Read the Bible
Reading the Word of God is an essential part to our faith, but many can find it a struggle. Maybe you have been an avid reader before, or maybe you are venturing for the first time into more devotional reading. No matter the level of expertise - here are some helpful hints for reading your Bible:
Find a quiet place : This can mean both physically and mentally. Whether it be your room or outdoors, find a place to read where you will be comfortable and free from distractions. You may want to play music to center yourself, or simply pray in silence.
Lectio Divina : This is the best guide we have to prayfully reading the Bible. Follow the steps found here to read your passage so that the meaning may come across to you.
Reflect : Do not simply read, close your Bible, and then walk away - take a second to reflect on what you read - perhaps saying a short prayer again or listen to a song.
Share Your Story
We all have our own personal story to tell, our own person witness of how God has shown Himself and His teachings in our lives. Sharing this witness with others is what we are called to do as Catholics. In our youth group, we offer many different ways that you might be able to offer your witness to your fellow teen. You can share your message as a talk during a youth group meeting, write a blog post, or work on one of our retreats. Opening up and sharing what God has done for you can be a great gift, but it takes a lot of preparation.
Pray about it : Like every other aspect of our lives, a witness should be centered around God and His plan. Therefore, the first step in preparing to write one is open communication with God to allow Him to reveal the witness He needs of you.
Talk with your Leaders about it : Whether it is for here in our youth group or at another venue, reach out to your leader about what you are interested in sharing. See how it may fit with their planning and ask them for guidance or materials to help.
Write your FIRST draft : Get the message out of your head where it has been spinning around. Write it or type it out - it's okay if it's still rough around the edges, this is only the first draft.
Edit Prayerfully : Read over your message. Begin to edit to make certain the message God intends is coming across. Meet with your leader again and review your message together. Do not be discouraged if there seem to be a lot of edits, remembering always, this talk is bigger than you and is truly in His hands for His purpose.
Pray again and breathe : Before you share your witness, spend time in prayer again. Thank God for the oppotunity to share your message and ask again for His guidance. Do not be nervous, knowing that you have prepared your message with God on your side, it is not possible for you to fail.
Prayer is as important to our soul as the air we breathe is to our bodies! Communication with God through prayer is how we stay connected in our relationship with Him. Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways to pray. Below is a list and links to just a few:
Participate in the Sacraments
Our parish offers Reconciliation every Saturday at 4:30pm. Before going to Reconciliation, take time to go through an Examination of Conscience. If you don't know what to say, these articles can help some, but just be honest with the priest and they will always help you.
Eucharist in the Mass - At every mass, practicing and faithful Catholics have the opportunity to consume and be consumed by Love in the Eucharist. At SJDR we are blessed to have this chance at daily mass, Monday-Friday at 9:00am, Saturday Vigil Mass at 5:15pm, and Sunday Mass at 8:30am, 11:00am, and our youth mass at 5:00pm. We encourage all our teens to attend mass regularly.
Eucharist in Adoration - We also can experience the eucharist through spending time in the presence of the sacrament during Eucharistic Adoration. Like spending time with a close friend, Adoration allows us to deepen and strengthen our relationship with God.
SJDR offers 24 hours of Eucharistic Adoration starting at 9:00am on the first Friday of every month. Our youth group will also hold Eucharistic Adoration the first Wednesday of every month from 7-8pm.