Monday, January 16, 2012

Memorize the Faith

We are loving this book and method of memorizing some of the facets of our Catholic faith!  The method relies on visualizing a room in your mind.   Then you associate locations within the room (eg sofa, TV, window, etc) with what you are memorizing.  Although the method is an artificial visual one (imagining in your mind), I have had the kids actually draw pictures of the room to help them with the memorywork.  It is proven that the more senses you employ with memorywork, the more solid the memory.  They enjoy doing this, even my 5yo, and we do it about once a week formally, then informally over dinner we see what everyone can remember.

We have memorized the Ten Commandments (we already knew those but now they are cemented), and most recently the Seven Capital Sins.  While the book is purely to aid in memorizing, it inspires you to dig a little deeper into understanding these aspects of the faith.  For example, regarding the capital sins, the word "capital" comes from the latin "caput" which means head.  These sins are considered the "head" sins from which all other sins fall out of.  Interesting, hey?  And later in the book we focus on the virtues that oppose these vices.

Here's a little taste of how to memorize these deadly sins:

Picture yourself in a living room. In the center of the room is a large statue of YOURSELF, reading the book "Pride and Prejudice." (Pride, the first capital sin).  You look out a large picture window and see trees growing dollar bills! (Greed or Avarice).  Along one wall is a sofa, on which your neighbour is sitting with a VERY green face, as green as the Incredible Hulk. (Envy).  In front of the sofa is a coffee table on which sits a broken wreath. (Wrath; the word wreath is close to the word wrath; a wreath has nothing to do with wrath but it is a broken wreath to imply the destruction that wrath can cause).  Across from the sofa you see a large screen TV, and the channels keep changing but every image is that of a bikini-clad woman. (Lust; was interesting trying to explain this to my 12yo son but he associated it with Star Wars and Anakin's "lust for power".  So for him, Star Wars is playing on the TV in this room).  In the corner of the room, you notice a roaring fireplace, and in the fireplace a large boar is roasting on a spit, complete with an apple in his mouth. (Gluttony).  And finally, in the doorway exiting the room is a large sloth blocking your way, he s l o w l y moves out of the way for you. (Sloth). 

Miss A's rendition of the Ten Commandments Room
Can you see the big portrait of her mom and dad (Honour thy mother and father)?
I love how the mom really has no face ... but a big heart :)

So.  A little taste of our family pursuits of learning our faith.
God bless your week!!

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