Catechism 101 – Lesson 3: Limitations on Our Knowledge and Communication of God

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Lesson 3 Image

Reading Material: Catechism of the Catholic Church 36-49

Objective:  Students will explore different ways we learn how to communicate about God, and how being in God’s image and likeness enables us to know God.

Main Ideas:

  1. Our language is limited and cannot perfectly describe God. Nevertheless, we can use our limited language to talk about him based on the perfection we see in his creatures.
  2. We are able to know God because we are in his image and likeness. Our reason is able to lead us to proof of his existence, and thus gives us the foundation needed to turn to faith.
  3. We need to bring God to those that do not yet know or love him, because our entire meaning and existence lies in him.

Learning Activities

Ages 6-8

Focus: We know God because we see his goodness in his creatures

Activity: Tell your child to draw a picture of the person you love most in this world.  When they finish, ask what they love about this person. Then talk about how each of those attributes is a small reflection of the way God loves us. Explain to your child that even though we can’t see God, we can describe and talk about him because of the goodness we see in things and people he has created.

Ages 9-11

Focus: Bringing God to Others

Introduction: Look at something you have made – maybe something you’ve baked, or drawn, or made out of clay. Would it exist if you hadn’t made it? No – it came into existence because of you. The same is true of us. We came into existence because God made us. What’s even more amazing is that he created us from nothing – he didn’t have any materials or instructions to start with. We need God. The meaning of our life lies in our Creator. Many people don’t know God, don’t recognize how much they need him, or just forget about him.

Activity: Do something today to bring God’s love to someone else. Possible examples:

  • Teach a little brother or sister something new about their faith.
  • Surprise an elderly friend or neighbor with a visit and help them with something.
  • Talk to a friend who isn’t Catholic about your faith and why God is important to you.
  • Write a thank you letter to someone who has helped you in your faith (maybe an older brother or sister, parent or godparent)

Ages 11-13

Focus: We know God because we are in his image and likeness

We can know God and talk about him from what we see in his creatures because we have been made in his image and likeness. We are in God’s image and likeness because he created us, like himself, with an intellect, heart and will, and therefore, with freedom.

Activity 1: What is something you did today? Describe what you did, and what you were thinking and feeling in that moment. How were your heart, mind and will involved in what you did? How was your freedom involved? Respond in writing, or orally in a discussion.

Activity 2: Read one of your favorite Gospel passages. Then write a paragraph about the following: What does this gospel passage tell you about God’s intellect, heart and will?

Activity 3:  Make a list of words or phrases describing God. Look over them. Do they fully do justice to who God is? Go back, and try to come up with more accurate, specific, or complete phrases. Do they completely do justice to God now? Discussion: Our language is limited. No matter what words we use to describe God and his actions, thoughts or love, we cannot describe him perfectly, both due to loss of words, and due to the fact that his existence completely surpasses our intellect. Nevertheless, it’s worth using the words we have to talk about him as best as we can.

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