So, I started out this year with a couple of missions:
1. Help families pray the Rosary.
2. Help families fall in love with Eucharistic Adoration.
3. Help families pray through Scripture.
If you have been following along, you might have noticed that I have been picking away at these missions, although I still have a ways to go. Although it might not look like it, my third mission, to help families pray through Scripture, was the one that gave me the most trouble.
It’s funny because that might seem like the easiest, right?
We all have a Bible in our homes…or at least we have super easy access to one online. We all know how to read…and yet how many of us know how to PRAY THROUGH SCRIPTURE?
Honestly, I am still learning how to do this. And I struggle to quiet myself and slow down enough to actually do it.
So, if I have a hard time praying through scripture… Then how in the world will I ever teach my children to do this?
I alone could not have cracked this riddle.
But luckily I hang out with smarter, more faithful people than myself. And through them, I have learned about the SCHOOL OF THE WORD.
What is the world is a SCHOOL OF THE WORD?
So, about six months ago I was hanging out with the Little Sisters of the Lamb in Kansas City on a Saturday. Each Saturday they host something called Open Table where everyone is welcome to come and share a meal.
People from ALL WALKS OF LIFE show up, and it is such a beautiful way to spend an afternoon. After the meal, they “break open the Word” by reading the Gospel for the next day.
Sometimes there is a skit or a song, and other times they split into two groups, adults and children, to pray and discuss.
This Saturday a boatload of kids were there, including my five. The sisters bravely took all of the kids into the chapel and announced that they were going to mendicate (from the Latin, meaning to chew on) the Gospel.
In other words, they expected the kids to sit and prayerfully work their way through the Gospel reading.
I was sitting in the back nursing George, who was a newborn at the time, and I privately thought, “Ha! good luck sisters! Those kids are going to sit still for about 1 minute!’
But, as usual, I was wrong. SO WRONG!
The sisters used the Telephone Game (remember that one, from when you were a kid?) to chew on the Gospel, only no whispering.
The first person read a small part of the verse to the next person, who turned and repeated it to the next, and so on.
On and on the verse went around the circle and even Josie, my ornery three-year-old, was repeating and REMEMBERING the verses.
They did this with each verse of the Gospel and when it was done, even Dominic, my wild five-year-old, understood the reading and proudly declared his favorite verse.
And what’s even more amazing–I was able to meditate on the Gospel and understand it better too!
Each time the little verse was repeated and pass around the circle I heard it just a little bit more clearly.
Gradually the entire reading was opened up to me in a whole new way and I marveled that I had never really understood this reading before.
So, that is what the school of the Word is–an environment where YOU AND YOUR KIDS can interact with and pray through Scripture.
ST PAUL’S SCHOOL OF THE WORD
The new study, St. Paul’s School of the Word, uses this exact practice to explore Scripture: the Telephone game.
This Study contains 55 separate readings, all taken from the second readings we hear at mass.
St. Paul is one of the most important writers in Human History, and he played such a big role in establishing our Church.
We can learn so much from his letters to the early Church if we just slow down and listen to them.
Here is an example of one day of the study:
The day begins with the scripture.
First, read the entire scripture, then play the telephone game with the scripture, stopping to have the family repeat each time you run into a dot. Only the parent needs the book, or even the ability to read, as everyone else is simply repeating.
Then, share as a family. What did this say to you? What was your favorite verse or word and why?
Next, read through the Lesson, and then say the prayer as a family.
Finally, color and paste your “token” onto the Risen Lord Poster (all included in the digital pack you get with the booklet) to both count down the days of the study. And really lock a few of the keywords from this reading into the minds and hearts of your family.
As I said, there are 55 different days included in this study. So it is longer and is meant to be used in any way that you like!
Make it part of your homeschool day. Use it only a couple of times a week over the course of Ordinary Time,
Use just the first 24 days to earn your SCRIPTURE PATCH, or plow through it 55 days in a row!
I really hope and pray that this study teaches your family an easy, effective, and beautiful way to PRAY through Scripture.
Praised be Jesus Christ!
your sister in the small things,