A Guide to 4 Popular Devotional Tools for Lent

Guide to Lent Books

Advent and Lent are both characterized by penance, fasting, and almsgiving. However, the penance, fasting, and almsgiving is much more pronounced and emphasized during Lent because of Our Lord’s Passion and Crucifixion. However . . .

Many people view Lent, because it is a penitential season of self-denial, as a time of forced depression. It is good to be reminded that,

“While Lent is a solemn season, it is not a somber one. The forty days are not structured to foster morbid gloominess and debilitating self-loathing; they are meant to thrust us into the heart of divine love.”

11 Last Minute Religious Gift Ideas for Christmas

Catholic Christmas Gift Ideas

If you still need to take care of those stragglers on your shopping list, or if you haven’t even started yet, here are some unique religious Christmas gift ideas to help take you to the finish line. And remember, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a season that BEGINS on December 25th. So, there is no shame in spreading out your gift-giving right up to Epiphany (the original 12 days of Christmas). After all, that’s the day when Baby Jesus received his gifts!

Catholic Christmas Decorating Idea: One Lantern, Four Ways!

Lanterns with Saint Statues

Lanterns are such a popular home decoration these days. And we love it.

This past summer our Marketing and Merchandising teams at The Catholic Company had a great time experimenting with a new look of pairing lanterns with saint statues. We (and you!) loved the idea – it’s a great way to add contemporary style to the look of classic and reverent religious devotion in the home.

See what we mean: How to Turn a Decorative Lantern into a DIY Saint Shrine

We thought we’d try out the look for Advent and Christmas decorating, too. Here is our Chapel Lantern that we picked out especially for its wide base, flat sides, and old-world appeal. The possibilities of what you can do with this piece are endless, but, below are four of our favorites.

A Great Tradition for Kids! Making Small Sacrifices for the Baby Jesus During Advent

Baby Jesus Creche

Advent is known as “little Lent,” and prayer, alms, and sacrifices are an important part of the season. To help children participate in the true purpose of Advent (rather than treating it selfishly as a countdown to getting their presents on Christmas day), a visual teaching aid is most helpful.

For each small sacrifice or good deed done by a child during Advent, a piece of straw is added into the manger or creche. On Christmas day the Baby Jesus figure is placed inside the creche, and the prayers and sacrifices symbolized by the pieces of straw have added up to prepare Him a comfortable place to rest. This visually symbolizes the room for Jesus that we have prepared in our hearts by making sacrifices and doing good deeds for others.

Don’t Start Christmas without Advent: Here’s Everything You Need to Know!

Christmas starts with Advent

Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year for the Roman Catholic Church. On the first day of Advent, which begins this year on December 1st, the Church celebrates its New Year’s Day. The date for the beginning of Advent falls each year on the Sunday closest to November 30th – the feast day of Saint Andrew the Apostle.

How to Add a Touch of Faith into Your Office Space

Adding Catholic art to your office space

Take a quick look around your office. How many reminders of your faith do you have?

Whether in the home or away from home, many of us spend a lot of time working in our office. There is no better way to be inspired to offer up your prayer and work to God every day (that is, to sanctify your daily work) than to have reminders of your faith in your work space. Over the course of our lives, it is one of the main places where our small, ordinary acts will add up to make us more or less holy:

Journey Through Advent: Our Top 3 Advent Prayer Books

Advent Catholic Missal

The way the Church has embarked on this spiritual journey, this pilgrimage of the heart, is through the daily Mass readings and the Divine Office. Reading the Daily Mass readings with your Roman Missal or the Divine Office with your own Liturgy of the Hours set are both great ways to celebrate the Advent season. But if you want more of a personal devotional to use, then Advent prayer books is what you’d want to choose. Here are three of the most popular choices for using a book for meditations and prayers this Advent season.

Three Sacramentals Instituted by the Blessed Virgin Mary

3 Sacramentals Given to the Faithful by the Blessed Virgin Mary

From time to time Mary has given certain holy saints a particular devotion to her with attached graces and promises. The devotion is meant to be spread to the whole Church. In some cases an object, or sacramental, is given to be associated with the devotion. Three very famous sacramentals given to the Church by Mary are the holy rosary, the brown scapular, and the miraculous medal.

How to Follow the Daily Mass Readings

how to follow the daily mass readings

Did you know that if you follow along with the Mass readings every day of the week, you’ll have read through almost the entire Catholic bible every three years? One of the best ways to follow along with the Mass readings is to use a Daily Roman Missal. Following along with the daily Mass readings (even when you don’t go to daily Mass) is an excellent way for Catholics to commit to a Bible reading plan and grow in the knowledge of Sacred Scripture. Who couldn’t use more of this in their life?

First Holy Communion Gift Guide – Printable PDF

First Communion Gift Guide PDF

It’s that time of year again – First Holy Communion season!

First Holy Communion is the ideal time to teach children the love and reverence they should bear towards the Blessed Sacrament. The faith that you instill in their hearts during this time will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It will be a future comfort and strength in times of trial, keeping them grounded in the love of Christ that is always there for them in Holy Communion.