TOB Monthly LITTLES are ready! For ages 2-5. They are SO PRECIOUS. Just precious, precious, precious. You'll love them as much as we do. Please purchase a set for a little one in your life, and share the word. Remember that it is not at all too early to share content like this. My little was invited to drag queen story time at age 3 ... that's what started this all. Seriously. I had enough and I decided to do something about it. The result is this beautiful magazine that will teach these little ones about the dignity of human life.
We are so excited that TOB Monthly TEENS will be ready in a few months, with MIDDLES to follow, and everything in Spanish too!
And here is a little article for your reading pleasure ...
EXCERPT BELOW FIRST PUBLISHED IN EMBODIED MAGAZINE, 2022:
TOB PARENT CORNER, EMBODIED MAGAZINE
Theology of the Body is pertinent at all times, but teaching it with added purpose during key liturgical seasons can greatly enhance the way children grasp the concepts. In our family we use the table runner as a centerpiece of faith. I like this space for a few reasons: 1. the rest of the table remains usable, and 2. we gather there as a family regularly. But you can place a display anywhere (fireplace mantles, a tray on the counter, an end table).
During Lent, we place a statue of Jesus carrying a cross at one end of the table and a crown of thorns at the other, all on a purple table runner. Jesus will progress down the path for 47 days, the Cross always on His back, and we will discuss His ultimate gift of self (TOB theme: true love consists in a mutual self-gift). He will eventually approach the crown of thorns (you can make your own with a foam ring and toothpicks) at the other end of the table. (If you’re using a smaller space you can have Jesus progress labyrinth-style). During Lent the kids will remove a thorn from the crown every time they offer a sacrifice. Each thorn removed comforts Jesus. We will never take away His pain, but in our small way, we are choosing to be present to His suffering. In helping to soften the crown, we help to show love for His soul by our tender care of His body. There is something poignant about suffering that children connect with. They are naturally curious and empathetic. They want to lean into Jesus’ suffering, so utilize this season to discuss the meaning of suffering with your children. We are all called to take up our Cross and follow Christ, and we all have a Cross. How do we ‘take it up’? By sacrifice; repeated, meaningful, and evolving sacrifice.
Help your children identify acts of sacrifice during Lent:
1. Start small! Building the habit first is most important. The magnitude of sacrifice will come later.
2. Help your child identify a suffering (their own or that of another).
3. Identify a tangible act that will accompany that suffering.
4. Teach them to offer this act in prayer.
Suffering: I hate doing homework.
Offering: I will do it without complaint because Jesus didn’t complain on the Cross.
Prayer: Jesus, I offer you my desire to complain; with you I remain silent in my suffering, because I love you.
Suffering: My grandpa has cancer.
Offering: I will make my bed every day because he taught me how to make a bed.
Prayer: Jesus, I offer you my chore, to comfort you and my grandpa in your pain, because I love you both.
Suffering: Some children are starving.
Offering: I will not waste food because others go hungry.
Prayer: Jesus, I offer you my effort, in solidarity with others, because I love you and all your children.
To comfort one’s body is to comfort their soul (TOB theme: the body alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible, the spiritual and divine). To offer a prayer, a chore, a hug, or a nourishing meal… these are all ways to comfort the soul via the body. In sacrifice and prayer, we can unite with the suffering of Christ and of others. Remember that Jesus saw it ALL from the Cross - past, present, AND future. Your current sacrifice can actually comfort His suffering on the Cross because He is not limited by time or space. Amazing!