Archive for September 9, 2010

Sacrament Of Reconciliation For Kids

Posted: September 9, 2010 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures, Life's Journeys

Sacrament Of Reconciliation For Kids

By Julian aka Catholicjules

Introduction

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Once, a boy stole some money from his father’s wallet, so that he could buy some chocolates which he loved eating. However after he bought them, he found he could not really enjoy them because he knew what he did was wrong. Over the next few days he was burdened with a heavy heart and was unhappy. He decided it was time to confess what he did to his father and that he would also make amends by offering to pay for the chocolates with his pocket money. He promised his father that he would never steal again and asked for an appropriate punishment. He expected his father to be angry but instead found him calm and even smiling. Because the son was totally honest with his confession combined with the promise of never to commit the sin again is the purest form of repentance. The confession restored his father’s faith in him and so hugged him with great affection. The son unburdened his conscience with his confession and by doing so reconciled with his father.

When we sin, we go against the commandments of God and alienate (turn away) ourselves from him. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we reorientate ourselves and reunite ( together again)with God.

Let us now talk a little about sin and God’s commandments …

What is Sin?

Sin is the conscious thought,act or deed we do against the teachings of the Church and God our heavenly father.

thetencommandmentsWhat are God’s Commandments?

Before we go into the commandments proper we should try to understand first what the commandments are all about.

One way of understanding the commandments is to think of the rules of a game. What happens when we break the rules? People get upset because no one plays the game correctly, we end up losing the joy and happiness the game would have brought us otherwise.

Another way to look at it is to think of the commandments as signposts from God, giving us direction to our destination to be with him. If we do not follow the signs, we start to lose our way and become bitter and sad when we cannot find our way back to him.

signpost

The Ten Commandments for Younger Kids

Ten Commmandments for Kids (Exodus 20:1-17)

1. Have no other gods but God.

  1. Do not worship statues.
  2. Be careful with God’s name.
  3. Keep Sunday special.
  4. Honor your father and mother.
  5. Do not murder.
  6. Keep your marriage promises.
  7. Do not steal.
  8. Do not lie.

10. Do not covet. (To wish for longingly)

The Ten Commandments for Older Kids

The Ten Commandments

Exodus Chapter 20

Preface:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

1. You shall have no other gods before Me.

2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5. Honor your father and your mother

6. You shall not murder.

7.You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

10. You shall not covet

Mat 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

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Is to reflect and find out your sins…

Here is an examination of conscience for children using the Lord’s Prayer as a guideline.

An Examination of Conscience for Children using The Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name.

· Do I think about God every day?

· Do I say my prayers?

· Do I pay attention and participate at Mass?

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be

done on earth as it is in heaven.

· Am I kind to others?

· Do I do what Jesus wants me to do?

· Do I share with others?

· Am I helpful to my family?

· Do I show respect to my teachers and classmates?

Give us this day our daily bread

· Do I remember to say thank you?

· Am I sometimes greedy?

· Do I appreciate the good things I have in my life?

· Do I think of ways to help those who have no food?

· Do I take things that don’t belong to me?

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

· Do I say I’m sorry when I have been wrong?

· Do I forgive and forget when someone does something bad to me?

· Do I help solve problems between my friends or do I cause more trouble?

· Do I say bad things about people who have hurt me?

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

· Do I play fairly in sports and games?

· Do I cheat in school?

· Do I tell the truth?

· Do I set a good example by my kindness?

· Do I let other kids tempt me to do things I know I shouldn’t do?

Here is another way to examine your conscience by reflecting on your responsibilities.

Responsibilities to God:

Have I prayed every day?

Have I prayed my morning prayers and night prayers?

Have I prayed with my parents and family?

Have I been moody and rebellious about praying and going to

church on Sunday?

Have I asked the Holy Spirit to help me whenever I have been

tempted to sin? Have I asked the Holy Spirit to help me do

what is right?

Responsibilities to others:

Have I been obedient and respectful to my parents?

Have I lied or been deceitful to them or to others?

Have I been arrogant, stubborn or rebellious?

Have I talked back to parents, teachers or other adults?

Have I pouted and been moody?

Have I been selfish toward my parents, brothers,sisters and teachers, or my friends and schoolmates?

Have I gotten angry at them? Have I hit anyone?

Have I held grudges or not forgiven others?

Have I treated other children with respect or have I made fun of them and called them names?

Have I used bad language?

Have I stolen anything? Have I returned it?

Have I performed my responsibilities, such as homework and household chores?

Have I been helpful and affectionate toward my family? Have

I been kind and generous with my friends?

So What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the process or steps we take in order to reunite ourselves with God. In essence it is:

“The invitation to the door of forgiveness, freedom of sin and of guilt and with that; Peace”

Before we open the door we prepare ourselves by reflection or examining our conscience and think about what we are going to do to stop doing the wrong doings. When we are ready, we open the door to face and talk to God through his disciple (the priest). We confess (in all honesty) our sins and tell him what we will do to make amends and how truly sorry we are by saying the act of contrition. When we are done we are given absolution (forgiveness) through the power of the Holy Spirit and are reunited with God.

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Below is an illustration (picture)

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A Step By Step Guide To Making Your Confession Through The Sacrament Of Reconciliation

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· Prepare yourself by reflecting on your sins and what you are going to do to try and stop repeating the sin. Only when you are ready, do you proceed to the Confessional.

  1. Kneel, make the sign of the cross and say, “Bless me Father for I have sinned.”
  2. Tell the father how long it has been since you last confessed. Egs.” It has been 1 month since my last confession.” If it is your first time then just say “this is my first confession.”
  3. Tell the father your sins and how you have hurt God your loving father and when you have finished say “For these and all my sins, I am truly sorry.” Then tell the father how you are going to repent. (so as not to commit the sin again) egs. I will reflect on how Jesus died on the cross for me each time I am tempted to use bad words.
  4. Listen to the Father if he has any advice for you, after which he will give you absolution.
  5. Say the Act of Contrition.
  6. Listen to the words of the Father as he gives you absolution.
  7. Thank the Father out of politeness and respect and you might even say “Bless you Father”
  8. Go quietly

The Act Of Contrition (How Sorry You Are For Your Sins)

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Here are a few different ones to choose from, only choose one to say. If you know how to and want to, you can say your own.

· Oh my God, I am so sorry that I have sinned against you. Because You are so good and with the help of your grace, I will not sin again.

· God our Father, I thank You for loving me. I am sorry for all my sins, for what I have done and for what I have failed to do. I will sincerely try to love You and others in everything I do and say. Help me walk in your light today and always.

· Father , I have sinned against you and am not worthy to be called your son/daughter. Be merciful to me, a sinner.

· Lord God, in your goodness have mercy on me, do not look on my sins but take away all my guilt. Create in me a clean heart and renew within me an upright spirit.

· O my God, I am heartily sorry for all my sins, because they offend You, who are infinitely good, and I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace not to sin again.

· Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Lamb of God; You take away the sins of the world. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit restore me to friendship with Your Father, cleanse me from every stain of sin in the blood you shed for me, for the glory of your name.

· Lord Jesus, You chose to be called the friend of sinners. By your saving death and resurrection free me from my sins. May your peace take root in my heart and bring forth a harvest of love.

AMEN.

Note From The Author of This Guide

Children as you prepare for this precious sacrament Jesus has given us, I want you to cherish in your hearts these few things :-

  • It is Jesus Himself who is present in the sacrament waiting to embrace you.
  • Never say or think these thoughts.. “Ony when I have changed my bad habits or have stop sinning, then I will go for reconciliation.” Go to Him (Jesus) as You are, He will transform you, He will give you the strength and Grace needed to overcome your sin, bad habits or addictions.
  • He loves you no matter what you have thought, said and done.
  • Always turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospels.

Love In Christ,

Julian aka Catholicjules


To Download a copy of this in DOCx format Click -> HERE

JWs Say Jesus Christ is not God

Posted: September 9, 2010 by CatholicJules in Apologetics

Jesus Christ is not God

Here’s a step-by-step way to answer this typical Jehovah’s Witness argument by Tim Staples

Scenario:

Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door on a Saturday afternoon. After a few moments of conversation, one of them spots the crucifix on your wall and remarks, “It’s interesting that Catholics believe that Jesus was God. Did you know that the Bible actually teaches that Jesus was not God?”

This “did you know” question is designed to throw you off balance. If you answer with a “no,” you appear ignorant and you’ve given them an invitation to control the discussion. If you say “yes,” you’ve aligned yourself with their heresy. Instead of a “yes” or “no,” turn the question back on them and take control of the conversation.

Your response:

“That’s an odd point of view. Didn’t you know the Bible teaches that Jesus is God?”

Now you have to make good on your claim. Have the following Bible verses (the ones they’ll use and the ones you’ll use) highlighted in your Bible for easy reference.

Step One:

Ask the Witnesses to read the passages they think disprove Christ’s divinity. Here are several they’ll use and responses you can give:

John 14:28 – Jesus says, “The Father is greater than I.”

The Father is “greater” than the incarnate Christ in terms of position because Christ’s humanity is a creation, though in His divinity He is equal to the Father.

Hebrews 2:9 says that Jesus was made for a while “lower than the angels” at the Incarnation.

Matthew 11:11 says there has never been a man “greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Does this mean John does not have a human nature? Does this mean those in heaven, who are greater than John, have a different nature?

If John the Baptist is the greatest man to ever live, and if Jesus was just a man, does that mean John the Baptist was greater than Jesus, superior to Him by nature? Does that mean Jesus and John could not have both had a human nature?

John 17:3 – “And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” The Witnesses will argue that Jesus can’t be God if the Father is the “only true God,” and they will point out that Christ was praying to God here.

God the Father is “the only true God.” This statement is completely in harmony with the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity: One God in three Persons. Christ’s statement does not entail a denial that He too is God.

Christ was affirming the monotheism of the Jews, that there is only one God. This monotheism is the basis of the Trinity.

Christ is true God and true man (John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9; John 8:58 & Ex. 3:14), and as a man, He prayed to the Father.

John 20:17 – “I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and to your God.” How can the Father be His ‘God’ if Christ is God? How can God have a God?”

Say, “I believe that Jesus is both God and man. Here, he speaks in reference to His human nature. As a man the Father is His God – just as He is ours. He calls the Father His God because He is His God whom He worships, prays to and needs in His life just as we do.”

This verse is a clear reference to the Hypostatic Union of Christ (He was fully God and man).

Rev. 3:14 – “These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God’s creation.”

Notice the text does not say Christ was created. The Greek word translated as “source” or “origin” is arche. It connotes “the eternal source of all that is.”

In Revelation 21:6 Jehovah is called the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end . . . I shall be His God and He shall be My Son.” But Jesus is called the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” in Revelation 22:13. Ask the Witness how Jesus and Jehovah can both be the “Alpha and the Omega.” Also ask if this means that Jehovah God had a “beginning,” because arche is used to describe Him? Here arche means “the source of all being.” Jesus is the source of the creation of God because he is the creator of all things. John 1:1-3 says Jesus (the Word) created “all things . . . and without Him was made nothing that was made.”

If Christ was created, He would have had to have created Himself, which is impossible.

Colossians 1:15-17 – Jesus is called the “first-born of all creation. For in Him were all things created . . . He is before all and by Him all things were created.” JWs think this means Jesus is the first created being.

“First-born” here does not refer to time, but to preeminence. It is a title given by a father to his son. Isaac, Jacob and Ephraim received the blessing of the “first-born,” though they were not biologically the first sons born to their parents.

The text doesn’t say Jesus was created. If so, St. Paul would have said Jesus created all other things, but he did not. Jesus is the Creator of all things. He is God. He is given the title “first-born” as the title of His preeminence and because He is eternally begotten by the Father.

Ask the JWs if they agree that Colossians 1:15-17 means that Christ created everything. They’ll say yes. Then show them Isaiah 44:24: “This is what the Lord says, your Redeemer who formed you in the womb: ‘I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.'” Ask them why, if Christ created “all things,” it says that the Lord God – the Hebrew word used here is Yahweh (Jehovah) – did it by Himself.

Step Two:

Tell the Witnesses you believe God is not a God of confusion, but of order and truth. Since He inspired Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16), Scripture cannot contradict itself. Quote the following verses and show that only the Catholic position harmonizes all of the texts.

John 1:1-3 – “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . All things were made by Him: and without Him was made nothing that was made.”

Before you bring up this verse, ask the JWs if they believe there are false gods. They will say yes. Then ask them to read John 1:1 from their Bible, which changes the passage to read, “the Word was a god” (see below). Then ask if Christ is the “true” God or a “false” God. They will say a “true” god, but that He is not the One True Almighty God. Then ask them how they explain that Jehovah God commands us to have no other God besides Him (Ex. 20:3). Christ is either the One True God, or He is a false god (cf. Isa. 43:10; 44:6-8; John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:4; 1 Tim. 2:5; James 2:19).

Christ is here clearly identified as God, the Creator of all things. Notice that Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning God created” everything in the universe. This means Christ is God.

The JWs will respond that the Greek text actually says “the Word was a god”; meaning, Jesus is not the one true God (Jehovah); He was “godlike,” but still just a man. They argue that because the Greek definite article ho (the) is not used before the Greek word for God (theos), when referring to Jesus, He cannot be the God, Jehovah. There are defects with this argument.

First, in this passage the word theos is a predicate nominative, and according to Koine Greek grammar rules, predicate nominatives do not take the definite article.

Second, the JW’s are inconsistent. Their New World Translation Bible translates theos (without the definite article ho) as “Jehovah” or “God” numerous times (cf. Matt. 5:9, 6:24; Luke 1:35, 2:40; John 1:6, 12,13, 18; Rom. 1:7, 17,18; Titus 1:1). The reason they won’t translate it that way in John 1:1 is because to do so would shatter their claim that Christ is not God.

Third, Christ is called ho theos (the God) elsewhere in Scripture. For example: “But to the Son [the Father] saith, ‘Thy throne, O God (ho theos) is for ever and ever'” (Heb. 1:8; see also Titus 2:13, where the definite article tou [the genetive singular form of ho] precedes the phrase “Great God and Savior”; and “Thomas answered, and said to [Jesus]: ‘My Lord and My God'” (John 20:28). The Greek reads: ho kurios mou kai ho theos mou (“the Lord of me and the God of me”). If the Witnesses argue that in John 20:28 Thomas was exaggerating about Jesus, point out that if Jesus was not God, Thomas would have been blaspheming and Jesus would have rebuked him, but He didn’t – He clearly approves of what Thomas said.

The JWs argue that Thomas referred to Jesus as “Lord” and then to the Father as “God,” respond that there is no evidence for this in the text and Thomas was directly addressing Jesus, not the Father.

Revelation 22:6 – “And the Lord God of the spirits of the prophets (ho kurios ho theos) sent His angel to show His servants the things which must be done shortly.”

Who is the Lord God who sent His angel? The Witnesses will say it is Jehovah, but Revelation 22:16 (just ten verses later) says: “I Jesus have sent my angel, to testify to you these things in the Churches.” Jesus is “the Lord God of the spirits of the prophets” spoken of in verse 6.

Luke 12:8-9 – “And I tell you, every one who acknowledges Me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”

Matthew 13:41 says, “The Son of man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers.” Jesus and God are synonymous.

Genesis 18:25 and Joel 3:12 – Jehovah is the Judge of the world.

Matthew 25:31-46, John 5:27, 9:39; Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; and 2 Timothy 4:1 say that Jesus Christ is the Judge of the world. How can Jesus and Jehovah both be the supreme Judge?

Exodus 3:15-18 – “Then Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is His Name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’. . . ‘Say this to the people of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you. . . The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is My Name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.'”

The Hebrew consonants for the divine name, I AM, are YHWH. By inserting the first three vowels for the Hebrew title for God, Adonai, and corrupting the pronunciation, the term JEHOVAH is made. Ask the JWs if “Jehovah” (I AM) is the Name of the one true God.

Ask the Witnesses if they agree that using the divine Name in vain, or applying it to oneself, would be considered blasphemy in the Old Testament (cf. Ex. 20:7; Deut. 5:11). Ask them what the penalty for doing this would be (cf. Lev. 24:16).

In John 8:21-59 Jesus repeatedly claims the divine name “I AM” for Himself. The Jews understood that He was calling Himself God and wanted to stone Him for blasphemy (cf. John 5:18, 8:59, 10:30-36). Ask the Witnesses why the Jews would seek to stone Jesus if He wasn’t claiming to be God, especially since execution by stoning was reserved by Jewish Law for only a few crimes.

Exodus 20:10 – “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.”

Jesus calls himself “The Lord of the Sabbath” in Mark 2:28, thus identifying Himself as God. Cf., Isaiah 8:13 (referred to in 1 Peter 3:15) and Joel 2:31-32 (quoted in Acts 2:20-21 and Romans 10:13).

Acts 20:28 – “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with His own Blood.”

Ask the Witnesses when Jehovah ever shed His own Blood. Ask them if Christ shed His own Blood for the Church. If they argue that this passage should read “by the Blood of His own Son,” tell them the Greek word son (huios) does not appear. It reads: periepoiesato dia tou haimatos tou idiou.

Finally, point out the many references where Christ is said to have been slain and shed His Blood for the Church (cf. Matt. 28:27-28; Mark 14:24; Luke 20:20; Rev. 5:6). Point out to them Revelation 5:9: “Worthy art Thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for Thou wast slain and by Thy Blood didst ransom men for God . . .” This clearly refers to Christ as God.