Telos Art & Design

Look to Mary

liturgical livingtelos design, llc

As a convert, my relationship with Mary is complicated. I have always looked to her as the essence of purity, grace, and outstanding motherhood. But sometimes I still struggle to see her as another way to pursue Jesus. In the Protestant world that overcomplicates things. In the Catholic world, it adds another layer of fruitful complexity.

After losing my own mother 8 years ago, I am comforted knowing there are two mother-figures praying for me and my family.

Saint Pope John Paul II speaks to this need for examples of motherhood and femininity. Whether your own mother can model this for you or not, we can always look to Mary. May we all seek to live our lives as a reflection of her beautiful love:

In the light of Mary, the Church sees in the face of women the reflection of a beauty which mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable:

the self-offering totality of love;

the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest sorrows;

limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work;

the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement.

John Paul II
Redemptoris Mater, par. 46

MARCH: FORTITUDE

liturgical living, lent, virtuetelos design, llc

Lent Begins!

ACTIVITY:
From Katherine Bogner, Look to Him and Be Radiant - "Pope Francis has a great devotion to the Sleeping St. Joseph, calling him a  protector of the Church.  Print a copy of the Prayer to Sleeping St. Joseph and add it to your nighttime prayers, entrusting your needs and concerns to the head of the Holy Family."

CRAFT:
There are many great Lenten activities out there - Catholic Icing is again a fantastic resource for straightforward craft ideas. We love the Crown of Thorns using a simple grapevine wreath and toothpicks. When your kids offer a sacrifice or an act of kindness, they get to remove one of the toothpicks. Hopefully by the end of Lent, all the toothpicks have been removed and the wreath can be filled with flowers or Easter eggs!

PRAYER:
Another beautiful tradition our family tries to incorporate during Lent are the Stations of the Cross. My kids love anything interactive so we try to visit one of the local parishes with an outdoor set of Stations for us to wander around. Using a book with visuals can be really helpful too! The blog Catholic Playground has a FREE booklet you can print for your kids to carry as they walk or pray the Stations with you. 

No Spend Lent

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Say what!? Have you ever practiced this discipline during Lent? I love this idea of sacrifice we can make as we prepare for Easter. The girls over at Hail Marry have developed an entire course and e-book devoted to the task; you can access it here: http://www.hailmarry.org/launch-day/ 

The Course Schedule
Monday: Weekly Topics (including budgeting, etc)
Tuesday: Talk to Us! Live Q&A
Wednesday: Weigh-In! How's it Going?
Thursday: Thrifty Thursday Tip Sharing
Friday: Free Friday Printables

FEBRUARY: PRUDENCE

liturgical living, virtuetelos design, llc

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

CRAFT: In lieu of a craft, consider taking a field trip to a local monastery or basilica. Take a candle to be blessed.                                      

ACTIVITY: From Katherine Bogner, Look to Him and Be Radiant - The Presentation of the Lord is also called Candlemas in connection with the line from the Gospel that Christ would be, "a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Isreal."  (Luke 2:22-35) Eat dinner by candle light, burn a fire in your fireplace, or go star gazing in honor of the Light of the World who has come!

SYMBOLISM: Blindfold / Candle / Temple

Anything But Ordinary

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It just so happens that Ordinary Time is not actually meant as a time for rest or a time to be lackadaisical. It is a time for the real work of the Gospel. An opportunity to put into action those things we have learned and contemplated during the special Liturgical seasons throughout the year. The chance to put order (ordo) into our daily lives. 

"Ordinary Time is our usual time of life, our day-to-day living that should be used as working to our goal of sanctity. We are ordering our life towards God."

JENNIFER GREGORY MILLER, CATHOLIC CULTURE.ORG

If you haven't read the Catholic Culture blog yet, I recommend you ignore my blog entirely and spend all of your time there. It is so full of liturgical living ideas and reasonable explanations about our faith. Jennifer does a brilliant job of making the content accessible for adults in a way that they can share with with the children in their lives. It's basically RCIA and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd online, and it's wonderful.

From Catholic Culture: "The Liturgical Calendar has the greater concentration of Marian and saint days with solemnities, feasts, obligatory and optional memorials during Ordinary Time. Almost all the apostles' feasts fall during Ordinary Time. The summer months in particular are filled with wonderful saints' days, such as the Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist, and Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul just a few days later. Various New Testament saints, such as Mary Magdalene(newly elevated to a feast) and MarthaAnne and Joachim, grandparents of Jesus are sprinkled throughout July. The revision of the Roman Calendar moved more important saints' days like St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Benedict to Ordinary Time to ensure celebration instead of being suppressed because of Lent or Advent. Ordinary Time gives more space to study, ask intercession and celebrate our patron and nameday saints."

Jennifer reminds us of the important verses, such as: "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." These are our instructions for our daily "ordinary" life.

Now it's time -- "Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life."