Monday, November 17, 2008

The Holy Box

This is Caroline's holy box. It used to contain car washing supplies, oddly enough. It's a nice, solid box, so we kept it, and it found its purpose as the holy box. I take it out for Caroline during our afternoon prayer time (which I am trying to get better at doing daily). After rest time each day, we say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Sometimes Caroline says it too, or just listens as she follows along on her rosary as best a three year old can... but most of the time, she chooses to look through her holy box.

Here is where we always sit to say the Chaplet. It's the window seat in our den, which is a cozy, quiet spot. It is also high out of the reach of Cecilia, so Caroline's stuff is safe from grabbing hands. Cecilia either plays around on the floor or sits in my lap (trying to grab my rosary) while we pray.

So, here's a look inside the box:

First is Catholic Baby's First Bible. Caroline got it for her first Christmas. The only thing that's really Catholic about it is that it has the Our Father (as in, it doesn't say "The Lord's Prayer" for the title) and Hail Mary in it... and the guardian angel prayer - is that said by Protestants as well? I'm not sure. It has some basic Bible stories in it, from Adam and Eve to the Resurrection.

Next, we have a box of Mary paper dolls. Mary can be dressed up to become Our Lady of Lourdes, Mt. Carmel, Guadalupe, and a few others. We got these at Illuminated Ink, which has some great craft stuff that I have my eye on for when my girls are olde! I decided to go ahead and get these and color them myself for Caroline, because she enjoyed the paper dolls thoroughly when she played with some at Heritage Holidays, a local festival in which they had some "old-fashioned children's games" set up.

Here is one of Caroline's rosaries. We also keep a big wooden one in the box too, which has been great for Cecilia lately. This one was given to Caroline by her Uncle Tim - I can't remember where he said he got it. It's pretty, huh?

Here is a Mass book that goes through all the parts of the Mass and explains them to kids. It is still a little mature for Caroline, but sometimes she asks me to read it to her after we pray, and she looks through it some while I say the Chaplet.

We have these two pins, the Precious Hands and Precious Feet, which show exactly how a baby's real hands and feet look at 10 weeks gestation.

Then we have a pouch full of holy cards. Many of these are mine from childhood - attending Catholic schools, teachers were always handing them out to us for various reasons. These are probably the most interesting part of the holy box for Caroline... she can look through them for several minutes straight. She especially likes the one with an unborn baby on it, the ones of Mary and baby Jesus, and the one of St. Michael the Archangel (she is fascinated with the illustration of him stepping on the devil).

These are some particularly neat holy cards, again from Uncle Tim. They are laminated and have medals inside them. I'm pretty sure he got them at Mount Saint Mary's in Baltimore (he can comment and correct me if I'm wrong). Caroline likes these a lot. There are Divine mercy Jesus, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and St. Jude.

And there are a few random things in there as well... a pamphlet that has this year's intentions of the Holy Father, and an illustration of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the front of our church bulletin.

I think these would make a wonderful addition to the box. I would love to get Caroline the ones of Jesus and St. Anne in particular. I wish I knew how tall they were, though.

And this crucifix hangs above the window seat. It was given to me by my godmother. Caroline sometimes takes it down and examines it while we pray. Chris told me that yesterday she got it randomly and broke the hook off the back - oops. He fixed it, though, and it's back between the windows now.

I like to use the holy box because it involves Caroline in prayer time while not forcing her to sit perfectly still and say the prayers, which is hard for a preschool-aged child to do. Once she is older, I will expect actual participation, but for now, her participation by looking through the holy objects is a prayer in itself, in her own special way.


Tim said...

The rosary came in a packet that I recieved from the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians)as an attempt to recruit me (too late im studying for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. The cards with the medals came from the proto- Cathedral/Basilica in Baltimore on the way back to the airport from Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. What a proud uncle I am to see my niece beginning her journey with Christ through his Church.

Kelly said...

Wow - this is a fantastic idea! I need to put something like this together for my little ones - THANKS for posting about this!


sara said...

this is really neat, erin. and i don't think protestants have a guardian angel prayer. at least i've never heard it.

Tim said...

Guardian angel prayer:
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God's love comits me here. Ever this day be at my side
to light, to guard, to rule, and guide. Amen

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel (my particular favorite for times of spiritual warfare):
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou oh prince of the Heavenly Hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into Hell satan
and all evil spirits who prowl the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

Anonymous said... is a good source for more of these type things

mel said...

Jack has a "prayer box", though it's not a nice wooden one like yours, I love that! He loves the Holy Trader cards and will spend a lot of time lining them up and all. ..though he's not very quiet with them, and he'll keep saying, "Momma, is this John Vianney? Momma, is this Dominic Salvo?" heehe.