Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jesus is Present in my Little Brother!

Jesus is Present in My Little Brother!

      “God loves us. God loves us, God loves us,” Jane sang as she skipped into the kitchen.
       Mrs. Santos asked, “Well, what did Mr. James have to say today?”
       "Mr. James says, Lent is a time when we remember what Jesus did for us and what He is doing now.  Mom, I am so thirsty! Mr. James told us all about how Jesus was taken prisoner. Do you know Jesus was tortured that night?  Mr. James showed us where the Gospel says he was scourged.”
       Mrs. Santos poured some cold lemonade into a glass as she asked, “And do you know what scourged means?”
       “Yes,’ Jane said, “It means the soldiers beat Him. Isn’t that awful, after how good Jesus was to everyone?
       As Jane drank her lemonade, she thought of Jesus being tortured.  People in Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan are being hurt, too. People are being hurt just like Jesus was.”
      “Mom, Mr James said Jesus not only died on the cross. He rose again and ascended into heaven, but He is present now in the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament, in us and people we meet, too.”
      “That’s right, Jane, Jesus promised to send his Spirit to be with us forever. Jesus promised he would never abandon us. He loves us.”
      Just then, Jane’s little brother ran into the kitchen.  He was waving the newspaper. “Jane, Jane, read me the comics, pu – leeze!”
     Jane made a face even as she wondered, “Jesus is present in Billy?” 
     “Mom, do you think Jesus likes the comics?”
     Mrs. Santos laughed aloud.  “I don’t know, but your little brother likes them.”
Jane took the newspaper from her little brother and began to read.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stop, Look, and Listen

Sally Learns to Pray! Second Post for Year of Faith Series
          “God loves us! ♫♫ God loves us! ♫♫ God loves us!”
          Sally came in singing the song she learned in Religion Class.
          Jane came in with her friends. They were going to work on their school project.
          'Hi, Mrs. Santos!" Jane said.
          Mrs. Santos greeted Jane and Sally. They all sat down to have milk and cookies.  "What did you learn today, girls?" she asked. 
         The two girls were both talking at once. 
         Jane said, "Mr. James  says there are lots of different ways to pray.” 
          Sally said, ”Mom, I told Mr. James that you and Daddy taught me to pray."
          Jane said," My Mom and Dad taught me, too. Mr. James says  anybody with parents who teach them to pray are really lucky."
         Sally said, "He says some people never learn to pray until they get sick or in trouble or something. He wants us to learn lots of ways, so we can talk to God all the time, whether we are happy or sad."
          “And what did you learn about talking to God this time?”
          "Mr. James taught us to try the Stop, Look, and Listen Method."
          "How does that go?" Mrs. Santos asked.
         Sally said,  "First, you stop. Just stop and sit or sand still."
         Jane said, "Then, you look. Mr. James told us to name what we saw, not out loud, but just quietly in our heads. I looked out the window and saw a little bird in a tree."
         Sally said, "Then you listen, with your eyes closed, to the world about you. With my eyes closed, I could hear that bird going, chirp, chirp, chirp. I thanked God for the birds and their songs."
         Jane said, "And Mr. James said that is the way to become aware of God's Presence, thinking about how God loves us and the beautiful things God provides for us."
          Mrs. Santos, “Well, that’s great!  I hope you learn to pray in lots of ways.  Everybody needs God's Love. Your little brother will be home in five minutes. Are you going to love him?”
         "Aw, Mom!" Sally laughed and said, "This week I only learned that God loves me. Mr. James didn’t say anything about brothers. Billy is such a pest, but I guess I can love him, too."


Monday, February 11, 2013

Mr James, The New Teacher

Maria               Sally                      Jane

A New Teacher

 God loves us! ♫♫ God loves us! ♫♫ God loves us!”

          Sally, Jane, and Maria walked home singing the song they learned in Religion Class. 

When Sally got to her house, she waved goodbye to her friends and skipped into the living room.

         “Mom , Mr. James is my new Religion Teacher. He is not like my other teachers..”           
          “What is different about him?”
          “I know how to pray, because you and Daddy and Grandma always help me say my prayers before I go to bed.  But Mr. James says there are lots and lots of ways to pray.  He wants us to learn lots of ways, so we can pray no matter what happens to us.
            “He says learning to pray is not like adding or subtracting. Sometimes I don’t know the answer when I have to add or subtract. But when I pray, Mr James says I will always know the answer.”
           He says, “When we ask God for anything, God’s answer is always love.  God loves us all the time.
           "If I tell God why I am sad,or something hurts, the first thing God does is love me. And if  ANYTHING is wrong, God wants me to say right away what it is!
         “Mr James says that’s just the way God is. God just loves and loves and loves. God loves EVERYBODY. That's why people can love each other. God shows us how.
          Mom gave Sally a big hug! God loves you and I love you, too.
          Sally said, "I love you, too, Mom."
          Mom said, “That’s a great way to pray!  I hope you learn to pray in lots of ways.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Year of Fatih

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph help our family, pray for us 
  Plaque of Holy Family at Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, New York
        created many years ago by a Maryknoll Sister Artist

Dear Parent,

Yes, I do love writing for your child. I like creating stories for children. I hope you will read them to your child or help your child read them.

 During this Year of Faith declared by Pope Benedict XVI, let us see what we can offer your child.  I will start with some short stories about prayer. The Year of Faith began in October of 2012.  The purpose is to take a good look at the wonderful life of Faith. The Holy Father has called us to reflect on our Faith that Jesus calls us to enjoy. I hope your child will find many opportunities to learn more about the Catholic Faith, so that he or she will have the joy of knowing Jesus ever more intimately as the years go by.

Take some time to sit with your child and make God's Love visible for him or her. I hope the brief reflections will help you start the conversation.

                                                                           Peace, Joy in Christ
                                                                            Sister Elizabeth
Maryknoll Sisters - 100 years of Making God's Love Visible