“Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Where is Abel, your brother?'”
Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator
Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides. When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your merciful love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness; let the bones which you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth your praise.
16 For you take no delight in sacrifice; were I to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19 then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings, and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
Cain & Abel
1. “Adam knew Eve his wife.” What are different ways that men “know”? How does a wife desire to be “known”? How does “knowing” your wife make your life more fruitful? How does “knowing” your wife make her life more fruitful?
2. Who in the Bible is the first person to call God by His proper name YHWH (LORD)? To whom does Eve give credit for conception? How grateful or troubled have you been when you have conceived “with the help of the LORD”?
3. Cain brings “an offering” while Abel brings “firstlings.” Is there a difference? What does it say about a Patriarch’s gifts to God? What is your level of giving gifts to God?
4. Whom does the LORD favor? What does this say about His favor? How does a man react when he perceives others favored over him? Is there a more noble response? How can this apply to athletics or employment?
5. “...sin is a demon lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” What is the challenge here to a Patriarch? How do you increase your “dominion” over sin? How do you raise up offspring to have “dominion” over sin?
6. What are Cain’s first words to God? What were Adam’s first words to God? How are these men “typical” of responses when getting “caught”?
7. How does Cain’s punishment parallel Adam’s punishment? How does God provide for Cain in his punishment? How does God’s model of punishment and provision inform your exercise of discipline?
Choose a resolution for this week from the suggestions below or make your own. Tap on a resolution to email it to yourself:
1. I will read the Catechism on marital love and conception (#2360-2379).
2. I will read the Catechism passage above and discuss it with my wife.
3. I will pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in thanksgiving for my children.
4. I will take each of my children to Adoration during the week.
5. I will share the lessons of Genesis 1-4 with my family.
6. I will discuss with my wife a potential increase in our level of generosity to God.
7. I will practice every day giving thanks to God for His gifts to people I resent.
8. I will practice examination of conscience every night this week to increase my “dominion over sin.”
9. I will choose a penance or sacrifice to overcome an area of temptation in my life.
Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.