CGS Connection – Spotlight on Level 2: Ages 6-9

Did you know…
The plea of the 6-9 year old child is “Help me to think about God by myself”?

Spotlight on Level 2 – ages 6-9
During their first six years, children focus on constructing their individual person in physical, linguistic, and spiritual realms. In the next 6 years of development from ages 6-12, children seek mental and moral formation and, in a powerful way, approach a social age where they want to learn the ways of friendship and guidelines for living in the community. It is the Parable of the True Vine that resonates so deeply with children in the Level 2 Atrium. The children meditate on “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing…Remain in my love.”

So the Level 1 child, properly formed, personally heard the call of the Good Shepherd. From Level 2 and onward through life, the child (and adult) focuses on the response to the One who called me by name. In many ways we invite the children to ponder how they will respond, how they will remain on the True Vine and in the Sheepfold. The children at this level prepare for Reconciliation and Eucharist by becoming more familiar with the Holy Bible in general, and with Maxims and Moral Parables in particular which give examples of how to live, ie the Great Commandment, the Good Samaritan, the Tax Collector vs the Pharisee. With a better grasp of time at this age, 6-9 year olds are introduced to the vastness, yet the unity of History of the Kingdom of God (Salvation History), from Creation through Redemption to Parousia, when Jesus will be All in All. Individual gestures and parts of the Mass, begun at earlier levels, come together for a synthesis of the Mass in Level 2. Children even make their own mini Roman Missal to grow in love and knowledge of the Sacrament where Jesus gives Himself totally to us. Weekly communal pray, now organized by the children, takes place at the prayer table.

A unique blessing of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Level 2 are special times of reflection, set apart from the usual session, and a retreat day where just the children preparing for sacraments have extra time of work and prayer and encounters with our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration. Parables of the Found Sheep, the Found Coin and the Prodigal Son emphasize the constant mercy and forgiveness of the Father and the joy and celebration that comes with being reunited with Him!