Take Aways From Youth Group - October 10th, 2018

We are trying something new this year, especially with regard to our lessons on the Catechism. Our overall goal in ministry is to make sure when we hand off a lesson the teen we are ministering and teaching doesn't just leave it at Church. We want to aid as much as we are able in the teen using the wisdom from the Catechism in their everyday lives: their home, their school, their community.

Believe me we've had the following exchange in our home: "How was Youth Group (Faith Formation, Church School, etc.)?" Teen/Child: "Fine." Sound familiar? Yeah, we get that too! By the time your teen comes through the door its usually about 8:30-ish, they and you are both tired so unpacking the lesson they just heard may prove daunting. Then the next busy morning rolls around, then the weekend and before you know it your kiddo is going back to youth group. The weeks pile up and after awhile it's mid-school year and you aren't sure what we're exactly talking about on Wednesday evenings. You can trust we as parents know this refrain all too well ourselves. We. get. it.

We are starting an online lesson plan initiative here on our blog, so that you the parents can look back and have an idea of what was discussed. Also we want you to have some questions to begin your own conversations of faith right in the home. It doesn't take much sometimes to open the doors for teens to discuss their faith if you show an active and spirit led interest. And we can promise you that the more of a habit you make it to bring it up the more comfortable your teen will feel in sharing what they are processing faith wise and what they are learning at youth group. Everybody wins, right?!

Without further ado here is our first takeaway from the new year. We are voluntarilty using a Lesson Plan format internally to promote a more rigorous level of standard of instruction. And we are working to compile the larger body of lessons, from past and present, so we can help our youth group have even more structure and continuity in the years to come.

As always the doors of communication are open so feel free to call, text, email, stop by if you want to sit in and listen!

Catechism Reviewed:

Part Three Life in Christ, Section Two The Ten Commandments “You Shall Not Have Other Gods Before Me”. We specifically dialed in on the following teachings from Catechism: 2110-2117 for our lesson this week. These articles within the Catechism deal mainly with the placement of superstition, divination, magic and such above the faith we are called to place in God alone.

What is Lore?

For the purposes of our discussion, Lore is defined as a body of traditions, superstitions, and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth.

We discussed at first common lore you will encounter at this time of year: vampires, werewolves, or witches.

Discussion questions and points included on this section:

  • What do we know even a millennium onwards about these creatures?

  • How do we know this, i.e. how did you acquire this information?

  • Each of these pieces of lore were distributed by persons living in often closed off cultures. They handed off a cultural knowledge in an era without electronic devices or other means of dispersal.

  • They each show in metaphorical ways the results of falls from grace. Vampires were used as lessons on Hubris and Greed (being often shown as the exact opposite of Christ); Werewolves symbolically shown as a curse received from ex-communication from the Church; Witches shown as the perils of being used by and falling in league with darker forces. They are typically vanquished or cured by use of holy or pure items from the Catholic Church.

  • What are the Catholic teachings on such pieces of Lore?

  • Further discussed that the Church does believe in the Supernatural World i.e. the realm which we as humans cannot understand as composed and ordered by God. We do not believe in a superstitious world, or local lores.

  • How does a belief in such lore lead to the creation of superstition?

What is Superstition?

For our discussion we defined superstition as a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural (read: unexplainable by human reason or logic) causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief. These are defined as practices outside of relationship with God.

Discussion questions and points included on this section:

  • Provided examples of superstition: tarot cards, palmistry, divination, ouija boards, seances, horoscopes, lucky charms, or even handed down superstitions culturally. Discussed that by placing our belief in these items versus the will of God, we displace His authority in our lives and look to outside means for answers and movement.

  • We spoke about divination and magic, that seeking to consult or dabble in such practices places our will above God's. Ergo we seek to put a desire for power over time, history, and other human beings, as well as a wish to placate hidden powers. Even spells meant to help or restore health seek to place our dominion over another. These practices according to the Catechism are “gravely contrary to the virtue of religion.”

  • Spoke about how adherence to these practices can unintentionally open doors spiritually speaking that should remain shut.

  • What is the difference between a Sacramental and a Superstitious Item?

  • How do we discern and remove ourselves from these practices if we find ourselves engaged or curious?

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