Teaching the Memorare with Pictographs

January 6, 2010

UPDATEDER: It’s now almost a year later, and we all still know the Memorare.  Yay, Pictographs!

UPDATE: It’s now one week later and we all pretty much have it memorized.  I still have the board up and Pip (6), most of all, loves to sit at the table and say the prayer; it’s become his favorite.  This has definitely worked for us – thanks be to God.

We have been needing to learn the Memorare for a long time. As a Catholic homeschooler, I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t yet know it by heart. My soul had about had it with that situation, and I woke up this morning with the resolve that Today Was The Day!

The Holy Spirit, being perfect in all things, gave me just what I needed to teach this: the idea of using pictographs to illustrate the main sections of this short (but powerful!) prayer.  On the white board, I wrote out the first half of the prayer, leaving plenty of drawing space in between the lines (it worked out to be three lines per half). Then we worked together to decide what symbols went with each particular section and I drew that symbol right underneath the section. I also redrew the symbols on the lower half of the board to keep the visual cues for them.

I didn’t get a picture of the first half of the prayer, but here is a picture of the second half:

PS – I’m using straight pins as tiny nails to keep the white board on the wall.  They’re small but mighty!


Here are all of the pictographs for the sections of the prayer:

Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary,

Remember = thought bubble

O Most Gracious = yellow halo w/orange circle

blue “VM” = Virgin Mary


that never was it known

that never = “no” symbol

was it known = book (for things that are known)


that anyone who fled to thy protection,

that anyone = a + a picture of a knee + 1

who fled = we went with the aurally similar “flood” (house under water)

to thy protection = yellow padlock with heart-shaped keyhole (holy, loving protection)


implored thy help,

implored = beggar’s tin cup

thy help = a red cross


or sought thine intercession

or sought = magnifying glass

thine intercession = prayer hands (crossed thumbs with straight fingers)


was left unaided.

was left = L

unaided = a red cross inside a black “no” symbol


Inspired by this Confidence, I fly unto thee,

Inspired by this Confidence = a yellow light bulb with a capital “C” as the filament

I fly unto thee = an eye with stick birds for eyelashes


O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother;

O = same halo with orange “O”

Virgin of virgins, = blue “V” for Virgin and small white “v” inside halo

my Mother; = “M” made out of pink hearts


to thee do I come,

to thee = number “2”

do = a dew drop

I come = a stoplight with only green filled in (“arriving” or “traveling”)


before thee I stand,

before thee = a bee with a number “4”

I stand = stick figure standing

sinful and sorrowful.

sinful = black heart <bleah!>

and sorrowful = sad and crying green face


O Mother of the Word Incarnate,

O Mother = purple “O” around the pink heart “M”

of the Word = dotted “W” in a solid line box

(If I had it to do over again, I’d make this a Chi Rho on the cover of a book)

Incarnate = n + followed by a car with an “n” + the number “8”


despise not my petitions,

despise = mad, red face

not = red “no” symbol

my petitions = a stack of petitions with a green check box


but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.

but in thy mercy = borrowed the mercy symbol from Divine Mercy (no, we know that Mary isn’t Divine : )

hear and answer me. = a question mark inside an ear



Amen. = “a +” and a little crowd of men


I hope this helps explain this lesson.  Please share your ideas and improvements if you try this with your own children!


Jennifer +


Urgent Prayers for a Miracle

July 27, 2009

A dear friend, Emily, and her unborn baby, Matthew, need everything you got.  Please pray with us and pass it on.

Why We Must Love Barack Obama

November 7, 2008


In all of my life, I’ve never seen our nation split like it was this time around; there was a lot at stake.  The unborn, the economy, foreign policy…you know the deal.  A lot of discernment, a lot of responsibility.

I deliberately waited a few days to write about the outcome.  I’m a crock pot of a thinker, not a microwave, and it takes me time to process.  I was initially afraid, initially worried, initially a little angry; the division of Catholics was (and is) personally very painful for me, like I know it is for a lot of people.

But God has given me a tremendous grace and insight.  It is not Catholic to be afraid (“the Lord is not the spirit of fear”), nor is it Catholic to worry, as it robs us of our trust in God.  There is such a thing as righteous anger, though…I don’t know if I had a righteous anger or a prideful one; I need to pray on that some more and listen for God’s voice to guide me.

What hit me last night as I was driving home, is that no matter the result, this is God’s America, God’s election, God’s president-elect, God’s ways and God’s thoughts in action.  Brothers and Sisters!  He either ordained or allowed the election of Barack Obama.  In that truth alone, we have complete confidence to continue forward in faith.

This does not mean that I give the President-elect any sort of pass whatsoever on the grave evils that he endorses, such as the Freedom of Choice Act.  Please, do not misunderstand me.  What I am saying, however, is that as Catholics, we are called by God to love Barack Obama, child of God, with the genuine Light of Christ in our eyes and in our hearts.  “Love thy enemies”. Scripture doesn’t say “tolerate thy enemies,” it says “love”.  What does it mean to love?  Padre Pio rightly observed that “the proof of love is to suffer for the one you love.”  As Christ hung on the Cross, nails piercing His hands and feet, dying, He loved both of the men to either side of Him; one chose to respond to that love, the other scorned and rejected it.  By the grace of God, I choose to love.

It is not enough to pray novenas and rosaries for our future 44th President to change his mind on life issues.  We must never accept any grave evil that he promotes, but we must anchor our prayers in the genuine love of God for our fellow man, for the good of this man and our nation herself.

It is not Catholic to hate; it is the very foundation of our Catholic identity to love our enemies as Christ does.  It’s at this point that we find ourselves at the fork in the road: one path is wide and easy, while the other is rocky, narrow and uncertain, but bathed in love.  What path will each of us choose?  The one lined with prayers based in anger, sorrow, fear and mistrust, or prayers of genuine faithful love and hope?

St. Dismas, pray for us.

Berg v. Obama: Supreme Court

October 28, 2008

The federal lawsuit filed by attorney Philip J. Berg has been dismissed by Philadelphia judge Surrick.  Berg is taking his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Please pray that God’s will be done in this election.

Saturday Morning Coffee with the Holy Spirit

September 27, 2008

Do you ever wonder why it is that we have been created in our bumbling humanity?  Why God made us in this way, why He allowed Original Sin, why He gives us free will in the first place?  I wonder this kind of stuff all the time.  Here is what I was given this morning…

To appreciate help, you must have known the lack of it.

To appreciate a bountiful harvest, you must have known hunger.

To appreciate guidance, you must have known uncertain wandering.

To appreciate friendship, you must have known the pain of loneliness.

To appreciate happiness, you must have known sadness.

To appreciate clarity, you must have known confusion.

To appreciate peace, you must have known chaos.

To appreciate the light, you must have known darkness.

To appreciate being found, you must have known being lost.

To appreciate real joy, you must have known its absence.

If humanity was fashioned in a sort of robotic, “programmed” obedience, we would never fully appreciate the gifts of the Spirit, or anything else for that matter.  Pain and suffering (not that we go looking for it) is a vital part of our human experience and gives us an authentic appreciation of the blessings in our lives.

Truly, there is no Resurrection without the Crucifixion.

Bottom of the cup; better go and get something done today.  Happy Saturday.  : )

St. Cecilia!

September 9, 2008
The joy of music

The joy of music

Oh, my. There is no way that we deserve such a tremendous find, but we are so grateful to God for this gift!

It’s a 1922 1935 Hardman baby grand piano. We found it in a little music shop here for a pittance. She’s old and has been knocked around, but ohhhhhh, my! She’s got the voice of an angel–a mighty powerful voice, at that. : )

Oh! As to why I named this post “St. Cecilia”, let me explain a bit. Hub & I went round and round about when to get an acoustic piano (we had a wonderful digital keyboard, but no pedals were becoming an issue in piano lessons). We’d decided after our latest round of migraine-laced discussion to get an upright and to wait a year while the dust settled from the move. As I sat there at my desk, banging my head ever so gently, I offered a little prayer, “St. Cecilia, pray for us.”

The next day, I woke up with a bee in my bonnet to go to the music store about an hour’s drive away. They pointed us to the piano showroom (think showroom in terms of a mom & pop music store) and there, back in the corner with no love at all, was the Hardman. Fortunately for us, there “just happened to be” a young man walk in off the street who started playing all the grands in the store just for fun. I managed my courage and asked him if he’d mind playing this particular piano and he played for us cheerfully, and like I’ve never seen. (And according to him, he taught himself in about a year. Hmmmm….) It was amazing, such gorgeous music! The young man agreed with our novice ear that it had the best sound of any piano in the shop. Went over the old gal with a fine tooth comb and mechanically, she was about as close to perfect as you can get. The finish? Scratched and dinged from one end to the other, but that can fixed; sound cannot.

So there you go! Thank you St. Cecilia for your prayers, and thank you LORD for answering our prayers and giving us such an undeserved gift as this beautiful piano.

PS. First song played on the piano here? “Immaculate Mary” by Firstie.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

Saturday Rosary: Storming Heaven for a Miracle

July 3, 2008

Please join us–and spread the word if you can. I know it’s very short notice, but I’m putting this devotion into Mary’s hands; may the Holy Spirit make it happen.

We are praying for a dear man named Galen to be healed of cancer, and are asking particular intercession of John Paul the Great and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (they both only need one more miracle for canonization).

Saturday, July 5th:
1 pm Pacific (US)
2 pm Mountain
3 pm Central
4 pm Eastern

Worldwide times are per your local time zone so that we’re all praying the rosary at the same time.

The Backstory…

When Hub was deployed this last time, I had made a comment to a fellow rosary maker and friend, Doris, that Middlin *loved* one of her rosary designs. [If you have ever been a single mother to boys (geographically or otherwise), you know how woefully inept it feels to try and be two parents. A soldier’s children make countless hidden sacrifices during deployments–they are the real heroes of the home front.]

I didn’t give the conversation any more thought between the distractions of the deployment and homeschooling. Lo and behold, a few days later a package arrived for Middlin from Ms. Doris. He was taken completely by surprise and had no idea what on earth could be inside. He opened up the package and inside was the most handsome rosary, handmade just for him by this dear, dear lady.

It’s things like that that touch your heart and stay with you forever. Someone who took the time and effort to go so far out of their way for such a kindness: these moments are all kept forever in my heart.

Several months ago the shock came that Doris’s husband, Galen, was diagnosed with lung cancer. We prayed along with other rosary maker friends (and many, many other folks) for his healing and he pulled through beautifully. The cancer was gone. Until this week; it’s back and has spread.

What can you do when you are 1800 miles away and helpless to help your friends? You pray. And you ask your friends to pray. And everyone you know, plus the rest of everybody who you don’t know. We may not be able to be there to bring food, run errands, lend housekeeping chores, mow the lawn or drive to the pharmacy. But we can come together from every corner of the country and the world, at the same time, and storm heaven for the healing of Galen. We can beg God for this miracle through the intercession of John Paul II and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. What a grace that healing would be!

So…if you’re not doing anything Saturday, please join us! And if you are doing something, please join us anyway, or offer a rosary for this intention when you can. You’re welcome to link back here or track back or however the blogosphere works, but I do hope you’ll join us in praying for this most precious miracle.

Jesus, I trust in You.

God bless, and thank you –