"We are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us." -Pope Francis

Category: Art

Pray with Your Senses – Color & Sound Sets Make Great Gifts!

I recently had the privilege of working with these two “Color & Sound” sets for Paraclete Press.  They have paired completely unique, fun, and inspirational, Marian themed coloring books with high quality Gregorian Chant CD compilations.

Set aside your electronic devices and games, and do something with your hands that will free your mind up for prayer.

I wanted to share these with you today just in time for Mother’s Day, but they would also make a perfect gift for a graduating senior!  These books are a gentle way to instill or rejuvenate our Catholic Faith.

You could also use them for prayer time in Adoration, or as a teaching tool for children to help them learn the Rosary and how to meditate on Mary’s many beautiful names.  Children love to color, so teach them also that they can turn their coloring into prayers!  It’s fun to actually pray the rosary as you’re coloring each decade page, too.  I think these also work beautifully as side-by-side adult coloring books for those times you are coloring with young children.

In fact, my daughters love to see my finished coloring pieces, and I enjoy coloring with a picture that stretches me beyond the super familiar shapes of Winnie the Pooh and Hello Kitty.

So here are two excellent Color & Sound sets for you to consider!  May they enhance your own prayer life, and the prayers of the ones you love.

  1.  Mother Mary – Color & Sound:  An Imaginative Pathway to Stillness and Beauty

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This coloring book has a page for many of the beautiful names we give to Mary the Mother of God.  Each page contains a title for Mary, a powerful prayer or quote related to this title, and a little more info to peak your curiosity about where this title came from, or who Mary appeared to under this title.  The pictures are fun and simple enough for coloring, and the end result is a beautiful picture that might even be suitable for displaying in your home!

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This set includes “The Chants of Mary,” a Gregorian Chant CD sung by the Gloriae Dei Cantores Men’s Schola.  I love having this CD on in the background of my day.  It puts children to sleep like a light switch when we play it in the car.  It keeps me calm in the inevitable challenging moments that arise at home with three toddlers.  It is 65 minutes of Heaven on earth.  Brush up on your Latin with the accompanying CD booklet that contains English & Latin lyrics as side-by-side text, along with beautiful full color pictures and images.

  1. The Rosary – Contemplation with Color and Sound: Color and Music to Inspire your Prayers9781612619194_p0_v1_s192x300

This coloring book takes you all the way through your rosary, with a page for each decade of the Glorious, Sorrowful, Luminous, and Joyful Mysteries!  There’s also a page for the Apostle’s Creed & Hail, Holy Queen.  The pictures are whimsical and leave much room for contemplation as you pray along with your coloring.  Enter into each mystery of the rosary a little deeper, and then go back and remember your prayers when you see a beautiful, completed picture in their place.

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This book is paired with “Feasts of Our Lady,” a Gregorian Chant CD by the Monastic Choir of St. Peter’s Abbey, Solesmes.  It also contains a booklet with side-by-side Latin & English text.  This CD is one of my favorite Gregorian Chant compilations.  The music is very vibrant and rich.  The harmonies are solid.  The sweeping melodies lift one’s thoughts to Heaven.  You will not be disappointed!

Purchase these CDs from Paraclete Press or Amazon!  And remember, God loves you & He is merciful!  Pass it on…

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Unveiling a Masterpiece…

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“Wouldn’t it be great if we could give each mother the same image of Mary & Jesus?” Serena asked, as we browsed through prints for sale at our local Catholic Corner booth.

The only problem was:  which one would we pick?  There are so many gorgeous paintings of our Blessed Mother and her Divine Son Jesus.

God took care of that for us.

When Mary Garden Showers opened a chapter at St. Patrick’s in Columbus, OH, we had no idea that a talented Catholic artist was sitting right in the pews of that very church.

Our chapter leaders knew.  They reached out to her about a painting project.

When artist Bernadette Carstensen was asked to paint an image for our ministry, she says:

“The idea for this painting came to me right away, inspired by the way my daughter sometimes plays with me.  So, I decided to pose Mary and Jesus in an affectionate moment, mother and baby playing together quietly.  Jesus is meant to look like He is crowning her with flowers playfully, but also representing what will come when they are both in heaven.  Mostly, I wanted to show Mary as a human mother in love with her child, awed by His beauty and innocence, hoping that a new mom who is feeling scared or worried could look at it and imagine the happiness she will have with her baby.”

A few months back, we shared a progress sketch of the painting that Bernadette graciously sent our way.  Now, we are thrilled to be able to unveil the finished painting that is such a gift and blessing to this ministry…

Purchase your copy here today!  All proceeds go to Mary Garden Showers.  Thanks for your support.

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Amazing, right?  Ms. Bernadette, we are so grateful and humbled that you painted this for the mothers we serve.

P.S.  God is Merciful & He loves you… pass it on!

MGS National Update 10.12.16 – God is on the Move!

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We’re so excited, because from our vantage point – God is on the move through this apostolate!!!  We are so humbled and blessed to share all of this news with you.  Here are some Mary Garden Showers updates from each city where we are located:

Charlotte, NC

In recent weeks, our city of Charlotte has mourned the loss of Justin Carr.  Justin and Tanae have been awaiting the birth of their child, due at the end of October.

We will be hosting a baby shower for Tanae and her baby boy at St. Thomas Aquinas Church here in Charlotte, NC!  The shower will be held on Sunday October 23rd from 1-3pm in Aquinas Hall.

Please note, we are only 11 days away from this shower!!  Tanae is also very close to meeting her baby face to face.  So we really appreciate your support in helping us pull this shower together quickly!  Please visit marygardenshowers.org to view Tanae’s gift registry, and to find information about how to send prayers and gifts to the shower!

In order to ensure a joyous celebration for Tanae and her baby, we ask that you please drop any cards or prayers related to Justin’s passing in the wooden “cards” box at the shower.  If you’re sending a card from out of town, please address the envelope to “Tanae & Baby” if it belongs on the gift table.  Please address it to “MGS Card Box” if it belongs in the wooden box.  Please reserve the gift table for joyous and cheerful congratulatory cards, prayers, and gifts for Tanae and her child, and please no photography.

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Columbus, OH

Our chapter leaders in Columbus, Michele and Angie, have been working hard to pull the community together for the women showered at the St. Patrick’s Chapter!

They have connected with many wonderful donors who are providing their baking, decorating, photography, writing, and painting talents to serve Mothers at their baby showers!  They recently collaborated with their local Catholic radio station to put together an advertisement for Mary Garden Showers that is available nationally for stations to pick up and air.

They also were contacted by a Catholic artist named Bernadette Carstensen.  She is extremely talented.  When she found out that we provide images of Mary and Jesus to each Mother at her baby shower, she felt called to create something special for our ministry to distribute.  She has given permission for us to share this “progress sketch” of her work with you.  We will let you know when it’s finished!  Please check out her website at http://www.bernadettecarstensen.com/ to view her finished work!  Gorgeous, right?  We’ve never seen anything like it, and we can’t wait to have a print of this in our own homes!

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Madonna and Child Progress Sketch. Shared with permission. Copyright 2016 Bernadette Carstensen. http://www.bernadettecarstensen.com/

Indianapolis, IN

Debbie is our chapter leader at our Holy Spirit Chapter, and she had a beautiful update to share with everyone from their last shower.

“Ashley was overwhelmed by gifts!!!  It was the best shower,” she wrote.  “People came by that couldn’t stay dropping off gifts and cards. Fr. Paul came by and had some food with us and spoke with Ashley and her family. He gave them his blessing.”

Guests at the shower were moved to tears.  “One lady said she could feel the love being poured out!!  Our Mother had tears and kept thanking everyone.  She said every time I put an outfit on my girls or touch these items I will think of you all.”

There were many people in attendance.  “God’s mercy was so evident!! Thank you Father for your beautiful mercy!!! May our corporal and spiritual works of mercy glorify you Lord!”

 

Amen!  Thanks be to God!  You can view information about all of our upcoming showers at marygardenshowers.org.  Thank you for your support and continued prayers!!
P.S.  God is merciful and He loves you!  Pass it on…

Drawing a New Path to God

I’ve found that coloring while I pray kinda’ forces me to be still and listen. And you may find that you learn a little about your own prayer life as you do this, too!

I often find myself reading books to our girls, playing with Play-Doh, and coloring pictures.  Of course I’m not able to sit down and do these things with them all of the time, but I always enjoy when I have an opportunity to spend good quality time with them.

I recently read a little book to our daughter that made me realize I could turn all of this time over to God.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Gift to Help New Moms De-Stress

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We are called to be light in the darkness, salt for the earth… and color on the blank page!

Those of you who know me well, will be happy to hear that I actually sat still for long enough to color an entire page in this book!  Read the rest of this entry »

Kids & Prayer DVD – Mommy, can I watch that again?

When we received the Kids & Prayer DVD, I thought, “Great! Maybe this will make prayer fun!” It really did!!!

*This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

 

Let’s be honest.  It’s not easy to show little ones that prayer is fun and rewarding!

We currently have a two year old and a very opinionated one year old, so things are naturally unpredictable at our house.  Sometimes our girls are full of giggles & smiles as we pray together.  At other times, there are tears & tantrums.

When we received the Kids & Prayer DVD, I thought, “Great!  Maybe this will make prayer fun!”

It really did!!! Read the rest of this entry »

The Humility of The Polish Madonna

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Art can refresh the soul sometimes when we need it most.

I have no idea who painted this beautiful image of The Polish Madonna. I recently saw it for sale from The Catholic Company on this page. But upon seeing it, Read the rest of this entry »