Preparing for your children for reconciliation
Lesson 1 Reconciliation
We have the power to love!
Way back when …a real long time ago, God was so happy that God created men, women, the birds and the flowers! Why did God do this? I reckon the only reason is that God just wanted to share the happiness that made God so super-duper happy!
God is Love and in a special way human beings are called to share in God’s blissful life of love because we were created with a mind to understand love, a memory so we could think about our loved ones and the ability to love! This great power is the ability to choose to be good to other people and God. This is what love is!
We know about love because Jesus showed us all how to do it. Jesus was so good to everyone that he was prepared to not think about himself but to do the right thing when the time came! We know that his time was when he offered his life as a sacrifice on the Cross to reveal just how much he loves us!
We have this great power to love and to always be good just like Jesus. Jesus’ love was the biggest love ever! God loves us heaps! In fact God loves us unconditionally and calls us to respond to his love! We do this by loving one another and God!
- We all have the power to love!
- God calls us to respond to God’s love
- Discuss with mum and dad how you think God wants you to use your power to love
Lesson 2 Reconciliation
God wants us to unleash our special power of love. God taught us rules that help us to treat each other well and to love one another. God taught us the Ten Commandments and Jesus taught us two special commandment that help us keep all ten!
Watch and discuss with mum and dad the video on God’s commandments and then try to figure out how Jesus commandments make it easy for us to put all ten into practice! Do you think that if we are determined to love God above all else we could keep all of the commandments?
The Ten Commandments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4kOTEZV4PM
Jesus’ special commandments: “Jesus said ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Once you have finished check out this video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nWiCxNpIJw
Responding to God’s love
To help us know how to respond to God’s love Jesus taught us two special commandments that teach us how to show love to God and others. They sum up all the Ten Commandments!
- Make a list of things that show how you might love others as Jesus
- Would these be on your list?
- Obeying parents and teachers?
- Being kind and good to others?
- Being loyal?
- Respecting the property of others?
- Telling lies?
- Being content with the things you have been given?
- Cleaning up after you?
- Being jealous?
- How would you show your love for God?
- Would these be on your list?
Lesson 3 Reconciliation
The golden rule!
God wants us to unleash our special power of love. Jesus taught us the most brilliant rule that will always help us to do that! It is called the golden rule. The rule is we treat each other as we would like them to treat us! Jesus said “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
- Think about this great rule Jesus has taught us. Do you think it helps you to use your power of love?
- What are two examples you can think of that would help other people treat you better?
- What are two examples you can think of that would help you treat other people better?
- Do you think they would have killed Jesus if they used this rule?
- Do you think this rule could help you be a better person? Ask mum and dad if they always live by this rule.
- Sometimes we need to forgive one another!
Check out these videos online!
Lesson 4 Reconciliation
We all have the power to love but sometimes we don’t always choose to use it! Sometimes we turn away from God’s love and are selfish and naughty and go astray by making bad choices! Sin is turning away from God’s love and making selfish choices that we know are bad!
We know how to love God because God has taught us how to live by giving us the 10 commands and Jesus’ special commandments. Sin is thinking we know better than God and doing what we want to do. When we sin we turn away from God’s love, ignore our conscience and disobey God!
When we sin we turn away from God’s love by making bad choices that destroy our relationship with God. Sin is turning our back on God so God is no longer a part of our life. We sin because we do not trust enough in God's love! If we trusted enough we wouldn’t rebel against God who loves us. The consequence of sin is that we lack the joy God wants to give us by being a part of our lives! Sin makes us really unhappy!
Doing right or wrong
Sin is what happens when we choose to do something we know is wrong. This makes us unhappy. When we choose to do good things we live the way God has planned and this makes us happy. Deliberately doing something wrong is a bad choice. Making a decision about doing something good or bad is called a moral choice.
- A moral choice is a choice between something good or bad as opposed to choosing cornflakes over porridge!
- We have a special ability to know what if what we do is right or wrong, good or bad! This ability comes by our listening to our conscience!
- We respond to God’s love through making good moral choices.
Listening to our conscience
Moral conscience, present in the heart of the person, is a judgment of reason which helps that person to do good and to avoid evil. Thanks to moral conscience a person knows that what they are considering doing is either a good or bad choice! When attentive to moral conscience a person can hear the voice of God who speaks to him or her.
- Discuss with mum and dad what conscience is and how it helps you in making good choices.
Lesson 5 Reconciliation
We all have the power to love but sometimes we don’t always do it! Sometimes we don’t always obey our conscience and go astray by making bad choices!
Please watch this video called the “Parable of the Lost Sheep”
What happened? The sheep wanted to wander off and do what it wanted to do but the good shepherd stopped him, keeping him safe. But he snuck of anyhow! He was really determined to do the wrong thing! …Then what happened? He got caught in a tree –the sheep got trapped because it didn’t do what it was told! Luckily the shepherd saved him!
This story tells us all about God’s love for us. When we listen to this story and apply it to ourselves and Jesus we understand there is nothing that could stop the good shepherd (Jesus) from searching after us, finding us and bringing us back home to God’s family.
God loves us unconditionally
Jesus wants to be our friend no matter what! He doesn’t say I will love you only if you give me your lunch, your toys, your bus money, or even your pocket money. He loves us unconditionally. Jesus is our best friend. Because of this love he chases after us when we go astray, when we run away! Nothing can stop Jesus and nothing will stop him from wanting to be our best friend.
Even so sometimes we run away from God. Sometimes we don’t want to do as we are told! Sometimes we think we are big enough to live all by ourselves and we say to ourselves “I am going to do what I want!” And so we run away from God by disobeying him and making bad choices. That is what we call sin. When we sin we turn our backs on God. But Jesus is good; he loves us and finds us. When we say we are sorry for being so naughty Jesus forgives us our sins –he forgives all the bad things we do.
And this all happens when we go to reconciliation, when we tell Jesus (hidden in the priest) the bad things so Jesus can forgive us and take away our sins that separate us from God. And so there is a very happy ending to our story.
Preparing for Recnciliation
As we saw in the video sometimes we can wander off and need Jesus to bring us back to God. This is what reconciliation is! Sometimes haven’t behaved as we should, sometimes we have given trouble to our parents and teachers, sometimes we have quarrelled and called people names, or we have been lazy, unhelpful, thought too much about ourselves and told lies, or haven’t been good to others when we had the chance. When you go to make your first reconciliation you are asking Jesus to absolve you of all of our sins. You need to prepare for this encounter and the most important thing for you to do is to examine how you have failed to respond to God’s love in your life.
- Go through the Ten Commandments with mum and dad to help you examine your conscience.
Examination of Conscience for children
A great way to prepare for Reconciliation is to think about the 10 Commandments. As we think of the Commandments, we ask ourselves if we have faithfully kept each one.
1. GOD COMES FIRST: Did I pray each day? Did I act with respect in Church? Did I participate at Mass?
2. GOD’S NAME IS HOLY: Did I always use God’s Name in the right way? Did I treat and talk about holy things properly?
3. GOD’S DAY IS HOLY: Did I go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days? Did I miss Mass through my own fault?
4. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER: Did I obey my parents? Did I treat them with respect? Was I obedient and respectful to my teachers, priests and others in authority?
5. DO NOT KILL: Have I been kind to my brothers and sisters, friends and people in my classroom by not hitting or hurting their bodies? Did I harm anyone’s reputation by hurtful, cruel words?
6. BE PURE: Were my thoughts, words and actions good and pure? Have I been careful to watch only good movies, shows and things on the computer? Have I been careful in what I have listened to and what I have said? Have I dressed and acted modestly?
7. DO NOT STEAL: Have I always been honest? Did I take what didn’t belong to me? Did I return what I borrowed or found? If I broke something, did I fix or replace it? Did I cheat on my homework or tests?
8. DO NOT LIE: Have I always told the truth? Have I said or repeated anything hurtful about anyone that was not necessary to say? Was I quiet about something when I should have spoken up? (sin of omission)
9 &10. DO NOT WANT YOUR NEIGHBOR’S WIFE OR THINGS: Have I been satisfied with what I have? Have I been jealous of another’s things, toys or belongings? Have I begged from my family and friends for what they have and what I want? Am I thankful for what I have?
Lesson 6 Reconciliation
Receiving forgiveness from God
When we confess our sins, Jesus absolves us of our sins by speaking through the priest who pronounces the words of absolution. This reconciles us to God. Check out this video on the great gift that we receive when we confess our sins, receive absolution and are reconciled to God.
The next step
Confessing our sins and being reconciled to God
Let me stress that the most important thing for anyone to do before going to confession is to make a thorough examination of conscience to know what sins we have committed and to be truly sorry for our sins. We ask the Holy Spirit to help us remember our sins, are sorry for them and decide never to commit these sins again. When you have prepared yourself well you are ready to confess your sins, to receive absolution and to be reconciled to God!
- Confession is the next step. Once we know what needs to be confessed we go into the confessional and start by making the sign of the Cross. Then we say words similar to “Forgive me (or “Bless me”) father for I have sinned, my last confession was … (or this is my first confession) and I wish to tell God I am sorry for …”
- The priest will help you by giving you some advice. Then he will give you a penance.
- Next you will be asked to say your prayer of sorrow otherwise called an act of contrition: “O my God I am very sorry that I have sinned against you for you are so good and with the help of Your grace I will try not to sin again.”
- Next the priest will absolve you saying “God the Father of mercies through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to Himself and sent among us the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins through the ministry of the Church. May God give you pardon and peace and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
- The priest will dismiss you and then you are to do your penance.
The last thing to do is to review what we have learnt! God loves us unconditionally and created us to love God back! Loving God is the greatest commandment because if we love God we can love one another and keep all of God’s laws! Doing to others what you would like them to do to you is a great way to love other people.
Although we have the power to love we don’t always make good moral choices. This is because sometimes we fail to love God by failing to listen to our conscience. But even if we go astray God loves us unconditionally and nothing can separate us from the love of God. When we receive absolution we have our sins forgiven by Jesus and are no longer separated from God. In fact receiving absolution reconciles us to God! Have you prepared yourself to confess your sins, to receive absolution and to be reconciled to God? Check out this last video to see how simple Reconciliation is!