My Crystal Ball

I began class last night by inviting the kids to join me in another room that I had set up with my “crystal ball!” I have a light fixture – a globe – that is tinted white and I placed a battery operated flickering candle inside of it and wrapped a purple cloth around the base of it. All of the lights in the room were turned off and I had a CD playing in the background with a chant-like melody.

The kids “oohed” and “ahhed” and were immediately drawn to the crystal ball. They asked if I was going to predict the future and I said, “Yes, who wants to have me predict their future?” Naturally, they fell all over each other to be the one chosen! I picked one of the young men and then proceeded to look into my crystal ball. They actually grew silent, waiting for me to “divine” this young man’s future! After a dramatic pause, I said, “I see a very handsome and successful man…” I paused again briefly and then said, “Oops, that’s just my reflection!” They got a good laugh out of this and then I told them that the jig was up…I can’t predict the future. I think they were genuinely disappointed. I went on to make the following points:

  • I talked about how some people actually go to psychics, looking for clues about their future.
  • I asked why some people would do this. One young lady said that some people are “paranoid about the future.”
  • I said that it’s true that we often react to the future with fear. I said that there are 2 other ways that people typically react to the future aside from fear: despair and hope.
  • I said that Advent reminds us that we are called to be a people of hope, looking to the future with confident joy knowing only one thing for certain: God will be in our future because he’s always with us. We need not fear the future because the Holy Spirit is with us at all times and will be coming to them in a special way in Confirmation.

This made for a nice segue into the remainder of the evening in which we looked at the symbols of the Holy Spirit as I described in yesterday’s post. At the end of the evening, when I asked my kids to each state one thing they learned that evening, one of the boys good-naturedly said, “I learned that you can’t predict the future.” I laughed and said, “But what’s the one thing I said that we can count on?” He said, “God.” I congratulated him and said, “See, you remembered one thing that I said tonight!” 🙂

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the parts that did not go so well.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

5 Comments on My Crystal Ball

    • Christian, I was genuinely surprised at the level of laughter! I normally refrain from trying to make jokes with my classes because they can be a “tough crowd” when it comes to humor, but this one really worked. I think because it was slightly at the expense of one of their buddies.

  1. Very timley topic with all of the 12/12 stuff in the media lately. As I remind my students who are older than yours the end of the world for me might be tonight when I walk out the door and get in the car if I should be in an accident on my way home We all need to live in the moment prepared to meet out maker. I also remind them that Jesus himself said he knew not the hour so they shouldn’t be putting too much trust in those who claim to because those claims have been made before.

    • Well said, Maura. I also wouldn’t put too much trust in a “psychic” who can’t spell! Yesterday, I found a Web site for a “psychic” that contained 7 spelling errors on the homepage!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.