“What Does It Mean?” Teach your kids the four senses of Scripture

This week at CatholicMom.com, I write an article about parish VBS programs and parish renewal, and reference a song I wrote to teach children the four senses of Scripture (set to the tune of “The Adam’s Family Theme”). I thought I’d share the lyrics here.

What does it mean? (clap, clap)
What does it mean? (clap, clap)
When we take a look in God’s Holy Book?
What does it mean? (clap, clap)

God showed his love in Jesus,
Who made the Church to lead us,
God’s Word, the Scriptures, show us,
That we’re God’s family.

The Church gives us for reading,
Four lights that show the meaning,
These Scripture senses leading,
They guide us as we read.

What does it say? (That’s the literal)
Who wrote it, what way?
Historical prose? Story or poem?
What does it mean?

Three senses categorical
Anagogical, allegorical
And don’t forget the moral
The spiritual senses, three.

What does it say? (That’s the literal)
For my life today? (The moral)
Does it point to Christ?
Or the end of our life?
What does it mean?

What does it mean? What does it mean?
Four senses we need
When God’s Word we read,
To know what it means!

Four senses we find,
Will light up our minds,
That’s what it means!

Four senses we’ll use
To find all the clues,
And know what it means!
(shout) THAT’S WHAT IT MEANS!

©2010 Heidi Hess Saxton. All rights reserved.

NOTE: These words may NOT be reprinted or used without permission of the author. Reprint requests should be sent to me at heidi.hess.saxton@gmail.com.

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Wee Cook No-Meat Fridays: A Vegetarian Feast!

I decided to rerun this post from June 2009 in honor of the first Friday in Lent, for those who would like a meatless meal idea!

The Vacation Bible School program at my church this year is called “Adventure with the Apostles,” and explores the Church around the world, each day focusing on a different part of the globe:

Today, in honor of the Church of Asia, I have for you this tasty and inexpensive lentil-and-rice feast (with Naan bread and cucumbers with yoghurt dressing) that is easy enough for the whole family to help with! 

wholemeal-naan-bread-food-recipe16To make Naan Bread, you will need

1 tsp fast-rising yeast
1 Tbls sugar
1/2 C warm water
2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 Tbls oil (olive works fine)
2 heaping Tbls yoghurt (save rest of 6 oz container for salad)
2 Tbls milk

1. Put warm water, yeast, and sugar in cup; stir to dissolve. Set aside for 5 minutes.

2. In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Add oil, milk, yoghurt, and yeast mixture. Stir with fork to combine, then put on floured board and kneed 5-6 minutes until flour is incorporated and dough is soft. Cover with a wet tea towel and set aside 15 minutes. (Get rice-and-lentils started during this time.)

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a cookie sheet. Break dough into four equal sized balls, turn onto lightly floured board. Pat or roll into ovals approximately 6-8 inches long and 4-5 inches wide. (Don’t roll too thin, should be about 1/4 inch). Repeat for remaining 3 balls; place on cookie sheet. If desired, brush with milk. Rest 10 minutes. Bake 10-12 minutes, until bubbled and brown on top. To serve, tear in half with hands and place in basket.

(Photo credit: For an excellent recipe for whole-wheat Naan, check out “Jenna’s Kitchen” blog!)

For Rice-and-Lentils, you need:

1 C lentils (dried)
1 C rice
2-1/2 C water
3 small potatoes (sliced thin)
2 med. onions (sliced thin)
1/4 C oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt

1.  Rinse lentils and place in large pot. Add 2-1/2 C water, then cover and simmer on low 20 minutes, until tender. Meanwhile, place rice in strainer, then put strainer in a pot of warm water deep enough to cover the rice. Allow to soak while you’re doing the next step.

2.  In frying pan, heat up the oil then layer onions and potatoes in the bottom of the pan. Cook 8-10 minutes, until nicely browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside (but do NOT drain off oil).

3.  When lentils have cooked 20 minutes, strain extra water from rice and add to pot along with curry, cumin, and salt. Stir well — add another 1/2 cup of water if it has all steamed away. Sprinkle potato-onion mixture over the top and cover again. Cook another 10 minutes, until rice is done. (Should be chewy, not sticky.)

For Cucumber Salad, you need:

6 oz carton plain yoghurt (less 2 Tbls for bread)
1-2 medium sized cucumbers, chopped
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbls white rice vinegar (works best — white vinegar works okay, too)

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Refrigerate until serving time.