Spirit explores what it means to be in a healthy relationship. The high school years are prime time for making friends and dating. Most of us spend those years within a wide circle of friends and, as we get older, we start to pair off into more exclusive relationships. When we date, we explore and set boundaries, expectations, and priorities. The song “10,000 Hours” is about being in love and how we open ourselves up to experiencing love.
Lyrics: When you close your eyes / Tell me what are you dreaming? / Everything, I wanna know it all / I’d spend 10,000 hours and 10,000 more / Oh, if that’s what it takes to learn that sweet heart of yours / And I might never get there but I’m gonna try / If it’s 10,000 hours or the rest of my life / I’m gonna love you (Ooh) / I’m gonna love you
Questions: What does love mean to you? How do you describe a healthy relationship? What boundaries do you keep between people? Who do you want to be within your circle of friends, family, or with a significant other?
Spirit explores our ideas of self-image and beauty in this issue. High school can be a difficult time. A lot of personal and social changes take place in these years; we’re constantly trying to fit in and fit an image of who we think we should be and who people will accept. Trying to live up to these expectations can make us act in ways that aren’t in our best interests. Expectations can make us hard ourselves and others when we don’t fit into certain ideals. Selena Gomez’s song “Lose You to Love Me” is a song that reflects how hard breaking up with someone is or stopping something that isn’t good for us. Breaking up can be necessary in order to be our best selves.
Lyrics:We’d always go into it blindly / I needed to lose you to find me / This dancing was killing me softly / I needed to hate you to love me, yeah / To love, love, yeah / To love, love, yeah / To love, yeah / I needed to lose you to love me, yeah
Questions: What ideals do you want others to see in you? How are your self-expectations different from others’ social expectations in your school? How are they the same? When have these expectations come into conflict? How did you handle it?
In high school, moments when we feel on the outside looking in happen a lot. Everyone wants to be popular; everyone wants to be included. Often we feel socially tested, judged about everything from the people we hang out with to the very clothes we wear. It’s also a time when we determine what and who are important to us: is being popular more important than just being ourselves? Who are real friends? The song “Epiphany” is about realizing that we shouldn’t have to change who we are just to please someone else. It’s about recognizing that each of us is worthy of love and respect regardless of what anyone else might say or do.
Lyrics:So weird, I for sure loved you so much / Adapted to you with everything, I wanted to live my life for you / But as I keep doing that I just can’t bear the storm inside my heart / The real myself inside the smiling mask, I reveal it entirely / I’m the one I should love in this world / Shining me, precious soul of mine / I finally realized so I love me / Not so perfect but so beautiful / I’m the one I should love
Questions: What does popularity mean in your school? What or who have your given up to be popular? Why do groups act so cruelly about who is in and who is out? What does it mean to bully another person? What instances of bullying have you seen around your school or community?
SPIRIT explores service and ways to put our faith into action this week It isn’t easy to see the poverty around us if we are not living in it. People living without what they need don’t want us to see what is happening. Most of us, especially young people our own age, want to help if we do see others in tough situations. We serve God when we serve our neighbors. Some people have the means to donate money; some donate time and talents. “Higher Love” is a powerful song about what it means to seek out purpose and to respond to Jesus’ call to serve others. It challenges us to move into action.
Key Lines:Think about it, there must be a higher love / Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above / Without it, life is wasted time / Look inside your heart, and I’ll look inside mine / …Bring me a higher love / Bring me a higher love, oh / Bring me a higher love / Where’s that higher love I keep thinking of?
Questions: Where do you see people living in poverty in your community? What are some ways you can serve in your local community? When have you felt called to a higher purpose? What is it?
This week SPIRIT focuses on open-mindedness and communication, on discovering what we can find in common with people who hold different beliefs, come from different cultures, and have life experiences unlike our own. We live in a global world with social media and the Internet at our fingertips. We need to learn how to build bridges between ourselves and so many kinds of different others. Coldplay’s song “Everyday Life” reminds us that despite our differences, we are all part of the same human family, we all share the same home. It’s important to remember that we are all equal in the eyes of God.
Key Lyrics:What in the world are we going to do? / Look at what everybody’s going through / What kind of world do you want it to be? / Am I the future or the history? / ‘Cause everyone hurts / Everyone cries / Everyone tells each other all kinds of lies / Everyone falls / Everybody dreams and doubts / Got to keep dancing when the lights go out
Questions: When have you been in conflict or felt frustration with someone from a different background? How might you learn what you have in common? How does listening to the stories of others help you better understand them? When has talking led you to change your mind about someone or something?
This week’s SPIRIT theme is about taking responsibility for the consequences that can result when we make hurtful decisions and break our promises. Sometimes we make risky decisions. I don’t need to study for a test. I stay out a little later than I tell my parents. One drink at a party won’t hurt anything. Then I get busted and have to explain myself to those I respect and care about. Or, on the other hand, I’m the one a friend disappoints and I find the risky choice hard to forgive. NF’s song “Let You Down” is about disappointing someone we respect and love, as well as disappointing ourselves. It’s a reminder that we are ultimately the ones responsible for our decisions and must also deal with the consequences.
Key lines:Feels like we’re on the edge right now / I wish that I could say I’m proud I’m sorry that I let you down / Le-le-let you down / All these voices in my head get loud / I wish that I could shut them out / I’m sorry that I let you down / Le-le-let you down
Questions: When have you felt disappointed in someone? What were the consequences? How did you forgive and move on or did you? What actions do you find difficult to forgive? When have you been forgiven?
Visit our Advent Resources page for free downloads, online retreats, and other Advent materials that you can share with your friends, family, and parish.
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.
This week’s SPIRIT talks about the expectations we place on ourselves and that others place upon us. High school is a stressful time that challenges us to balance academics, social lives, work obligations, and activities like sports or music. At times, all these responsibilities can feel like weight of the world on our shoulders and get in the way of making good decisions about grades, relationships, or even physical/mental health. The song “Guiding Light” is about paying attention to the expectations that guide us and those around us. It’s about recognizing that we aren’t perfect, but that we can also serve as beacons of light to our family and friends.
Key Lyrics:If we come back and we’re broken / Unworthy and ashamed / Give us something to believe in / And you know we’ll go your way / ‘Cause I know I had it all on the line / But don’t just sit with folded hands and become blind / ‘Cause even when there is no star in sight / You’ll always be my only guiding light
Questions: What expectations do you have of yourself? What expectations do others have for you? When have these expectations clashed? How do they influence the way you make decisions? How do you balance them out? Who guides you? Who can you guide?
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?