Links for Learning
Curriculum Connections for High School Students and Their Teachers
This months Links for Learners will support high school curriculum in:
Morality & Christian livingliving our life as God has called us to live, celibate or
chaste until marriage
Catholic spiritualitydeveloping and having an ongoing relationship with the Lord
Sacrament and vocationseeing marriage as a union not only blessed by God but also called
to outwardly reflect God's love
Basic Terms in This Months Article
Look for these key words and terms as you read the article. Definitions or explanations
can be researched from the article itself, or from the resource materials cited throughout
the Link for Learners.
Family Life Ministries
Here are some ideas to help plan or facilitate further learning on this topic. Adapt them
as needed to your situation.
Observe how culture, media and friends use the word love. Compile a list of examples
of how the word love is used. Notice how many different meanings this one word can have.
Compare and contrast these examples with how the word love is used in Scripture. Look at
Matthew 22:36-40 and 1 Corinthians 13.
What surprises you about the cultural definitions of love versus scriptural definitions
of love? How would you best define love? What is the difference between being in love and
loving someone? Is love more an emotion or an act of the will?
Marriage is often or typically seen differently by our culture than by the Church. We live
in a throwaway culture. Marriage is often seen in the same way. When times get tough,
we simply end the marriage and look for another. In the article, the author refers to
three phases in a marriage: romance, disillusionment and joy. In describing these phases,
one understands that marriage is something to be worked on for a lifetime. Thus in the
end, love is best seen not as an emotion or a contract that can fade or just be broken,
but a decision and a covenant that lasts forever.
Take it Home
Examine the four understandings of love that originally come from the Greeks. They are
outlined in C.S. Lewis's book The Four Loves. They are the following: affection,
friendship, eros and charity. Charity, or agape, is the closest understanding of the
type of love God has for us.
Create a list of all the ways you communicate with the people around you.
Remember that not all communication is verbal. Many of us have a series of looks or gestures
that communicate how we feel to those around us.
What are ways that friends communicate with us? Family? God? Is silence a form of communication?
How is listening a part of communication? Why is it important to be aware of the many different
levels and methods of communication?
Communication is part of almost everything we do. Often men and women have very different
styles of communicating. These varied styles may cause conflict in a marriage relationship
if not understood and appreciated. Marriage preparation helps facilitate open communication
for a couple.
Take it Home
Think of a person in your life with whom you are having a hard time
communicating. Reflect upon the reasons for the difficulty. Journal about your feelings.
Explore ideas to help make communication more
effective with that person. If possible, commit yourself to meeting with that person.
In six minutes with no resources, write a one-page essay on the theological development
of marriage as a sacrament in the history of the Church. (Can't do it? That's O.K. This
is mainly to get you thinking about the topic.)
What are ways we prepare for important events in our life including school and extra-curricular
activities? How does the Church help us prepare for important events in our sacramental
life? In what ways is God active in your life? How do Catholics understand marriage as
The Church requires couples to take part in marriage preparation because couples need to
be ready to enter into this life-long vocation. Sacramental marriage is a union among
three partieshusband, wife and God. The divorce rate is lower for Catholics than
the national average, yet even this number is cut in half if the couple prays together
and includes God actively in their relationship.
Take it Home
Interview your parents or grandparents about their marriage-preparation process. Also,
ask them about how they understood love when they first got engaged. Then ask them if their
understanding of love changed over the years. If so, how? How did their understanding of
marriage as a sacrament change over time?
to Further Explore the Topic
Ask your priest or marriage-prep team to describe how the marriage preparation process
works at your parish.
A very simple activity is to play the telephone game with a group of people. Have one
person tell something to someone else. Then have that person relay that message to the
next person, and so on. By the time the message gets back to the person who started the
game see how similar it is to the original message. How effective can you be at communicating
the message both verbally and nonverbally?
Have two people sit back to back and have a piece of paper and pencil for each. Have one
person draw a picture and then that person has to tell the other person how to draw the
same picture, without telling him or her what the picture is of or letting him or her look
at it. Compare the two pictures. How could you have communicated better?
Are you in a dating relationship? Brainstorm ways in which you can include God as part
of your relationship.
Read Ephesians 5:21-33 to explore one scriptural root for the sacrament of marriage.
Catholic site from World Wide Marriage Encounter
Catholic site from World Wide Marriage Encounter with
links to local and regional activities
The National Catholic Conference of Bishops
Web Site and the Committee on Marriage and Family Life. This specific link has a
myriad of resources and statements from the US. bishops.
Check your local diocesan Web site for a Family Life Office or Family Ministries Office,
such as the Cincinnati Archdiocese
Family Life Office.
Try accessing some of these Internet sources for further general reference. Be aware,
however, that some of these sites may charge for downloading articles contained within
the site’s archives.
The New York Times
The Los Angeles Times
The Chicago Tribune
The Washington Post
The Miami Herald
The Associated Press
Channel Oneonline resource for the school