A DRE from one of our distance parishes came up with a terrific visual aid to illustrate how difficulties in married life can obstruct Christ from shining through. With almost 1/3 of her students coming from divorced families, she knew that hitting the issues head on, but with pastoral considerations, was important. Ann used this idea at her recent catechist training (and eventually with her older students).
I purchased a piece of plexiglass at the hardware store for our catechist training. We taped a photocopied image of Christ to one side of the glass. I talked about how the sacrament of marriage is meant to give us a clear image of Christ. (The glass represented marriage as it was intended to be). I suppose you could also use one of those stand up 8X10 frames from the dollar store for this activity. It is easy to see Jesus very clearly.
Then the catechist talked about some of the difficulties that families face in daily life as a family. As we brainstormed ideas (fighting, finances, busy schedules, working too much, alcohol, money, unforgiveness etc.), I used a dry-erase marker to record their ideas on the plexiglass.
After they were finished, I asked how clearly they could see Christ and it was agreed that it was very difficult. This is when I made the key point: CHRIST’S LOVE IS FAITHFUL! He’s still just as present as he was before we began. He is always there for us even if it may be difficult to see Him at times.
Then we talked about ways that we could make God’s love more visible in our homes and I asked the group to brainstorm ideas…as the topics of prayer, forgiveness, listening, spending time together, obeying our parents, attending Mass, receiving the sacrament of reconciliation etc. came up, I slowly wiped away the words on the glass. I was careful to indicate that all families, whether parents are married or not, can find ways to make Christ’s love visible.
The plexiglass is great because the dry-erase markers wipe off very easily. I provided a piece of 11X17 plexiglass with a picture of Christ taped to one side for each classroom grades 4-6 and they did this activity within the lesson.
Isn’t that fantastic?! Not only does this illustration work well for this topic, but it would work equally well for any discussion on things that obstruct our view of Christ, and His perfect faithfulness in spite of it.
Thanks, Ann, for sharing this wonderful idea with the Family Formation office, and for giving permission for me to blog it!