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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 November 11, 2019

What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent...

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November 11

 

What we need most in order to make progress is
to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue,
for the language He best hears is silent love.

St. John of the Cross


DEFEND Our Lady's HONOR !

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Martin of Tours

He met a shivering and half-naked beggar and, moved with com...

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St. Martin of Tours

Martin was born in German Sabaria about the year 316. His father, a military tribune, was transferred to Pavia when Martin was still quite young and the boy accompanied him to Italy. Upon reaching adolescence, Martin was enrolled in the Roman army in accordance with the recruiting laws of the time. Touched by grace at an early age, he was among the first attracted to Christianity, which had been in favor in the military camps since the conversion of Emperor Constantine.
 
Martin's regiment was soon sent to Amiens in Gaul, and this town became the scene of the celebrated "legend of the cloak." One bitterly-cold winter day, Martin met a shivering and half-naked beggar at the gates of the city. Moved with compassion, Martin divided his coat into two parts and gave one to the poor man. The part he kept for himself became the famous relic preserved in the oratory of the Frankish kings and known to all as “Saint Martin’s cloak.”
 
Martin, who was still only a catechumen, soon received Baptism and was finally released from military service at Worms on the Rhine. Freed from his obligations, he hastened to set out to Poitiers to enroll himself among the disciples of St. Hilary, the wise and pious bishop whose reputation as a theologian was already spreading beyond the frontiers of Gaul. However, he desired to see his parents again and returned to Lombardy across the Alps. The inhabitants of this region were infested with Arianism and bitterly hostile towards Catholicism. Martin did not conceal his faith and was very badly treated by order of Bishop Auxentius of Milan, the leader of the heretical sect in Italy. He was very desirous of returning to Gaul, but learning that the Arians also persecuted their opponents in that country and had even succeeded in exiling St. Hilary to the Orient, he decided to seek shelter on the island of Gallinaria, now Isola d’Albenga, in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
 
As soon as Martin learned that an imperial decree had authorized St. Hilary to return to Gaul, he hastened to the side of his chosen master at Poitiers in 361. After having obtained permission from him to embrace the life of a hermit, which he had adopted in Gallinaria, he settled in a deserted region now called Ligugé. His example soon drew a great number of monks who settled near him. Such was the beginning of the celebrated Benedictine Abbey of Ligugé. Martin remained about ten years in this solitude and often left it to preach the Gospel in the central and western parts of Gaul where the rural inhabitants were still plunged in the darkness of idolatry and given up to all sorts of gross superstitions. The memory of these apostolic journeys survives to our day in the numerous local legends where Martin is the hero and which roughly indicate the routes that he followed.
 
When St. Lidorius, second Bishop of Tours, died in 371 or 372, the clergy of that city desired to replace him by the famous hermit of Ligugé. But, as Martin remained deaf to the prayers of the deputies who brought him this message, it was necessary to resort to a ruse to overcome his resistance. A rich citizen of Tours by the name of Rusticius went and begged him to come to attend to his wife who was in the throes of death. Without suspicion, Martin followed him in all haste, but hardly had he entered the city when, in spite of the opposition of a few ecclesiastical dignitaries, popular acclamation constrained him to become Bishop of Tours.
Consecrated on July 4, Martin fulfilled the duties to his office with all the energy and dedication that he had demonstrated in the past. He did not however change his way of life. He fled from the distractions of the large city and settled himself in a small cell a short distance from Tours, beyond the Loire. Other hermits soon joined him there and thus was gradually formed a new monastery that surpassed the Ligugé and came to be known as the Majus Monasterium, the “great monastery” or Marmoutier.
 
Thus, by an untiring zeal and great simplicity Martin administered to his pastoral duties and so succeeded in sowing Christianity throughout the region of Touraine. Nor was it a rare occurrence for him to leave his diocese when he thought that his appearance in some distant locality might produce some good. He even went several times to Trier, where the emperors had established their residence in order to plead the interests of the Church or to ask pardon for some condemned person.
 
His role in the matter of the Priscillianists and Ithacians was especially remarkable. Martin hurried to Trier, not to defend the Gnostic and Manichaean doctrines of Priscillian, but to remove him from the secular jurisdiction of the emperor. The Council of Saragossa had justly condemned the Spanish heresiarch Priscillian and his partisans and angry charges were brought before Emperor Maximus by some orthodox bishops of Spain, led by Bishop Ithacius.
 
Maximus at first consented to Martins’s request but when he departed, Maximus yielded to the solicitations of Ithacius and ordered Priscillian and his followers to be beheaded. Deeply grieved, Martin refused to communicate with Ithacius. However, when he went again to Trier a little later to ask pardon for two rebels, Narses and Leucadius, Maximus would only pardon them on the condition that Martin make his peace with Ithaeius. To save the lives of his clients, Martin consented to this reconciliation, but afterwards reproached himself bitterly for this act of weakness.
 
After a last visit to Rome, Martin went to Candes, one of the religious centers created by him in his diocese and there he was stricken with a malady, which ended his life. Ordering himself to be carried into the presbytery of the church, he died there at the age of about eighty-one, with the same exemplary spirit of humility and mortification that he had always practiced in life.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nu...

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A Favor Granted

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nun called Mary. Being at the point of death, the Blessed Mother appeared to her, and Mary said to her:

"Oh Lady, the favor you do me of visiting me at this hour emboldens me to ask you another favor, namely, that I may die at the same hour that you died and entered into heaven.”

"Yes," answered Mary Most Holy. "I will satisfy your request; you will die at that hour, and you will hear the songs and praises with which the blessed accompanied my entrance into heaven; and now prepare for your death."

When she had said this she disappeared.

Passing by Mary’s cell, other nuns heard her talking to herself, and they thought she must be losing her mind. But she related to them the vision of the Virgin Mary and the promised grace. Soon the entire convent awaited the desired hour.

When Mary knew the hour had arrived, by the striking of the clock, she said:

"Behold, the predicted hour has come; I hear the music of the angels. At this hour my queen ascended into heaven. Rest in peace, for I am going now to see her."

Saying this she expired, while her eyes became bright as stars, and her face glowed with a beautiful color.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nun called Mary. Being at the point of death, the Blessed Mother appeared to her,

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