Lit Level 5- Blaze

ASK THE PROS

TOPICS COVERED

karlobroussard.com & catholic.com

  • Apologetics and Defending Your Faith
  • Starting Christian Conversations
  • Experiencing Doubt about Your Faith
  • Karlo’s Message for Young Catholic Youth
Question 1- What is the Divine Office and Why is It Important?

Kyle and Brittany went on a date. They had been friends for a while, but it was their first time going out as a couple. It was awkward, but they were enjoying themselves.

Brittany noticed that Kyle had held the door open for her and that after dinner he paid the bill. “Why did you do that?” she asked. She always wondered why this was the tradition and since they were friends she felt comfortable talking about it.

“I don’t know, because it’s the right thing to do?” he guessed.

“Sometimes it makes me feel bad, like I’m not contributing anything,” she confessed.

“I can understand that. And I guess it started because the man wanted the woman to feel special, like she didn’t need to do anything.”

“But what does it mean today?”

“Well, to me, it means that I appreciate you taking the time to spend the evening with me and I want to be a gentleman.”

“It’s strange how traditions get passed down and meanings change, but the traditions remain the same.”

“Yeah.”

Reflection Questions

  1. Why do you think men still do those things for women when they are out on a date?
  2. How should a woman understand that behavior?
  3. Is there anything you do because it’s tradition? Why does it make sense to continue to do it? What can you get out of it in today’s world?

Watch

  1. How does The Divine Office connect us to both God and the Church?
  2. How can something written centuries ago still apply today?
  3. How could The Divine Office enrich your own prayer life?

Journal

Answer the following question with as much detail as you feel necessary. Make sure you quote at least one sentence from the YOUCAT points in your response. 

Why are traditional prayers important and how can they help you?

Question 2- Is it Possible to Understand the Trinity?

Laura and Jen were staying up late talking, as they usually did when they had a sleep-over.

They were feeling particularly philosophical that night. Jen asked, “What is love?”

“That’s a good one,” Laura responded, “I have no idea how to define it.”

“Me neither. There is so many different definitions.”

“Yeah, like you love so many different things, like food, your family, and your boyfriend.”

“Also, you don’t always have a feeling with it.”

“Nor can you always control it.”

“I don’t think you can define it.”

“But you know it when you see it.”

That was the closest Laura and Jen got to a definition of “love” that night.

Reflection Questions

  1. How would you define love?
  2. Defining “love” is like defining the “Trinity.” No one definition works perfectly and it’s impossible to completely understand it. We can understand it only in part. How would you define the Trinity?

Watch

YOUCAT

Read points 35-39 from your YOUCAT including all of the citations, quotes, and definitions on the side column. When you are finished, reflect on the following questions:

  1. If someone asked you, “Do Christians worship three gods?” how would you respond?
  2. If someone asked you to explain the Trinity, how would you respond?
  3. What is the importance of saying that God exists as Trinity?

Journal

Answer the following question with as much detail as you feel necessary. Make sure you quote at least one sentence from the YOUCAT points in your response. 

What does it mean to me that God is a Trinity? How do I relate to all three persons?

Question 3- Can You Explain the Liturgical Calendar?

Sofia was a first grader who loved going to Church with her family She especially liked sitting next to her big brother who was already in high school and knew a lot about the world. Sofia would always ask him questions.

“Why is Jesus on the cross up there?” she would ask while pointing to a Crucifix.

“Why is there so much water in that big bowl? Can we swim in it?” she asked pointing to the Baptismal font.

Her brother, Jude, would always give her a short, but easy to understand, response.

“Because He loves you, so He died for you and for me. That’s why we come to Church to visit Him every week.”

“No, we can’t swim in it. That’s where people get baptized. When they become baptized, the priest pours water on their heads and they become part of God’s family that way. Father Mark poured water on your head in that same font, I know because I remember it. I was there.

Sofia then asked, “Why does Father Mark change his clothes every week. How does he decide what color to wear? Sometimes he wears white, but most of the time he wears boring old green. I think he should wear more purple, or PINK!”

Jude smiled. This answer would require a longer answer.

Reflection Questions

  1. What color vestments does the priest at your Church wear? Can you name them all?
  2. Why do you think he wears those different colors?
  3. What is your understanding of time? How important is time? Why is it important (or not)?
  4. Look into the symbolism of the Church’s calendar. You can find an overview of the calendar on page 112. What do you notice?

Watch

 

 

YOUCAT

Read points 166-171 and 184-186 from your YOUCAT including all of the citations, quotes, and definitions on the side column. When you are finished, reflect on the following questions:

  1. What does it mean to say that the liturgy is a living thing?
  2. What is the benefit of celebrating the same events and the same people every year? How can we get something new from it?

Journal

Answer the following question with as much detail as you feel necessary. Make sure you quote at least one sentence from the YOUCAT points in your response.

What does it mean to me in my life that God wants to be part of it?

Question 4- What is the Beatific Vision?

Marianne was walking home from some after school activities. It had been a crazy day. She was very stressed out and she just wanted to go home, get something to eat, and go to bed.

Before she crossed a busy street, she looked both ways and stopped. She didn’t cross the street right away. She was caught up in the beauty of the sunset.

She loved the colors blending together. She loved the pretty clouds hanging over the sunset. They didn’t ruin the view, but enhanced it. She realized it had been a very long time since she had last appreciated a sunrise or a sunset. She was just so busy. She had no time to appreciate little things like this magnificent view.

It made her feel insignificant to see such beauty. It also made her feel important, to know that God made that moment just for her. She continued home feeling at peace. All of the things she was stressed out about would turn out just fine.

Reflection Questions

  1. Recall a time when you’ve been very busy and stressed. How could you open yourself up for God in those times?
  2. What is the most perfect, most beautiful thing you’ve ever experienced? How did it affect you?

Watch

This is a very long video, but it’s the best we’ve seen at discussing the reality of heaven and what heaven is.

YOUCAT

Read points 52, 158, and 285 from your YOUCAT including all of the citations, quotes, and definitions on the side column. When you are finished, reflect on the following questions:

  1. In your own words, how would you describe heaven?
  2. What things on earth give us a glimpse at what it’s like in heaven?
  3. Look at YOUCAT point 518. What does it mean when we say, “Our Father who art in heaven”?

Journal

Answer the following question with as much detail as you feel necessary. Make sure you quote at least one sentence from the YOUCAT points in your response. 

What do you imagine heaven to be like? What does heaven mean to us on earth?

Question 5- Is the Rapture True?

Mike was getting ready to bed when he started watching the weather on the local news. Apparently there was a big snowstorm that was going to hit his town that night. 13-16 inches were possible and the only thing Mike could think about was “Snow day!”

When he woke up the next morning, he found out it was true, he had a snow day and started texting his friend, Chaz:

Hey, dude, let’s go sledding.

Can’t, pop has the house under lock and key, no one can come in and no one can go out.

What? That’s crazy.

I know, right?

Why?

Cuz he thinks it is the end of the world. Said our pastor predicted that the world would end with a big snow storm. So now, we’re staying home until God lifts us up to heaven. Apparently it is supposed to happen in the next 24 hours.

Huh?

If I am not at school tomorrow, you’ll know that God took my family and me to be with Him in heaven.

Mike didn’t know what to text back. So, he went sledding with his little brother.

The next day, Mike saw Chaz at school. 

Reflection Questions

  1. What would you say to Chaz if you were Mike?
  2. Do you think Jesus would take people away from earth before the end of the world came? 
  3. What have you heard about the Rapture

Watch

YOUCAT

Read points 111-112 and 163-164 from your YOUCAT including all of the citations, quotes and definitions on the side column. When you are finished, reflect on the following questions:

  1. Why can we have hope about the end of the world?
  2. How do we know when the end of the world will be? (This is a trick question.)

Journal

Answer the following question with as much detail as you feel necessary. Make sure you quote at least one sentence from the YOUCAT points in your response. 

What does it mean today to live in the hope that good will eventually triumph over evil?

Question 6- What is Apologetics?

Kara was sitting at lunch one day when John came up to her. She knew he was a jerk. He liked to pick fights just to make himself sound smart. Today was no different.

“You know what I heard the other day? I read in a book that Jesus never existed. The Church just made him up so that they could gain power and money by starting a religious movement. No such person ever lived.”

Kara knew just how to respond. They had talked about this in her Confirmation class. “What kind of book was it? Was it a novel? You know that a novel is a fictional story, right?”

“But it is based on truth.”

“Historians, even non-Christian historians, agree that a man named Jesus lived in 1st century Galilee. Writers in his lifetime and shortly after wrote about him.”

“Yeah, they’re called the Gospels,” John responded. He clearly thought that he had trapped her.

“No, Jewish and Roman historians who didn’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah mentioned him in their writings. Most scholars agree that he existed. Only a very few say he didn’t and they probably say that only to sell books.”

Reflection Questions

  1. What Kara did above is called apologetics. Apologetics is a “systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine)” according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. Apologetics is defending the faith. Why do we have to defend it? What do those who attack it have to gain?
  2. What do we need in order to defend the faith?
  3. Have you ever been in a situation like the one above? How did you handle it? How could you handle it better?

Watch

This is by a Protestant, but he gives a very good definition of apologetics and he explains it well.

YOUCAT

Read points 11, 352, and 354 from your YOUCAT including all of the citations, quotes, and definitions on the side column. When you are finished, reflect on the following questions:

  1. Who is called to defend and spread the faith? Who gives us all this responsibility? Why is this job so important?
  2. How can I become a better instrument of God’s love and truth?
  3. Can we force someone to become Christian? Why not?

Journal

Answer the following question with as much detail as you feel necessary. Make sure you quote at least one sentence from the YOUCAT points in your response. 

What can I do to become a better defender of my faith

Question 7- What Does “Ecumenism” Mean?

Jessica and Jewel had a lot in common. They both went to the same school. They were both straight “A” students. They both played soccer and ran the same events in track. They even had the same family set up, two older brothers and one younger sister. They had so much in common, that they became close friends.

There was one major difference between them, however. Jessica was light skinned and Catholic while Jewel was darker skinned and Muslim. She wore a hijab around her head and never took it off, not even during her sporting events. 

Every year, during the September 11th memorial day their school took part in, Jewel was treated harshly by the rest of the student body. They called her a “terrorist” among many other things. This practice had become a normal thing for her to the point that she decided not to come to school on September 11th during her senior year. She had had enough.

Realizing that her best friend hadn’t shown up for her first hour class (they had identical schedules, of course), Jessica began to panic. Had someone crossed the line and hurt her before she even got into school? 

Reflection Questions

  1. Why did Jessica worry about her friend, Jewel?
  2. What similarities does Islam have with Catholicism?
  3. Are you familiar with a Protestant denomination? How does that church differ from Catholicism? What does that church have in common with Catholicism?
  4. Recall a time when you had to work with someone who had hurt you. It’s difficult to come to an agreement with someone with whom you have a painful history. What do you have to do to make your partnership work?
  5. In light of your experience from question 4, what advice would you give to people who are working toward ecumenism?

Watch

Pope Francis’ comments on ecumenism:

YOUCAT

Read points 129-134 from your YOUCAT including all of the citations, quotes, and definitions on the side column. When you are finished, reflect on the following questions:

  1. Why is it important that the Church be one?
  2. What can we do to help the Church be unified?

Journal

Answer the following question with as much detail as you feel necessary. Make sure you quote at least one sentence from the YOUCAT points in your response. 

What makes Christians divide? How can we overcome the divisions?

Question 8- What is the Difference Between Eastern Catholics and Roman Catholics?

Eastern Catholics and Roman Catholics are both in union with the Bishop of Rome, otherwise known as the Pope.  They share the same beliefs although there is often different emphases. Their services have a very similar basic structure with readings from the Bible and the Eucharist. There are so many differences, however: if a Roman Catholic were to visit an Eastern Catholic parish, they would wonder, “how on earth are both of these part of the same Church?”

The simple answer is that they have different rituals and traditions. Many of the Eastern Catholic traditions are in fact older than the Roman Catholic traditions. These different rituals and traditions make the rich tapestry that is the Catholic Church.

There are more than 20 different rites in the Catholic Church. A rite is defined as “an ecclesiastical, or church, tradition about how the sacraments are to be celebrated.” These rituals and traditions come from the culture and the history of the people who celebrate it.

Reflection Questions

  1. Before reading this, did you know that there were different rites in the Catholic Church? If you did, where did you hear this before and what did you think about it?
  2. Every parish has its different traditions even if they belong to the same rite. What are some traditions that are unique to your parish?

Watch

YOUCAT

Read points 129-138 from your YOUCAT including all of the citations, quotes, and definitions on the side column. When you are finished, reflect on the following questions:

  1. What does it mean to say that the Church is “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic”?
  2. How does the creation of different rites allow for there to be a “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” church?

Journal

Answer the following question with as much detail as you feel necessary. Make sure you quote at least one sentence from the YOUCAT points in your response. 

Why is it important for the Church to be “one, holy, catholic and apostolic”?

Question 9- What is the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Why Do I Need it?

Complete the following questions by filling in the missing word:

  • If you want to know the definition of a word, you look for it in a _________.
  • If you want to know a synonym of a word, you look for it in a ___________.
  • If you want to see the latest viral video you search for it on _____________.
  • If you want to know the Spanish translation of the word boat, you look for it ____________.
  • If you want to find a good spaghetti recipe you can find it _____________.
  • If you want to read what the Catholic Church believes in its entirety, you read the _______________.

Reflect

  1. Did you put “Google” as your answer for one or more of the statement? Which one(s)?
  2. Did you put “Bible” for your answer to the last statement?
  3. What is the correct answer for the final statement?

Watch

YOUCAT

Read points 468 and 281 from your YOUCAT including all of the citations, quotes, and definitions on the side columns. When you are finished, reflect on the following questions:

  1. Why do you yearn for God?
  2. What makes you truly happy?
  3. How dedicated are you to satisfying your thirst for God through the study of your Catholic faith?
  4. How can the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the YOUCAT help you satisfy this yearning?
  5. What else do you need to help you come closer to Christ?

Journal

Answer the following question with as much detail as you feel necessary.  Make sure you quote at least one sentence from points 468 and 281 in your response.

What is the Catechism of the Catholic Church and why do I need it?

Level Blaze: Final Reflection

We’ve discussed the rich history and diversity that makes up the Catholic Church. We’ve talked about our origin and our ultimate destination. Now, I want to see you put this knowledge to work.

To finish this level, we would would like to challenge you to broaden your spiritual horizons. You can do this by:

  1. Visiting a Catholic Church of a different rite
  2. Praying a different traditional prayer than you’re used to, maybe the Divine Office
  3. Reading a book of the Bible that you are unfamiliar with. For example, we talked about the end of the world when we discussed the Rapture, you could give the Book of Revelation a try.
  4. Becoming friends with a non-Catholic Christian. Maybe share a meal and talk about your respective churches.
  5. Join a group online or in person to learn about the Church and defend it.

There are always more things to learn and to do as you grow in your Catholic faith! Much more than we will ever accomplish in one lifetime, but that doesn’t mean we don’t grow in our faith now!

“For now we see as in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood” – 1 Corinthians 13:12