Archive for April, 2010

We had another great class on Wednesday. The students get the most engaged when we have something to talk about. Lots of questions and lots of discussion.

We tackled the second half of the Ten Commandments.

We discussed the two commandments concerning marriage, and made the distinction between the two. The first is issued to the husband and wife to be faithful to each other, while the second, “Thou shall not covet…” is aimed at a third party interfering with another’s marriage vows.

We discussed the concept of coveting – to want something so badly you are willing do commit a wrong to get it. They hadn’t really thought about that very much before this class, so it created some interesting discussion.

We also discussed honesty; harmful lies about others; perjury; and the difference between a lie and a mistake.

We also spent time discussing the magnitude of sins, and the difference between mortal and venial sins.

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We had another really fantastic class on Wednesday.

Advancing from last week’s lesson on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, our class this week was on rules and progressed into a discussion of the Ten Commandments.

Not surprisingly, the students were quite familiar with the concept of rules and were able to cite numerous examples of rules they need to follow in school and in their family.

We discussed briefly the story behind the commandments and read a passage from Exodus that outlined them. We discussed them in generalities and pointed out how the first three pertain to avoiding giving offense to God, while the last seven address offenses and behavior pertaining to our fellow man.

We also distributed a chart indicating how the various Christian and Jewish religions count the commandments. The same material is arranged slightly differently. For example, most Protestant faiths expand the God-related commandments into four while Catholics summarize them into three. We explained how this can be confusing when they may hear public discussion of a Protestant’s FIFTH commandment “Honor thy father and mother” when that is a Catholic’s FOURTH.

Once we got to #5, “Thou shall not kill,” it opened the door to a wide ranging and very engaged discussion of all the permutations of that rule. The discussion included war, comparative evils, suicide, accidents, acts of the mentally ill or young children, capital punishment and abortion.

We ran out of time long before we ran out of material. We plan to pick up where we left off and finish out that chapter this coming week. Come join us if you have the time. It should be fun.

As we were dismissing, Kelli Donnelly, the mother of Kiernan — the baby involved in our Baptism program earlier in the year, brought him by to see all his honorary Godparents. Young Kiernan was a jolly mood and was a big hit with the kids.

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We had a great class last Wednesday.  Sorry for taking so long to update.

The primary topic of the class was the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick. We started by talking about the concept and process of forgiveness in general terms – in everyday life as well as in confession.

I pulled the names of two volunteers out of a hat and we set up a role-playing game. I gave Makayla and Lindsey their assignments. Makayla was angry at Lindsey for something she had done. They got together with a couple of classmates and came up with a story. According to Makayla, Lindsey stole her diary and sold it to a TV station which put all her personal information on the air. (We are nothing if not dramatic.)

We set up an “Oprah Winfrey Show” to resolve their differences. They really got into their roles and played it up great. The rest of the class was highly engaged, perhaps a little too much so.

Initially Lindsey denied everything, but eventually owned up to the deed, said she was sorry and asked for forgiveness. Makayla forgave her but asked for Lindsey to reveal some of her own personal information to make them even.

We used this little melodrama to demonstrate the four-step process of forgiveness.

1.) The offender admits to the act.

2.) The offender expresses sorrow and asks for forgiveness.

3.) The injured party forgives.

4.) The offender offers some reparation to atone for the injury they caused.

We took that and folded it into the process of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

— Confess sins

— Ask for forgiveness (Act of Contrition)

— Absolution

— Penance

We briefly discussed the Anointing of the Sick and how the sacrament has changed in recent decades from the “last rites” of an earlier time.

We finished up with an informal discussion of the mechanics of the Sacrament of Reconciliation – talking with the priest, inventorying their conscience, etc.

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