
Hail Mary, woman of faith, First of the disciples! Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always to account for the hope that is in us, with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love. Teach us to build up the world beginning from within: in the depths of silence and prayer, in the joy of fraternal love, in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.
Holy Mary, Mother of believers, Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Patron of: clairvoyance, eye disease, goldsmiths, laundry, embroidiers, gilders, good weather, needleworkers, telephones, telegraphs, television
Be very joyful and glad, filled with a remarkable happiness and a spiritual joy! [Progress] from good to better, from virtue to virtue, so that He Whom You serve with the total desire of Your soul may bestow on You the reward for which You so long. (Blessing of St. Clare, 21, 32)
Prayers St. Clare's Litany of the Sacred Wounds
Novena to St. Clare of Assisi:
Dear St. Clare, as a young girl you imitated your mother's love for the poor of your native Assisi. Inspired by the preaching of St. Francis, who sang enthusiastically of His Lord Jesus and Lady Poverty, you gave your life to Jesus at nineteen years of age, allowing St. Francis to cut off your beautiful hair and invest you with the Franciscan habit. All through your life you offered your great suffering for your Sisters, the Poor Clares, and the conversion of souls. You greatly aided St. Francis with his new order, carrying on his spirit in the Franciscans after his death. Most of all you had a deep love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, which fueled your vocation to love and care for the poor. Please pray for me (mention your request) that I will seek to keep Jesus as my first love, as you did. Help me to grow in love of the Blessed Sacrament, to care for the poor, and to offer my whole life to God. Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of St. Clare. Through her intercession, please hear and answer my prayer, in the name of Jesus Your Son. Amen. Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Blessed be you, my God, for having created me. - Saint Clare of Assisi
Quotes of St. Clare of Assisi
“Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation."
"He Christ is the splendor of eternal glory, "the brightness of eternal light, and the mirror without cloud."
"Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him."
"I come, O Lord, unto Thy sanctuary to see the life and food of my soul. As I hope in Thee, O Lord, inspire me with that confidence which brings me to Thy holy mountain. Permit me, Divine Jesus, to come closer to Thee, that my whole soul may do homage to the greatness of Thy majesty; that my heart, with its tenderest affections, may acknowledge Thine infinite love; that my memory may dwell on the admirable mysteries here renewed every day, and that the sacrifice of my whole being may accompany Thine."
"Totally love Him, Who gave Himself totally for your love."
Crochet Thread (weight 5-10) - thicker than embroidery thread and does not require unraveling as does embroidery floss. I doubled the crochet thread for the Little Flowers to avoid the need for re-threading. (Embroidery thread (ET) was used for small areas)
dark brown - tunic
black - veil
nude - face, nose, hands, feet (St. Clare of Assisi never wore shoes or socks)
Place fabric w/ image into an oval embroidery hoop
Embroider using the running stitch
Running Stitch—This stitch is used for outline and padding. The needle is carried in and out of material making small up and down even stitches. Take several stitches on needle before drawing it through.