For Adults / Youth: Cabin Fever Faith, Roll Away the Stone
- What idea or image stood out to you in Fr. LeRoy’s sharing?
- Do you agree that fear of the unknown is actually fear of letting go of our old understanding of something? Why or why not?
- What does it mean to let go of our old understanding to embrace [God’s] transformation? What does it look like to embrace transformation in a way that requires new understanding?
- What stone needs to be rolled away from your tomb for you to find new understanding about the Risen Lord? How can you personally ponder Jesus, and let your whole life be transformed?
- When we prepare children to receive sacraments, we discuss how the life of your family affects your child’s understanding of God. You teach them about love and trust before they can speak in the way you anticipate and meet their needs.
- Parenting during a pandemic is difficult, and it’s something we haven’t done before. My goal is to give you tools to process your experiences as you have them, promoting family unity and health with an emphasis on support.
- Use the resources that make the most sense for your family. Each week I will provide a parent video, family greeting video and other activities and resources.
- Summary of resources.
- Right now is still Easter! Easter is one of the feasts that Catholics celebrate for an octave, meaning for eight days: the day of the feast plus the seven days after. We treat all seven days as one day.
- Sunday is the last day of the octave of Easter, but we’ll still be in the Easter Season until Pentecost, a feast fifty days after Easter.
- Sunday we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. Today we’re going to learn about Mercy, but we’ll start our time with a song.
- Some of our younger kids know this song already. It can be sung in a round, and has actions. I’ve chosen it because it reminds us that love is something that multiplies as we share it.
Sharing a Song
Lyrics: Love grows one by one, two by two, and four by four.
Love grows round in a circle and comes back a knockin’ at your front door.
Goal One: Processing Our Current Reality Together
Use this parody video to get the discussion started.
- What did you see or hear in the video? Did you agree with Ariel at any point? Did you disagree? Why?
- What’s going in in your household now that’s different than normal? What things are the same?
- Are there things you like more about what’s going on now? What are they, and why?
- What things are harder now? Why?
- Are there any decisions you can make as a family to help the difficult things be easier? Make a plan now, or write the idea down to revisit later.
Reassuring Language for Positive Parenting
Here are some ideas to help you respond to your children’s responses.
- We all get impatient sometimes. God loves us anyway. I always love you.
- Spending time together is fun! I loved when we…
- Even parents make mistakes. I’m sorry you were hurt. I’ll try to do better.
- Distance learning is hard. We’re learning together. We’ll get better at it over time. In our family, we do hard things.
- I noticed.. when.. how did that make you feel?
- I’m here to help if you need me.
Goal Two: Understanding Mercy
Activity: Sticky Note Mercy
Adapted from “Sticky Note Mercy” from Kids’ Sunday School Place. Accessed 14 April 2020.
Items needed: Sticky notes, or small pieces of paper; printout, below 1 per student; 1 Marker/crayon per student.
This activity is appropriate for most ages. Read aloud for younger kids, and instead of writing words, have them explain the consequences verbally while drawing a sad face. Have them make smiley faces in place of the word “Mercy.”
- Ask your children to come up with expected consequences for each box on the handout, have them write these consequences on sticky notes and stick them to the corresponding boxes.
- Once they’ve finished writing, share: Mercy is when we are kind or forgiving, even when we believe the other person doesn’t deserve it. To be merciful is to be ready to help anyone in need, especially if their need is to be forgiven (and we don’t think they are sorry.) We describe God as merciful because He shows us love, kindness, and forgiveness no matter what. The ultimate act of God’s mercy was to send Jesus to die for our sins, so that even though we have sinned, we will gain eternal life.
- Instruct them to take off the sticky notes and write “MERCY’ in each box.
- Share: God’s love in the form of mercy is what helps us know reconciliation with God and with others.
- Optional: Invite their sharing about a time they’ve experienced mercy in their lives, or share a time you experienced mercy.
Learning about Divine Mercy Sunday
We celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday because of St. Faustina, whose visions of Jesus taught us that Divine Mercy means receiving mercy and being merciful ourselves. More information on St. Faustina here.
St. Faustina left us the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a prayer that is prayed using rosary beads. The chaplet can be read or sung. Consider praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as a family this week. Instructions are here. Search for “Divine Mercy Chaplet” on YouTube to find a recording to follow, if you prefer.
Craft Activity: Puzzle Cube of Love
Items needed: Puzzle cube pattern, printed on cardstock, one per person. Markers or crayons, scissors, glue or glue stick.
- Print one cube pattern per person or per family (you decide).
- Color the drawings or cube sides with words.
- Optional: if you didn’t have cardstock, glue the print onto some harder paper, like construction paper.
- Cut around all the borders.
- Fold short flaps and glue them to form a cube.
- Roll the cube.
What is the Cube of Love?
From the Focolare Movement website, used with permission:
The Cube, a program to help children concretely live the Gospel message of love, is an expression of the Gospel-based “art of loving.”
On each face of the Cube there is a brief message that focuses the child’s efforts on caring for others. These 6 points include:
- Love everyone
- Be the first to love
- Love Jesus in the other
- Share the other’s hurt or joy
- Love your enemy
- We love one another
The Cube allows students, as well as teachers and parents, to respond with very real and tangible experiences of love.
This program, created by Focolare founder Chiara Lubich, not only helps to prevent conflict and violence but contributes to a growth in faith, to the building of a more Christian community, and to an ever greater awareness of the universal family and the needy worldwide.
Learn more about Cubes of Love here.
Using Your Cubes of Love
Consider rolling your cubes each day during one of the times you are praying together as a way to assign each member of the family a “loving” task for the day.
Online Catholic Youth Group
Project YM live allows teens to log in for games, teachings and music from top Catholic Youth speakers across the country. Sessions go live from 7-8pm on Wednesday nights. More information here.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word Resources
Gospel Background and home lessons at Loyola Sunday Connection