St Augustine was the rebellious son of St Monica, experimenting in various immoral behavior and questionable philosophies. With his mother quietly praying for him in the background and his career drawing him to Milan, St Augustine was led to conversion through the sermons of St Ambrose.
St Augustine recognized that through his rebellious lifestyle, he had been searching for the meaning of real love in all the wrong places. Within his extensive writings, he wrote:
“You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for You. You were with me, but I was not with You.”
Consider how God is within us even when we stray from Him. Pray for constant reminders of His Presence and the strength and courage to please Him in all that we do. Consider adding religious artwork around the house in an effort to provide reminders of God’s Presence. Frequently circulate the pieces throughout the house to draw attention to them and prompt reflection.
Consider developing simple prayer habits, using everyday sights, chores and cues as reminders to pray. I decided to make a meme of Prayer Habits, an excerpt from A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families.
I know it’s a little crowded…but I wanted to keep them all to one pic.
In honor of the Feast Day of St Monica (celebrated yesterday) and the Feast of St Augustine today, plan some bonding time for Mother and Sons in your family. Sometimes when there are a number of children in the family, Moms and Dads don’t get a lot of time with each child separately. Choose activities geared to interests and the age of the child. These are some things that have worked in our family.
1. Lego: we’re big Lego fans in our family…the only challenge is saving the action for just mom and son, but it’s still fun when the other kids get involved. While Joe’s sets of Lego are exciting and challenging, my favorite is to start from scratch, using our vast collection of Lego to create a new castle every day.
At only four years old, Adam is quite an accomplished builder. It’s fun to hang out with Adam, building Lego, Thomas track…or anything out of whatever he can find. They called him Trump at preschool, because he was so into building hotels out of blocks.
2. Exercise: Joseph doesn’t play a lot of organized sports, but he’s a fast runner. OK, maybe it only really happened once, but I did go for a run with him ….and we still talk about it 3 years later. Even I can throw a baseball around, kick a soccer ball around a little or shoot a couple baskets and taking the time to do these things…or go for a bike ride alone with Joe… means a lot to both of us.
3. Craft Projects: OK, so even though running is more Joe’s thing and crafting is more my thing…we have found a couple crafts over the years that have appealed to Joe. Check out the Castle and Catapult Craft and more recently the Flaming Mini-Crossbow! I’m sure that these are crafts that Adam will grow into!
4. Dinner / Movie Time!: Food is always something we can bond over and both my sons definitely have their favorites. Joseph actually cooks too…he makes awesome Schnitzel with Grandma…and bakes fresh brownies or cookies for us almost every night!
We watch plenty of movies at our house and depending on who is home, we watch certain movies in honor of certain family members. Some movies we see right away in the theatre…and it’s always a little more special when it’s a date alone with Mom (or Dad). As the kids get older and are pulled away by other activities and friends, it’s important to make the time!
5. Paper Route: Joseph has had a paper route for almost 2 years now. It has been great for him…but it takes some time! Sometimes, he gets some collating or delivering help from Mom…or Dad. While we’re getting the job done, it can be a great time to talk and share the day’s events.
6. Kid-Friendly Exhibits: whether it’s the Science Centre or the new Aquarium in town, Adam loves the building exhibits and the giant water tables with canals and locks and boats. When we venture out to attractions, it’s fun to watch Adam in his element…so we always leave those areas for last and allow for extra time…and maybe a change of clothes!
7. Story Time: I’m always amazed when the kids memorize their favorite story books…when they’re really little…and as they turn into avid readers…reading
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring/The Two Towers/The Return of the King (3-Book Set) and other thick books, often insisting on reading the book before the movie comes out!
Joe’s favorite kid’s book was Sam’s Snowy Day (Kids Can Read) and Adam’s was Goodnight Moon
…and my favorite books to read to the little ones are the Stella and Sam books like Stella, Fairy of the Forest (Stella and Sam).
(yep, those are affiliate links in case you buy your books through Amazon.
Thanks for your support!)
This is a 7 Quick Takes Post in disguise!
See Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!
Feast Day Crafts and Activities
Excerpts from A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families , various posts at Equipping Catholic Families and our Saint Scripts Craft Kits (Series ONE and TWO).
Pray for us!
Do you have your own family activities, traditions, crafts or celebrations to share for this special Feast Day? Don’t forget to add it at the Celebrate the Saints Link-Up…or pick up an idea or two for your family to enjoy!