- Break it up. There are only three sentences in this prayer, and working on the mastery of each individually may make the task less daunting.
- Talk about the structure of each sentence. Note that each sentence begins with a declarative statement about what “I believe”.
- Define the terms. What does divine mean? What does it mean to be deceived? (It’s far less valuable to memorize the words if you don’t understand the meaning.)
- Divide the prayer onto ten or more note cards. Mix them up and have your student put them in order.
- Look at the capitalization in this prayer. There are words which are capitalized here that would not be in another context. (Your, He, Who) Why is that? (Granted, this one probably won’t help your kids memorize but it is interesting to know we do this to honor the holy name of God.)
- Have your child copy this prayer and tuck it into his or her Bible. Pull it out and pray it at a regular time every day. Sometimes the act of writing something helps to cement it in memory.
- And finally – I hate to say it, but the best way to learn any memory verse may be to simply start early and practice often.
An Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that You are one God
in three divine Persons,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
I believe that Your Divine Son became man
and died for our sins,
and that He will come to judge
the living and the dead.
I believe these and all the truths
which the holy Catholic Church teaches,
because You revealed them,
Who can neither deceive nor be deceived.
An Act of Faith is any prayer affirming your belief in God and can be as simple as “God, I believe in You!” In times of stress, danger or temptation, we tend to fall back on the prayers memorized as a child and the Act of Faith is a good one to have in this repertoire for when life gets a little more complicated as an adult.
There are several versions, including the one recited by those becoming new Catholics on Holy Saturday. (“I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.”) The one we’re learning is a traditional prayer that was probably memorized by your great, great, great grandparents. Isn’t it wonderful to be connected with something so ancient and unchanging?
My kids love the song version of this prayer on the Family Formation CD that came with the lessons this year. We dance around the house singing it and sing it in the car. What a fun, easy way to learn it.