“But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.”
This session we are going to focus on how the Holy Spirit through our Confirmation provides us with spiritual gifts to grow our faith in God. As you may remember from Session 18 when we receive the sacrament of Confirmation we are solidified as members of the Church. The Tradition of the Church teaches that these gifts are extended to all of the faithful through the sacraments of Baptism and especially Confirmation (Catechism, #1303). It is then that we receive an outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The ultimate purpose of the gifts is help us grow in holiness and become the saint we are created to be.
Theological Virtues– These were freely given to us by God at our baptism and are tools we can use to find our way back to Him. These are: Faith, Hope, Love. Cardinal Virtues– These are the holy habits that we have to work on to develop and maintain throughout our lives. These are: Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, Temperance.
7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Wisdom helps us recognize the importance of others and the importance of keeping God central in our lives.
Understanding is the ability to comprehend the meaning of God’s message. It lets us see things through God’s point of view.
Knowledge is the ability to think about and explore God’s revelation, and also to recognize there are mysteries of faith beyond us.
Counsel is the ability to see the best way to follow God’s plan when we have choices that relate to him. Holy common sense to make good choices.
Fortitude is the courage to do what one knows is right.
Piety helps us pray to God in true devotion. Keeps our relationship as children of God in perspective so that we can truly reverence God.
Fear of the Lord is the feeling of amazement before God, who is all-present, and whose friendship we do not want to lose.
Looking to 1 Corinthians is a good source for teaching this to children and is where we found inspiration. We are all given these different gifts which come together to one “body” of the Church.
Watch: This video short with your child to help him learn more about what the Holy Spirit does in our lives. Watch this video short that is a summary of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Watch Moses and The Burning Bush and King Solomon’s Dream. Then read about these stories in a children’s Bible.
This is an “object lesson.” Use this script to teach the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Gather these supplies: Small bag (lunch bag),Starburst Candy, Smarties, Heart shaped paper, or sticker or cookie cutter, Stick of Gum, Card with “1,2,3” on it, Pretzels (traditional shape), Circle with a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other. As you teach each gift, you have your child pull the corresponding object from the bag and show it to you. See if your child can teach the lesson back to you using the objects as prompts.
Vocabulary words to discuss with your child: Piety and Fear of the Lord
Prayer of the Week: Our Father, Act of Faith
Saints of the Week: March 7 is the feast of Saints Perpetua and Felicity. They are the Patron Saint of mothers, expectant mothers, ranchers and butchers. One really fascinating aspect of these two women saints is that we have a written record of their Passion. The Diary of Saint Perpetua describes her ordeal of being persecuted and the imprisonment she and Saint Felicity endured. Saint Felicity was a pregnant slave and little else is known about her besides her being a Christian. Saint Perpetua, a married young mother, was born into an aristocratic family. Due to her background she was considered a Roman citizen. She was an educated woman, and used her literacy to document her imprisonment, which is why her dairy is significant in our understanding of how Christians were being treated. Her diary, along with an eyewitness’s account of her death, is one of the oldest, most reliable histories of a martyr’s sufferings. Saint Perpetua’s execution alongside slaves demonstrated Christianity’s ability to transcend social distinctions. A deep contrast to the inequality that pervaded Roman religion and society. Saints Perpetua and Felicity were equal in martyrdom despite their differences in class and they made the dramatic statement that Christianity transcended social structure. Because of this significance their names are the first two of the 7 women included in the Roman Canon. While the gruesome details of their martyr’s death may not be for all ages to hear talking about Perpetua and Felicity being steadfast in their faith is a good lesson to learn.
Other saints to introduce your child this week are: St. Bernadette, St. Albert the Great, and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Homework First Year Sacramental Prep: Practice the Angel of God prayer and the Glory Be, Hail Mary, and Our Father. Watch Moses and The Burning Bush and King Solomon’s Dream. Then read about these stories in a children’s Bible. (This is listed above in the Watch section.) Complete any past assessments you have missed. All assessments are due no later than April 30, 2021.
Homework Second Year Sacramental Prep: Complete Spirit of Truth pp. 109-111. These pages will be handed in at the end of the month. Practice the Sign of the Cross, the Angel of God prayer, the Glory Be, the Hail Mary, the 10 Commandments and an Act of Contrition. Use the First Penance Prep At Home Retreat to prepare your child to receive the sacrament of Confession. Watch Moses and The Burning Bush and King Solomon’s Dream. Then read about these stories in a children’s Bible. (This is listed above in the Watch section.) Complete any past assessments you have missed. All assessments are due no later than April 30, 2021.
Homework Years 3-6th Grades: Read from The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism: Lesson 10, pages 64-68. Share with your child The Seven Sacraments of the Church Guide and talk about the form and matter of each sacrament. Watch this video short that is a summary of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. (For the older kids 6-8th Watch this week’s video with your child. This is made for their age group.) The following prayers should be memorized: Guardian Angel. Hail Mary, Glory Be, and Our Father. Continue memorizing Act of Contrition and Apostles Creed. Start memorizing Acts of Faith, Hope, Love. Complete any past assessments you have missed. All assessments are due no later than April 30, 2021.
Activity Ideas: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit craft from Catholic Inspired is a very good one to do that is both easy and makes an excellent visual of the Gifts. There are two options for the two versions of this craft. A paper plate option or making it on a large piece of paper as a piece of art work. Both are offered in a version that you print and assemble or print color then assemble. They are in English and Spanish. Their Pentecost activity page is here. ***Some of these things may require signing up to be an email subscriber to get a passcode to access their crafts. They won’t spam you if that’s what may deter you in subscribing.****
Make a Holy Spirit Pin-less Pentecost pinwheel. Print out the pinwheel and assemble.
This straw and paper fire launcher looks like fun to make. Or even making some Flying Flames could be a great activity to take outside.
Making some Flames of Pentecost cupcakes would be a sweet way to talk about the Holy Spirit. Enjoy the cupcakes while reading the chapter The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost in Tomie dePaola’s Book of Bible Stories.
Grow your mustard seeds! The gifts of the Holy Spirit are like little seeds planted in our hearts at baptism that grow with us. Use your window seed growing bag to start your mustard plants. Add a little bit of dirt and the seeds to the bag. Affix to a sunny window. Water as needed and watch for sprouts. You can also grow the seeds on a damp paper towel. Here are some instructions for germinating seeds in a bag.
Confession Resources: Here are some tips for you and your child on how to make a Good Examination of Conscience. Here is an Examination of Conscience for your middle school child. Please bring an Act of Contrition for your child to use as a “cheat sheet.” Not all of the confessionals have the prayer posted anymore.