Some relationships bring out the best in us; they teach us compassion and forgiveness. Other relationships challenge our values and perceptions of who we are and what we want. Gavin James’ song “Hearts on Fire” is about relationships and the challenges that occur when we’re pulled in different directions.
Key lines: Strangers in my head / Keep making me forget / Where I came from…/ There’s madness in eyes / We’re too blind to realize / Just what we’ve done… / I feel it taking a hold / I feel a rush in my bones / For you / I think we’re caught in a fight / Can we make it alright / With all these shadows on our backs / How can we take it back and / How can we love with our hearts on fire
Questions: What values do you look for in relationships? When has a relationship challenged you? How did you resolve the challenges? What keeps you centered when facing the demands of others? What does loving someone mean?
We all experience times when we lose self-confidence and berate ourselves for not being smart enough or good looking enough, for not fitting into what social media, advertising, even our own peers, tell us is the “popular” way to look and act. These can be challenging times that affect how we see ourselves and our roles within our society. The song “Burn So Bright” is about embracing who we are and letting our light shine in spite of the people who would otherwise keep us down.
Key lines: When you fall, you’re gonna hit hard / When you love with your whole heart / Remember the hard times make ya you / That’s when we’ll show the world / They’re not gonna break us
Questions: When have you felt pressure to look or act a certain way? What are some reasons people get shunned in your school or community? Do you think these reasons are valid? When have you challenged the status quo? How have you handled bullies in your life?
Teens created this cross of Lenten practices. We invite you to download, print, and distribute this resource to the teens in your parish and family at goodgroundpress.com or by clicking on the image above.
Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law and everyone who crowds his doorway; then he goes on to another village to proclaim the good news of God’s nearness. This is the same Jesus who loves and stands by us. The song “Rockabye” is about how people who love give us strength.
Key Lyrics: She tells him “ooh love” / No one’s ever gonna hurt you, love / I’m gonna give you all of my love / Nobody matters like you (stay up there, stay up there) / She tells him “your life ain’t gonna be nothing like my life (straight) / You’re gonna grow and have a good life / I’m gonna do what I’ve got to do” (yeah)
Questions: When you are making a difficult decision, how do the people around you help you? How do they challenge you? How do they support you? How do you handle pressure that threatens your values? Where do you think our world needs healing?
When someone we love is going through a tough time, we can easily make excuses and ignore issues. We don’t want to anger or hurt a friend. But an alcoholic parent or a bully can push us into action. At these times it’s best to take a page out of Jesus’ book, address issues honestly and openly, and take our stance. Standing firm can be hard. The song “Howlin’ Wind” reminds us to listen to that quiet voice inside and let it guide us down the right path.
Key lines: You call my name / Speaking peace to my fear / Watch you calm the storm with one whisper in my ear / ‘Cause in my own strength / My roots went dry / Broken branches got tossed at night / I gave in to the howlin’ wind / So I let you in / You’ll still the howlin’ wind
Questions: When have you had to stand your ground? What made it easy? What made it difficult? When is it important to take a stand? Who speaks the truth in
your school or community?
Jesus begins his ministry with these words: “This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God draws near. Change your attitude and believe in the Gospel.” Jesus serves as the ultimate role model in how we should treat ourselves and each other; he challenges unjust laws and perspectives; he teaches us the importance of forgiveness and mercy. Just as Jesus leads by example, Bea Miller’s song “Brand New Eyes” is about waking up to the truth of our purpose, regardless of the challenges that may come our way.
Key lines: I’m wide awake now, I’m free of the doubt / Don’t wanna look down / And if I fall out, I lay on the ground / And look to the clouds / It’s like I got brand new eyes, and I can finally see / What has always been right there in front of me / And with these brand new eyes I’ll take in everything / And I will finally see me
Questions: Who serves as a role model for you? What have you learned from your role models? How have you applied what you learned to your own life? How has Jesus influenced your ideas and actions? What challenges have you overcome because you’ve followed Jesus’ example?
Heifer International is an organization that makes its mission to eradicate poverty and hunger in the world, a mission like Jesus’ own. It is featured in Spirit this week. Heifer educates people about the lives of people who need help with the basics to thrive. The learning center invites young people to experience a “day in the life” of families from different countries where poverty is more common. The song “Tapestry” is about taking stock of the world around us and opening our minds to people we don’t know, who live differently than we do, who get by with less. Real world situations open our eyes to people’s needs in ways that can become part of our tapestry. We can learn to approach social issues with compassion and work together on creative solutions that help raise people up.
Key lines: Have you felt a revolution? / Do you ever sit to stop and pause / Just to take a little moment / To see what’s mine and yours? / And all the things that I’ve seen / You will always be part of my tapestry / And all the places I’ve been / You will always be part of my tapestry
Questions: How hard is finding God in the world today? When have you experienced God? What in the natural world inspires you? Who in the human community inspires you? Who helps you step beyond yourself in your concerns?