Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

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Last year for Holy Week, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the seven Last Words of Christ, and I learned a lot of Christ and a lot about myself in the process. So this year I want to do a similar series of reflections on the seven sorrows of Mary. Before this year, I was not very familiar with the sorrows of Mary. It wasn’t a devotion I had been exposed to growing up, which surprised me a little, because my parents are incredibly devoted Catholics who love Mary a lot. But my students were preparing for a Catholic Faith Challenge where they had to know a lot of different prayers and devotions, and for the first time I learned about this devotion and the rosary that goes with it.

The seven sorrows of Mary follow the gospels stories of Simeon’s prophecy, the flight into Egypt, the loss of Jesus in the Temple, Mary meets Jesus on the Way of the Cross, the crucifixion and death of Jesus, the body of Jesus being taken down from the cross, and the burial of Jesus. There is a rosary based on these seven, where there are seven sets of seven Hail Mary prayers, along with other prayers. You can learn how to pray the Seven Sorrows Chaplet here. There are lots of beautiful chaplets on Amazon, like this Rosary of the Seven Sorrows . * You can also use the reflections from Scriptural Meditations:: For the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Franciscan Crown, Seven Sorrows and Rosary *which has several different traditional Catholic chaplets in it.

So this year my Holy Week commitment is to reflect on one of these sorrows each day, and to share my thoughts with you here. I’ll also be praying the Chaplet each day during the week for the intentions of you, readers and friends. Please feel free to let me know if there is something you would like me to pray for you specifically. Over the years I have seen God answer some pretty big prayers and I am looking forward to what he has next for us.

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After writing about helping students choose their Lenten practices, which you can read here, I scoured the internet for the type of graphic organizer that I wanted to use the help students make a meaningful plan. I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I made my own! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, as I am still pretty new to the “make your handouts look fancy” party.

So here it is: my Lent Brainstorming Sheet! I hope that it helps you and your students this Lenten Season.

So a few days ago, I had a brilliant idea. If you count Sundays as part of Lent, there are 46 days before the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. So you could feasibly read one chapter of every book in the Old Testament, like I wrote about in my post about helping students choose a Lenten practice. But when looking for reading plans, nothing really spoke to me, so I decided to make my own. Here it is as a PDF, or you can use the image above. I didn’t date it (on the actual handout) on purpose so that it is usable from year to year.

I am still new to designing these types of things, but I am really happy with the results. I want to make more reading/prayer plans in the future. What would you like to see? Let me know!

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