Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick Enlightener of Ireland

As a teenager he was kidnapped, taken from Briton (Scotland) to Ireland and forced into service as a shepherd. His response was a life of prayer. He prayed day and night. Let us strive to emulate Patrick who in the face of difficulties turned his thoughts toward God instead of ourselves. Let us be an example to our children by praying with them frequently and praying for them often.
Listen to the life of St. Patrick on the saint of the day podcast

You can read more at orthodoxwiki too.

Troparion - Tone 3

Holy Bishop Patrick,
Faithful shepherd of Christ's royal flock,
You filled Ireland with the radiance of the Gospel:
The mighty strength of the Trinity!
Now that you stand before the Savior,
Pray that He may preserve us in faith and love!

Kontakion - Tone 4

From slavery you escaped to freedom in Christ's service:
He sent you to deliver Ireland from the devil's bondage.
You planted the Word of the Gospel in pagan hearts.
In your journeys and hardships you rivaled the Apostle Paul!
Having received the reward for your labors in heaven,
Never cease to pray for the flock you have gathered on earth,
Holy bishop Patrick!

Prayer of Saint Patrick

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, and in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

To celebrate This day with your kids during lent you could eat like he probably did and have porridge and fish and flatbread. see web page re 5th century Irish diet.


1 cup large-flake rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup margerine softened
2 tbsp malt syrup or honey

In food processor, process oats until finely ground, about 2 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together oats, whole wheat flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in margerine and malt syrup to form soft, crumbly dough. With fork, stir in 1/2 cup (125 mL) water to make soft ragged dough.

With lightly floured hands, press dough into ball; cover with tea towel and let stand for 10 minutes. Divide in half.

On lightly floured surface; roll out each half into 16- x 12-inch (40 x 30 cm) paper-thin rectangle; prick all over with fork. Transfer to greased or parchment paper–lined baking sheet.

Lightly brush with water; bake in 400°F (200°C) oven, rotating halfway through, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool on pan on rack. Break into pieces. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lenten Recipe Swap

Please share your recipes in the comments section!

Chickpea Apple Curry

1 small onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 apple, finely chopped
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cans chickpeas, drained
salt, to taste
Curry Powder to taste (I used 2 Tablespoons)
1/4 tsp ginger powder

Saute onion in a tsp veggie oil until soft. Add garlic and apple. Saute till garlic is fragrant. Add broth, coconut milk and chickpeas. Bring to a simmer and add salt, curry and ginger to taste.

Serve over rice. Fun toppings include raisins, shredded coconut and chopped cashews/peanuts.

Very quick and easy (I made this whole meal in less than 30 minutes). Tastes even better the next day after the flavors have sunk in.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Virtue of Love

I really appreciated this lovely post on Lent by a catholic mother of 7.  A great reminder that what really teaches our children about Christ is the virtue of love, not arts and crafts and activities.  Those are all good, but those are 'extras' to do and not essentials.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A couple of Lenten ideas

This year, my 4-year-old is very excited about Pascha--already! It's hard for him to grasp how far it is away still. I saw this great magnetic door craft, but since we have a tiny fridge I decided to just do a paper chain this lent.

My son and I used a calendar to count down the days of "of preparing" left until Pascha. Weekdays and Saturdays are purple, Sundays are white with their name printed on them (ie. Orthodoxy Sunday, St. Mary of Egypt Sunday etc.), the Annunciation is in blue and Holy week is black.We are already enjoying the count down...hopefully our enthusiasm can last all of Lent!

I'm also doing a Lenten diary with my son. I cut printer paper in half, put a half sheet of purple on the outside, folded and stapled it in the middle. So far entries are: "What was your favorite part of Forgiveness Vespers?" and a tiny 4-year-old reflection on the story of St. Kevin and the bird's nest. The next question I'll try is asking him "Why do we clean things and ourselves?"

 I'm making up questions everyday because I'm not the most organized person, but next year I'll have it down! So far, I'm liking the result because it is also making me think about the things I do with him. Often I forget that I don't have to be reading my Bible or the Fathers to benefit spiritually...I just need to take even a little bit of time to reflect.

 May you all have a blessed Lent!

Simplicity: the lenten resolution

I am having a rough 4th pregnancy, and so this year, Lent is going to be simple.  Very simple.  So simple that I am afraid our home might not feel very 'lenten', but, alas, that is what life is calling for right now. So although this resolution will not be fast-free and will probably not save us money to give to charity, it will hopefully help us to have the time and energy to establish a prayer routine again (something that was lost during my rough first trimester).

Much of this simplification will be in terms of expectations (as in, allowing my house to be a little less perfect).  My other plan is to readjust my meal planning/cooking to reflect this.  Basically, instead of worrying about making everything from scratch (like yogurt and bread), I am going to suck it up and purchase ready-made items so that I don't over-fatigue myself and, hopefully, will not have to rely on my husband quite so much (a very dear man who is not only sacrificing a lot of time and effort to help out around the house and with kids, but is also trying to write a dissertation).

The one thing that we must do because my daughters requested it, it is an awesome idea, and I promised over a month ago is that we're going to bake cookies and give them to the homeless at some point.  I know it about the most unpractical thing to give to homeless people but I want to nourish the spirit of charity within my children.

While you establish your lenten routines, don't forget our list of activities that have been compiled over the last few years (that is, if you have the energy to do them)!