A Life in Christ
A Life in Christ
By Merilynn Kouris and Anthony A. Leondis
GOYA Session - To help participants understand the need to live a life in Christ by identifying the virtues which all Christians should live by.
Lord and Master of my life, deliver me from the spirit of laziness, meddling, ambition and gossip. Give me, your servant, the spirit of prudence, humility, patience and love, Lord and King, grant that I may see my own sins and faults and not to judge my brother, for you are blessed forever. Amen. (Prayer of Saint Ephraim)
- Split the participants into smaller groups, assigning each group a patron saint.
- Each group will have a cup with six (6) different color M&Ms in it. Each color represents a different theme on which the participants will share a special thought:
RED – friendship
YELLOW – family
GREEN – school
BLUE – church
ORANGE – hobbies
DARK BROWN - yourself
Briefly discuss the opening prayer, the Prayer of St. Ephraim.
- Discuss why laziness, meddling, ambition, and gossip are not Christian virtues. Use examples from our own lives. Allow participants to share their answers.
- Discuss why prudence, humility, patience, and love are good Christian virtues which we need to live by. Use examples of how we use these in our own lives. Allow participants to share their answers.
Scripture Reading (Matthew 7:1-5)
Read the Scripture passage slowly and meaningfully, and then allow the participants to sit in and reflect in silence.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye.” When there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eyes, and then you will see more clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
What’s Weighing You Down?
Provide a piece of paper and a pen to each participant and state the following:
Hot air balloons have sandbags that hold them down. These sandbags are just extra weights that keep them from flying. When these sandbags are taken off, the balloon can soar in the air. Likewise, as in our own spiritual life, we have many “sandbags” that keep us from reaching our destination on our “Christ-bound” journey. On this piece of paper, write down your personal sandbags that keep you from reaching Christ.”
- Allow participants to write down these “sandbags”
- After an allotted amount of time, ask the participants to share some of the things that weigh them down.
- How can we “release” those sandbags?
Discuss with your family the Christian rules of Prayer, Fasting, and Almgiving. These are three rules that are sometimes overlooked because of the weight and baggage we carry around from life. Also, pick a Christian virtue and try to work on it every day. Eventually, it will become natural to you. You will notice that your kindness, humility, love, and patience will be contagious and your friends and family will follow in your footsteps.
Have the participants read the Prayer of St. Ephraim instead of the Session Leader.