Monday, October 22, 2012

RCIC 4 - Saints (and the Fall Continued)

On this night we discussed how one becomes a saint, what purgutory is, and then headed over to the adoration chapel to pray the Litany of the Saints.  A lot of other great questions were brought up that we will discuss along with the Fall next session.

What is a saint and how does someone become a saint?

The Litany of the Saints (short form Matt Maher, images of icons) (longer more traditional form) (World Youth Day 2008) (Long form in Latin)

The Full List of Questions

Here is the full list of questions asked on the first night of RCIA.  I hope we can begin to answer them all this year!

What does faith mean?
What does faith mean to you?
What does life mean?
How does faith affect modern life?
How could it help you deal with problems?
What is "First Communion"?
How do you know what is and isn't God?
How do you connect with Him?
What does it mean to be Catholic?
Why does it matter what religion you are?
What do Church Teachings have to do with anything?
How is it real? 
What do our beliefs do?
How do we know it's (becoming holy) happening and are being completed?
How do we know this is all true?
Are we supposed to be Confirmed and is there a reason to?
Who was the person who brought up the Catholic religion?
Why do we do Catholic Church?
What made people believe more in the Catholic religion?
What are saints?
What's the difference between Catholisism and other Christian denominations?
What are the Sacraments?
Is there such a thing as believing in God too much?
Why do we need to take these classes?
Why do we practice religion?
What is Confirmation?
Why do we have CCD?
Where did the Catholic Church begin?
What make;s Catholics think Catholicism is the true religion?
What makes catholicism better?
What are the evil religious groups deemed by our church?
What do you say to people who think the Catholic Church is bad?
Why do we do this?
What deems a person a saint?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RCIC 3- The Fall

We started out this class talking about the unity of the body and soul, and how humans are "one" and not a duality of natures.  If we do not have a soul than we are dead.  If a child is growing within a mother's womb, then he/she has a soul for he/she is alive.  This is just one of the many ways that we are made in God's image.  Other ways include the ability to love, to reason, to be self-reflective, and free will.

We listened to Psalm 51 as an introduction to discussing the Fall of Adam and Eve.  We also talked briefly about how there are many different translations of the Bible--some being literal word-for-word, others focusing on the poetry of the words and others trying to put ancient ideas into more modern ideas.

The story of the Fall of Adam and Eve does not tell us what fruit we should or should not eat!  LOL  :)  but it does tell us in an easy to understand story that relationships between God and Man,  males and females, and person and person have been filled with brokenness from the first human beings.  We all carry this brokenness within us and we all struggle to love eachother perfectly as God does.  We call this brokenness and struggle "Original Sin" because it began with the first or "orginal" humans.

This story also explains how we are influenced by evil and outside forces and need to have informed consciences in order to make good decisions. 

It also tells us about what may have caused other struggles in our life, such as having to work hard to make a living (Adam's punishment) and experiencing pain in childbirth (Eve's punishment).


Catechism paragraph 365--on the unity of body and soul

Psalm 51

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

RCIC-2 Created in His Image

What's the difference between knowing someone exists and really knowing that person?  It takes a lot more effort to become friends with a person, and an even greater sacrifice to love a person.  Tonight we discuss who God is based on what He has revealed through Creation and Scripture.  We will also touch on what steps he took to know us, befriend us, and love us.
Theologians say that we can know God (a supreme, first being) exists even without faith:
  • observing order and beauty throughout creation
  • observing someone or something had to create all their is
  • observing someone or something had to set all moving things into motion (physics)

Faith tells us about who God is and our relationship with him.  The first book of the Bible contains stories about Creation and the beginning relationship between man and God.  From these stories we learn why we were created but not necessarily how.  The how can be answered by science more than scripture.  Here are some of the things we learn from the book of Genesis:
  • God created everything.
  • God thought it was all Good.
  • God created Man as the epitome of creation.
  • God created us in His image--soul, free choice, and relational.
  • God created us male and female--with a unified body and soul
  • Our first responsibility was to populate the earth and care for it.
  • We were created with Original Innocence (naked without shame, walking with God in paradise)
  • God loves us.

Questions to ponder:
Have nature and the order and beauty of the universe revealed God to you?
Is it human nature to want to know God better?  Why?
Why did God create the animals, and give them to Adam to name?
Why didn't the animals make good companions for Adam?
What is innocence?  Why is innocence a good thing?
What were the first ways God showed humanity His love? (consider the 5 love languages)

Lectio Divina -- a form of prayer consisting of sacred reading, reflection, responding and resting in God's presence.
The 5 love lanuages
Theology of the Body-- Pope John Paul II's teachings on Original Innocence, Original Sin, and Redemption of the Body
"Beautiful "by Mercy Me

"On the Altar of Love" by Downhere.

Friday, October 5, 2012

RCIC-1 Revelation

It is my priviledge and responsibility to help an amazing group of  8th-11th graders become fully initiated into the Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation.  This is much more than a little becoming it is the ultimate beginning of a wonderful life in Christ!!  I'm so excited to be able to share my passion for Christ with them.  I pray the 'flame of curiousity' in their soul may grow into a light for all the world to see.
Our first night so many awesome, thoughtful questions were asked:

How do we know God exists?
How do we know other religions are not True?  How do we know the Catholic Church is the one True Church?  What the differences between Protestants and Catholics?

Why are we here?  Why do we have to take classes before being initiated into the Church?  Is Confirmation really necessary?
How do we know if we are growing in holiness?

Who are the Saints?  How do you become a Saint?
What is the Eucharist?  How does it happen?

I know many were hoping that these questions could be answered on the first night, but really each of these is an entire graduate level theology class!  Over the course of the next 2 years I hope we can really explore these questions and do them justice by more than scratching the surface.These are life-long questions, mysteries to ponder, answers to hold close to our hearts.  We are blessed that the Catholic Church offers Scripture and years of Tradition to help us reflect on them.
I want to provide links to some very important resources to those in RCIC:

 NET Ministries’ links for teens:

 The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

 The New American Bible:

 Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching: 

 In an endeavor to overcome divisions or misunderstandings the Church dialogues with other denominations and religions: 

Jennifer Fulwiler’s Conversion Diary as I mentioned in class.  -- her very first post

 Catholic Encyclopedia: 

ScriptureCatholic is a website that provides Scripture verses that support the teachings of the Catholic Church.  There is a nice list of teachings on the left side bar.  Under the Q&Q section there are pages with commonly asked questions about Catholic Faith and gives scriptural answers.

Song Links: 
Opening Song “What do I know of Holy?” by Addison Road