A Gift from Jesus

At the end of my workshop In Hartford, CT, on Saturday (speaking on leading guided reflections), a priest came up to chat with me. I hesitate to call him an elderly priest because, although he was obviously up there in years, he had such a youthful attitude that it made him seem quite young. Anyway, the priest was telling me how he’s been doing guided reflections in catechesis for many years and that one thing he likes to do is to conclude the meditation by inviting the participants to imagine that Jesus offers them a gift of some sort. The beauty of it is that each individual is led by the Holy Spirit to conceptualize what that gift is and what it means to them. He said that he invites those who wish to do so to share a description of the gift they have received from Jesus and he said that the resulting sharing is phenomenal.

What a wonderful idea. I look forward to integrating this into a guided reflection sometime soon. Anyone else done something like this?

About Joe Paprocki 2365 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 www.catechistsjourney.com.

10 Comments on A Gift from Jesus

  1. It would be so nice if our church gave some catechist workshops…I’d really like that! And the leaded guided reflection sounds totally awesome! I could imagine my gift from Jesus being that he would take away ALL my anxiety…I think my husband would love that too!!! 🙂 As always, thanks for sharing!

  2. I love the gift idea too! I will definitely add that to one of the meditations we do in class this year – it might be especially meaningful around Christmas, when gifts are at the forefront of their minds. I frequently use a great book called Guided Meditations for Children by Jane Reehorst BVM (published by Harcourt, sorry!!). I highly recommend it!

  3. This comment came via email from Maureen:

    Joe, I have done this with our 2nd graders when they prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The children receive a plain white box-(I have a source if you need it) and stress The Sacrament is a gift after each chapter in their books, they are to sit quietly, and bring to mind what they learned about that chapter, draw or color that word/image/idea. Six chapters, six sides to the white 4 X 4 box-after they receive the sacrament, they take their box and place them in a basket which is overflowing with other decorated boxes for the community to see and it is a reminder to pray for these children.

    I use a box often when doing talks for Women s retreats/nights of reflection. They use them as a reminder of what a gift they are to their families, their communities etc. if they are small enough, they can place them in the car, a place that can be used for prayer, instead of road rage.

    And the last email you sent out with the movie clips-honestly, you are a genius! I never knew a site like this was available! Thanks again for sharing your wisdom! Maureen

  4. Love the gift idea and agree that it would be perfect with Christmas coming. I’m also thinking that something like this would fit in with our 8th grade pre-graduation retreat. Any other retreat activity ideas would be appreciated. This is my first year planning the retreat–usually I just help while a special presenter runs the show.

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