“Without roots in the people, no government can avail, much less when it wants to impose its program through bloodshed and sorrow.” In 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated not long after he spoke these words. Romero challenged the government in El Salvador to end the violence that was sweeping through his country and killing his people. He refused to be silent about the injustice that affect people who were poo. The song “Shooting Star” is about being a beacon of hope, whether it’s through a simple act of kindness or taking on injustice by calling out our government officials. It’s about using our talents to light up the world.
Lyrics:Let your colors burn, and brightly burst, / Into a million sparks, but all dispersed and / illuminate a world, / That’ll try to bring you down, but not this time / When the sun goes down, and the lights burn out, / Then it’s time for you to shine / Brighter than the shooting star, so shine no matter where you are / Fill the darkest night, with a brilliant light, / ‘Cause it’s time for you to shine / Brighter than a shooting star, so shine no matter where you are, tonight
Questions: Who do you see standing up injustice to people who are poor? What examples of injustice do you see in our society? How can you take a stand against them? Who that you know takes a stand against them?
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?
Download this cross from our free Lent Resources page at goodgroundpress.com. A separate page lists color-coded activities to choose from. Do an activity and color a section of the Cross. By Easter you will have a joyful symbol of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
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 Sunday’s Gospel the Spirit leads Jesus into the desert where he fasts, prays, and chooses his path. The devil offers temptations to show off magical powers—turn stones to bread and test if angels catch him if he jumps off the temple. Jesus chooses the path of keeping the commandment to worship and follow God alone. Jesus choosing his identity and mission. He serves God. SPIRIT tells a familiar high school story—balancing others’ expectations and keeping true to our own expectations and happiness. Who do we want to be? What will becoming that person take? Sasha Sloan’s song “Keep On” is about struggling with these questions while still keeping on the path.
Lyrics:The walls are starting to cave in / Sometimes, I wish I was somebody else / When my mind starts misbehaving / Is when I tell myself / Okay, baby, you’ll be okay / You just gotta keep, gotta keep on
Questions: What pressures and expectations do you face on a daily basis? How does this challenge who you want to be? How do you handle these pressures? What does happiness mean to you?
Turning the other cheek when someone hits you is an act of nonviolence, of stopping violence rather than taking it to another level. Whether a bully by choice or a child soldier by force, fighting leads to more fighting, violence feeds violence. Jesus challenges us to stop the payback cycles, “to love our enemies, pray for our persecutors.” Harry Styles’ song “Lights Up” is about rising above the fray and challenging ourselves and those around us to be better.
Lyrics:All the lights couldn’t put out the dark / Runnin’ through my heart / Lights up and they know who you are / Know who you are / Do you know who you are? (Oh) / Shine, step into the light / Shine, so bright sometimes / Shine, I’m not ever going back
Questions: What does Jesus mean when he tells us to love our enemies? When have you turned the other cheek? How can you reach out to those you disagree with or join with others to stop those who bully? What are some ways you can resolve situations peacefully?
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?
Dr. Martin Luther King wrote that “…any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” The news constantly confronts us with oppression based on race, gender, beliefs in our society and world. It’s important to recognize ways we keep people down and initiate peaceful changes that ensure that everyone has equal rights to resources and education. Andra Day’s song “Rise Up” is about overcoming barriers and finding strength in standing together to make the world a better place.
Lyrics:You’re broken down and tired / Of living life on a merry go round / And you can’t find the fighter / But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out / …And I’ll rise up / I’ll rise like the day / I’ll rise up / I’ll rise unafraid / I’ll rise up / And I’ll do it a thousand times again / And I’ll rise up / High like the waves / I’ll rise up / In spite of the ache / I’ll rise up
Questions: What are some examples of ways we keep people down in your school and community? What about in our country and our world? How can you help people overcome barrier and rise in a peaceful way? When have you experienced being kept down? How have others helped you rise? What help bridge the gap between you and those who keep you down or count you out? How?
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?