It’s hard to imagine a topic bigger than the Holy Trinity so in addition to covering it in class we’re going to break it down this month into Home Lessons about God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In the Creed we say, “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible,” and this sets up our tendency to associate God the Father with the act of creation. The best starting point is to have your children look around, at their bodies, at nature; literally everything we experience is here because God made it directly or indirectly*.
So why did God create all that goodness? The Church teaches that He made it to communicate His glory to us. And Thomas Aquinas taught that “Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand.” God is love and love is always fruitful in some way. It shares, multiplies, spills over, it cannot be contained! Our only logical reaction in the face of all that love is gratitude, praise, and to love Him in return!
The main activity for this lesson is the Holy God, We Praise Thy Name! Activity Booklet which starts with the favorite hymn of the same name and then guides your family through a number of joyful Psalms. On each page we get to consider and respond to God’s greatness! This would also be a fantastic time to use the Lectio Divina method of prayer that we learned about earlier this year. There’s a quick refresher here and here.
A couple more notes about that activity:
- There are 6 pages in the booklet; probably too much for one sitting. Instead, we suggest you do a page per day, just using it as part of your regular family prayer time.
- And then, what to do with that finished booklet? As a godparent, I’d just like to say that if one of my godchildren sent me this finished work along with a note saying this is what they were doing for religious education — I’d be the happiest godmother on the planet. Just a suggestion. 🙂
*Sidenote: It’s fun to play Can You Think of Some Thing God Did Not Create? The answer is “no,” but challenge your kids to try to come up with something.
- Some things were directly created by Him: anything in nature, for example.
- Some things were indirectly created by Him: anything invented by human ingenuity falls into this category. Sure, God did not make your car, but He did create the raw materials (steel, rubber, petroleum) and He created the brains that invented the concepts and the parts, and the hands that turned the wrenches, etc.
- Some “things” such as sin and illness were not part of God’s original plan and are also not part of heaven. (Start reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church here at paragraph 385, and on through the end of the section, if you’re interested.)