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Header - Family Tip 13 - Catholic Storytelling

 

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.  Robert McKee


Benefits, Method, Preparation and Helpful Tips to become a good storyteller at home.

 

Benefits:

1. Storytelling will unite the family and provide quality time with the children. It will make them love the storyteller. It will also help the children learn better and assimilate quicker.

2. Stories will keep the TV, the Internet and Hollywood at bay. They will help children’s imagination grow and develop in a wholesome manner.

3. The heroes of the Faith will come alive in children’s minds and become a point of reference.

4. A good moral lesson taught through storytelling lays the foundation for solid Catholic knowledge and behavior in the future. Children will learn to distinguish Good from evil in the stories and thus do the same in real life as they grow older.

5. Their innocent souls will further expand as they admire the beauty of creation. This admiration will help increase the Love of God in their souls.

Catholic Storytelling - image 16. Children love to be able to tell a good story. Storytelling will help children spread the Faith in their own way to their peers by passing on the stories.

 

Tips:

* Keep the stories short and simple.

* Stories should be adapted to the audience and the age of the children.

* Choose the right moment. Before bed is an ideal time as children have hopefully expended their energy and will fall asleep thinking about the story.

* Eye contact is very important as well as a cozy atmosphere.

* Tell the story with a certain degree of passion. The storyteller’s conviction and passion will help inscribe the good story into the child’s memory and help children live the moral of the story.

 

Preparation:

Choose a topic.

Do a little bit of reading or research beforehand (10-15 minutes).

 Think and meditate about it. And literally ask the Divine Storyteller what He would say.

 Pray on it, so that every story told will be an instrument of God’s grace in children’s lives.

 

Method:

Let your personality shine through. It will be the life-breath of the story that you tell.

If you read a story, try to memorize parts of it…and tell those by heart. It allows you to have more eye contact with your audience and to use more body language. (more than 50% of all communication is non-verbal)

Describe the characters in the setting of your story. Introduce them and talk about them just as you would introduce and talk about a living person.Catholic Storytelling - image 2

Remember the details. Describe them with enthusiasm to stimulate the senses. With your words, your eyes, your facial expressions, your tone of voice and your gestures make your audience feel the rain, hear the trumpets sound, see Our Lord as He calms the wind and the waves, smell the flowers across the plains, and allow them to taste the manna from Heaven.

Highlight Beauty. It cultivates and nourishes the sense of wonder in a child. Children are naturally attracted to beauty and it nourishes their innocence and leads them to the Truth.

Do not rush the story….If it will not all fit into the allotted time that works for the family schedule, then use that wonderful tool to keep everyone on the edge of their seat: To Be Continued….Make sure that you stop at an exciting or key point in your story.

Variety is the spice of life. The same applies to storytelling. Let your stories be varied. Some about the Faith, some about the of lives of saints, some about heroism, some about good manners, some about adventures, some about dignity, some about trips and travels, some about professions like doctors or nurses or bakers or candlestick makers. Let your stories be as varied as life itself. This will convey valuable lessons to young listeners and help prepare them for the many situations they will face in their own lives.

Remember to use your stories to pass on family history and traditions.

 

And never forget that children of all ages (whether 1 or 100) love a good story…
and children are eagerly waiting to hear yours…




A few extras:

Word of caution:

When choosing a time for stories, be careful and cautious, about storytelling at meal times. Meals are better suited to conversation and allowing children to interact with the rest of the family. Storytelling is about taking children on a marvelous journey, but one person will be doing most of the talking. Don’t let storytelling override the times devoted to developing the art of conversation in the home.

 

Objections:

But what if I am not a good storyteller? Children will not care. They will appreciate and honor the time devoted to them. And storytelling like so many things in life is a matter of practice. The greater the number of stories, the better the storyteller.

But I am so busy and I have no time? Time is like every resource. We allocate it to the things that are of importance to us. If children are important to you, then you will shave a little time from your own activities and devote it to storytelling. The rewards will be priceless.

 

Helpful Suggestions and Ideas:

Rosary Guide BookletA good story can help to set the stage for the Family Rosary. A short story about one of the mysteries before the Rosary begins will engage children’s attention, provide them with material for thought and meditation, and make them look forward to the next story (and Rosary).

Stories provide a completely understandable reason to ask that all electronic devices be switched off or put on silent. With time and more stories, children will not want the story interrupted. Eventually, they will take the initiative to turn off the distractions.

Once the habit of storytelling is established in your home, once in a while, maybe once a week, let one of the children tell a story. A different child could then tell a story each week. This way, the children will become storytellers themselves. An art that will serve them well throughout their own lives.

 

A Starting Point:

  1. In Search of Christmas
  2. Family Series
  3. Reading list from Family Tip #8 - The Power of A Good Book
  4. Saints & Heroes

 


 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 8, 2020

Every virtue in your soul is a precious ornament which makes...

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April 8

Every virtue in your soul
is a precious ornament
which makes you dear to God and to man.
But holy purity, the queen of virtues, the angelic virtue,
is a jewel so precious
that those who possess it become like the angels of God in Heaven,
even though clothed in mortal flesh.

St. John Bosco

 
My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

 

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Julie Billiart

She was miraculously healed of the paralysis of her legs on...

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St. Julie Billiart

Born on July 12, 1751 in Cuvilly, France, Marie Rose Julie Billiard was the daughter of fairly well-to-do peasant farmers who also owned a small shop. From early childhood Julie had a keen interest in spiritual things and by seven years of age she had memorized the catechism and attained an understanding of it beyond her years.

During her youth, her father’s shop was robbed and her father attacked. This so traumatized his daughter that she became ill and gradually a physical paralysis took hold of her. Deprived of the use of her legs, she eventually had great difficulty in even speaking. Julie's paralysis lasted for twenty-two years, and throughout this whole trial she continued to teach her beloved catechism to children and to trust unwaveringly in the everlasting goodness of “le bon Dieu”. Her infirmities drove her to an even deeper life of prayer and union with God.

During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution when the pastor of Cuvilly was superseded by a constitutional priest sworn to the new atheistic government, Julie influenced her friends and neighbors to boycott the intruder. Though an invalid herself, she worked to hide and assist fugitive priests who remained loyal to the Catholic Church, and for this charitable work she was herself persecuted and obliged to escape from place to place – on one occasion, hiding all night under a haystack.

While taking refuge with the aristocratic family of Gézaincourt, Julie met Françoise Blin de Bourdon, a noblewoman who had barely escaped the guillotine by the fall of Robespierre before her execution. The two became close friends and collaborators.

After the Terror, they both dedicated themselves to the spiritual care of poor children, and the Christian education of girls in a generation sorely neglected by the ravages of the Revolution.

In 1804, after a novena to Him, Julie Billiart was miraculously healed of the paralysis of her legs on the feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus. Now physically free to pursue a full range of activity, her educational work increased rapidly.

At odds with the bishop of Amiens through the meddling influence of a misguided young priest, Julie and Françoise were obliged to move to Namur, in present-day Belgium, where with the full support of the local bishop, they proceeded with their work, eventually founding the Institute of Notre Dame de Namur, today in sixteen countries around the world.

Julie Billiart died on April 8, 1816 while praying the Magnificat. She was canonized in 1969.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort...

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And He Stole Heaven

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.
 
On his left hung another man, covered in the matted blood of his wounds. Yet, with the exception of a few intermittent words, there was no sound from him.

As time passed, the thief became more and more engrossed in the silent crucified beside him, and less and less in his own plight.St Dismas Picture

Indeed life is ironic, mused Dismas, this man who had lived in the open, and was acclaimed as a healer and even as a king, now hung beside him who had spent his life lurking and hiding.

And now they were lifted up, both on a high parallel. He could see the roof tops of the city, he could see the highways he had stalked, and he could see the way they had walked. Now he looked down on those gathered around this place of execution, the Roman soldiers, the Pharisees, the curious, the friends of the man beside him…and a young man supporting a lady directly beneath them...

And then he knew her; that upturned face, that maidenly majesty now wracked by sorrow, her tear-filled eyes fastened on the man on his left–Yes, he knew that face.

As the wheels of time rolled back in his mind,  his heart gave a jolt as he remembered that blessed day in the desert, decades ago, when a young family making its way to Egypt, sought refuge for the night in his family’s hovel. The man was strong and kind, the woman was the fairest his child’s eyes had seen, and she carried a golden haired babe, as if nothing in the universe was more precious.

He remembered the lady’s gaze on him, her beautiful eyes full of concern for the leprous sores on his young body. Then she and his mother talked. And next, he was being bathed in the same water the lady had just washed her infant son.

And then the sores were gone.  His mother wept for joy, and kissed the lady’s hands, and the baby’s feet. And even his robber-father was moved, and offered the strong man and his family the best in the house.

Now, in one revealing flash, he knew the identity of the wounded man on his left.  He looked again at the lady, and her eyes, those same sweet eyes of old, were on him once more.  
He felt his heart quiver, as the power of gratitude filled his being and softened his criminal soul.  And then came tears, rivers of tears.  When he could speak, he turned to the left,

“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

And the Lord turned his face to him, His divine eyes on him, and he heard the most beautiful voice he had ever heard, a voice at once full of pain and full of strength, full of sweetness and full of majesty, a judge’s voice, and a father’s voice,

“Amen, amen I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise.”

 

By Andrea F. Phillips
Based on: A Legend of St. Dismas and Other Poems,
Copyright by P. J. Kenedy and Sons. 1927, p. 18.

 

Free Meditation Booklet - Be Still and Know That I AM GOD

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.

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