Friday 6 September 2013

Ideas for Parents for The Pope's Special Request for Prayers and Fasting

St. Ephrem Doctor of the Church: a Syrian

The Pope has called all Catholics in the world to a time of fasting and prayer tomorrow.

Can you imagine the spiritual power if we all did this?

Here are some suggestions for Catholic parents on observing this time with your children.

If you can get to church, even if your parish is doing nothing, go and sit before the Blessed Sacrament with the children for at least a half hour.

At home, you can do these things:

1) read the parts in the Bible where the Nation of Israel and the Hebrew People before that time fasted and prayed for peace; here are some passages:

Josh.6:17-19 cf. 7:20-21

Ezra 8:23

Esther 4:16

Esther 4:3 

Jonah 3:5-10

Nehemiah 9:1

1 Maccabees 3:47-49

2) eat simply-my mother would give us lunches on fast and abstinence days of cream cheese and Ritz crackers, tomato soup, carrot and celery sticks; fish sticks and fried potatoes; toasted cheese sandwiches;

3) be quiet in the house; this leads to an attitude of prayer-no football, or baseball or whatever on the tv;

4) remind them that they are joining the entire Church in this fast; get out the globe and maps; talk about the Universal Church; find the Vatican on the globe and so on;

5) say the rosary together out loud;

6) make a spiritual bouquet for peace; make and color little booklets and put them under a statue or by the icon of the Sacred Heart or Divine Mercy picture;

7) read the lives of the Syrian saints: here are a few; there are dozens, including Popes and Doctors of the Church: I left on the links for parents or kids to look up their lives:

Saints Cosmas and Damian
Saint Serapia
Ephrem the Syrian
Luke the Evangelist
John Chrysostom
John of Damascus

color these saints
look up prayers to these saints
talk about the Church Triumphant 
and the Church Militant;

8) be an example of a fasting and abstaining parent. 

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