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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 May 25, 2020

“I will take away not the grace but the feeling of grace...

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May 25

 

“I will take away
not the grace but the feeling of grace.
Though I will seem to leave you
I will be closer to you.”

Our Lord to St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi


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

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

Pope St. Gregory VII

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cri...

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Pope St. Gregory VII

Pope Gregory VII was born Hildebrand in Tuscany, Italy. Little else is known of his early life. Hailed, historically, as one of the greatest of the Church's pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all time, his name, Hildebrand, meant “bright flame”. Those who hated him, which were many, interpreted the name as “brand of Hell”.

Hildebrand was a Benedictine monk, for a time living in Cluny, from whence he certainly gleaned the monastery’s ideal of societal reform.

As a cleric, he became chaplain to Pope Gregory VI, and a few years later, under Leo IX was made Cardinal Deacon. A man of outstanding energy and insight, Hildebrand became a power in Rome. It is greatly due to him that the practice of electing popes through a college of cardinals was established.

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cried out for the holy genius who had helped steer the Church for twenty years, “Hildebrand for Pope! Holy Peter wants Hildebrand, the Archdeacon!” Once before the holy monk had eluded the tiara but this time a proper college of cardinals, seconding the popular cry, induced him to accept an honor duly his.

Hildebrand assumed the name Gregory VII, and threw his energy and zeal into a continued reform, especially fighting simony (the sale of ecclesiastical posts) and clerical incontinence.

He confronted Emperor Henry IV head- on about his practice of choosing men for ecclesiastical positions. On meeting with dogged resistance, the pontiff finally had recourse to excommunication which drastically curtailed the proud monarch’s power, ultimately bringing Henry on foot to the Pope at the Castle of Canossa. Because of Henry’s rebellious obstinacy, Pope Gregory saw fit to leave him out in the cold for three days before receiving and reinstating the royal penitent.

But Henry failed to make any true personal reform and alienated his princes who elected another ruler. Still, he later rallied and went as far as electing another Pope, a Clement III, calling down upon himself another sentence of excommunication. He also attacked and entered the Eternal City in 1084, which forced Pope Gregory into exile. Henry had his protégée “pope” crown him Emperor. Ultimately repelled by an army fighting for the true pope, the Emperor Henry left Rome, but complications sent Gregory VII again into exile, this time to die.

His last words before his death were a summary of how he had lived, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion t...

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Mary and the Simple Country Wife

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.

One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.

On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.

As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.

When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”

“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”

And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”

She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.

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

 

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There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier.

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