With most of the group off on Pilgrimage in Rome, the families all gathered for the first of our Lent groups. During Lent we are having some all age sessions and some sessions with a children’s group followed by an adults group.

We are again basing the content on the Arundel and Brighton Lent materials, which has taken the theme of ‘Communion with Christ.’ The reflection on the gospel for the first week of Lent looked at the nature of temptation. When planning we were struck by this part:

“Sin isn’t just self-indulgence. It is the preferring of falsehood to truth, and of convenience to a greater, but more costly, good. Seen in this light, ‘temptation’ can refer to the act of deciding what sort of person we wish to be: Will we be true to our calling? Will we be the people we are called to be? Will we turn ourselves wholly to God?”

This ‘deciding what sort of person we will be’ is a good way to look at Lent with children.

Karlie began with a prayer. We then did a meditation that used art work by Simon Smith. The reflections that go with the pictures was read by 5 members of the group. It was interesting that towards the end, when the devil appears, a very little voice gasped and said “A monster!” (If you want to read the meditations, see Karlie or myself.)

After this we played a game of “Who am I?’ Everyone had a picture on their back and had to ask others to clues to who they were. Once everyone knew, we looked at the pictures. On the back were examples of gifts brought by the people who did each job and also a possible temptation. For example the king’s gift might be to create a happy and safe kingdom but the temptation might be to use his power to be a cruel leader.

After this we heard a story of the temptations in the wilderness. It can be read here.

The second reflection was on the dismissal of the mass. Karlie talked to the children about the dismissal, about how, what we do in the mass effects what we do in between and that we take our faith out into the world.

We finished by looking at the Anima Christi. Together we worked out some of the meaning and wrote our own version:

Help us choose your path of love and holiness.
May your body and blood strengthen us and quench our thirst.
May your holy tears wash away our sins.
Your suffering for us strengthens us because it tells us you love us.
Protect us from the darkness.
Lead us into the light.
Help us to praise you with all the Saints.