Releasing Regrets to Rest and Reset

This article continues a series in which we are exploring practices that can help each of us and our students to develop a space for grace. My last article focused on growing in gratitude and listed some practices that can spiritually strengthen us. Today we will focus on releasing regrets so that we can rest and reset. Release Regrets Releasing regrets is one of the keys to interior freedom and peace. Making peace with ourselves […]

Cultivating Peace in Our Classrooms in an Anxious World

We live in a fast-paced and increasingly anxious world that is clearly affecting the social, emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health of children. Studies published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics and based on data collected from the National Survey of Children’s Health indicate significantly increased rates of anxiety among children, youth, and young adults. Researchers found a 20 percent increase in diagnoses of anxiety for children ages 6–17 between 2007 and 2012. […]

Peace Prayer Coloring Pages

The Peace Prayer, usually associated with St. Francis of Assisi, is a popular traditional prayer. Download a coloring page to use in introducing or meditating on this prayer’s famous first line, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” The Spanish version, “Señor, haz de mí un instrumento de tu paz,” is also available as a coloring page. The Peace Prayer is part of Finding God and Christ Our Life sessions in fourth and eighth […]

9/11 Twenty Years Later: The Importance of Remembering Even When It Hurts

The notion of “forgive and forget” sounds nice, but the forgetting part is not realistic and, more importantly, it’s not healthy. Remembering is an important part of our spirituality. Presently, as a country, we are remembering the events of September 11, 2001, as we mark the 20th anniversary of this tragedy. We remember, not in order to hold on to anger and hatred, but as a way of honoring those who died and as a […]

Beatitudes and the Catechist: Blessed Are the Peacemakers

This is the seventh article in a series exploring the Beatitudes as they relate to being a catechist. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Happy are the catechists who live as God intends, for they can’t help but love the young people in their classrooms. I spent some time cleaning out my catechist’s bag earlier this week, and I came across some prayers written by the young […]

Resources for Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities—September 9, 2016

On Friday, September 9, 2016, the Church in the United States will observe a special day of prayer dedicated to peace and justice in our communities and in our nation. My friend Jonathan Sullivan has put together a list of suggestions and resources for his home diocese of Lafayette, IN, and he is graciously sharing these with the rest of us. Thanks, Jonathan! Resources for Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities

More Comments and Questions from Under the Influence Webinar

Here are some more wonderful comments and questions from last evening’s Webinar on my new book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ. Love your reference to the lightness of being in children.   I teach first graders and they remind me of this everyday when we stop our day to teach Religion and kearn about the love of the Trinity. (Kathleen K.) The idea of simplicity in how we approach others […]

9 Advent Attitudes – #3: An Unwavering Sense of Serenity

Advent is, above all else, a season of hope—a virtue that is all too rare in our world. To live as a person of hope is to behave in such a manner as to draw suspicion that we are behaving somewhat erratically as far as worldly norms go. This new type of behavior—what some may even call erratic behavior (the behavior that led people to conclude that the Apostles were “under the influence” on Pentecost)—is […]

9 Advent Attitudes – #2: Lightness of Being

Advent is, above all else, a season of hope – a virtue that is all too rare in our world. To live as a person of hope is to behave in such a manner as to draw suspicion that we are behaving somewhat erratically as far as worldly norms go. This new type of behavior – what some may even call erratic behavior (the behavior that led people to conclude that the Apostles were “under […]

9/11 Prayers for Peace

I received the following from Jennifer about what her class did on 9/11 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragedy and to pray for peace. Great job, Jennifer! Joe, I thought you might appreciate what my 8th grade CCD class did on September 11. I’ve copied the email sent to their parents. I’m so proud of them. Thanks, too, for The Catechist’s Toolbox and recent webinar on teaching jr. high classes which have been great […]

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