A Lamp for My Feet — a visual memorization exercise

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Have you ever walked down a dark hallway at night? In the darkness, we may stumble and fall. That’s why God offers us a lamp for the way! The Church and God’s Word are the holy lamps we need for our life journey.

Psalm 119 talks about the trials by the author, who is likely King David. David knew what it meant to be persecuted. Bad things were said about him. He lost people he loved. Yet this song of praise reminds us that God is good. God can be counted on to help us. He is forgiving, trustworthy, and pure. God is also the light for our path.

The psalm mentions the word precepts, or “instructions.” The Church has five guidelines or instructions that keep us on the right path. The precepts of the Church are regular attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, regular reception of Eucharist and Reconciliation, fasting at recommended times, and support of the Church both financially and through service. When we follow these precepts, along with obedience to the Ten Commandments, God’s light shines for us.

Psalm 119 is the longest psalm in the Bible. In the Hebrew translation, the first letters of each stanza correspond to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This poetic form reminds us that God is orderly—his rules direct our ways, keeping us on the right road in life. Here are the verses we will memorize:

“Through your precepts I gain understanding; therefore I hate all false ways. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” (PSALM 119:104-106)

How to use the puzzle:
Students may color this page. To print the puzzle in black and white, first download this article and the puzzle here: CAT_Nov-Dec2016_LearnHeart

1) The first illustration shows a girl seeking understanding by learning the five precepts.

2) A “wolf in sheep’s clothing” reminds us of “false ways.” Talk about what this means. What things may lead you astray from God? (Examples are greed, pride, and dishonesty.)

3) An old oil lamp sits on a Bible. The lamp gives light so we won’t stumble in the dark.

4) Note that this lamplight guides us toward the road to heaven.

5) Review the words of these three verses several times. Use the drawings to trigger your memory. Then write down this Scripture from memory. Include where the verses come from in the Bible!


Judith Costello, MA, writes for national and regional publications and is a third order Carmelite (OCSC). She is an artist, freelance writer, and catechist.

Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash

This article was first published in Catechist, Nov/Dec 2016.

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