Journal the Sacraments

This article launches our new “Journaling the Sacraments” series, based on the article I wrote for RTJ Creative Catechist.
(January 2013)

Over the next few weeks, I plan to highlight a few ideas to celebrate the First Sacraments, giving them the significance and hoopla that they deserve.  I’m hoping to offer ideas to help integrate the regular reception of the Sacraments into family life… with reverence and enthusiasm!

 



We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and graduations. We hold retirement parties, baby and wedding showers. We also have Sacrament celebrations, but are they once-in-a-lifetime rites of passage or do they help to demonstrate the indelible mark of the Holy Spirit, identifying us as newly initiated members of the Body of Christ?
Our efforts and celebrations only pale in comparison with the graces received at our first Sacraments, but we can help our children further dedicate themselves to their journey of Faith. We can build on the momentum created through faith formation with the same enthusiasm as our extra-curricular interests and accomplishments.

As a child takes pride in growing independence, skills and achievements, we wish to celebrate their spiritual growth. As a child strives to establish a unique identity, further articulated by strengths and talents, we want them to take note of the special events on their journey of Faith; moments when they received Grace, but also moments of decision, times when their Faith was surely tested and times when they felt huddled close in the Arms of God.
 
 
One approach is to get young people to journal through their prayer lives, recording their discoveries and questions along their spiritual journey and logging important milestones, such as first Sacraments and each absolution they receive through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

We created the Hand in hand with Jesus Faith Journal, packed with prayerful reflection prompts about their experiences of the Sacraments and their maturing prayer life, along with questions about the Sacraments based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  This hard cover book is packed with illustrations to color and prayerful reflections, making it a wonderful keepsake of the child’s journey of Faith….and an awesome Sacrament gift to treasure for years to come… for your children, grandchildren, Godchildren and friends!

 

Encourage the child to record their prayers, their questions about their Faith and their prayerful reflections.  Encourage them to share reflections if they want to and make sure that they know that you are always available to talk to them if they have any questions about their Faith.  Priests are also awesome to talk to…remind your kids that we can always take questions about our Faith…to a priest!  They have had years of education and preparation in theology and catechism…and we can learn so much from them!

Establish a code of privacy within the family, explaining to all family members the importance of a Spiritual Journey Journal.  If you suspect that the book may be too great a temptation for another sibling to resist looking at, encourage the child to have a safe place to keep the book, rather than leaving it lying around in full view. Writing in a journal can easily turn into prayer.  We can write the Lord with our questions, concerns…and even our vents!  If we’re listening…we may even hear His Response..in our hearts.  Encourage the child to find a quiet place to pray, read good spiritual reading, reflect, journal and listen for the Lord’s response to them.  This is an ongoing process…and can take a lifetime to learn how to do, but an awesome habit for your young child to begin.

Comments

  1. Love this….thank you Monica:)
    xoxo
    Chris

  2. I tried the code, and it says it is expired.

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