Lectio Divina; Praying with Scripture

I’ve talked about Lectio Divina Before

Prayer 100 Ways

Prayer by Memory?

50 ways to Pray

The Importance of Continuing Education

but wanted to draw your attention to several websites to find Random Verses to pray from

The First is Bible Dice

click the “New Scripture” button and you are given a short Bible passage to meditate on.

Bible Gateway also has a verse of the day

Bible Gateway mentioned above is also a great way to compare scriptures from different Bible versions as you can type in a scripture and then choose the Bible you want to see it from whether King James, NIV, New English, …they have probably every bible published in multiple languages you can find what you need there.

It is almost like having a concordance at your fingertips  as you are able to search by bible passage, or word….such as “love”

the USCCB has  Today’s readings page for more detailed versions of the bible passages of the day in the catholic church

and finally I found a site called Daily Bible.com that has a short verse and prayer daily.

Consider using one of these more random selectors as a way to pray.

Read the verse

Several times

Meditation/thinking between readings

then Read it again and feel what stands out to you.

Think about why it stands out to you

Pray about why it stands out to you.

and then

Use that wisdom as you go through your day.

For more on Lectio Divina: read this article on Lectio Divina by by Fr. Luke Dysinger, O.S.B. 

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What does the Catholic Church REALLY Believe??

If you are a seasoned Catechist(Religious Education Teacher) you can probably answer some of those types of questions that come up from your students

if not perhaps a book like this would get you started:

but really?? what do you know ..about what the Catholic Church REALLY teaches, and how do you know what you know??

That is the million dollar question isn’t it?

Every teacher should have at their access

– a bible with a concordance

helps you to find and cross reference bible verses

– a copy of the CURRENT Catholic Catechism(something post vatican II) not that things prevatican II are unimportant, however some of those teachings no longer reflect the CURRENT OFFICIAL view of the Catholic Church.

this is the one I have  it is THICK and you need to pay attention to the margins…etc…to properly and effectively use it but it will give you the official doctrine you need to teach well.

The Catholic church does not believe the Bible is to be taken literally

Source/Notes:
Newsweek interview (2004)

Read more at http://izquotes.com/quote/246660

but rather we are to take into account, when reading the bible:

-literary style

-the times it was written in

-who it was written to

-for what purpose it was written

Did you know you can read the encyclicals and teachings …for free

on the Vatican Website

even the Catechism of the Catholic Church is there but I would suggest getting the book it is much easier to go through and mark with post its and highlights than a virtual version

another great reference on catholic teachings is the

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

there you can find daily prayers, bible readings, social teachings, current news etc

so please

take some time this summer

to check what you know, and how you know it

so you can help your students in the best way possible to grow in their Catholic Faith.

and finally a meditative moment for you

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The Importance of Continuing Education for the Religious Educator

With or Without a degree

We all(if we are teaching about God, Jesus, and the bible) have had some (or should have had) education along the way, whether our own education growing up or further studies in college or offered at churches in the form of Bible studies etc.

If an opportunity presents itself to learn more, and if it is offered at a time you can reasonably partake….you should.

You may sit through the first few classes and not get it or you may know more than is being taught, in either case if the person teaching the class is good and knows their topic chances are

you will learn something new.

you will have an AHA moment

perhaps

– a new way to pray

-a new way to teach

-a new way to think about a bible passage, or religious topic

-a new insight into yourself and your beliefs

Currently I am taking

edXHome Page

NotreDameX: TH120.1x Jesus in Scripture and Tradition

Sometimes the conversation feels over my head

but other times I get the aha moment

for example today’s first lecture summarizing the first weeks of the course

“It must be the case for the Christian reader, that this reader can ponder
the mystery of the identity of Jesus more deeply by considering
his relationship to the Jewish people and their scriptures.”…….”What the Bible calls us to do is not so much master the subject
as to begin contemplating this mystery that constitutes our subject.”

We will never fully know God, we will never fully understand the messages of the Bible

However each reading of a bible passage, (try the prayer form Lectio Divina sometime) see these 1 or 2 for descriptions on how to pray Lectio Divina brings us closer to knowing God’s call for us

Through Contemplation and rereading, biblical passages and prayers we can discern how to deal with all we face in our daily lives.

Another class I took was on

The Letters of the Apostle Paul

offered through Harvard x(and is still available as an archived course on ed x I believe)

It was a very academic approach to examine the letters of St. Paul.  But it was undoubtedly fascinating.

Even the Catholic Church tells us we should consider the letters, and to Where, Who, Why, they were written.  The Church tells us the letters should not be taken literally but rather should be read as to what they meaning they have to us today.

Then I took a course called

Spirituality and Sensuality: Sacred Objects in Religious Life

HamiltonX – RELST005.5xEnded – Apr 22, 2015

A very different look at Worlds Religions and how they all use objects and the 5 senses to help them experience their spirituality more fully

think :

incense, crosses, bells, music, bread, wine  etc…

and Finally

I have taken advantage of taken various courses offered by local and regional groups and retreats, I earned my Beginning Certification in Religious Education, and have continued taking classes to earn the required clock hours.

The biggest thing I have learned is

THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO KNOW.

I thought going into teaching religious education, that because my degree in college included so many courses on Christianity that I knew a lot (and I do)  but my classes touched the surface and I crave to go deeper

deeper into different types of prayer

deeper into bible reading

deeper into my faith which I sometimes feel is just in its infancy.

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Laudato Si’

Pope Francis has released his Encyclical Letter:

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
LAUDATO SI’
OF THE HOLY FATHER

FRANCIS
ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

I have only begun to delve into it but it is worth reading and rereading and expanding your knowledge.

here are just a few clips I took on my ipod that stood out to me

The encyclical is environmental

and

cultural

and

completely

RELEVANT TO THE WORLD WE ARE SURROUNDED BY

are you ready to read the full encyclical yet?

find it here:

Laudato Si’

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They’ll know we are Christians by our LOVE

I find it interesting, I have taken several classes both in person and online on Christianity and have been to and worked at several varieties of churches

and it always surprises me

that some of the cruelest people

are those that proclaim to be Christian.

We sit at mass, at church, at service

and

even before we leave the doors the time when we should be going out to share the good news

there are those who decline into gossip

and on Monday at work or at the store later in the week

the very people who piously sit in their pews

are cussing and ranting about this or that

we cannot bring people to know our God

by negative actions and behaviors

I am not proclaiming to be perfect

I have on occasion listened to and participated in Gossip

many do (gossip)and often  think it is not harmful

but it’s like a game of telephone

try

the next time instead of listening to gossip

to turn the conversation

and share the gospel even if all it is is to say “I really don’t like gossip”

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silence in the face of uncertainty

My parish recently began searching for a new Religious Education Director

this would be our third since I’ve been teaching

Though I sat on the interview committees for this one and the previous one

I wondered and still wonder

how our opinions affect other’s thoughts and choices or if other people are so stuck in their thoughts/opinions that they don’t even consider other points

so after stating my reasons for my choice(and there were few to choose from)

I got quiet

not out of arrogance, or anger

I got quiet

and

I gave it to God

there are so many things in this life that are so important

My God, My family, My kids, My 1st graders in religious ed.

After several losses in the last six months or so I don’t have time for petty arguments, or activities that have no foreseeable purpose

Will our new leader do well, or will we regret the decision

that remains to be seen.

But I am called to teach the Gospel, the Bible, the word of God to anyone that will listen….

right now that teaching is geared to 1st graders but in the future…who knows.

and now

silence.

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What to pray when you don’t know what to pray.

What do you do

when faced with an impossible situation, or tragedy

and

you want to pray

but words have escaped you?

Pray the Lords prayer, the rosary, the sign of the cross, a favorite bible verse like the 23rd psalm

We teach memorized prayers, and at times bible verses

not just to do it and say we did it

but those prayers are meant to help us in times when we can’t come up with the words ourselves

sometimes all I say is “Lord Help Me”

Here are some of my favorite prayers and bible verses(in no particular order) I have found in neat picture form doing web searches:

OH Sacred Heart of Jesus I place all my trust in thee.

and finally

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The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father

  • not just your father
  • not just my father
  • not just his or her father

but Our Father

  • the father of creation
  • of people we like and love
  • of people we don’t like
  • even the father of bullies
  • even the father of those who don’t acknowledge him

Who art in Heaven

  • God our Father is there
  • where is heaven
  • perhaps it is very near by and
  • he is watching over us

Hallowed be thy name

  • Our Father is Holy
  • Our Father is Good
  • Our Father is to be honored

Thy kingdom come Thy Will be done

  • not my world
  • not my will
  • my life is in your hands Father

On Earth as it is in Heaven

  • all needs are met for all who know and love the Lord

Give us this day our daily bread

  • give us what we need
  • the love of others
  • compassion
  • safety
  • food for body and soul

and Forgive us our Trespasses

  • we are human
  • unholy
  • forgive us our sins

As We forgive those who trespass against us

  • let us not hang on to those things that have hurt us
  • let us remember “those” are also human

Lead us not into temptation

  • help us be mindful of the things that keep us from you
  • turn our heads from snares and traps

but deliver us from evil

  • when we our struggling,
  • hold our hand and carry us away from the evil that surrounds

Amen

 

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Wrapping up the year

well…the religious ed year anyway

We review what we’ve learned all year and this year we’ve tried new ways of reviewing

We have two products I’ve never used before with 1st graders

wipe off boards with handles

kinda like this:(except ours don’t have plastic handles….just cardboard)

and

a set of 4 buzzers like this

so we did some reviews

for the wipe off boards each kid got one(we have 12 in my class)

then I asked questions from simple to difficult, giving them a minute to write their answer then we

I yelled “FLIP” and they showed their answers…

so much fun and a change of pace as we head into summer and the kids get antsy

then with the buzzers

we divided into two teams(so we only used 2 buzzers…well my coteacher used one too in case the kids seemed stumped)

and did the same thing

asked a question

first to buzz in answered…sometimes with help from their team

despite being warned not to help each other….it was all in fun so we let it slide.

anyway….

just a few more classes and we are done till next year.

as we send them off to summer we will remind them to go out and share the gospel

to be the good news that the people around them need to see.

and to all my fellow catechists:

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Step Out In Love!

soo true…step out one foot in front of the other and change the world.

and not just for catholics but for all who want to see our world change for the better.

It happens one step at a time, one instant at a time, one person at a time

and if each of us takes our steps together much change can happen.

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