Charisse Tierney recommends a free printable Advent prayer resource for families.
Family prayer time has always been challenging. Our family Rosary is usually interjected with screams from my two-year-old. My 4-year-old has been obsessed with blowing out our Advent wreath candles as soon as we light them. And it’s a constant quest to engage my older kids and see a spark of zeal and wonder in their eyes.
I started homeschooling four of my kids this year, and as I gathered their math books, composition notebooks, and history charts, I struggled with how to approach their religious education. I wanted them to learn the history and truths of their faith, but felt that all of that would be fruitless without first nurturing their personal relationship with God. I didn’t just want them to learn facts about their faith; I wanted them to fall in love with it.
And so we started the practice of doing lectio divina together. We gathered around our dining table, lit some candles, read a chosen Scripture passage, and reflected on it together. It was a time of restfulness and communing with God. It was a time we could be vulnerable with each other and share our revelations. I found that all of my school-aged kids, from 7 years up to 14 years, were engaged, animated, and responsive.
So I was thrilled to find Kim Cameron-Smith’s free printable resource, Advent Lectio Divina For Families. Kim explains the process of lectio divina and provides a “script” to guide you through each Sunday’s gospel complete with prayers and prompts to inspire personal reflection on God’s word. Kim also includes a gorgeous, printable work of sacred art to use for another type of meditation called visio divina, or “sacred seeing.” And this is all free!
Our family used Kim’s guide during the first week of Advent. I found her prompts and insights helpful in guiding our conversation about the gospel, and my kids really loved studying the work of art she included. As a busy mom of seven, I appreciated that the guide is quick and easy to download and print, and that the layout is easy to follow and at the perfect level for my kids. You can take as much time as you want with the scripture passage and work of art, but you can also have a very fruitful prayer time in ten to fifteen minutes.
Even toddlers can appreciate the language of scripture and beautiful works of art. One day, I sat down on the floor with my two-year-old, lit a candle on a nearby table, and shared one sentence from scripture with her. She loved the one on one time with me, and the beautiful words being spoken to her. Even the youngest of children can understand the sacredness of scripture. They can often give us insights from their young hearts that we would never think of!
Kim Cameron-Smith’s beautiful Advent Lectio Divina For Families is a simple yet powerful way to strengthen your family’s prayer life during these last days of Advent.
Copyright 2020 Charisse Tierney
Image copyright 2020 Charisse Tierney
About the Author
Charisse Tierney lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Rob and seven children. Charisse is a stay-at-home mom, musician, NFP teacher, and a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd catechist. She is also a contributing author to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion and Family Foundations magazine. Charisse blogs at Paving the Path to Purity and can be found on Facebook.