Thursday, December 24, 2015

Homemade Prayer Calendars in 4 easy steps

Going on over 15 years now with this homemade Christmas/New Years gift-giving tradition for our families and close friends.  

It is truly the gift that keeps giving.  Wrapping the completed prayer calendar always seems like the easy part.  It looks so simple.  Just a plain old calendar with pre-printed dates and holidays, just waiting to be filled in with the receiver's events and activities for the upcoming year.  But turn the pages, and you'll notice something quite different....  a virtue and/or prayer intention and verses to go with it.  And our pledge to pray for the receiver daily throughout the year and focus on that monthly intention.

So, how do you make one of these?  Truly quite simple, until you get to steps #3 and #4.  They are the hardest parts.  


#1 - pick out and buy calendars.  I get a combination of bigger dayspring calendars and faith-based calendars.  For the faith-based calendars, I chose these Year of Mercy calendars and also Michele Quiqley's beautiful liturgical wall calendars

 #2 - pick out the virtues and prayer intentions to go with it.  You can even use this book to get you started.  It's already based on a virtue per month and has a different quote for each day.  This year, I used most of these virtues, but changed out a few.   I print them on sticker sheets, so all you have to do it cut and peel to place them on the calendar.  I used to use normal paper and glue sticks.  Oy!!  So glad I moved to the sticker sheets a few years ago.   Here are my choices for this year....

January – JOY
“A Christian is never bored or sad.  Rather, the one who loves Christ is full of JOY and radiates    JOY.”     ~Pope Francis

February – FAITH
“If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel   you believe, but yourself.”            ~St. Augustine

“The world admired only spectacular sacrifice; it does not realize the value of SACRIFICE that is hidden and silent.”                ~St. Josemaria Escriva

“It is not hard to OBEY when we love the one whom we obey”  ~St. Ignatius

“For GRACE is not given because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.”        ~St. Augustine

“PRAYER is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.”   ~St. John Crysostom

“Pride leads to disgrace, but with HUMILITY comes wisdom.”      ~Proverbs 11: 2

August -  CHARITY
“To love our neighbor in CHARITY is to love God in man.”              ~St. Francis de Sales

September – DILIGENCE
“How easily we could win heaven day by day just by doing what we have to do – but doing it for God!”    ~St. John Vianney

October – PATIENCE
 “Let nothing trouble you, let nothing make you afraid.  All things pass away.  God never changes.   PATIENCE obtains everything.  God alone is enough.”          ~St. Teresa of Avila

November – GRATITUDE
“The secret to happiness is to live moment by moment and to THANK God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.”         ~St. Gianna Beretta Molla

December – PEACE    
“Do not be afraid to take a chance on PEACE, to teach PEACE, to live PEACE…  PEACE will be the last word of history.”               ~Pope Saint John Paul II

#3 - the assembly!!  Now I will not lie to you, this is super time-consuming.  You have to cut out all the verses and virtue/intentions.  Then you have to put these on the calendar for the appropriate month.  For me, it's times 13 this year!  But, you can kinda put them together "assembly line" style and do one month at a time.  I even put my kiddos to work!  They especially love the holiday sticker part!

#4 - PRAY!!  Yes, that's right, it's not called a "prayer calendar" for nothing.  You are pledging to pray for the receiver daily throughout the upcoming year.  We offer up these prayers during our family prayers at night.     DO.  NOT.  FORGET.  THIS.  STEP.  


And, if that's not enough, here's two options....
Option 1:  Pretty them up with holiday stickers.  We buy and use a variety of stickers and place them on the actual square for the holiday.  The kids especially love this part!!  
Option 2:  You can add in birthdays and Baptismal Anniversaries.  We do this for all our family members and Godparents of our children.  

So, there ya go!!  Simple, yet meaningful, with a whole lotta love and hard work and your prayers to top it off!  Makes a lovely Christmas or New Years gift for anyone on your list!!  

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