By Desiree Hausam
As Lent comes around this year, I am thinking hard about preparing my kids for this season.
The lessons and the opportunities of Lent are something that, in the busy whirl of family life, is easy for me to gloss over. I’m not proud of that, but it’s my reality right now.
But, I was struck by our priest’s homily the other day with a reminder of how profoundly important it is to lean into this special season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It’s critical that we teach our kids to love Lent and how it teaches us to turn away from the world, even from things that are otherwise good, for the sake of learning to love our Savior better. The prayers and the sacrifices that we and our kids lift up matter.
They really do.
So, with that important reminder on my mind, I am really delighted to see some of the Lenten products that Brother Francis is offering this year. Let me share some of my favorites!
We are all struggling with the closures brought about by the pandemic. Sadly, it may be impossible or unsafe for many of us to take our kids to the Stations of the Cross at our local parishes this Lent. This devotion is beautiful, moving, and an excellent way to observe Lent.
So, if we can’t go to the Stations at our local parish, Brother Francis has brought a kid-friendly opportunity to observe them in our homes. The DVD includes 14 child-friendly meditations to go along with the stations.
I especially love the Prayer Panels - what a great way to set up a space at home to go through the Stations together.
All of these will be wonderful ways to help our kids get more involved in this important season.
I love - LOVE - devotional coloring books. When we read aloud as a family, whether it’s Bible reading or some other seasonal, spiritual book, little kiddos listen better when they have something to keep their hands busy. It’s absolutely ideal when the activity that keeps their hands occupied reinforces, not distracts from, the message we’re trying to get across to them!
So, I am really excited about the Lenten coloring storybooks available this year. There are three different ones available:
Any or all of these would be great for little hands during read aloud time, or even Mass for the smaller kiddos.
As an adult convert to the faith, I myself still need help to get through the classic prayers of the Church. There is such a rich treasure of prayers and devotions, and prayer helps are a wonderful way to introduce them to our kids, and help them learn them for life.
Brother Francis has Lenten prayer cards and posters for this, but I especially like the Devotional Pocket Fans. The cards are sturdy, and bound together with a metal grommet. In addition to the fan for the Stations of the Cross, there is one to teach the Rosary, and one of Saint Prayers for All Occasions. The Saint Prayers fan has 22 pages of saint illustrations and a corresponding prayer.
I love the idea of a child being able to carry these fans in their pocket or backpack, and have just the right prayer to hand when they need it - what a great support for their budding faith.
My favorite - the Lent Bundle
I love bundled products! As a mom of 9, I’m always looking for ways to make things simpler and more streamlined. Bundles make it easy to get a good variety of items without spending a lot of time deciding what to order.
The Lent bundle contains books, coloring and activity books, the Stations of the Cross devotional fan, and the 14 Stations of the Cross Panels, all in one discounted pack.
With everything else we all have going on this year...
It might feel tempting to gloss over Lent. Life’s been feeling pretty Lenty as it is, right? As a mom, I want to make things easier, not harder, for kiddos who have had to give up a lot already.
And while that isn’t wrong, it’s also a misguided idea of what Lent really is. Lent isn’t all about loss and sacrifice for the sake of feeling deprived. It’s a precious, beautiful gift to us and our kids, an opportunity to refocus, go deeper, and gain the spiritual tools that we need to process our world and everything that it can throw at us.
So, I invite you to check out Brother Francis’ Lenten products, and make an intentional plan to observe this season, and grow in faith together.