We began our third family session by talking about a scene from “The Lion King” when Mufasa confronts Scar. Scar is resentful because he has lost his place a heir to the throne with the birth of Simba. He will never be king now.

Scar was like the elder son in the parable of the Prodigal, that we have been looking at this Lent. We heard the next part of the story, focusing on the eldest son’s thoughts and feelings.

Following this the children had cards to sort out. Each card had different feelings and thoughts written on them. The children had to place them in two groups; those which belonged to the elder son and those which belonged to the father in the story. Each child then wrote out two thoughts or feelings of their own; one time when they had been resentful and one where they had been loving. The cards for the son and all the resentful thoughts from the children were placed on one part of the prayer focus and those loving thoughts placed with the thoughts of the father on the other.


Meanwhile the adults and teenagers had been thinking about a quote from Henri Nouwen:

“…there must be gratitude- the opposite of resentment. Resentment and gratitude cannot co-exist, since resentment blocks the perception and experience of life as a gift.

My resentment tells me that I don’t receive what I deserve. It always manifests itself in envy.
Gratitude, however, goes beyond “mine” and “Thine” and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realise that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.”

We then sat as a group and read first the ‘resentful’ quotes and then the ‘loving’ quotes. We checked how we were feeling after each one. We noticed how re-reading times when we felt full of resentment brought up angry feelings. How different from when we heard the other examples! Then we felt much happier!

We all thought about gratitude and read “Making heart bread”. Many of the children had heard this story before and it was good to re-visit it. The book goes through, step by step, a way of doing the Ignaitan Examen for children. After this we thought about what we were most grateful for from the day just gone. Taking it in turns each person lit a candle after saying their thing.

We finished with a prayer and the song “Stay with me.”

The next family session takes place at Elms Meade and not at St Agnes as there is an all night vigil happening from 7pm in the church.