HOW CAN WE BRING THE TOB MESSAGE TO TEENS?
Patrick also teaches TOB in SPANISH! He can be contacted at http://www.taborlife.org/ He also teaches moral theology to teens.
How can we bring the TOB message to youth?? Things have really changed. The way the Catholic Faith was taught in the past doesn’t work today. Pat teaches in a very good Catholic school where the families and the youth are all into the Catholic Faith and even the youth WANT to live it, but it’s still very, very hard.
Young people need at least two other voices backing up what their parents are saying: their school and their pastors. Kids have one ear to their parents and one ear to the culture, and the culture is very, very enticing.
There are different ways to give the TOB message. Pat thinks Fr. Loya has the best approach. The movie “The Patriot,” shows how a parent had to make choices about raising kids in a war environment. The young people growing up today are dealing with, being exposed to (sexually) stuff that people used to live their lives without ever even hearing about or knowing what these things were.
[Fr. Samuel Medley SOLT—campus minister on several high school/college campuses in Corpus Christi says that sex is ALL his young people want to talk about.]
It’s important that we don’t try to BE a young person with them, but show them that we can walk around in their world to bring them higher.
--Let them know that you DO know MORE than they know about these topics (and so does God/the Church)
When Pat asks teens “Why doesn’t Church want pre-marital sex?” Average teen: “I don’t know.” Catholic teens: “It’s a sin, intrinsically evil.” Then he asks them: “Is this going to stop your buddy from taking his girlfriend upstairs at a party?” They realize that they need something better for themselves and their friends.
The teens AREN’T going to be all mature about it—they still giggle, make fun, etc., but they are growing and being equipped. When Pat walked into the auditorium at the high school where he teaches, the boys started chanting "TOB! TOB!'
3 tenets of John Paul II’s New Evangelization: 1) new ardor/zeal 2) new methods 3) new expressions
Tell students: we need a new way to approach all of Catholicism: Catholicism is about having the best life, being our best selves, getting the most out of life.
REDEFINE TERMS (keep redefining/redirecting when they use improperly):
Happiness—Have them find examples of what the culture says happiness is. The Catholic definition is “fulfilling your nature” (from the Greeks). You can’t be fulfilled until you know who you are and live accordingly.
The job of the Church is to make happy/joyful people. Saints were the happiest people. The Church should just be cranking out saints.
Person—triptych. Vatican II document: Gaudium et Spes # 24—only the person is made as an end in themselves (the opposite of love isn’t hate it’s use) / man only discovers his true self by making gift of self / only Jesus fully reveals man to himself
Love--If you want to find yourself, give yourself away. “Don’t give a gift, BE a gift.”
[KIDS ABSOLUTELY NEED PHILOSOPHY.]
Many kids think they are the exact same as animals.
Teens might know something intuitively, but we need to equip them with language—and DRILL.
It’s not in the nature of a gift to expect something back. Gifts are freely given. (THAT’S THE DEF. OF LOVE.) And often it COSTS us.
[DO SOMETHING WITH AN ACTUAL GIFT BOX—GIVE IT TO THE TEENS AND THEN ASK FOR A GIFT BACK!]
We need to tell young people that the language is being hijacked from good philosophy, Catholicism, God.
Remember when “new Coke” came out? Why did they want to make a new one? To sell more. But it flopped—but the response was: “Classic Coke.” Same old coke, new packaging.
TEENS LOVE: “LANGUAGE OF THE BODY”!!!!!! TELLING THE TRUTH OR LYING WITH THE BODY. What speaks louder? THE BODY. “ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.” You can do examples of how we can say one thing with our words, another with our body. “I’m so happy to see you.” “I’m not sick,” etc.
WHAT’S DEEPER (GOD GIVES US LANGUAGE TO EXPRESS DEEPER & DEEPER INTIMACY):
I like you. I love you.
I love you. I love you & want to spend the rest of my life with you.
I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to give my life for you.
THREE SOURCES OF REVELATION: NATURE, SCRIPTURE, TRADITION
Do charades. Do an emotion (have cards and have them act them out to each other):ANGRY, FLIRTY, OVERJOYED
I can say ONE thing with my words, ONE with my body.
ASK ME WHAT I BELIEVE IN—NOT WHAT I DON’T BELIEVE IN. I BELIEVE IN: Truth, beauty & goodness.SEXUAL MORALITY IS NOT SAYING “NO” TO ANYTHING, IT’S SAYING “YES” TO THE GREATEST JOY/HAPPINESS THAT HUMAN BEINGS CAN EXPERIENCE IN THEIR HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS.
VIRGINITY is a negative and a positive. What’s the negative? Not partaking in something good.What’s the positive? Integrity of body and soul. (Body and soul are integrated.) So tell them: “In marriage, you’re not going to LOSE your virginity! You’re going to increase your integrity.”
Ask them if they know any married couples who waited till marriage? They don’t say they “lost” their virginity. Do any of them have any regrets? Gee, I wish I slept with more people so I could compare you to an old girlfriend/boyfriend and think about them when where we’re making love.
We need FORTITUDE / COURAGE. Ask them: IS IT GOING TO BE HARD??
We don’t have to be GRAPHIC in our presentation of TOB. The biology is pretty simple. It’s not that hard. ;]
We need pre-emptive stuff, too. (Even if a kid has never heard a certain word YET….) This is a big objection to teaching TOB! [I believe in (about everything!): “You heard it first in the Catholic Church. In the proper context.”]
Parents are the “primary” teachers of “sex ed,” but doesn’t have to be exclusive. Other teachers should be supporting parents.
[ASK KIDS WHAT SATAN ATTACKS…(the most holy things).]
Every movie has the same plot (the hero). Why do we love it and keep going back? It’s stamped into our DNA. (Even the pagan religions.)
“supra-sensual”---JP2G’s term for the fact that the sensual/bodily points to something beyond the person (God). We should, in a sense, react to the sexual value of a person of the opposite sex. It’s what we do with that reaction.
How do you talk to young people who have "lost" their virginity? [“You can always start over” might sound like "just keep starting over.”] Ask WHERE HAVE I NOT FOUND THE DEEPER INTIMACY WITH GOD THAT I’M REALLY LONGING FOR?“The term ‘secondary virginity,’ isn’t that great because it makes it sound like you lost something, you’re second best, you’ll never be ‘as good.’” Actually, we can compromise our virginity even without having sex. It’s rather “restoring” your virginity. You CAN be whole again.
Katrina Zeno: long-term covenants with God always means:
--Shedding of blood (foreskin)
--Tearing of veil
If you’re not a good speaker, recommend books and Youtubes (Jason Evert for teens):
--“God’s Plan for You” (teens) His teens loved it! [Pauline Books & Media publication. Ahem.]
--“Real Love” (Marybeth Bonacci)
--pamphlets: Pure Love, Pure Manhood, Pure Womanhood (Jason Evert & Crystalina Evert)
--“Theology of His Body/Her Body” (Jason Evert)
--“Theology of the Body for Teens” (Ascension Press)
--“Theology of the Body for Teens” (also for Gr 7 & 8) DVD Fr. Tom Loya http://www.taborlife.org/ http://www.theologyofthebody.net/