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Loving the Neighbor

Here is a sampling of ideas about charity and loving the neighbor to share with children of various ages.

These concepts are accommodated to the age of the child and coordinated with the religion curriculum.

For preschool (ages 2-5)

  1. We can help our neighbor by doing nice things for them and being careful not to hurt them.
  2. We should not be jealous of other people—we can be happy with what we have.
  3. We can practice being a good neighbor by doing our chores at home.

For primary level (ages 5-9)

  1. We must love the Lord with our whole heart.
  2. We show our love to the Lord by loving the neighbor (e. following the Ten Commandments).
  3. We show love to the neighbor by helping people and being kind to them.
  4. The Lord gives us special talents that we can use to serve the neighbor.
  5. We should take responsibility to do our work well, both at school and at home.
  6. We can’t help others if we don’t take good care of ourselves by staying healthy and enjoying recreation.

For intermediate  level (ages 9-12)

  1. Heavenly joy comes from serving those in need without counting on a reward.
  2. The Lord always knows our reasons or motivation for doing things.
  3. Who is our neighbor? The Lord, heaven, church, human race, country, community, family, and oneself.
  4. In helping the neighbor we need to look for and support the good we see in them.
  5. We need to recognize the power of evil and how the evil spirits operate, so we can flee from them.
  6. We need to learn to forgive mistakes in others and ourselves.

 For upper level (ages 12-14)

  1. The life of religion is to do what is good.
  2. The second great commandment: Love the neighbor as oneself.
  3. The Golden Rule: doing to others as one would want for oneself.
  4. As we learn truths from the Word, we are better able to help people and be useful in society.
  5. Charity involves being happy for other people when they are successful.

For high school (ages 14-18)

  1. Charity consists of doing the truth.
  2. Charity is love towards the neighbor—as individuals and collectively.
  3. Charity requires willing well towards our neighbor and serving the neighbor.
  4. Charity to the neighbor involves external judgment about good and evil with them.
  5. Charity consists of acting sincerely, justly, and faithfully in everyday work and duties.
  6. The happiness of heaven is from being useful (Arcana Coelestia 7038).