Open the Doors:
Seven Approaches
to an Encounter
with Christ
Leland Nagel
Executive
Director
A L i t a n y o f t h e W a y
Prayer for the Journey
As Jesus sought the quiet of the desert,
Teach us to pray.
As Jesus w...
A L i t a n y o f t h e W a y
Prayer for the Journey
As Jesus in the garden opened his mind and
heart to God's will,
Teach...
All you holy men and women
Pray for us.
Catholic saints are
holy people and
human people who
lived extraordinary
lives. Ea...
Saint Pulcheria
Empress (399-453)
• Ruled as partner and tutor to her
younger brother at age fifteen when
their father die...
More Saints of the Day
St. Salvius of Albi, St. Achilleus, Bl. Agnes Takea, Bl.
Agnes Tsao-Kouy, Bl. Angelus Orsucci, Bl. ...
More Saints of the Day
Bl. Louis Kawara, Bl. Lucy de Freitas, Bl. Mary
Tokuan & Mary Choun, Bl. Mary Tanaura, Bl.
Mary Tok...
OPEN THE DOORS
God is constantly
knocking at the gate
of my heart
to invite me to go
beyond the state I
have reached,
beca...
OPEN THE DOORS:
Seven Approaches to an
Encounter with Christ
Why “Encounter”?
The catechist
•Has encountered Christ
•Has b...
God is incredibly in love with
you.
“For most of my life I have struggled to find
God, to know God, to love God. I have tr...
God is incredibly in love
with you.
“Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently
realized that during all this time God has
b...
Seven Approaches
1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God
is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen
2. Balance: Ritual a...
First Approach
1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God
is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen
2. Balance: Ritual and...
PREPAREDNESS:
Open Your Mind to What God is Offering;
Then Stop, Look, and Listen
READ the next week’s lesson as soon as
y...
Second Approach
1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God
is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen
2. Balance: Ritual an...
Balance: Ritual and Novelty,
Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk
BALANCE IS IMPORTANT
•RITUAL – provides structure and ...
Starting Class
ENGAGE AS MANY SENSES AS POSSIBLE
•Have music playing in the background when
they enter.
•Prominent place f...
Rules for Using Chimes
Quiet within one (1) minute
• Strike the chimes, in a sequence of 3
• Wait thirty (30) seconds and ...
Third Approach
1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God
is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen
2. Balance: Ritual and...
Prime the Pump,
Make Connections, Engage the Senses,
Activate Learning Styles
• Prime the Pump - to do something in
order ...
Prime the Pump,
Make Connections, Engage the Senses,
Activate Learning Styles
• What’s going on in their lives
• What’s ha...
Prime the Pump,
Make Connections, Engage the Senses,
Activate Learning Styles
• Listen to a piece of music
• Show a pictur...
Prime the Pump,
Make Connections, Engage the Senses,
Activate Learning Styles
•
Prime the Pump,
Make Connections, Engage the Senses,
Activate Learning Styles
•
Prime the Pump,
Make Connections, Engage the Senses,
Activate Learning Styles
• Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences
Fourth Approach
1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God
is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen
2. Balance: Ritual an...
Seven-Minute Chunks with
Catholic Service Announcements (CSA)
Never talk more than seven (7) minutes
without changing some...
Fifth Approach
1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God
is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen
2. Balance: Ritual and...
Quiet Moments for Reflection
• Start with small increments and
background music.
• Lectio Divina – Just one word/phrase
• ...
Sixth Approach
1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God
is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen
2. Balance: Ritual and...
Review
• Have them read the key concepts to each
other – Two lines, one keeps rotating
• What are two things you remember ...
Seventh Approach
1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God
is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen
2. Balance: Ritual a...
Go Forth Blessed
It was the last words she ever said
to him.
When she came out,
she made a vow.
“I walked out into life. I...
Dead Man Walking
"I want the last
face you see in this
world to be the
face of love, so you
look at me when
they do this t...
The Elements of a Blessing
The first element in any blessing is that
there has to be a relationship with God.
When we bles...
The Elements of a Blessing
When things are not going so well in our
lives – when the road does not rise to
meet us – every...
The Elements of a Blessing
The second element in a blessing is the
ritual of transfer of the blessing or the
goodness. His...
The Elements of a Blessing
The sense of touch, whether it is the wind
at your back, the sun shining upon your
face or the ...
The Elements of a Blessing
The third element of a blessing is the
enhancement of the receiver, wherein we
envision the goo...
Go Forth Blessed
• Your turn
• Imagine me facing you and I have my
hand on your shoulder.
• I am looking you in the eyes a...
Go Forth Blessed
May you arise each day with a voice of
blessing whispering in your heart.
May you find harmony between yo...
Go Forth Blessed
YOU CAN DO THAT MANY WAYS
•Individually as they leave the room
•Stretch forth your arms and bless them al...
Go Forth Blessed
WHY?
• Despite all the darkness, human hope is
based on the instinct that at the deepest
level of reality...
REVIEW: Seven
Approaches1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God
is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen
2. Balance: R...
Review
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  1. 1. Open the Doors: Seven Approaches to an Encounter with Christ Leland Nagel Executive Director
  2. 2. A L i t a n y o f t h e W a y Prayer for the Journey As Jesus sought the quiet of the desert, Teach us to pray. As Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, Teach us to love. As Jesus promised Paradise to the thief on the cross, Teach us to hope. As the child Jesus sat among the elders in the temple, Teach us to seek answers.
  3. 3. A L i t a n y o f t h e W a y Prayer for the Journey As Jesus in the garden opened his mind and heart to God's will, Teach us to listen. As Jesus reflected on the Law and the Prophets, Teach us to learn. As Jesus used parables to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom, Teach us to teach. - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  4. 4. All you holy men and women Pray for us. Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint . AmericanCatholic.org
  5. 5. Saint Pulcheria Empress (399-453) • Ruled as partner and tutor to her younger brother at age fifteen when their father died – named Augusta • Took a vow of perpetual celibacy - thus shielding herself from the intrigue of potential suitors • Built and endowed many churches, including three devoted to the mother of God, as well as hospitals and shelters for the poor.
  6. 6. More Saints of the Day St. Salvius of Albi, St. Achilleus, Bl. Agnes Takea, Bl. Agnes Tsao-Kouy, Bl. Angelus Orsucci, Bl. Anthony Kiun, Bl. Anthony of Korea, Bl. Anthony Sanga, Bl. Anthony Vom, St. Apollinaris Franco, St. Autbert, Bl. Bartholomew Shikiemon, St. Barypsabas, St. Candida the Younger, St. Cosmas of Aphrodisia, Bl. Damien Yamiki, Bl. Dominic Nakano, St. Dominic Shamada, St. Finian, St. Francis de Morales, St. Frithestan, Bl. Gundislavus Fusai, St. Hyacinth Orfanel, Bl. John Kingoku, Bl. John of Korea, St. Joseph of St. Hyacinth, St. Leo Satsuma, Bl. Louis Kawara. Bl. Lucy de Freitas
  7. 7. More Saints of the Day Bl. Louis Kawara, Bl. Lucy de Freitas, Bl. Mary Tokuan & Mary Choun, Bl. Mary Tanaura, Bl. Mary Tokuan & Mary Choun, St. Menodora, Bl. Michael Shumpo, Bl. Michael Yamiki, St. Nemesian, Felix, and Companions, Bl. Paul Tanaka, St. Peter Martinez, Bl. Peter Nangashi, Bl. Peter of Avila, Bl. Peter Sampo, Bl. Peter Sanga, Bl. Richard of St. Ann, Bl. Sebastian Kimura, Bl. Thecla Nangashi, St. Theodard of Maastricht, Bl. Thomas of the Holy Rosary, Bl. Thomas Sherwood, http://www.catholic.org/saints/sofd.php St. Veranus of Vence
  8. 8. OPEN THE DOORS God is constantly knocking at the gate of my heart to invite me to go beyond the state I have reached, because my whole life should be a journey on the way to Love. - Charles Cardinal Journet
  9. 9. OPEN THE DOORS: Seven Approaches to an Encounter with Christ Why “Encounter”? The catechist •Has encountered Christ •Has been converted by Christ •Follows Christ •Shares in Christ’s life and mission •Possesses a living social conscience •Well-rooted in the cultural environment NDC, no. 21 C, p. 65
  10. 10. God is incredibly in love with you. “For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life — pray always, work for others, read the Scriptures — and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times but always tried again, even when I was close to despair.”
  11. 11. God is incredibly in love with you. “Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. The question is not ‘How am I to find God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be found by him?’ …The question is not ‘How am I to love God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be loved by God?’” – Henri J. M. Nouwen, “The Return of the Prodigal Son”, p.
  12. 12. Seven Approaches 1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen 2. Balance: Ritual and Novelty, Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk 3. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles 4. Seven-Minute Chunks with Catholic Service Announcements 5. Quiet Moments for Reflection 6. Review 7. Go Forth Blessed
  13. 13. First Approach 1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen 2. Balance: Ritual and Novelty, Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk 3. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles 4. Seven-Minute Chunks with Catholic Service Announcements 5. Quiet Moments for Reflection 6. Review 7. Go Forth Blessed
  14. 14. PREPAREDNESS: Open Your Mind to What God is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen READ the next week’s lesson as soon as you finish this week’s class/gathering. Now you know what you are looking for •Find ideas in what you read •Hear things to use from »People you encounter/Conversations »Programs on the radio/TV/Videos God is always talking – You need to
  15. 15. Second Approach 1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen 2. Balance: Ritual and Novelty, Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk 3. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles 4. Seven-Minute Chunks with Catholic Service Announcements 5. Quiet Moments for Reflection 6. Review 7. Go Forth Blessed
  16. 16. Balance: Ritual and Novelty, Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk BALANCE IS IMPORTANT •RITUAL – provides structure and comfort. We feel safe because we know what is going to happen. We are comforted. Too much ritual and it becomes boring. Ritual can become routine, that’s a slippery slope to getting into a rut. •NOVELTY - provides a newness, excitement, risk, unexpected delights and challenges.
  17. 17. Starting Class ENGAGE AS MANY SENSES AS POSSIBLE •Have music playing in the background when they enter. •Prominent place for Scripture/Bible •Light some incense •Strike a chime/ring a bell • Process in the Bible & Open to the passage • Strike a chime/ring a bell • Light a candle • Strike a chime/ring a bell
  18. 18. Rules for Using Chimes Quiet within one (1) minute • Strike the chimes, in a sequence of 3 • Wait thirty (30) seconds and look lovingly at those present – NO DAGGER EYES • Strike the chimes in the same sequence • Wait twenty (20) seconds and continue to look lovingly and calmly at those present • Strike the chimes in the same sequence • Wait ten (10) seconds, look • lovingly and then begin, “Thank you…”
  19. 19. Third Approach 1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen 2. Balance: Ritual and Novelty, Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk 3. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles 4. Seven-Minute Chunks with Catholic Service Announcements 5. Quiet Moments for Reflection 6. Review 7. Go Forth Blessed
  20. 20. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles • Prime the Pump - to do something in order to make something succeed. To get ready. Get their attention. – Clue may be in Opening Prayer – Might come from homework – Prop may be on the desk –Word written on the board – Picture on the wall – Story may be shared
  21. 21. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles • What’s going on in their lives • What’s happening at school • What are they watching • What/Who are they listening to • What are they reading • What’s being talked/texted about HOW DO YOU FIND THIS OUT? Awareness*Pay Attention *Awareness
  22. 22. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles • Listen to a piece of music • Show a picture • Watch a video clip • View something from YouTube • Pass around an object • Engage in a ritual action: Water, oil, bread, incense, candle, Bible • Get up and move around the room
  23. 23. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles •
  24. 24. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles •
  25. 25. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles • Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences
  26. 26. Fourth Approach 1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen 2. Balance: Ritual and Novelty, Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk 3. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles 4. Seven-Minute Chunks with Catholic Service Announcements 5. Quiet Moments for Reflection 6. Review 7. Go Forth Blessed
  27. 27. Seven-Minute Chunks with Catholic Service Announcements (CSA) Never talk more than seven (7) minutes without changing something/CSA. •Change where you are standing •Change their focus •Change their body position •Change your presentation style • Catholic Service Announcements (CSA) Actual Bulletin Announcement, Quote, Poem, Definition, If God was like…
  28. 28. Fifth Approach 1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen 2. Balance: Ritual and Novelty, Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk 3. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles 4. Seven-Minute Chunks with Catholic Service Announcements 5. Quiet Moments for Reflection 6. Review 7. Go Forth Blessed
  29. 29. Quiet Moments for Reflection • Start with small increments and background music. • Lectio Divina – Just one word/phrase • Use questions – let them write/draw • Guided meditation • What would you do? • Forced Choices with a reason – Is prayer more like a window or a closet?
  30. 30. Sixth Approach 1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen 2. Balance: Ritual and Novelty, Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk 3. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles 4. Seven-Minute Chunks with Catholic Service Announcements 5. Quiet Moments for Reflection 6. Review 7. Go Forth Blessed
  31. 31. Review • Have them read the key concepts to each other – Two lines, one keeps rotating • What are two things you remember from the last 30 minutes. Partner & then again • Print definitions on cards, distribute, move around, when music stops, share what is on our card, start walking until music stops, new partners (repeat) and again.
  32. 32. Seventh Approach 1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen 2. Balance: Ritual and Novelty, Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk 3. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles 4. Seven-Minute Chunks with Catholic Service Announcements 5. Quiet Moments for Reflection 6. Review 7. Go Forth Blessed
  33. 33. Go Forth Blessed It was the last words she ever said to him. When she came out, she made a vow. “I walked out into life. I will never say anything that couldn’t stand as the last thing I will ever say.”
  34. 34. Dead Man Walking "I want the last face you see in this world to be the face of love, so you look at me when they do this thing. I'll be the face of love for you." -Sr. Helen
  35. 35. The Elements of a Blessing The first element in any blessing is that there has to be a relationship with God. When we bless, when we ask for goodness , we ask from the source of all goodness, we ask God. When things are going well in our lives – when the road seems to rise and meet us – our relationship with God will be positive. Cursing is the furthest thing from our minds.
  36. 36. The Elements of a Blessing When things are not going so well in our lives – when the road does not rise to meet us – everything in life can seem like an uphill struggle. It is during these times that we run the risk of losing our relationship with God. If we allow this to happen, we are unable to bless. We become like the embittered psalmist who can only curse. Relationship with and belief in God are essential to blessing.
  37. 37. The Elements of a Blessing The second element in a blessing is the ritual of transfer of the blessing or the goodness. Historically, this transfer of the blessing takes place physically through words that we pronounce and gestures that we make, such as uplifted arms or actual laying-on of hands. The person giving the blessing transfers the blessing in such a manner that it will somehow be experienced by the receiver.
  38. 38. The Elements of a Blessing The sense of touch, whether it is the wind at your back, the sun shining upon your face or the firm hand of a person signing your forehead, can convey an enormous life-sustaining power. A blessing is the bridge between heaven and earth. The transfer of the divine that occurs when we bless is truly a sacred moment.
  39. 39. The Elements of a Blessing The third element of a blessing is the enhancement of the receiver, wherein we envision the goodness of the blessing. Even Jesus, when he pronounced the Beatitudes, envisioned a goodness that would give comfort and hope to millennia of believers. We have in our possession the ability to envision virtually any future for humanity. The power to bless is incredibly awesome. It is the vision of divine enhancement, of a people resting in the palm of God’s
  40. 40. Go Forth Blessed • Your turn • Imagine me facing you and I have my hand on your shoulder. • I am looking you in the eyes as I pray the blessing. • When I am finished I will sign you on the forehead saying, “I bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” and you will respond, “AMEN.”
  41. 41. Go Forth Blessed May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart. May you find harmony between your soul and your life. May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within. May you know that though the storm might rage, not a hair of your head will be harmed. May memory bless and protect you. To Bless the Space Between Us, John O’Donohue
  42. 42. Go Forth Blessed YOU CAN DO THAT MANY WAYS •Individually as they leave the room •Stretch forth your arms and bless them all together as a group. •Have them bless one other person and be blessed by the other – they repeat after you. • Give them blessings that they pray over one another Give them a blessing to take home-bless themselves
  43. 43. Go Forth Blessed WHY? • Despite all the darkness, human hope is based on the instinct that at the deepest level of reality some intimate kindness holds sway. This is the heart of blessing. To believe in blessing is to believe that our being here, our very presence in the world, is itself the first gift, the primal blessing. • -John O'Donohue
  44. 44. REVIEW: Seven Approaches1. Preparedness: Open Your Mind to What God is Offering; Then Stop, Look, and Listen 2. Balance: Ritual and Novelty, Comfort and Challenge, Safety and Risk 3. Prime the Pump, Make Connections, Engage the Senses, Activate Learning Styles 4. Seven-Minute Chunks with Catholic Service Announcements 5. Quiet Moments for Reflection 6. Review 7. Go Forth Blessed
  45. 45. Review

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