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GRADE

4

Our Response to God’s Gifts

Our Response to God’s Gifts

GRADE

4

Our Response to God’s Gifts

GRADE

4

Our Response to God’s Gifts

Thank you, Jesus, for teaching me how to love others. Help me follow your law of love so that others can see your grace in the world.

Visit www.findinggod.com for fun activities and family resources.

Grade 4

ISBN-13: 978-0-8294-3172-8 ISBN-10: 0-8294-3172-1 3441 N. Ashland Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60657 (800) 621-1008 www.loyolapress.com


UNIT

God, Our Creator and Father

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Saint Teresa of テ」ila Saint Teresa of テ」ila believed in the power of prayer. She spent her life writing about prayer and teaching people how to pray to God.

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Saint Teresa of テ」ila Teresa of テ」ila was born in Spain in 1515. Her strict but loving father sent her to a convent when she was 16 years old. Teresa discovered that she liked living a simple life in community with other religious sisters. At times Teresa felt herself growing away from God. Sometimes she tried to pray but found it difficult. However, Teresa continued to pray and remained faithful to God because she knew that this was what he wanted her to do. Teresa wrote about prayer and traveled throughout Spain to teach people about the simple life she lived. What she wrote was so important that she was named a Doctor of the Church, a special kind of teacher. People who want to learn about prayer still read her books today. Her feast day is October 15.

The medieval walled city of テ」ila

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SESSION

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Farmers, park rangers, and sanitation workers help take care of the earth. Can you name other jobs that involve taking care of the earth?

God Creates the World

What can we do to take care of the earth?

Prayer Dear God, please give us the grace to appreciate creation. Help us show our love for you in how we care for the earth. 3

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EXPLORE

God’s Wonderful Creation Think about how you feel when you see a rainbow or a beautiful flower. A feeling of joy and wonder is what God wants us to experience whenever we look at the amazing things he has created for us. God’s most amazing creation is the human family. He created each human with a spiritual nature called a soul. In addition God gave us an intellect so that we can understand and free will so that we can make choices. We are able to choose to live as God wants us to live. The goal of human life is to follow Jesus Christ to God the Father. The Holy Spirit helps us live in a way that will lead us to this goal.

Reading God’s Word The works of God are all of them good; every need when it comes he fills. Sirach: 39:33

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EXPLORE

Caring for the Earth God chose to create the earth for us. One way that we thank him is by taking care of this great gift. We care for the earth by not wasting the resources he has given us. Air, water, mountains, deserts, plants, and animals are all precious because they are gifts from God. Here are some things that we can do to take care of the gifts God has given us: ▶ ▶ ▶

Recycle paper, plastic, metal, and glass. Use cloth towels and napkins instead of paper. Walk or ride a bike instead of riding in a car.

Write about one way you can care for the earth.

Gifts from God Take a moment to think about everything God has created. List some of your favorite gifts from God. Write why you like those things.

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Prayer God Calls Us to Pray Prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with God our Father, with his Son, Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we pray aloud, praying the words of a specific prayer. Other times we listen as someone else prays aloud. We can also pray silently to ourselves. Focusing on one object or image can help us remain attentive to God. Use your imagination to think about something beautiful. Examine it carefully with your mind’s eye. What do you love about it? Thank God for this beautiful part of creation and for all of creation. Let your heart be aware of how much God loves you. In your heart pray the Glory Be to the Father.

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REFLECT

Thanking God for Creation Draw a picture of someone or something from God’s creation that you find amazingly beautiful. Then write a short prayer thanking God for this great gift.

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RESPOND

Living My Faith

Faith Summary God’s love is revealed in the gift of creation. He created each human being with a soul and gave us free will. It is with our souls that we appreciate what God has created. We can use our free will to make good choices to care for the gift of creation.

Words I Learned

Ways of Being Like Jesus

free will psalm* soul

Jesus loved and blessed God his Father. Show God you love him by thanking him for the gift of creation.

Prayer Thank you, God, for the wonderful gift of creation. Help us take care of it, just as you take care of us.

With My Family Activity Spend time enjoying the beauty of creation. You may wish to go for a hike, to spend time playing in a park, or to go for a boat ride. Pray together, thanking God for everything he has given us. Faith on the Go Ask one another: If you could fill a backyard with one thing from God’s creation, what would it be? Why? Family Prayer Dear God, bless our family, a part of your creation. Help us use our free will to choose to care for everything you have given us. Amen.

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Our Father in Heaven

SESSION

2

All people are brothers and sisters, because God is our Father. What are some ways you can show care for your brothers and sisters in God?

Prayer Dear Jesus, help us know God as our loving Father and to follow his plan for us. 9

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EXPLORE

God Listens to Us One day Jesus taught his disciples, “Which of you would give your son a stone when he asks for bread or a snake when he asks for a fish? If even you know how to give your children good gifts, think how much more our Father in heaven will give to those who ask him for something.” adapted from Matthew 7:9–11

Jesus wants us to know that God listens to our prayers because God loves us and wants to help us. The good things God does for us reveal to us his holiness. Jesus shows us a special way to pray when he teaches us the Lord’s Prayer. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we enter into a close relationship with God. Calling God “Our Father” helps us trust God and remember that he will always help us.

Link to Liturgy We pray the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of the Communion Rite at Mass. 10

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EXPLORE

The Kingdom of God When we pray, we worship God and commit ourselves to working for his kingdom. The Kingdom of God is proclaimed in the Gospels and is present in the Person of Jesus. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are praying for the coming of God’s kingdom. The Church represents the Kingdom of God on earth. The Eucharist is the primary sign of the kingdom in our lives. The kingdom will be completed with the return of Jesus Christ at the Last Judgment when he will hand over the kingdom to the Father. In God’s kingdom we join with Jesus and let God direct our lives. We act as Jesus would by caring for others, especially people who are poor.

Serving God’s Kingdom Write how you can serve God’s kingdom in your own life. I can serve God’s kingdom by

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Prayer Our Faith in God We pray the Act of Faith to express our belief and trust in God.

Act of Faith Oh my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.

After you pray the Act of Faith, spend a few minutes with God. Tell him in your own words that you believe in him and trust him.

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REFLECT

Faith, Hope, and Charity Faith, hope, and charity are the Theological Virtues. They are gifts from God that help us develop a strong relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are the foundation of our moral activity and help us follow Jesus Christ to God the Father.

Faith

By accepting and practicing the Theological Virtues, we are able to live as God wants us to live and to gain eternal life in Heaven. We strengthen the Theological Virtues by practicing them.

Hope

Sacred Symbols We use these symbols to represent faith, hope, and charity. Why is each symbol a good one? Make up your own symbols for faith, hope, and charity. Draw them here.

faith

hope

charity

Charity SESSION 2 • Our Father in Heaven

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RESPOND

Living My Faith

Faith Summary We learn about God and his plan for us in the Bible. By practicing the Theological Virtues of faith, hope, and charity, we can follow God’s plan for us.

Words I Learned Theological Virtues

Ways of Being Like Jesus Jesus followed God’s plan for him. Follow God’s plan for you by practicing the Theological Virtues.

Prayer Thank you, Jesus, for teaching us that God listens to us and gives us the grace to make good choices.

With My Family Activity Participate in an activity that will help build up the Kingdom of God. You may wish to visit a nursing home, to serve a meal at a soup kitchen, or to collect donations for a clothing drive. Faith on the Go Ask one another: If you could wear a symbol to show your faith in God, what would it be? Why? Family Prayer Dear God, thank you for giving us the Theological Virtues as a way to follow your plan for us. Help us always practice these virtues in our lives.

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SESSION

We often hear news stories about how people hurt one another. We cannot always stop bad things from happening, but we can help people who have been hurt. What can you do to help someone who has

God’s Plan for Salvation been hurt?

Prayer

Dear God, help us show our love for you in how we serve and care for others. 15

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EXPLORE

Adam and Eve In the beginning God created a man and a woman, body and soul, and gave them the Garden of Eden to live in. God told Adam and Eve, “Take care of the garden. You may eat the fruit of every tree but one. If you eat the fruit of that tree, you will die.” For a while Adam and Eve were happy because they lived in obedience, listening to God and to each other. Then a sly serpent appeared and spoke to Eve. The serpent asked, “Did God really tell you not to eat from one of the trees in the garden?” Eve answered, “We can eat the fruit of every tree except the one in the middle of the garden. God said if we eat the fruit from that tree, we will die.” The serpent looked surprised. “You will not die if you eat from that tree,” it said. “Instead, you will become like gods, who know what is good and what is bad.” Adam and Eve ate some of the fruit. By doing this they showed that they did not trust God, who wanted only the best for them. When God discovered what they had done, he told them to leave the garden. Their relationship with God was injured. From then on their lives would never be the same. adapted from Genesis 2:4—3:24

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EXPLORE

God’s Promise Adam and Eve turned away from God. They walked away from the life of grace that God had given them. As a result we are born into Original Sin and live in a world full of temptation where it can be difficult to follow God’s plan for us. Like Adam and Eve, when we give in to temptation, we also turn away from God. We harm our relationship with him and with others. God did not give up on Adam and Eve, and he will not give up on us. He promised that a Savior would come to save us from our sins. He promised that Mary would be Jesus’ mother, and that Salvation, the forgiveness of sins and the restoration of friendship with God, would come through his Son, Jesus.

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Prayer Our Hope in God We pray the Act of Hope to express our trust in God.

Act of Hope O my God, relying on your infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of your grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

After you pray the Act of Hope, spend a few minutes with God, telling him that you love him and trust him to take care of you.

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The children in the following situations are faced with temptation. They can use their free will to choose to turn away from God or follow God’s plan for them. How might they use their free will to make good choices? Write your ideas on the lines.

REFLECT

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Using Our Free Will

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1. Celia really wants a new skateboard,

but she knows that her mom will not buy her one. One day Celia and her friends are playing in the park. When it is time to leave, she sees a skateboard that she knows one of her classmates has left at the park. What might Celia do?

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2. Olivia and her friends are walking down the hall at school.

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Marta, a new girl, walks past them. Olivia’s friends begin saying unkind things about Marta. What might Olivia do?

3. Max’s father has asked him to walk the family dog before he

goes out to play. One of Max’s friends calls and invites him to a movie that starts in half an hour. If Max goes to the movie, he will not have time to walk the dog. What might Max do?

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RESPOND

Living My Faith

Faith Summary Adam and Eve turned away from God by giving in to temptation. When we give in to temptation, we turn away from God. We harm our relationship with him and with one another. However, God did not abandon Adam and Eve, and he will not abandon us. God has offered us the gift of Salvation through his Son, Jesus.

Word I Learned

Ways of Being Like Jesus

Salvation

Jesus’ actions showed that he trusted in God his Father. Let your words and actions demonstrate to others that you trust in God.

Prayer Thank you, God, for sending us a Savior to mend our relationship with you. Help us mend our relationships with others too.

With My Family Activity Perform a good deed for one another in the coming week. At the end of the week, talk about what everyone did and how it made each person feel. Faith on the Go Ask one another: If you could make one wish come true for someone else, what would you wish for and for whom would you wish it? Why? Family Prayer Dear God, thank you for the gift of Salvation. Help us be thankful for this great gift.

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SESSION

4

We live in a free society. This means that the government cannot tell us where to live, what job to do, or how to worship God. Being free, however, does not mean that we can do whatever we want. What are some things that our

God Calls Us to Obey

society says we may not do?

Prayer

Dear God, please fill us with your love. Help us listen to you so that we always make good choices. 21

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EXPLORE

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit Saint Paul told his friends that as long as they followed the Holy Spirit in true freedom and made these qualities a part of their lives, they would know that their acts were good. The Fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. adapted from Galatians 5:22–23

Forming a Good Conscience At times we are tempted to hurt our relationship with others. When tempted, we can use our free will to choose to make good decisions. Saint Paul taught that we can live in true freedom if we cooperate with the Holy Spirit. The virtue of prudence helps us recognize the good in every situation and make good choices. The Holy Spirit helps us be prudent by helping us form a good conscience. We do this by studying the teachings of the Church and following the guidance of our families and Church leaders.

Reading God’s Word [Y]our kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. 22

Matthew 6:10

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EXPLORE

Examination of Conscience One way we can cooperate with the Holy Spirit in forming a good conscience is by making a frequent examination of conscience. We make an examination of conscience to see how well we are living up to our commitment to Jesus Christ in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. When we do this, we reflect on the Ten Commandments, the teachings of the Church, and what God calls us to do every day. This kind of reflection helps us prepare to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, often called the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When we examine our consciences, we think about our relationships with God and with others and about how we are growing as Christians.

Positive Choices Read An Examination of Conscience on page 210. The questions will help you think about the positive choices you are being called to make. Write about one positive choice you can make during the next week.

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Prayer Making Good Choices It is a good practice to make a frequent examination of conscience instead of waiting until you are about to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you examine your conscience often, you can focus on one part of the examination at a time. For example one day reflect on your relationship with God. The next day reflect on your relationships with others or on your growth as a Christian. Take a moment to think about your relationships with others. Do you treat everyone with respect? What can you do to improve your relationships with your family, friends, and neighbors? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you grow in prudence and live in true freedom.

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REFLECT

A Helping Hand Sophia had been thinking about how important it is to show respect. One day she decided to put respect into practice. Sophia saw a new classmate, Evan, sitting on the ground, books scattered all around him. She saw a few classmates running away. Sophia was in a hurry to get home so that she could go to a friend’s house, but she knew that Evan needed help. She walked over to him and stretched out her hand. She asked, “Can I help you?” He told her that the boys had knocked him down for fun.

Write About Respect What are some ways you can show respect for your classmates?

Sophia helped Evan to his feet. Together they picked up his books. She was a little late getting to her friend’s house, but she felt good knowing that she had shown someone respect. Sophia was sure that she had followed the path God had chosen for her.

Meet a Saint Saint Peter Canisius was a Jesuit priest. He always tried to see good in people. His friend Father Couvillon was often so sharp and angry with people that they did not want to be around him. Peter helped Father Couvillon overcome his pride and get along with people. Thanks to Peter, Father Couvillon was able to lead a better life. SESSION 4 • God Calls Us to Obey

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RESPOND

Living My Faith

Faith Summary Although we are all tempted to sin, we can use free will to make good choices. When we make an examination of conscience and cooperate with the Holy Spirit, we can choose to live in true freedom and to practice the virtue of prudence.

Word I Learned prudence

Ways of Being Like Jesus Jesus formed a good conscience by spending time in prayer. Form a good conscience by making a frequent examination of conscience.

Prayer Holy Spirit, help us follow you and use our free will to make prudent choices.

With My Family Activity Read aloud a children’s book, such as The Rainbow Fish or The Selfish Giant, in which the characters respond to a temptation. Discuss whether you would make the same choices as the characters. Faith on the Go Ask one another: What is one way I can make the Fruits of the Holy Spirit a part of my life? Family Prayer God, help us follow the Holy Spirit by using our free will to make prudent choices. Guide us to examine our actions and form good consciences.

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SESSION

Celebrating Ordinary Time

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The Church celebrates feasts and seasons to remind us of the great things God has done for us. These celebrations help us remember how much God loves us. Ordinary Time is one Church season. We celebrate it twice each liturgical year—between Christmas and Ash Wednesday and after the Easter season until the Advent season. All Souls Day and All Saints Day are two feasts celebrated in the fall, near the end of Ordinary Time. The name of the season, Ordinary Time, does not mean that the season is common. Ordinary comes from the word ordinal, meaning “time that is put in a certain order.” Each week is referred to by which number week it is, such as the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Prayer Dear God, we know you are with us during Ordinary Time. Help us follow the example of Jesus, the Light of the World. 27

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EXPLORE

We Grow in Virtue During Ordinary Time During Ordinary Time we are called to grow in faith and to reflect on how Jesus wants us to live. We try to better understand Jesus’ invitation to love God, to serve others, and to avoid sin. We seek the light of God’s grace to help us grow in virtue and to avoid temptation. We thank God for the many opportunities he gives us to serve others. Virtues are like good habits. They are behaviors we can strengthen if we practice them. Some of the virtues we can practice in our lives include honesty, charity, patience, prudence, joy, hope, justice, courage, faith, temperance, and self-control.

Growing Strong Write how you can practice and develop the virtues in your life.

Reading God’s Word Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:8–10 28

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REFLECT

Mass During Ordinary Time When we go to Mass during Ordinary Time, we often hear Scripture readings about the call to discipleship. As disciples we believe in and follow Jesus’ teachings. The call to discipleship is received in Baptism, nourished in the Eucharist, strengthened in Confirmation, and practiced in the world. We learn how Jesus lived and treated others so that we can follow his example.

What We Experience When we look around the church, we see candles. The sanctuary lamp, often near the tabernacle, reminds us that Christ is present in a special way in the Blessed Sacrament. The candles at the altar remind us that Christ is present in the celebration of the Eucharist. The light of the candles also reminds us that, as disciples, we are called to practice the virtues and to share the light of Christ with others.

Sharing Christ’s Light Write how you can share the light of Christ with others.

Did You Know? Depending on the year, Ordinary Time runs either 33 or 34 weeks.

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RESPOND

Living My Faith

Faith Summary We celebrate Ordinary Time twice during each liturgical year. During this season we practice the virtues, which helps us grow as disciples. By living the way Jesus wants us to live, we share his light with others.

Word I Learned discipleship

Ways of Being Like Jesus Jesus practiced faith, hope, and charity. Choose to practice these virtues in your life.

Prayer Dear God, thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus. Help us grow in virtue so that we can be true disciples.

With My Family Activity When you go to Mass, notice the use of candles. Discuss how you can share the light of Christ with others during the next week. Faith on the Go Ask one another: What virtues do I admire in others? How can I practice these virtues in my own life? Family Prayer Use Ordinary Time to invite family members to grow in faith by leading mealtime prayers. Encourage family members to pray a new prayer each time they have a turn.

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Profile for Loyola Press

Finding God: Grade 4, Student Edition  

Finding God: Grade 4, Student Edition

Finding God: Grade 4, Student Edition  

Finding God: Grade 4, Student Edition