The Linked Parishes of  Pope John XXIII  &  Christ The King

2020-21 Faith Formation Program

Middle Grades

Session 5 - Living Our Beliefs

Do you ever feel that following God stops you from having fun and enjoying life?

Or that living by the

10 Commandments means obeying a long list of

"Thou shalt nots"?

That following God's plan will rob you of your freedom?


it's just the opposite!



One of the most precious gifts God gave us as humans is our FREE WILL.

He created us with a body, intellect, a spiritual soul, and with the  gift to freely choose our life's path.

We can freely choose NOT to cooperate with God's plan


To freely choose to take a path that will take us toward God and eternal happiness with Him in heaven

God is NOT some kind of puppet master controlling our choices.

He does want us to do what is good and reject things that are sinful.

BUT - it's still our free choice

"Before all else be free persons!  Freedom means...knowing how to (choose) behaviors that make us will make you persons with a backbone, who know how to face life, (and live as) courageous and patient persons."

Pope Francis, June 7, 2013

God created everything out of goodness and love. He made us in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26).

“Be holy because I (am) holy”

(1 Peter 1:16)


God calls each of us to holiness - to be like him. 


Grace makes it possible for us to become holy.

be holy.webp

God has given us many gifts and tools to help us choose to do and be good.  Let's take a look at some of them



Grace is a “favor,” - meaning that it is a gift from God, a gift we cannot earn on our own.

Grace is the gift of God’s life within us and the help God gives us to live as his children.

There are 2 kinds of GRACE

Based on - K. Ristow, Catechist, 2012



Sanctifying grace is the gift of God’s life and love. We are made holy by sanctifying grace.

The word SANCTIFY means

“to make holy.”

You first received the gift of sanctifying grace at Baptism.


Original Sin is washed away when we are baptized; we are returned to the original holiness God intends for all his children.

Based on - K. Ristow, Catechist, 2012


God gives us additional help in living as his children through the gift of actual grace.


When we cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, the Spirit guides our conscience and helps us to make good choices.

We receive actual grace through prayer and asking Jesus’ help in living as his disciples.

With the gift of actual grace, God helps us to choose good and avoid sin.

God's grace helps us keep His laws


We all experience rules in our lives

Every family has rules

Schools have rules

Sports teams have rules

These rules teach us what is acceptable and what is not, and, in some cases, also keep us safe.

GOD is the ultimate authority for what is right, true, and good

GOD is the ultimate authority for what is right, true, and good.

He gave us the 10 Commandments to help guide us - to help us keep our relationship with each other and Him in good order.

God also gave us the grace we need to follow his commandments

The Ten Commandments guide us in making choices that help us to live as God wants us to live.


The first three commandments tell us how to love God.


The other seven tell us how to love our neighbor.

  1. I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange gods before me.

  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

  3. Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day.

  4. Honor your father and your mother.

  5. You shall not kill.

  6. You shall not commit adultery.

  7. You shall not steal.

  8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

  9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.

  10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.

God gave us rules to keep his people safe and happy.

The Ten Commandments are rooted in God’s love for us.

When we break the rules we can confess our sins and keep our relationship positive.

Is it possible to break a rule and NOT have sinned?

That depends on whether it is a sin - or an accident!


How do we know the difference?

To commit a sin, you must know it is a sin (something against God’s Law and against love), you must want to do it, and you must do it freely

An accident is something that you do by mistake, that you did not intend to happen.

SIN       or     ACCIDENT

If we break something in the house, like a lamp, while we are dusting the living room, that is an accident. But if we break the lamp because we are throwing a ball in the house, which a parent has told us we may not do, then we freely and deliberately disobeyed by throwing the ball - that is a sin.

Sermon on the Mount

"The Beatitudes"

sermon Mt.jpg

Jesus was an amazing teacher.  He spent His life teaching people how to find joy by following God's plan for their happiness.

One of his most famous lessons was taught on the side of a mountain in Galilee, a region in northern Israel


There were so many people that wanted to see Jesus. So, Jesus went up on a mountain.


Then Jesus taught them what we know as The Beatitudes. This is the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount.

Did you know "blessed" = "happy"

Every Beatitude statement begins with "Blessed are they..."

It means "Happy are they...

Beatitudes Practice & Fun

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