Life in the Holy Spirit
Use the following information to respond to the scenarios that follow.
• The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, right judgment (counsel), courage (fortitude), knowledge, reverence (piety), and wonder and awe (fear of the Lord).
• The fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity.
Then answer the questions (see Part B, separate page) regarding the scenario assigned to your group.
An acquaintance of yours offers you an invitation to what he calls “the party of the century.” It is an invitation-only party in a barn at a wealthy family’s farm near town. The son of the owner has decided to throw the party during spring break while his parents are away in Europe. He and several of his rich friends are supplying a band, beer, and other “surprises.” The word is out that a couple of well-known young heartthrob celebrities will be there. He tells you: “If you miss out on this party, you’ll never forgive yourself. The best thing is that no adults will be present!” Because it is spring break, you are sure that your parents will allow you to spend the night at a friend’s house. You’ll have an “alibi.” You are confident that your parents will never find out about the party. Besides, you haven’t been accustomed to drinking at parties, and you haven’t yet decided to drink. Smiling, your acquaintance reaches out to hand you the invitation, which actually has your name on it!
A teacher you admire speaks at an assembly in which she describes a poor village in Belize that she has visited numerous times to teach math to primary school children during the summer. She is addressing the student body now, in March, because the program is short of teachers for this summer. Help is needed for a variety of courses and activities for the children. She and several other teachers are looking for at least a dozen high school students to accompany them for six weeks during the summer. High school students would be expected to do a variety of jobs, from teaching classes in English, science, or math, to running recreation programs or even serving meals to the children. The work each student will do will depend on his or her interests and talents. Travel expenses and room and board will be provided, and the students will be safe with adult sponsors. This is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference and to earn service hours, but it will take more than half of your summer, and you will lose that precious “free time.”
It is a Saturday afternoon on a sunny day, so you decide to invite a friend to go the mall with you to look at clothes. You walk through all the cool places first before going into the only store where you can actually afford to buy jeans. You like the jeans, but they don’t have the same panache as the jeans you looked at in an upscale specialty store. Looking at yourself in the mirror in the dressing room, you say to yourself, “I’m too sexy for these jeans!” Your friend says to you: “Let’s go back to the other store. I have a gadget on me that will remove the electronic tag so that you can leave the store in new jeans without setting off the alarm. It’s easy!” You again walk into the dressing room at the upscale store with the expensive new jeans in your hands. You’re carrying the gadget your friend handed to you to remove the electronic tag. Suddenly you think to yourself, “Am I about to shoplift?”
As you are about to leave the locker room after practice, you overhear a couple of classmates taunting someone. You walk closer to listen. You are around the corner from those who are talking and out of their view. As you listen, you hear three of your classmates, whose voices you now recognize, say: “You’re queer; we know it! You’re a freak, and we’re going to tell the whole world about you.” These words are followed by a string of ugly accusations, laced by expletives. Suddenly you hear what sounds like a terrified and cornered animal. The same panicked voice cries: “Leave me alone! You don’t know anything!” These frightened words are followed by the sound of cruel laughter. Now you realize that you know everyone involved, including the victim of the bullying. You think to yourself, “It is easier to just not get involved.” But then something inside of you hates this injustice.
Your history term paper is due next week and you have procrastinated. Just last week your English teacher assigned an essay on a John Milton sonnet that is due at almost the same time as your term paper. While surfing the Internet, you find a Web site where you can buy an English essay—and it’s cheap. You think to yourself: “I never cheat; the teacher will never suspect me. Besides, I’ll change things up to make it my own.” The fact is that you have never cheated on an essay before. You can complete both your term paper and the essay on your own if you begin today. Will this one time borrowing ideas for an English essay be so bad? Everybody cheats! It’s just a fact of life.
Each case study presents a challenge. For each scenario, a variety of decisions and outcomes are possible. How might the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit come into play in each of these scenarios? Can God’s Holy Spirit within you really make a difference?
1. What is the challenge in this scenario?
2. Which Gifts of the Holy Spirit could help you to make a good choice? Why?
3. Which fruits of the Holy Spirit could help you to make a good choice? Why?
4. Realistically, what do you think you would do in response to this scenario?
5. What is the value of calling upon the Holy Spirit daily for help, even in small matters?
© 2012 by Saint Mary’s Press.
Living in Christ Series Document #: TX002114