I was surfing the web, looking for ideas on how to teach about venial and mortal sin to a ten-about-to-turn-eleven year old girl and found a great idea from Catholic Culture.
See if this makes sense to any of you:
Holding a glass of clear water up to the sunlight, you say, "Look how the light from the sun fills this glass even though it is full of water. This is kind of like how the Grace of God fills us up. When we are in a State of Grace, we are filled with the Sunlight of The Holy Spirit and God can dwell within us."
Drop a tea bag into that clear water and hold IT up to the sunlight. "Look!", you can say. "The light still can get through even though the water is not clear anymore. This is how it is when we have committed venial sin. The Grace of God is still within us, but it is murky inside our souls. We have sinned against Him, and while He has not left us entirely we still need to clean this up by going to the priest, confessing our sins and receiving absolution".
Then, get some really dark coffee or, if you are game, some dirt and make a mud pie in the glass. Hold it up to the sunlight and say, "Oh look at this! This is the state of our souls when we have committed a mortal sin. We have chosen to block the Sunlight of the Spirit from our souls and God no longer dwells in us. We have turned out back on Him. Isn't it wonderful that, even though we might make this type of choice, God always waits for us to choose Life in Him again? We can clean this up by going to the priest and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation - go to confession and get absolution for our sin. And from the looks of this muddy, dirty water, we should do it right away, don't you think?".
I am going to try this....maybe not today...maybe this weekend.
Pray for me...teaching the Faith to a little one who only gets it from me is a huge responsibility.
Father Dominic, guide me.