February 2010 Study Guide

Bible Blurbs

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
(Colossians 3:14)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…
(Galatians 5:22)
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
(1 Peter 4:10)
Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.
(Ecclesiastes 11:9)
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
(Psalm 126:5)

The entire bible is available to read and search online at www.usccb.org/nab/bible

Catechism Clips

1765 There are many passions. The most fundamental passion is love, moved by the attraction of the good.
2500 The practice of goodness is accompanied by spontaneous spiritual joy and moral beauty.
1829 “Love is the fulfillment of all our works. That is the goal. That is why we run. We run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.” (Saint Augustine)
2331 God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion.
2501 Man also expresses the truth of his relationship with God the Creator by the beauty of his artistic works. Indeed, art is a distinctively human form of expression. Art is a freely given superabundance of the human being’s inner riches.

Pope Quotes

Love is indeed “ecstasy”, not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus …towards authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God.
(Pope Benedict XVI, God is Love, no. 6)
…the idea is certainly present that man is somehow incomplete, driven by nature to seek in another the part that can make him whole, the idea that only in communion with the opposite sex can he become “complete”.
(Pope Benedict XVI,
God Is Love, no. 11)
Becoming men and women according to Jesus’ plan demands sacrifices, but these are by no means negative; on the contrary, they are a help in living as people with new hearts, in living a truly human and happy life.
(Pope Benedict XVI, To young people, April 6, 2006)
I perceive in others an interior desire for a sign of love, of concern… Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave.
(Pope Benedict XVI, God is Love, no. 18)

Discussion Questions

1) Taylor Swift knows that she is very blessed to have discovered her musical talents and gifts at such an early age. But a talent can be many different things, and sometimes they aren’t so obvious. Do you have big dreams for your future? Do you think you have a special talent or gift? What are some ways that we can discover and learn what our gifts and talents are? Do you think God has a plan for those gifts?
2) Do you think there are a lot of pressures for girls and guys in dating relationships to be disrespectful to or use one another? Do you think Taylor Swift has tried to rise above those pressures? Why? How is she doing this? What are some ways you can avoid these pressures in your own life?
3) Taylor Swift talks often and openly about the loving relationship she has with her parents. Do you feel that you can communicate with your parents? Do you feel that your parents will support you no matter what? Do you think your parents feel respected and supported by you? What are some ways to make that relationship stronger?
4)Taylor Swift has made some tough choices, like choosing to avoid drugs & unhealthy dating relationships, and even choosing to leave a contract with a major record label. She makes these choices based on an uncompromising sense of self-respect and dignity. What does God tell us about respecting ourselves and our bodies? What kind of respect does He expect us to have for others, especially in relationships? How important is a persons dignity? What are some ways we can protect our dignity and the dignity of others?
5)A lot of Taylor Swift’s songs talk about what happens when someone makes a choice that breaks their heart, hurts their body, or hurts someone else. What can we do to recover from those hurtful choices? Who can we talk to for help and support? As Catholics, we can receive forgiveness and healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Is going to confession something you would do, or recommend to a friend, in a painful relationship situation? Do you think confession can help restore a person’s self-respect and dignity?

Journal Writing

Just for fun, try writing the lyrics to the next big Taylor Swift hit song. It can be about yourself, or just a fictional character. Write about a relationship struggle or difficult choice. Only in “your” song lyrics, write about how God and faith in Him helps to resolve the situation.

Activities

“… a family who prays together stays together.” – Mother Teresa said that… Are you brave enough to ask your parents to pray the Rosary with you once a week? If you’re not sure how, check out:
http://www.comepraytherosary.org/
Have a Karaoke night or a talent show with your class or family. Who knows what hidden talents you might find…

Debate

Is Taylor Swift just another “manufactured” star, who gets away with having less talent because of looks or image? Or is she the real thing?
Taylor Swift is thought by some to be “missing out” on a lot of the partying and fun that other movie and music starlets enjoy for a time, until it catches up with them and they crash…
Is Taylor being foolish and missing out on the “normal” partying people should do while they’re young, or is she being wise making the statement that just because everyone is doing it doens’t mean it’s normal?

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