This article launches our new “Journaling the Sacraments” series, based on the article I wrote for RTJ Creative Catechist. (January 2013)
Across a series of posts at Equipping Catholic Families, I am highlighting a few new ideas to celebrate the First Sacraments, emphasizing their significance in Catholic family life and integrating the regular reception of the Sacraments …with reverence and enthusiasm!
We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and graduations. We hold retirement parties, baby and wedding showers. We also have Sacrament celebrations, but are they once-in-a-lifetime rites of passage or do they help to demonstrate the indelible mark of the Holy Spirit, identifying us as newly initiated members of the Body of Christ?
Our efforts and celebrations only pale in comparison with the graces received at our first Sacraments, but we can help our children further dedicate themselves to their journey of Faith. We can build on the momentum created through faith formation with the same enthusiasm as our extra-curricular interests and accomplishments.
As a child takes pride in growing independence, skills and achievements, we wish to celebrate their spiritual growth. As a child strives to establish a unique identity, further articulated by strengths and talents, we want them to take note of the special events on their journey of Faith; moments when they received Grace, but also moments of decision, times when their Faith was surely tested and times when they felt huddled close in the Arms of God.
One approach is to get young people to journal through their prayer lives, recording their discoveries and questions along their spiritual journey and logging important milestones, such as first Sacraments and each absolution they receive through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
We created the Hand in hand with Jesus Faith Journal, packed with prayerful reflection prompts about their experiences of the Sacraments and their maturing prayer life, along with questions about the Sacraments based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This hard cover book is packed with illustrations to color and prayerful reflections, making it a wonderful keepsake of the child’s journey of Faith….and an awesome Sacrament gift to treasure for years to come… for your children, grandchildren, Godchildren and friends!
For more of an everyday prayer journal, I would recommend this Do-It-Yourself Spiritual Journey Journal with this special FREE Journal Insert that can be moved to each new notebook, over the months and years. The Journal Insert includes a few key prayer cards (that could be copied and glued to the inside cover of the book). It also includes a Sacrament Record of dates, a Reconciliation Record, and some Journal Prayer Prompts. This little booklet can be used as a bookmark in the Spiritual Journey Journal, for easy reference and documentation of the Sacramental life.
The Do-it-Yourself Spiritual Journey Journal tutorial AND the FREE Journal Insert can be found here: Sacrament Journey FREEBIE.
The Sacrament Journey Freebie includes:
These templates of formatted cards and clipart can be copied and glued to Sacrament journals or scrapbooks. Cards can be used as an insert booklet for a journal or bookmarks for the Bible.
Let us celebrate our Sacramental Journey of Faith!
Copyright 2013 Monica McConkey