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CCD 7th: Hats + 3 Birthdays + Vocations (day 5)

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we discussed our unique identities, our stages in life, vocations, marriage and closed with the story of St Agatha.  Lots of interaction and discussion, full of the Lord’s blessings!

3 BIRTHDAYS … each begins a new life

  • Physical B-day … start earthly life
  • Baptism B-day … start Christian spiritual life
  • Death B-day … start our heavenly life

Who Am I? (back page of journal)

  • –Birth name, Nick names, “Hats” (our roles)
  • Spiritual names? What does God call you?
    • (we’ll find out as we try different prayers)

VOCATION = “a call” by God to holiness

  • Primary” Vocation
    • –“to be a beloved child to our heavenly Father”
  • State of Life” Vocationwhich one?
    • Single, Consecrated Single
    • Married (husband/father, wife/mother)
    • Religious sister or brother
    • Priesthood (clergy, deacon)
  • Service” Vocation … career, ministry, etc.

Sacrament of Marriage … purpose is …

  • Pro-create (open to children),
  • Educate (evangelize your Catholic children)
  • Holy Mate (get your spouse to heaven!)

St Agatha (3rd century virgin martyr) a beautiful young girl who consecrated herself to Jesus and resisted the advances of a nobleman. He imprisoned & tortured her (even cut off her breasts), but she stayed faithful to God.  Died in prison. Feast on Feb 5. Patron of breast, nurses, (bell-makers & bakers – due to statue plater).

FF5 + Replace Me (song)

February 7, 2008 Leave a comment

God, mold me into what You want me to beWhile drivin’ around today in my mobile stereo, I kept replaying a song by the Christian rapcore group Family Force 5 called “Replace Me.”  I kept singing/screaming the chorus that echoed what seminary formation feels like, so far … to be formed into what God wants … “crush me, tear me, break me, mold me, make me what You want me to be.”  — Here’s the lyrics:

My Batteries died sometime ago (wuh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh)
I gotta heart-shaped box where they must go (wuh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh)
Corrosion’s building everyday
My flesh is leading me astray that’s why I started to decay and I will slowly rot away but I can’t feel that anyway

This heart it wants to beat, These lungs they want to breathe
These eyes they want to see, Gotta mouth that wants to sing … 

Desperation, Needing You, Every last breath, I scream for You
Shatter me into a million pieces … Make me new
Crush me, tear me, break me, mold me, Make me what You want me to be
I am Yours for You to use, so take and replace me with You

Needing more than just a jump start to get me through
My disconnection is now the issue…..

(rap) I miss my First Love bad and its driving me mad
Just like a mixed up crazy person out of his head
Its been a long long time I’ve been on the decline
I do an a-bout face so I can be replaced, 180

This heart it wants to beat, These lungs they want to breathe
These eyes they wants to see, Gotta mouth that wants to sing

(des, des, des) [chorus]

One for the body, Two for the soul,
Three to get ready, Now go go go

Replace me with You!!!
(replace me with You!)

Desperation, Needing You, Every last breath, I scream…

[chorus]

— I also added the song (on YouTube) above, but BE WARNEDit’s pretty hardcore for all you John Michael Talbot fans 🙂

CCD + catechesis crisis

January 28, 2008 1 comment

Ministry Class @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FLMINISTERIAL PRACTICUM – (Fr Michael) — since the weather was so nice, we had class outside in the grass and discussed the current state of catechesis in the Catholic Church.  Whether you call it CCD or Religious Education or Christian Formation, it’s essentially teaching the Catholic faith to adults or children (either in private Catholic Schools or weekly evening for public schoolers).  We started by sharing, comparing & contrasting our own experiences in CCD verses private Catholic Schools.  We highlighted the good and bad areas that need work, including better textbooks, better catechist training, more challenging truth (and less warm & fuzzy emotion-only faith), and other issues.

I can identify with many of these issues, especially since I’ve been a Pre-Confirmation catechist for (mostly) 7th graders for about the last 15 years.  Even when a catechist commits lots of time, effort & prayer to present catechist attractively, relevantly and challengingly, frustration stiffle your efforts that perpetuates generation to generation producing ignorant Catholics with a childish knowledge of their Catholic faith.  Improvements are coming … through the Church … through a committed laity … through our perseverence … to share the Gospel message of Christ in words and lessons and, most importantly, a living witness in “me”, in order to fullfill my role and awaken all I encounter.

Despite the obstacles and frustrations, I recall a quote from Pope John Paul II about teaching the faith to young people that illustrated my approach to catechesis and youth ministry through the years.  [I’m still looking for the exact quote and will post here … check back]  

[related resource: CATECHESI TRADENDAE (On Catechesis In Our Time) 1979 by Pope John Paul II]

Spiderman & Venom

Spiderman 3 posterI saw Spiderman 3 today, all 2.5 hours of light-speed CGI fight scenes separated by long relationship breaks and some cheesy musical dance numbers by Tobey Maguire.  Not being a really big Spiderman fan, I found Venom to be an very interesting character that I knew little about.  As an alien symbiote organism that needs to bond and feed off a living host, it gives the host enhanced physical abilities, at the cost of fatally draining them of adrenaline, eventually killing the host.  This particular parasite (attached to Spiderman), however, wants to bond with its host instead. It seems to feed off Spiderman’s weaknesses, anger and revenge, and multiplies its devastating, yet tempting (at times) effects.  The rejection of the symbiote leave it extremely bitter toward Spiderman, a trait it shares with its future hosts.  The movie’s byline reads “the greatest battle lies within.”

What I saw was an extreme visual for our own “dark-sides,” manifested in Venom, who exploits our weaknesses because we’ve fed and allowed it to grow for so long.  I don’t know if that’s the intention of the character, but I couldn’t help but connect Venom with deep-rooted sin that’s ignored and allowed to grow.  If we could only “see” what our sins do to others, ourselves and, above all, our Savior, we would run to cross in humble submission to His grace & mercy.  In ministry, demonstrating that in love & mercy is not done through our own ability, but through our own submission to the “Anti-Venom” that we invite everyday (not just one conversion experience) as a light to our darkness.