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ELEMENTS


“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 on liam.agius@parracatholic.org
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I am my lover's and He claims me as His own - Song of Songs 7:10

Jesus Loves You

 
Do you understand Jesus loves YOU? I know I can’t fully comprehend this; God, the creator of the universe, loves and delights in me. And I probably will never comprehend it in its totality. It’s said that Thomas Aquinas couldn’t finish a Mass without weeping; he was so encapsulated with the Love of God. After finishing his extensive work called the Summa Theologia, Thomas Aquinas went to the Altar, laid his work on the Altar and sat in a pew. The sacristan, Dominic of Caserta, was passing by when He overheard a voice speaking to St Thomas from the Crucifix above the Altar. It was the voice of Jesus who said, “you have written well of me; what would you have as your reward? Aquinas response? was “non-nicite domine,” meaning “nothing but you, Lord, nothing but you.” He was so in love with Christ; why? Because Christ first loved us. (1 John 4:19) We chase after the heart of God because He first chased after ours.

Although many of us strive to chase after the Heart of God, sometimes we don’t understand Christ’s love. We may see Christ as distant, removed, unreachable, that we are only the ones chasing. Maybe we see God as waiting for us to trip up. These false views of God are not of Him; He is tender like a gentle Lamb, but protective of us like a Lioness. His love has been poured out for us on the Cross,  we are covered in His Blood, and out of great Agape, unconditional Love, He makes Himself Bread, so that we may consume Him by love, so that His love may consume us. He loves you, and is chasing after YOU!


As leaders, it's important to help our youth groups to know they are loved by God. But this must first start with us and our own knowledge of Christ's Love in our lives. The resources below will be able to assist you in your own Spiritual journey and prepare you with the tools to help your youth groups for your next youth meeting. Happy planning! 
 

Videos:

  • God Loves You *RIGHT NOW* In Your Brokenness and Mess
    Matt Fradd sits down with Christopher West to discuss how we are loved in our mess.

  • A Reminder: You are DEEPLY Loved and Delighted in by Jesus Christ
    “We apply to the Heart of Jesus the measure of our own miserable little hearts, so mean, so narrow, so hard, and we do not succeed in comprehending how good, how indulgent, how compassionate, how gentle, and how patient is Jesus Himself.” - Fr. Jean C. J. D’Elbee (from his book, I Believe in Love, 73)
  • Why God Loves You
    God wants our brokenness. He wants everything that makes us imperfect in the eyes of the world. In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz offers a relieving truth about God’s paradoxical love for us, how he love us—not in spite of our weaknesses—but because of them. Find out why.

  • Reminder: God Loves You
    Father Mike Schmitz quotes Pope Benedict XVI, saying, “Until I am accepted and loved by another, I cannot accept and love myself. But even then the sense is fragile, because all human acceptance is fragile. Ultimately, we need a sense of being accepted unconditionally. Only if God accepts me and I have become convinced of this, do I know definitely it is good that I exist.” 

     

Blogs:

 

Books:

  • Loved as I Am: An Invitation to Conversion, Healing, and Freedom through Jesus
    Although originally full of athletic ambition and goals for a career in sports news, Heidland was transformed in a very slow but deep way during her undergraduate years, moving from party girl to bride of Christ. In Loved as I Am: An Invitation to Conversion, Healing, and Freedom through Jesus, Heidland helps readers learn from her experience of seeking love in the wrong places and instead finding it in Christ. She shares her struggles--learning she was adopted, battling alcoholism, and healing from childhood sexual abuse--as signs of hope that anyone who desires to know Christ can find him and be loved intimately by him in return. By bringing readers into Heidland’s healing process, Loved as I Am provides a gentle and subtle template for finding peace and freedom in Jesus.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:13 (NIV) 

Youth Group Activity Idea:

Popcorn Prayer

Goal:
This group activity is aimed at teaching the youth spontaneous prayer.

How to:

  • Get the youth to sit down in a large group.
  • Closing their eyes and taking up a prayer posture (a comfortable but alert position).
  • The leader will start the prayer with their own prayer from the heart.
  • Then the youth will take turns spontaneously saying a short prayer from the heart.
  • After no more prayers are being said close with the sign of the Cross.


It may be helpful to tell some youth members ahead of time what will be happening, so they may prepare a short prayer. This way you will definitely get responses from the youth, and it will break the ice for other youth members to follow on.

Saint of the Month: St Padre Pio
Feast Day: 23rd of September 

St. Padre Pio experienced temptation and evil at a very young age, having visions of angels, demons, and even Satan at the age of 4 or 5. He wanted to give his life to Christ and become a priest, and entered the monastery at age 15. 

It was in 1918 that Padre Pio received the stigmata: a physical ailment that causes one to develop the 5 wounds of Christ crucified (two on the hands, two on the feet, and one on the side). He developed the side wound first, but tried to hide it in order to not call attention to himself. However, some of the other priests in the monastery noticed that he was bleeding, and it was confirmed that he had the stigmata—a condition of which only about 300 cases are known. 

  St Padre Pio, Pray for Us!
LEARN MORE ABOUT ST PADRE PIO
YOU CAN UNDERSTAND AQUINAS!

GET A FREE COPY!

If you’ve always wanted to read Aquinas for yourself but have found his writings too difficult to understand, this book will help demystify the Angelic Doctor.
FREE COPY HERE
September Devotion:
Our Lady Of Sorrows

Feast Day: 15th of September 

“And a sword will pierce through your own soul also, that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” - Luke 2:35

St. Jerome said:

“Even while living in the world, the heart of Mary was so filled with motherly tenderness and compassion for men that no-one ever suffered so much for their own pains, as Mary suffered for the pains of her children.” 

Our Lady of Sorrows,
Pray for Us.

LEARN ABOUT OUR LADY OF SORROWS
MUSIC!
 
Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
Check out the Franciscan Friars, for beautiful prayer music recorded live!

 
LISTEN HERE

Get Your Game On: Human Bingo!

 

Set Up: 

  • Bingo Cards
  • Pens

Aim of the Game:

The first to mark off their bingo sheet wins.

Method:

Make a grid on a piece of cardstock with some fun categories written in each square: e.g. "Someone who likes ___ (band name)" or "Someone who has been on a mission trip," or "Someone who watches Netflix too much." Duplicate for everyone in your group and hand out pencils. Encourage the group to mix, talk to everyone to try and complete their card. If one of the items listed on the bingo card relates to the person they are talking with, have them sign their name in that box.
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Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, All rights reserved.


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