SPIRIT Online is the only religion program for teens that links the Sunday Gospels to their lives. And it is all online—ready for teens on their phones and tablets. Ready for you to forward to parents and Confirmation sponsors. SPIRIT begins on October 6th this year. The autumn issues feature a series on prayer. Advent brings the prophecies of Isaiah for a peaceful world. The Sundays after Christmas explore Jesus as he teaches and heals in Galilee. The Lent and Easter issues ask teens what kind of Christians they want to be.
Any Sunday Gospel or SPIRIT issue can lead to conversion. When we let the Holy Spirit in, something good takes root. We are happy that SPIRIT is a part of that for the teens in your care. Please call Lacy at 800-232-5533 to set up your subscription for 2019-2020. Or go to goodgroundpress.com to place your order. May the blessings of summer be yours in abundance.
When someone we love dies, the relationship can seem lost. Spirit this week deals not only with loss but also resurrection. The stories in this issue tell us that while someone is no physically be with us any longer, their presence within us stays and lasts. Louis Tomlinson’s song “Two of Us” reminds us that those we love are never really gone but live on in our memories and actions.
Key Lyrics:So I will keep you day and night, here until the day I die / I’ll be living one life for the two of us / I will be the best of me, always keep you next to me / I’ll be living one life for the two of us / Even when I’m on my own, I know I won’t be alone / Tattooed on my heart are the words of your favourite song / I know you’ll be looking down, swear I’m gonna make you proud / I’ll be living one life for the two of us
Questions: When have you lost someone you loved? What do you most remember about the person? In what way do you experience the person still with you? How have you helped someone through an illness? How did the illness affect your relationship?
Holy Week is time to reflect on the last days of Jesus’ life—his last supper with his friends, his trial, crucifixion, and death. Throughout his ministry, Jesus teaches humility, compassion, and forgiveness. In his final actions he lives out his message in wholehearted love for us. The song “Becoming” expresses how we look to Jesus as a guide and live his message. It reflects on how we follow Jesus in our relationships with friends, family, and neighbors, how we can be beacons of hope.
Key Lyrics:Life is a house full of rooms / Each door opens to another door / I can’t walk into something new / Till I leave behind where I was before / ‘Cause I, I’m becoming / I, I’m becoming / It’s progress, not perfection / Not arrival, it’s direction / It’s the living and the learning / Not the finish line but the journey
Questions: Reflect back on the past weeks of Lent. What have you discovered about Jesus? About your commitment as his follower? What practices do you want to continue year-round? In what liturgies of Holy Week will you take part?
1. Free Downloads! Teens created this cross of Lenten practices. We invite you to download, print, and distribute it at goodgroundpress.com. We also have other free downloads and activities for teens and their families on our Lent Resources page.
2. Online Retreats Is there a teen in your life who needs to pray? A Confirmation candidate who missed the Confirmation retreat? A young person struggling with God or Church, or both? We have two teen-tested short online retreats that can help. Review them below. Then forward the link or this email to the teen you are thinking of. Our prayers go with them.
This week’s SPIRIT celebrates the Starry Night Prom that students at De La Salle High School host for people who are disabled. The prom has become a favorite event for both the hosts and the guests as both delight in friendship and happiness. The song “High Hopes” reflects optimism and celebrates what makes each of us unique and beautiful.
Key lines:Had to have high, high hopes for a living / Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing / Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision / Always had high, high hopes / Had to have high, high hopes for a living / Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling / I was gonna be that one in a million / Always had high, high hopes
Questions: How do differently-abled students fit in at your school and community? What have you learned from volunteering with people unlike you? How does volunteering build relationships and understanding?
Jesus tells us “…Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you and pray for those who insult you.” Jesus values compassion towards all, from our family and friends, to those we consider enemies, to those we know nothing about at all. In the case of people who hurt us, this can be a difficult challenge. Keep in mind that we don’t always know why people behave the way they do. Kari Jobe’s song “Closer to Your Heart” is about embracing an attitude of compassion. When we do this, we live more like Jesus did and can create positive change in our schools and communities. Key Lyrics:I get lost inside this wonder / Cause there’s so much to discover /New dimensions of your glory / And I’ve only seen a glimpse / You keep drawing me, you keep drawing me / Closer to your heart / You keep calling me, you keep calling me / Closer to your heart
Questions: When have you experienced an unexpected act of compassion? When have you extended compassion to someone else? What did you see that made you extend a hand to them? How can you spread an attitude of compassion around your school and community? What kind of communities will Jesus’ teaching create? What is a way you practice loving your enemies?
This week’s SPIRIT tells us the story of Father Tolton, the first African-American priest, whose dedicated ministry wore him out too young. Racism and white privilege persist—Jim Crow laws, current incarceration levels, the death of too many young African Americans. Black Lives Matter. Accepting all who are different from us challenges us every day. Father Tolton gives an inspiring example of persevering against ignorance to serve Black Catholic parishes. The song “Better Than Today” is reminds us all of the strength we have inside of us and create positive change within our community and the people around us.
Key Lyrics:I don’t read the headlines / And I don’t watch the news / ‘Cause silence faith in something every time I do / Well I don’t need to bury / My head in the sand / But I’m just tryna live this life as best as I can / Times get tough / But I don’t give up / ‘Cause I know I’m not alone
Questions: When have you experienced prejudice? How did it make you feel? What did the experience teach you? When have you recognized prejudice in yourself? Who in your school or city have you seen disrespected? How did you handle it? What are some ways you can combat prejudice in your school or city?