The 9 to 12 year-old is developing the abstract abilities to translate the Mystery of Easter and keeping the liturgical year into multifaceted times. Little by little over this age range the lessons of Learning to Pray, Doing Righteousness, and Keeping a Holy Fast begin to sink deep into their souls.
The great question in this age’s spiritual development is: how do I fit into a moral framework?
The 6 to 9 year-old has learned that when we walk with Jesus we remain in his love. The 9 to 12 wants to know how to walk with Jesus. They want some guidelines.
Historically the Church has called these Maxims. They are Jesus’ actual words that provide guidance in our daily life. This list is the focus of doing righteousness, learning to pray and fasting for the 9 to 12 year old.
However it is deeply important to remember: without the proclamation of God’s Plan, the maxims lose their context. Unless the child understands the History of the Kingdom of God and how you are helping him discover his place in this glorious history the rules have no place and are only drudgery .
List of Maxims
Love your enemies. Matthew 5:44
I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you. John 13:34
Do good to those who hate you. Luke 6:27
When you pray, go into a room by yourself, shut the door and pray to your Father in private. Matthew 6:6
Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7
Say, “Yes” when you mean “Yes,” and “No” when you mean “No.” Matthew 5:37
I do not say forgive seven times, but seventy times seven. Matthew 18:22
Always treat others the way you would have them treat you. Matthew 7:12
Give when you are asked to give, and do not turn your back on someone who wants to borrow. Matthew 5:42
Pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44b
And the Summary of the Law:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27