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Introducing Catholic Youth Parramatta's

“Elements” is an online initiative by Catholic Youth Parramatta which offers content for youth ministers to use in their respective parishes, schools and movements. It will be distributed monthly.
We look forward to seeing how Elements grows with you. If you wish to discuss the content of this initiative further, contact Liam at
The presence of God which sanctifies our souls is that indwelling of the Holy Trinity which is established in the depths of our hearts when they submit to the Divine Will. - Father J P De Caussade. Self Abandonment to Divine Providence.


Hey! Welcome to August's month of elements! This month we will focus on surrender; what does it mean to surrender to God? What does surrender look like? How does one surrender in the Christian sense? 

Surrender to the Lord, doesn't mean giving up with or without the hope of success. It is not a give in and go with the waves attitude; It is much deeper than this; it is the act of self-abandonment, the gift of total self to God.

Acceptance of the Will of God is the duty of every Christian. But self-abandonment means something more. It is the real effective gift to God of all the powers of the soul. The abandonment to the things of the world and the gentle giving of one's heart (the will) to obedience and love. Through this abandonment we bask in the peace and presence of God, knowing He is in control. When we detach ourselves from the things of this world, only then can we truly appreciate them through the Love of the Father.

Book Recommendations:
  • Self Abandonment to Divine Providence
    The central theme of de Caussade's spiritual teaching is abandonment of self and the act of submission to the will of God. It is the remedy he prescribed for all the afflictions and suffering of which the sisters [he was spiritual director to] complained in their letters to him. De Caussade's doctrine of self-abandonment to Divine Providence and his view that suffering is not only to be endured but welcomed as the will of God present a valuable and hopeful alternative to the prevailing doctrine of self-fulfillment, and contain a powerful message for today's material society, which sees suffering as totally unacceptable.

  • The Heart of Perfection: How the Saints Taught Me to Trade My Dream of Perfect for God's
    An award-winning author, former presidential speechwriter, and mother of four weaves stories of her own struggles against comparison and impossible expectations with those of seven ex-perfectionist saints (and one heretic) who show us how to pursue a new kind of perfection: freedom in Christ.



  • Give It To God
    We can be weak, we can be poor, and we can be sinners—and that's okay. We can bring all that to the Lord and that's where we start. Jesus doesn't want us to give him the good things alone, but the bad things as well. What the Lord wants is for us to invite Him in that space for Him to be with us on that. What we need to do is to surrender every bit of who we are, surrender our desires to control and give it all to God.


  • What Does Surrender Actually Look Like?
    We hear this phrase a lot in the Church, that Jesus is the Lord of our lives, that he has dominion over them. But what does this look like practically? If we just look at the definition, it means surrendering everything we have to God, and giving it to him without hesitation. But how can we truly surrender everything to Him without fearing we won't get it back?

  • What Does It Cost to Trust God? (+ Surrender Prayer) (feat. Stacey Sumereau)
    Trusting God sounds like a great idea... but for most people, it's a scary thought. Why? Because we know it will cost something. What we might not know—or might forget—is that what He'll give us in return is worth everything. Today, Stacey Sumereau talks about why we find it scary to actually trust God, and why surrender is so worth it.

  • Surrendering the Past and Future to Jesus' Lordship and Dominion.
    Fr. Mike gives us a word of encouragement and challenge to surrender our past brokenness and sin as well as the future blessings and difficulties to the Lordship of Jesus Christ!

  • Why Surrender Is Actually So Difficult (feat. Mari Pablo).
    Anytime we face trials, temptations, or hard times, we hear the common adages telling us to "offer it up" or "give it to God." But what does that actually look like? Where do we begin that process? Maybe there is no concrete "how-to guide", but we can start by doing two simple things:
    1) Stop Fighting. 2) Surrender.



"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me."
John 14:1 (NIV) 

Youth Group Activity Idea:


- Start by placing a standing Crucifix at the front of the room. If it is a smaller Crucifix, then prop it up on a table for all to see, with a nice cloth underneath.
- Give each youth member a pen and slip of paper.
- Allow the youth to find a comfortable place to sit.
- Ask the youth to place the slip of paper and pen in front of them so they don't get distracted during the prayer.
- Lead the youth in prayer and breathing, reciting the Come Holy Spirit prayer. Which looks like this:

(Deep Breath in) Come Holy Spirit. (Breath out)
Pause for 10 seconds.
(Deep Breath in) Come Holy Spirit. (Breath out)
Pause for 10 seconds.
(Deep Breath in) Come Holy Spirit. (Breath out)

- Ask them to gently close their eyes. Allow a minute to settle into this.

- Have the elected reader instruct the youth that he/she will read this prayer, imagine that Jesus is there sitting with you and speaking these words to you.

- Tell them that after I finish the reading the response is, "Oh Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything." We will recite the response 3 times, and I will say it with you.

- Allow a minute and reaffirm that this is Christ speaking to them.


Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying? Leave the care of your affairs to me, and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (3 times)


Surrender to me does not mean to fret, to be upset, or to lose hope, nor does it mean offering to me a worried prayer asking me to follow you and change your worry into prayer. It is against this surrender, deeply against it, to worry, to be nervous and to desire to think about the consequences of anything.
It is like the confusion that children feel when they ask their mother to see to their needs, and then try to take care of those needs for themselves so that their childlike efforts get in their mother's way. Surrender means to placidly close the eyes of the soul, to turn away from thoughts of tribulation and to put yourself in my care, so that only I act, saying, "You take care of it."

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (3 times)


How many things I do when the soul, in so much spiritual and material need, turns to me, looks at me and says to me, "You take care of it," then closes its eyes and rests. In pain you pray for me to act, but that I act in the way you want. You do not turn to me, instead, you want me to adapt to your ideas. You are not sick people who ask the doctor to cure you, but rather sick people who tell the doctor how to. So do not act this way, but pray as I taught you in the Our Father: "Hallowed be thy Name," that is, be glorified in my need. "Thy kingdom come," that is, let all that is in us and in the world be in accord with your kingdom. "Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven," that is, in our need, decide as you see fit for our temporal and eternal life. If you say to me truly: "Thy will be done," which is the same as saying: "You take care of it," I will intervene with all my omnipotence, and I will resolve the most difficult situations.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (3 times)


You see evil growing instead of weakening? Do not worry. Close your eyes and say to me with faith: "Thy will be done, You take care of it." I say to you that I will take care of it, and that I will intervene as does a doctor and I will accomplish miracles when they are needed. Do you see that the sick person is getting worse? Do not be upset, but close your eyes and say, "You take care of it." I say to you that I will take care of it, and that there is no medicine more powerful than my loving intervention. By my love, I promise this to you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (3 times)


And when I must lead you on a path different from the one you see, I will prepare you; I will carry you in my arms; I will let you find yourself, like children who have fallen asleep in their mother's arms, on the other bank of the river. What troubles you and hurts you immensely are your reason, your thoughts and worry, and your desire at all costs to deal with what afflicts you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (3 times)


You are sleepless; you want to judge everything, direct everything and see to everything and you surrender to human strength, or worse—to men themselves, trusting in their intervention—this is what hinders my words and my views. Oh, how much I wish from you this surrender, to help you; and how I suffer when I see you so agitated! Satan tries to do exactly this: to agitate you and to remove you from my protection and to throw you into the jaws of human initiative. So, trust only in me, rest in me, surrender to me in everything.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (3 times)


I perform miracles in proportion to your full surrender to me and to your not thinking of yourselves. I sow treasure troves of graces when you are in the deepest poverty. No person of reason, no thinker, has ever performed miracles, not even among the saints. He does divine works whosoever surrenders to God. So don't think about it any more, because your mind is acute and for you it is very hard to see evil and to trust in me and to not think of yourself. Do this for all your needs, do this, all of you, and you will see great continual silent miracles. I will take care of things, I promise this to you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (3 times)


Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away on the flowing current of my grace; close your eyes and do not think of the present, turning your thoughts away from the future just as you would from temptation. Repose in me, believing in my goodness, and I promise you by my love that if you say, "You take care of it," I will take care of it all; I will console you, liberate you and guide you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (3 times)


Pray always in readiness to surrender, and you will receive from it great peace and great rewards, even when I confer on you the grace of immolation, of repentance, and of love. Then what does suffering matter? It seems impossible to you? Close your eyes and say with all your soul, "Jesus, you take care of it." Do not be afraid, I will take care of things and you will bless my name by humbling yourself. A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender, remember this well. There is no novena more effective than this.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (3 times)

Reader: (get the youth to repeat after you)
Mother, I am yours now and forever.
Through you and with you
I always want to belong
completely to Jesus.

- Tell the youth to now rest in Jesus' presence.
- After two minutes ask the youth to thank God for this time spent with Him.

- After 30 seconds, instruct the youth that when they feel ready, slowly open their eyes.

Now instruct the youth to take what the Lord placed on their hearts for them to surrender and write it down on the piece of paper. Tell them no one will see this piece of paper, but if they are uncomfortable writing what it is they wish to surrender, tell them just to fold the paper, as Jesus knows their heart. (It may be appropriate to play some light Christian music in the background as they are doing this and the following steps).

Instruct the youth to now line up and lay down their paper at the foot of the Cross, which resembles surrendering their intention and letting Christ handle it.

Allow them to now spend a short time in prayer.

When the activity has finished: Collect the pieces of paper and dispose of them, without reading their responses.

Saint of the Month: St. Jane Frances de Chantal
Feast Day: 10th August 

At the age of 21, Jane married Christophe, whom she adored. When he died in a hunting accident, this caused Jane great heartbreak, asking God to take anything from her, just not her husband. Yet, after the passing of her husband, Jane moved in which her Father in law after as she struggled with great debt and trying to feed her family. Her father-in-law treated her poorly, as did his mistress and their children. In great desolation, Jane returned to her childhood faith. Jane found a spiritual director who gave her strict resumes that were unbearable with raising a family or even religious life for that matter. Unable to bare it anymore, Jane reached out to another priest, Frances De Sales, who guided her in the way of gentleness. Which lead her to later become a nun and start the Order of the Daughters of the Visitation of Holy Mary.

  St Jane de Cantal and St Francis De Sales, Pray for Us!

Hallow is a Catholic prayer app that offers audio-guided meditation sessions to help us grow in our faith & spiritual lives and find peace in God. Explore over 1,000 different sessions on contemplative prayer, meditation, Catholic Bible readings, music, and more. 

In today’s world, we’re stressed, anxious, distracted, & can’t sleep. At the same time, we’re searching for deeper meaning, purpose, & relationships. We believe these two challenges can be addressed with the same solution: peace in Jesus. In the end, after all, a halo in heaven is the goal :)

Users can access daily prayers (including the rosary) and the 9-day Intro Prayer Challenge for free.

To access the full suite of Hallow a paid version is required.

August Devotion: The Coronation of Mary

"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."

Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Pray for us.

Brother Isiah.

Brother Isiah (now technically Father Isiah after his recent ordination) is a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (CFR).

Brother Isaiah of the CFRs has been gifted with an amazing voice and talent. The Franciscan Friars spend hours each day in meditative prayer. They have drawn from the quiet depths of their daily prayer to write these songs which they hope will help Catholics maintain a prayerful state as they go through their lives. 

Get Your Game On: Frown King or Queen


Set Up: 

  • Nothing, but it is good to have some background music if possible to create a lively environment.

Aim of the Game: 

  • To become the frown king or queen by not laughing. 


  • Divide the into pairs and tell them to stand back-to-back.
  • On the count of three, everyone has to face their partner, look into each other eyes and try to frown, but without speaking.
  • The first who tries to smile or laugh must sit down.
  • The standing players will pair with each other, and the activity will continue until just two people remain.
  • If two players are excellent at keeping a straight face, then you can divide them into teams. The opposite team will heckle to break down the opposing team's player.
  • The last one standing will be crowned Frown Queen or Frown King
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