Early Church history and tradition teaches that each day of the week has a theme which can help us to celebrate ordinary time. The apostles are the focus on Tuesdays. This is an opportunity to get to know the men that our priests and bishops have followed. Their lives and personalities are revealed in the Gospels.
Act of Faith
The three theological virtues — faith, hope, and charity — are the foundation of Christian moral activity. They are infused by God into our souls making us capable of acting as children of God and meriting eternal life (see CCC1813). “Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us. . . .” (CCC 1814). Today would be a good day to learn the Act of Faith and pray it as a family. You might add it to your morning prayers for the week.
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths that the holy Catholic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.
- construction paper
- tag-board or heavy poster-board (for the cover)
- string and/or yarn
- markers and/or crayons
Fold construction paper in half to make pages. Use six pieces for small pages and 12 for larger pages. Punch two or three holes along the folded edge, being careful to match the holes on all pages. Do the same for one piece of poster-board, cut to the size of your construction paper and folded in half to make a front and back cover.
Tie string in a bow through the holes. When book is assembled, you may begin writing and drawing the information on each apostle. Be sure to include a picture, famous writings (from the Bible), favorite stories in his life, and any other interesting facts. The best way to get the information would be from the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Read some favorite parts at the dinner table.
Prudence is right reason in action, says St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle. This moral virtue disposes practical reason to determine our true good in every circumstance and them choose the right means of achieving it (see CCC 1806).
This virtue is very difficult for young children, since it takes a certain degree of intellectual development. The most prudent thing a young child can choose to do is listen to his parents and other authoritative adults. However, as children get older they can begin to develop the virtue of prudence with a three-step plan: 1) Size up the situation. 2) Know the standards which should guide judgment (i.e., the Church’s teaching informing your conscience). 3) Make decisions in line with those judgments. Discuss this plan and practice it with your adolescent children.
Some of the apostles were known to have written “epistles,” or letters, to the various communities in the early Church. They wrote to encourage, praise, and sometimes admonish their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. The Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians is a good example. Note especially the greeting and closing. These letters to the early Christians were also written for us and contain the encouragement, praise, advice, and admonishment that we need.
Children can paraphrase the greeting and closing in a letter to a friend or relative that encourages the friend’s Christian love and actions. For example: 1 Peter 1:1 might read “Johnny, a disciple of Jesus Christ, to the elect who dwell at 23 Main Street, Wintersville, Ohio, chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the spirit of obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with His blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”
Parents can paraphrase the actual epistle so that it seems to speak directly to a child in need of support or direction. For example: 1 Peter 1:4 and the following verses can be simplified and to speak directly to a child with a seemingly heavy cross to bear.
Secret Buddies Game
“Love of one’s neighbor is the only door out of the dungeon of self.”
— G.K. Chesterton
Talk about this quote. Play the “Secret Buddies Game”: Put each family member’s name (including parents) in a hat and let each person draw a name secretly. Spend the week playing “secret buddy” to that person. Try to do little things for your buddy, anonymously (i.e., carefully hide anonymous notes, compliments, and gifts; fix or clean something secretly).
At the end of the week you could give prize for “best deeds” and another for “best secrecy.”
More to do
- Read about the apostles. Skim the gospels for any reference.
- Memorize their names.
- Mark their feast days with a celebration.
- Choose one as an intercessor for your priests, pastor, and bishop, and pray often for them.