Thursday, June 4, 2009

Voracious Young Readers - Help?!

My ongoing dilemma is keeping up with my precious daughter's reading. Therese reads faster than I can find books for her to read, having read almost all of the American Girl books (I won't let her read the 1970s set) and almost all of the Little House books (she is on Long Winter now) before the end of first grade. According to the booklists, she reads at a sixth grade level, and while she reads very fast, she truly does understand and remember what is happening.

The problem is finding appropriate books for a six-year-old that are advanced enough for her reading level. Soon, I will post a list of her favorite books this year, but I want to ask my readers for help. If you have an advanced young reader, how do you make decisions on what he/she is allowed to read without reading everything in advance? I simply do not have the time to keep up with her, but I have seen some pretty pathetic books out there for elementary school children.

So, please hit the comment box with your suggestions of book lists, websites, or other resources that help you make such decisions! I can't wait to read your advice. I will try to compile it all for a future post, as well, so your comments may be republished (without your name, of course).


Sunday, June 7, 2009 ~ Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Note: These Sunday & Holy Day Gospel Reflections are written so that mothers may prepare for Holy Mass in advance either as a small group or individually (especially since we are so often necessarily distracted during Mass itself).

Matthew 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."

My Reflection

What is it with the disciples and doubting? I honestly am becoming more and more aware of this revelation in Scripture. To me, what a consolation that even those closest to Jesus Christ were not 100% sure of everything He was telling them!

This Sunday is Trinity Sunday, the day our Mother Church reminds us that God is three persons. With last weekend being Pentecost, our minds are focused on the person of the Holy Spirit. Before that, our minds were focused on Easter Sunday and the resurrection of Jesus the Son. God the Father is ever present in all things, directing both the Son and the Spirit.

God, in His generosity and love, knows that our lives are full of varying roads and different seasons, so He reveals Himself to us in, not one, but three distinct ways. The mere existence of the Holy Trinity is a testimony to the overpowering love of God for His children. He knew we needed more than just a Father.

In my life, I have most certainly needed a Father, a Savior, and the Spirit at various times. God the Father has been with me to reprimand my misdeeds and wrap His enormous arms around me in times of great suffering. He is Who I thank for the multitude of blessings He has bestowed on me in my short life. Jesus Christ is my friend, the one to whom I most often turn on a daily basis, praying for grace and guidance. Then, the Holy Spirit seems to come and go, like a wind, in the times of life when I need inspiring, either when I am down in the dumps or when I am faced with serving the Church in some way.

How has each person of the Trinity touched your life? Reflect on your relationship with these three persons this Sunday.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Catholic Summer Reading Program

I am a little late in posting this, but voting ends June 20 for the Catholic Summer Reading Program sponsored by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Three books are chosen to read and discuss either in local groups or online. Depending on the results, I will likely be hosting a discussion on one of the books here! Go vote for your choice!

Join the Catholic Summer Reading Program

There is a program for children, too! Children simply choose ten Catholic books to read (they have a list of suggestions for preschool through sixth grade) and mail in the entry form. Aquinas and More Catholic Goods will send your children a prize when the receive the entry form. Sounds good to me!

Monday, June 1, 2009

More Evidence

for my case that the Holy Spirit IS language itself. This is the alternate opening prayer from Mass During the Day on Pentecost Sunday that was prayed at our parish yesterday [emphasis mine]. Wow.

Let us pray
[in the Spirit who dwells within us]
Father of light, from whom every good gift comes,
send your Spirit into our lives
with the power of a mighty wind,
and by the flame of your wisdom
open the horizons of our minds.
Loosen our tongues to sing your praise
in words beyond the power of speech,
for without your Spirit
man could never raise his voice in words of peace
or announce the truth that Jesus is Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

And, of course, I cannot leave out this Scripture as further proof that He provides words for us:

"In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness;for we do not know how to pray as we ought,but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings." Romans 8:26

Can you tell I am excited about this new revelation? Thank you, Holy Spirit!