After making it through 16 days of our Lent for Children; A Thought a Day book I came to realize that one of my children wasn't getting the little lessons just by reading and discussing the meditation for the day. And so was born the Lent for Children Journal! A 50 page journal with a little activity for every day during Lent (including Sundays and Ash Wednesday Week). Includes coloring pages, copy work, Lenten plans and other activities. Better yet it is a free download :D The 50 pages print double sided, two on a page to equal 13 sheets of paper, folded in half and bound with a string, staple or coil what ever you choose. Download yours today over at All the Saints Books!
The Faith that Never Dies or The Priest of God in the Catholic Home
By: Msng. De Segur, Thomas A Kempis, Rev. Joseph Dehare S.J. and others
+ Imprimatur 1900
Ah! this is quite a melancholy subject, and you would prefer that it should not be forced upon your attention. It is unpleasant enough when Lent comes, and in the mean time the less said about the better. Ever unwelcome is this holy season, and all, with the exception of a few fervent Christians, appear to regard the forty days with a feeling of vexation which almost amounts to resentment.
But with our forefathers it was not so. Full of faith, they drew from their firm belief powerful motives for energy, perseverance, and good will. They rightly estimated duty; they recognized its grandeur; and they placed the sacred laws of God and of His Church far above the vain pretexts to which our self-indulgence so often sacrifices them.
Our forefathers observed in every detail the commands of the Church which regard to fasting and abstinence; every one abstained on Fridays and Saturdays. Men did not study themselves and pamper themselves as they do now; this may be proved by the fact that at Paris in the fifteenth century, in spirit of a population of hundreds of thousands of inhabitants, only one butcher sold meat during Lent, and supplied all that was required by killing a single ox a day. They fasted the whole of Lent, and no one died from the effects. Neither did they suffer, for populations were far more flourishing, and men taller and stinger than now. "But can it be," you say, "that God requires bodily mortification instead of heartfelt repentance?" To which we answer simply that God requires both, because heartfelt repentance is ever united to bodily mortification. The soul influences the body, and the body reacts upon the soul, because of their intimate union; a body that is indulged will sooner or later impart its own feebleness to the soul, its constant companion; and a soul pure and upright, and victorious over its passions, will necessarily hold the soul in perfect discipline and subjection. The body, from the fatal results of original sin, is in constant rebellion against the soul; and the soul must therefore treat it almost as an enemy, and be ever on its guard against it, and order to insure its own independence, its fidelity to God, and its eternal salvation.
"But why should such a disagreeable means of doing penance be chosen?" And why should it not be chosen? The Church has chosen it -1st. Because it is sufficiently disagreeable to constitute a penance, and not too hardtop be practiced by all Christians. 2d. Out of reverence for the Apostles, who instituted Lent. 3d. Because such is her will, and we must all, without any exception, respect her choice and submit to her commandment.
To obey the laws of the Church is to obey Jesus Christ; to violate her laws is to neglect them, to regard them as trifles, - is to despise, to neglect, and to disobey Jesus Christ. Is this a little fault?
"I desire to obey God rather than men, and the Pope and the Bishops are men." Yes, but men vested with divine authority, so that it is God Himself who speaks, commands, instructs, sanctifies, forbids, and governs by the lips of those whom He has sent.
"And shall God condemn me for a little meat?" No; but, for the disobedience, which is all the more guilty in proportion as the law imposed is simple and easy to fulfill. Is it not utter folly to offend God for such a little thing? A man who could have fasted and abstained, yet would not, shall stand without excuse before the tribunal of his God.
"But I cannot fast or abstain; it makes me ill." Is that quite true? Remember that it is God who must judge. If your health is really too weak, the law is not for you; the Church desires to make us do penance, and not to make us ill; she desires to deprive us of superfluous, but not necessary, food; but, as regards what is necessary make no mistake; consult your doctor, and still more your confessor; he is the doctor of the divine law, and is gifted with grace to make it clear.
Those who have very hard work, or are extremely poor, may always obtain a dispensation, since no one can live without sufficient food.
"But it is exceedingly tiresome and disagreeable to fast!"
And this last and most feeble excuse is generally at the root of the whole matter, and should be urged first instead of last. "It is unpleasant to fulfill my city, and therefore I will not fulfill it." Be it so; but I warn you; make ready to travel on the road to hell, for your face is turned in that direction. Whoever fails to fulfill his city lives in sin; and he who lives in sin shall receive, as an inevitable consequence, that eternal punishment of which Our Lord speaks so often in the Gospel, warning us to avoid at any price its inconceivable pain!
For my own part, I find it less difficult to keep the Lenten fast year after year, and to abstain on Friday, than to suffer forever in hell. Every one is free to choose.
Bible Stories for Children
By: A Catholic School Teacher
+ Imprimatur 1918
THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS
I told you in the last chapter of our Lord's entrance into public life, but before He took another step in His mission among men, He went off into a wild desert. fasting forty days and fort nights, and afterwards was hungry.
Now you remember how Satan tempted Eve to disobey God, and in that way brought sin and misery to us all. So Satan, seeing that Jesus had come to make us good and thereby lead us to Heaven, though he could tempt our dear Lord to sin.
Appearing before Jesus, the evil one said: "If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Our Lord know He could have changed the stones into bread; but He would not show His divine power at the bidding of the devil, and He answered: "Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God."
Again Satan took our Lord up to Jerusalem, and setting Him on the very top of the Temple, tempted Him to vainglory, saying: "If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down' for it is written: "That He hath given His angels charge over Thee, and in their hands shall they bear Thee up lest perhaps Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered: "It is written again: "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.'" Jesus was willing to sacrifice His life to redeem the whole world in the way God wanted it; but He would not do the foolish thing the devil wanted.
Satan tried a third temptation on Jesus by taking Him to the top of a mountain, pointing out to Him all the Kingdoms of the world, with their riches and glory, said: "All these will I give thee if, falling down, Thou wilt adore me." Now, it was not in the power of the devil to do this, but in such a way he hoped to tempt our Lord to greed and disobedience. Filled with just anger, the Lord turned to the evil one, saying, "Begone, Satan; for it is written: "The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve.'" Thereupon the tempter left the presence of our Lord, and angels came to serve Him.
Always, dear children, when temptations come to you, follow the example of Jesus; guid Stan begone, and turn your thoughts at once to our dear Lord, Who will always come to your aid.
Thank you for your patience as we update old projects and move the downloads over to out bookstore website.
We will be adding these Notebooking pages back monthly starting with this upcoming month, March. Updates will be placed here on the Sanctus Simplicitus blog as well as noted on the store page for the notebooking pages.
All these pages match the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board pieces and they will also match the 2015/2016 Catholic Lesson planners, all based on a historical calendar fitting the Pictorial Lives of the Saints book, a brief version of Butler's Lives of the Saints. We hope you enjoy! Visit our download page today for this download and all the other's we have added.
A great way to have children recall what happened the day before as a way to prepare their minds to examine their conscience on a weekly bases. Great handwriting and language practice. They also write the date for the day, the Liturgical Season, Saint for the Day, record the weather and more. New covers will be provided for each new school year. Download your Catholic Child's Daily Journal today!
Sermons for the Christian Year
By: Dom Wilfried Wallace O.S.B.; D.D.
+ Imprimatur 1910
FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
(From the Gospel)
"Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil." (Matt. IV:1)
As we have now entered upon the holy season of Lent, the Church most appropriately puts before us the gospel narrative of our Lord's fast of forty days in the desert. For this Lenten fast was instituted by the Church in commemoration of what is recorded in this day's gospel; in order that we might walk in the Footsteps of Him Who came to give us an example how we ought to walk. But, my brethren, we must bear in mind that fasting is by no means the only thing which we have to consider at this holy season. The example of our divine Lord proves to us that it is also a time of retreat from the world, its conversation and amusements; that it is a time of preparation against the assaults of temptation. It is a most wonderful mystery that our Lord, Who is Holiness Itself, should have permitted Himself to be tempted by the evil spirit. But, my brethren, it was for our sakes that He did so, and for our consolation; in order to teach us how to conduct ourselves under temptation, how to prepare for it, and how to overcome it. This, then, is the lesson which we are to derive from this Sunday's gospel. and let us study it well; for, assuredly, there is not one amongst us who is exempt from temptation, and there is not one amongst us who can afford to despise this danger; seeing that the Son of God Himself, Who wished to be made like unto us in all things and to bear all our infirmities, consented even to be tempted by the evil one. Since no one, therefore, is exempt from temptation, let us always be on our guard against it. 'Let him that thinketh himself to stand, take heed lest he fall.' (I Cor. X; 12) What, then, is the example which we are to learn from our blessed Lord, as to the manner in which we should conduct ourselves under temptation?
We learn, in the first place, what kind of preparation we must make against temptation. We learn from His example that we must retire from the world; that we must mortify our flesh by fasting and works of penance; and that we must engage in prayer and meditation on the eternal truths. Hence, we must not suppose that we have done all that is required of us by merely complying with the law of the Church in corporeal abstinence; for this is, after all, but a means to an end; and that end is the discipline of the soul, and the preparing it for the inevitable conflict with the powers of darkness. (Col. I;13) Consequently, to the exterior works of mortification, must be added the interior discipline of prayer and recollection of spirit, and retirement from the world, its amusements and occupations, as far as this lies in our power. Hence, we must guard ourselves from falling into an error which is very common. Those who are able to keep the law of fasting in its rigor, are apt to rest satisfied with this, without taking any pains to fulfill the other conditions which our Lord's example proves to us to be necessary for the spiritual combat in which we are engaged. On the other hand, those whose bodily infirmity, or circumstances in life, exempt them from complying with this law, are apt to suppose that by being dispensed from the law of fasting, they are also dispensed from all works of mortification and spiritual discipline. My dear brethren, how is this possible? If any one could be dispensed from temptation, from all those incentives to sin which we carry about with us, and which surround us on every side, then, perhaps, it would be conceivable that we might be dispensed from this spiritual discipline. But since, in point of fact, there is no one, whatever may be his station in life, his state of health, or circumstances, who is so exempt; it follows that no one is, or can be, exempt from the obligation of preparing for the assaults of temptation by such spiritual exercises as those of which our Lord gives us an example in this day's gospel. Let us, then, consider the nature of those temptations, and how we ought to overcome them; and let us consider the subject by the light of this day's gospel.
First, there are temptations of mistrust of God's Providence. This is a very common kind of temptation, through which many are lost. The devil, by this means draws people away from the practice of their religious duties, by suggesting to them the necessity of making provision for themselves and their families. How many are led away by this suggestion, who forget that the God Whom we are bound to serve is able, and not only able, but has promised to provide for all our wants, both spiritual and temporal; and that it is the height of folly to imagine that we shall the better obtain what is requisite for our bodies, by neglecting the care of our souls, for which we ought to be chiefly solicitous. Let us, then, for the future, silence this crafty suggestion of the tempter, by telling him ,as our Lord did, that our first care should be, not to labour for the bread that perishes, but to nourish our souls with the Word that proceeds out of the Mouth of God, and which endures unto eternal life: (Joh. VI' 27) that is to say, by conforming ourselves entirely to the Will of God; by keeping His Commandments; by strengthening ourselves in His grace, through the sacraments which he has provided for us.
Another temptation is equally common, though it is of an opposite kind to the other. The devil, who at one time tempts us to mistrust God's Providence, at another, temps us to a misplaced confidence and presumption. He places in some dangerous occasion, and bids us to cast ourselves down, telling us that we have nothing to fear; as God will take care of us. This kind of temptation also causes the ruin of many souls. The drunkard, the profane swearer, the impure, the dishonest, sinners of every kind, all flatter themselves with this deceitful suggestion of the devil, that there is no harm in exposing themselves to this or that occasion of sin; forgetting that it is written: "thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." They flatter themselves that God has given His angels charge over them - that if anything happens to them they can go to confession, they can call the priest and secure to themselves immunity from the consequences of their rashness. My brethren, what is this but tempting God? And what course could we take more calculated than this to shut ourselves out from the reach of those efficacious graces, without which, priests and sacraments will not be of the slightest avail to us? God Himself has said that when any one during life has neglected His counsels and despised His admonitions, He, in turn, will in the hour of the sinner's necessity, turn His Back on him; and will mock at him when the destruction which he now fears, (through he formerly despised it) is coming swift upon him. Ket us, then, be always on our guard against this insidious temptation of the evil one, and when he seeks to induce us to expose ourselves to the occasion of sin, let us shun the pit which is dug before our feet, and answer with our blessed Lord: 'though shalt not temp the Lord thy God.'
The third kind of temptation which the devil makes use of is worldliness. We have but to open our eyes and see how completely the whole world is overcome with this temptation. The heart of man must have something to worship. And the devil, knowing this, in order to divert men from worshipping the one true and living God, proposes himself to be worshipped under the disguise of the things of this world. Accordingly, we see nearly the whole world complete wrapped up in the pursuit of riches, honors, pleasures, worldly position. There is scarcely an exception. The rich and the great seek to become richer and greater. The poor and the lowly seek to advance themselves, and crave for those worldy gratifications which are, more or less, within their reach. But what they never think of seeking, is the Kingdom of God and His Justice. (Matt. VI 33) which is the only thing worth seeking. The one object of all their aspirations is this visible world, the figure of which passeth away. ( I Cor. VII; 31) Now, all this, my brethren, is, as we learn from this gospel, nothing else but devil-worship; and, when these unhappy people have served the world all their lives, they will find in the latter end that it is the devil they have been serving, and that he will be their master for all eternity. Is it possible that we can be so blind as to submit to this degrading yoke? Can we not break off this galling bondage and say to the demon, Begone, Sata, for it is written "The Lord thy God shalt thou adore; and Him only shat thou serve." He is our only true Master; a Master whose yoke is sweet and burden light, (Matt. XI 30) Who never requires of us more than we can do. He is at the same time a loving Father, Who is able to sweeten all our toil with the abundance of His consolation; Who has Himself carried our burden for us on His Own shoulders; Who has trod the same path that we tread; Who made Himself like unto us in all things, excepting only sin; Who even submitted to be tempted, that we might learn from His example how to overcome temptation; a Master and a Father, Who will Himself be our Reward exceeding great, if we prove faithful. "Blessed is the man that endures temptation, for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life which God hath promised to them that love Him."
(From the Lesson)
"We exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain." (II Cor. VI; I)
We have now, my dear brethren, entered on the solemn season of Lent, the days of grace; and the Church exhorts us, by the mouth of the apostle, not to receive that grace in vain. In order, then, that you may be moved to a more faithful correspondence to the graces of this holy season, I wish to say a few words on the subject of grace. For, certainly, if we understood rightly the inestimable value of this gift of God, we should not be as indifferent as we are about it. "If thou didst but know the gift of God," said the Lord to the Samaritan woman. What, then, is grace, and why is it given to us?
It is, the Catechism says, a gift of God, freely bestowed on us for our sanctification and salvation. It is not merely something by which we may more easily save our soul; for without it, it is utterly impossible to take a single stamp towards our salvation.
It is not something which is given to some, and withheld from others; for God wishes all men to be saved; and there is no one, not even the child of a day old, who can be saved without grace. Grace, then, is absolutely necessary for all. Without it, salvation, is impossible.
To understand this necessity of grace, we must go back to the first page of the Catechism. Why did God make us? "God made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world; and to be happy with Him forever in the next." But we cannot do one of these things without the help of God's grace. If our existence were limited to this world, and we had no other end but such as our nature required, then it would be sufficient, in order to obtain that end, that we should know, love, and serve God, according to our natural ability, and to the extent of our natural powers. But, the case is far otherwise. God created us, not for a natural, but for a supernatural end; that is, for an end which is far beyond the capabilities and requirements of our nature. He created us in order that we might enter into a intimate union with Himself. To effect this union, it was necessary that god should infuse into us a principle which should be capable of elevating our nature above itself, and thereby enable it to enter into union with God. That super nature principle is divine grace. Hence we must know, love and serve God in a supernatural way; that is, in a way which is quite beyond the reach of our natural powers, so that we must in every step of the way be assisted by divine grace.
It is true that we may, by the use of our natural faculties unaided by grace, gain a certain knowledge of God and His attributes; we may also love Him for the manifestations of His Goodness which are visible in the world, and in the order of His Providence; we may also acquire and practise many virtues, such as Justice, Te,penance, Truthfulness, and so forth. But, if this knowledge and love, and these virtues be the result of our unaided endeavors, if they do not spring from divine grace, they will be of no use whatever towards salvation. At the best, they can only obtain for us a temporal reward. They will never receive any recompense in the next life; because nothing but that which is supernatural can merit a supernatural recompense. When God created man, He might have left him in his natural state; in which case, this natural kind of worship, with its natural recompense, would have been the highest happiness to which man could aspire. But, as a matter of fact, our nature was not left in this state. When Adam was created, he was raised to the supernatural state, and consequently, endowed with divine grace. Had he remained in that state, he would, after his probation, have been translated to heaven, where the state of grace would have been changed into the state of glory, to endure eternally. But we know that he, unhappily, fell from his high estate, and lost the grace of God. From being a son of God he became a slave of the devil, who tempted him to sin, with the vain hope of becoming like God. He was henceforth an alien from God's household; the object of the divine malediction. And not only he, but all his descendants were involved in his fall; as many of us as are born into this world, are born in the same plight to which Adam reduced himself; deprived of God's grace, and therefore incapable of doing anything whatever to regain our lost inheritance. But the mercy of God is infinite; and He would not heave us without hope of redemption. He devised a means whereby we might regain the grace which we had lost. "God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting." (Job. Ill; 16) Thus, through the mystery of the Incarnation, we receive once more the power to be made the Sons of God, and to work out our salvation. (Joh. I,12)
We are then in a position, now, to understand what is meant by grace. It means whatever gifts and helps God bestows upon us over and above the gifts of the natural order, and which, of His free Mercy, He bestows upon us, to raise us from the natural order to the state of adoption, and to enable us to accomplish His Will in all things, and so obtain and supernatural rewards which He has prepared for us in heaven. I say, this gift in given to us out of His free Mercy; for not only do we not deserve it, but we are positively unworthy of it. "God, Who is rich in mercy, for His exceeding charity where-with He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ' and made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus." (Eph. II; 4,6.) Hence, not even our natural good works can establish any claim to the gift of grace. "Not by the works of justice which we have done; but according to His mercy, He saved us." (Tit. Ill;5.) Again: "A faithful saying, and worthy of all accept ion, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners." (I Tim. I;15.) Hence, too, the abundance of the grace must be proportioned to the depth of the iniquity: "Where sin abounded, grace did more about." (Rom. V;20)
By grace, therefore, we may do everything: without grace, we can do nothing that is profitable to salvation. "No man can come to Me, except the Father who hath sent Me, draw him." (Joh. VI; 44) "Abide in Me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine; so neither can you, unless you abide in me; I am the vine, you the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine; so neither can you, unless you abide in me; I am the vine, you the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (Joh. XV; 4) In these words our divine Lord teaches us that in order to be fruitful in good works, in order to do anything meritorious of eternal life, we must be incorporated with Him; we must be in living communion with Him, as the branch in the vine. The vital principle which establishes that communion between us and our blessed Lord, is divine grace. If, unhappily, we suffer ourselves to be deprived of that precious gift, however fair an appearance we may present externally, we are in reality nothing but dry, barren branches, broken off from the living stem, incapable of bearing fruit; and fit only to be cast as fuel into the fire.
Since all our merit and all our virtues proceed solely from the grace that is given to us, it follows that we can never under any circumstances take credit to ourselves for any good that we may do. Were we to do so, we should rob God of the glory which is due to Him, and render ourselves unworthy of His grace. "All have sinned, and do need the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Where is then thy boasting?" (Rom. Ill. 23, 27) It is excluded. "If by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise grace is no more grace." (Rom. XI; 6.) Elsewhere, the same apostle says: "Who distinguisheth thee? Or what has thou, that thou hast not received? And, if thou hast received, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" (I Cor. IV; 7) "By grace you are saved, through faith; and that, not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God." (Eph. II;8) We should do well to meditate upon this truth, in order that we may be well-grounded in humility; recognizing that all the evil we do is from ourselves, whilst the good, such as it is, comes solely from the grace of God working within us.
Let us, in conclusion, resolve to do our utmost to co-operate with the grace which is given to us, and given to us more abundantly at this holy season of Lent; that we may be able to say with the apostle: "His grace in me has not been void." (I Cor. XV; 10.) You know that grace is to be obtained by fervent, humble prayer, and by the holy sacraments. Lent, therefore, is a time when we are bound to redouble our prayers, and to approach the sacraments of Penance and the holy Eucharist; and since God never imposes an obligation without giving the grace to fulfill it, therefore, at this holy season, the flood-grates of divine Mercy are opened, to enable all, even the most hardened sinners, to reprint of their sins, and to be reconciled with their God. Do not, then, receive this grace in vain. It is a time of grace for all; for the just as well as the unjust; for these, that they may be converted from their sin, and for those, that they may increase in the knowledge an the love of God, and become more fervent in His service. Thus, my brethren, the graces of Lent will not have come in vain for you; and may those graces bear in you the fruit of eternal glory.
Our friends at Crusaders-for-Christ have put together a lovely lapbook on the Four Marks of the Catholic Church and we wanted to share the link. It goes great with the Introduction in the Leading Events in the History of the Church Part 1- Church Antiquity Notebooking pages.
No one gives sermons quite like Fr. Fancis Hunnolt! Listen to this wonderful audio's of his sermons throughout Lent. Also available in book form at All the Saints Books.
Sermons include the following topics:
Fasting, gluttony, keeping the fasting laws, why we must love God, happiness of the unmarried state, fasting as penance, number of those who really love God is small, dangers of the unmarried state, injury of health by drinking, fasting in order to avoid sin, why we must fear and love God, Alms-giving for the avoidance of sin, Necessity of the Word of God, duties of husbands to wives, Keeping the Commandments of God, conduct of wives whose husbands give them cause for disunion and others.
Find the list of audio sermons here.
Praying that all have a fruitful Lent, please keep our family in your prayers.
Another new and FREE download over at All the Saints Books is our biblical Treasury of the Catechism Handwriting E-Book. It features scripture quotes that prove the Catholic Catechism Questions and give the student some extra handwriting practice. For now this is lesson 1-4 with more to come as we have them ready.
DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY HERE TODAY!
Lent for Children- A Thought a Day
By: A Religious of the Cenacle
+ Imprimatur 1931
Lent is our time to get ready for Easter. Because JEsus went all alone into the desert for forty days to show us how to deny ourselves for our soul's good, we shall spend forty days making efforts to follow his lead. We shall make a program of what we decide to do - like this:
1. I will deny myself some of the good things I could eat.
2. I will deny myself some of my usual amusements.
3. If possible, I will go to daily Mass and Holy Communion.
4. I will make more visits to the Blessed Sacrament.
Whatever we decide to do, we must do, or we would not be loyal. Will your program for Lent please the heart of Jesus?
Say often through the day:
Now is the time my love to show. O Jesus dear, Thy grace bestow!
Download a free worksheet for making your Lenten plan! Order your own Lent for Children Book at All the Saints Books