downloadable PDF: Women of Faith Resources November 2019
by Margaret Felice in A Book of Grace-filled Days
“The universe is like a drop of dew before the Lord.” (p. 337)
“The strength God gives us is rarely superhero strength – it’s usually more human and thus, more attainable.” (p. 344)
“Living in uprightness gives us eyes better able to see God at work in the world.” (p. 355)
Featured Day: November 20th – Universal Children’s Day – “The future of tomorrow are the children of today.”
Universal Children’s Day was first celebrated in 1954 and November 20th was designated an annual holiday in 1959. On this date, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Today, we might consider how to make the life of one child better. Every child deserves opportunities for health, education, freedom, and happiness.
For additional information and stories on children and on Universal Children’s Day:
What can you do?
• Sign a UNICEF petition for every child to have every right.
• Read “The Convention on the Rights of the Child”. Pray with it and invite two or three people to discuss rights of your choice.
• Now read the children’s version of the text. Invite some middle grade children to read the text with you. Facilitate a conversation among them that shows how they understand the rights from their lived experience. Do they know from their own experience or do they know experiences of other children in the world wherein the rights are lived and/or where the rights are infringed upon?
• Listen to International Day Theme Songs with your favorite children or with your inner child.
• Watch for local events in your city or town that will celebrate universal Children’s Day.
Lectio Divina: Scripture and prayer for meditating
Read the following selections a first time. What word or words call out to you? Read the selection a second time. Ask the words or words calling to you: “What is it you want to say to me today?”
Quotes Calling Us to Be Like Children:
“The soul is healed by being with children.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist and philosopher (How might I interact with children this month?)
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” — Fred Rogers, television personality (Play is a quality of the inner child within each of us. Is your inner child asking you to pay attention to her/him today?)
“Children see magic because they look for it.” — Christopher Moore, writer (Will I or did I see magic, or beauty, or wonder like a child somewhere today?)
For Spiritual Reading
Reawakening the Inner Child by Joyce Rupp. National Catholic Reporter, May 21, 2010. This selection is from Rupp’s book May I Have This Dance? An Invitation to Faithful Prayer Throughout the Year. After reading this selection, you may wish to experience the following suggestion found at the end of the article.
Prayer action suggestion:
Do the same exercise that Sister Joyce did on her retreat: take each of your five senses and spend an entire day exploring it and coming to appreciate its value in your life. Now, live differently.
Encouraging Children’s Spirituality by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on their internet site entitled Spirituality and Practice, Resources for Spiritual Journeys. This article presents eight ideas to help develop children’s connection to spirituality.
Audio Divina: Music accompanied by images
Morning Relaxing Music – Positive Background Music for Kids (Sway) – The OCB (One Conscious Breath) relaxing music series helps you calm down. This music is great for relaxing, sleeping, dreaming, traveling, and any time calm, peaceful tunes would be appreciated. They were created for YouTube. The illustration was created by Krisztina Kovacs.
Disney Classics (Instrumental Philharmonic Orchestra Versions) by Various Artists.
(You can find many choices of classical children’s music on YouTube.)
Visio Divina: Art for Prayer and Meditation
“Visual images are another doorway to sacred awareness. They can touch into our desire to grow in intimacy with God. So, we encourage one another to let ourselves be touched by the colors, shapes, figures and symbols that capture our attention most as we are praying. While gazing at an image ~ a painting, a photo, an icon, a sculpture, a piece of pottery … something may leap out at us, calling our attention to something of God just waiting to reveal itself to us.”
(Ideas inspired by Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman in their book, Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction. See also Abbey of the Arts.)
As you pray with this photo, consider the following children’s rights. Pray for children whose rights are not respected.
• the right to life
• the right to health and health services
• the right to a family
• the right to education and play
• the right not to be tortured or subjected to inhuman treatment or punishment
• the right to be protected from exploitation, violence and abuse
• the right to have a voice, to be heard
• the right not to be discriminated against
• the right to freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion
In Jesus’ name, we are called show compassion to children. What does this image say to my heart as I pray that the rights of children be respected and fostered? End your prayer time with the video from Compassion International celebrating Universal Children’s Day.
How will I celebrate Universal Children’s Day? Today, tomorrow, daily, especially November 20th every year?
Suggestions to broaden knowledge and deepen a spirituality of children, and of our inner child
National Children’ s Day at Educatall.com – Celebrate children with activities and resources.
How Stuff Works – Children’s Day Crafts
Children’s Day Celebration Ideas – Activities at home and at school
Moments a Day – Six family movies with discussion themes for children.
Common Sense Media – Movies for different age levels that inspire little children, tweens, and teens to change the world
From the Leadership Team of Gatherings for Women of Faith
May this Universal Children’s Day call us to pray for children the world over that they might enjoy so much more than basic needs in everyday life and that they may be inspired to change the world so that all may live well.