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The Catholic Mother's Resource Guide

by Maria Compton-Hernandez

reviewed by Catherine Fournier

A mother's day is full of housework and child care, a father's day is made of commuting and meetings. What little time there may be is quickly absorbed by story-time, PTA meetings, and the countless other activities of family life.

How, then, can a mother or father find time to pray, to praise Jesus, to grow in faith? How can we teach our children to live our faith, if we seem to have no time to live it ourselves?

In this small, easy to read book, Maria Compton-Hernandez, a Kansas mother of six (including newborn Grace) shares her hints for living a 'practical spirituality'. Maria writes, 'The purpose of this little booklet is to help other Catholic mothers in their quest to raise their children in the beauty and truths of the Roman Catholic Faith. It is also intended as a way to help Catholic mothers find time in their busy, often hectic lives to develop and grow in their own spiritual lives within our Church. The ideas and examples, as well as a helpful resource list, are included in a way that makes them concrete and easy to implement.'

The book is in two parts, followed by a number of resource lists.

Part One, A Busy Mom's Guide to Developing a Practical Prayer Life Among the Daily Demands of Motherhood, includes short sections recommending that we;

  • Develop a real relationship with the Blessed Mother,
  • Take advantage of any opportunity to pray,
  • Do a simple nightly examination of conscience,
  • Offer up the mundane duties of motherhood as prayer,
  • Turn off the soaps!,
  • Keep blessed objects and holy pictures throughout your home (watch for activities relating to this in coming installments to Fridge Art),
  • Invest in and keep a library of good Catholic literature in your home,
  • Start or join a prayer group for mothers within your parish (please mail us to tell about your mother's prayer group),
  • Establish a visible sign of your faith for all to see,
  • Bless your children before bedtime,
  • Don't overload on a set of daily required prayers,
  • and many others.

Part Two, entitled A Mother's Guide to Teaching the Riches and Traditions of the Roman Catholic Catholic Faith to Her Children is a real treasure trove of tried and true ways to teach the beauty and truth of our Roman Catholic Faith to our children. In it, a few of Maria's suggestion are;

  • Establish a family altar and nightly prayer routine.
  • Establish set devotions within your family and make them special,
  • Celebrate the sacraments by doing something special (What have you done? Please mail us and share your story)
  • Dress up for Sunday Church,
  • Teach children the value of voluntary, regular acts of mortification,
  • Develop a healthy awareness in your children of Hell and Satan,
  • Teach your children to make rosaries (another planned Fridge Art activity, we will supply addresses and ideas for several styles of rosaries)
  • Discipline your children with the eyes of the Blessed Mother and Our Lord.

An extensive list of resources follows, covering;

  • Resource List,
  • Prayer List
  • Additional Resources for a Home Library
  • Books for Children
  • Sacramental Resources
  • Explanation of Indulgences
  • Explanation of First Friday and First Saturday Devotions
  • Catholic Magazines and Periodicals
  • Magazines and materials for youth

The Catholic Mother's Resource Guide is a small book, just the right size to slip into your purse or coat pocket, but it is packed tight with great ideas. A great place to start and a wonderful resources of new ideas for more experienced moms.

The Catholic Mother's Resource Guide, and Maria's other books (A Crash Course in Apologetics for Catholic Mothers and The Catholic Parent's Guide to the Internet) can be ordered from the J.M.J. Products web site at http://www.totallycatholic.com/, or write for a free catalogue to J.M.J. Products, 15581 W. 141 Saint, Olathe, KS 66062.

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