Sunday, September 27, 2020

Enjoy Simple Eats on the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

Apples, bananas, cookies, mini-donuts and... saints? 


Why not?

When life is busy, and yet you seek to slip in a pleasant pause for celebrating the liturgical year, you see what you've got stocked in the house and get creative!

At least that's what sometimes happens here.

Case in point: our simple eats for the Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael last year...

Apple slice angel "wings" and (failed, yet tasty) oatmeal-applesauce donut "halos" represented Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael on one plate.

Cookies and banana slice "wings" did so on another.

These simple eats - along with more fruit and the rest of the failed donuts batter made into pancakes - acted as an invitation for my children to pause to pray, chat and eat with me.

Together, we prayed the St. Michael prayer and grace.

Then, we chatted about how angels do not really have human bodies and wings, but are spiritual, non-corporeal beings and messengers of God.

We recalled a few details about each archangel:
  • Michael (Who is like God?) fighting against Satan and all his evil angels
  • Gabriel (Strength of God) announcing the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist to Zachariah and the birth of Jesus to Mary
  • Raphael  (Medicine of God) taking care of Tobias on his journey

{Some links in this post may be affiliate ones.}

We also read from Once Upon a Time Saints Around the Year, and, of course, polished off our snacks.

Spontaneous, simple, do-able, and delightful!

We enjoyed our celebration of the Feast of the Archangels and hope sharing about it inspires you to get creative with whatever you have in the house in order to pause for prayer and celebration this week.

 St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who roam about the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

O God, who dispose in marvelous order ministries both angelic and human, graciously grant that our life on earth may be defended by those who watch over us as they minister perpetually to you in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

~ The Collect 

Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, pray for us.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Simple Eats and Art Appreciation with St. Matthew

Some simple eats, a short picture study, and some reflection could enrich your Feast of St. Matthew on September 21st.


Whip up your favorite pancake recipe, but use a tablespoon to make the pancakes small as "silver dollar pancakes" in memory of St. Matthew being a tax collector.

Then, stack 
some "silver" on each person's plate and, along with praying grace, pray the Collect of the day:

O God, who with untold mercy were pleased to choose as an Apostle Saint Matthew, the tax collector, grant that, sustained by his example and intercession, we may merit to hold firm in following you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

After that, while enjoying the silver dollar pancakes, watch "
A moment of spiritual awakening: Caravaggio's Calling of Saint Matthew":

Chat about the picture study and any further thoughts that come up, then reflect:
Daily, we are called to make decisions - decisions that could change our lives, and, in turn, the lives of others. When Christ calls to us, what do we say -  "Yes" or "No"? Do we stay where we are or follow him? Do we change or remain the same?

Sudden callings and conversions like St. Matthew's are rare, but they do happen. So do pivotal points in day-to-day life.

With the next choice you are called to make, will you choose to move towards Christ or to cling to the place you are now in?

Enjoy the feast day!

St. Matthew, pray for us. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Simple Eats with the Stigmata of St. Francis

The Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi on September 17th can provide another opportunity the enjoy simple eats while learning about the saints and reflecting on your family's faith and virtues.

A suggestion for the day is to gather to read
 St. Francis and the Stigmata here or here.

Then, make some "Stigmata pizza" together on toast or pizza crusts, using five sliced tomatoes to represent the stigmata.

While the pizza cooks, chat about the Stigmata of St. Francis: 3 Ways for Holiness.

Then, along with praying grace before eating your pizza, perhaps pray the following short prayer found here.

Lord Jesus Christ, we praise you and adore you. Like Francis, we are amazed that you held nothing back from us in pouring yourself out for us so totally through your holy wounds on the cross. We ask you to breathe forth your Holy Spirit into us and set our hearts on fire, so that, with the Spirit’s help, we might respond more fully to you. Amen.

St. Francis, pray for us. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Simple Eats with Saint Maria Torribia

Sometimes, it is fun to learn about and celebrate lesser known saints.

Saint Maria Torribia, whose feast day is September 9, can be one of those saints this month.

I learned about this lesser known saint when preparing for an All Saints Day party last year.  

I was looking up information about St. Isidore the Farmer to add to a placard by a vegetable platter, but, then, discovered his wife, Maria, was also a saint and that there was a story about them and stew. So, I decided to do a stew for these saints instead of the vegetable platter and also noted on my calendar that it would be fun to add a vegetable stew to our menu some years on September 9 in celebration of the saint.

Perhaps you'd like do do the same.

On September 9th, serve up your favorite stew - or, since St. Maria Torribia was Spanish, make this oil-free vegan Spanish stew that I found online and adapt by taking out the salt and adding a dash of liquids amino acids to - and read to your children about how:

St. Maria always kept a pot of stew on the fireplace in Sts. Isidore and Maria's humble dwelling, because she knew her husband would often bring home anyone who was hungry. One day, however, Isidore brought home more hungry people than usual, and, after Maria had served a number of them, she told him that there simply was no more stew in the pot.  Isidore then insisted that Maria check the pot again, and she was able to spoon out enough stew to feed them all.
After sharing this story, you might also chat about how Sts. Isadore and Maria shared a commitment to family, a love for the land, deep spirituality, and service to the poor. Do a check in with your own family to see which of these qualities are strong within your family and which could use some work. I hope you enjoy simple eats with the saints on September 9th!
St. Maria Torribia, pray for us!


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