Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Courage ~ Blessed Margaret Pole


Blessed Margaret Pole, pray for us!


Wreath II continues with our second meeting!  It amazes me how the Holy Spirit works so miraculously to make these gatherings come together, I feel so inadequate to be 'teaching' virtues.  The girls are so kind and a true delight.

We began our meeting with the prayers in the member's guide: Act of Faith, Act of Hope, Act of Love (each girl recited a prayer) and the prayer to St. Therese.

A brief review from our lesson on the virtue of Mercy.
Together we sang the memory verse from last month and glass beads were put into the vase for assignments completed while each girl shared something memorable that they did to grow in the virtue - Mercy.  They are working so hard and I see that they are really trying to complete as many tasks as possible!

Virtue ~ Saint ~ Flower of the Month



Copies of the notebook page (compliments of Jessica @ Shower of Roses blog) and coloring page (an image I found online and added caption).  The girls will continue to do these at home as part of the assignments to be completed for earning their patch.

The memory verse was introduced and we sang along using the CD...

I command you:  be firm and steadfast!  Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1: 9

We talked about the words firm and steadfast as they mean strong and courageous.  Courage does not mean not being afraid - it is not how we feel but how we act.  We all have things we are afraid of and courage is what we do when we have these fears.  I asked the girls if they knew any examples of courage from the Bible.  We recalled the stories of Daniel and the lion, David and Goliath, Mary at the Annunciation, and Christ Himself on the Cross.  We should never be afraid to do what is right because God will always be with us.  Courage does not "follow the crowd" if the crowd is not doing what is right.  Courage is doing what we know is right and truthful, even though we may be afraid.  Not everything that is right is popular and not everything that is popular is right.  (Wreath II Leader's Guide) 

I asked the girls to think of a time they had to demonstrate or be courageous.  They completed a task from the member's guide for this virtue by drawing a picture of it.  Then said a prayer of thanksgiving to God for helping.

Next, I asked them:  how can YOU grow in courage?  They came up with really good answers and we talked about all kinds of ways ie: admitting when you are wrong, saying "hi" to a new student at school or a lonely student that you may not be friends with yet, making new friends with an open heart while keeping all of your old friends, telling the truth to your parents if you did something wrong, even if you know there may be a punishment, live an active faith life and be a witness in all you do, etc.


To learn more about our saint this month, we watched a video about the life and death of Blessed Margaret Pole.
  
 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVz59Uuttnk&feature=em-share_video_user)

~ Craft ~ 



'Courage to follow Christ' Key Chains

This simple craft reminds us to seek the Lord in simple things and know that Jesus waits for you and will grant the gifts you need to serve Him...including courage.  The knot we used to make the 'chain' was the box braid or crown knot - remember Blessed Margaret Pole was royalty!

~ Activity ~


I believe the idea for this activity came from a post on the Little Flowers Yahoo Group.  I wish I could give proper credit!  Anyway, I had three boxes with something different inside.  Each girl took a turn and was blindfolded and they had to trust that I wouldn't do anything to harm them (courage and trust).  They then wrote down what they felt in each box, guessing the object enclosed.  I had ice in one, a pocket rosary in another and a squirrel's tail in the last (yes, my son was the brain behind that one!).  It was a really fun and easy activity.

~ Snack ~ 



'Barbell Bites'

Grapes, pretzels and cheese pieced together like barbells, reminding us of how we are strong with God.  There were more 'barbells' than just what is shown...perhaps I took this picture once they started eating?

~ Closing ~



Patches earned since our last meeting were presented, congratulating each Little Flower for their dedication and Mercy.  (Name) may God bless you and help you to grow in the virtue of Mercy."  "Congratulations!"

We completed our meeting by praying together the Hail Mary and thanking God for bringing us together to grow in virtue.

Pray for our members, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, as they work towards earning their second patch in Wreath II and grow in the Virtue of Courage - and through these small acts, showing their love for your Son, Jesus.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mercy ~ St. Faustina



St. Faustina, pray for us!

Our first meeting in Wreath II!  It is wonderful to see the girls together again and pick up where we left off.  They are excited to learn more about these holy women in our Communion of Saints and the virtues they practiced.

I was so excited that this month's virtue and saint falls within the season of Lent.  The plan to create a Divine Mercy lapbook will certainly help to prepare the girls to participate in the Divine Mercy Novena starting on Good Friday!  This novena is truly unique for a number of reasons.  This novena is different from all other novenas because it is the first novena in the history of the Catholic Church which was created by Jesus.  The Divine Mercy Novena is intended to be prayed for graces and/or salvation to be given to other people, unlike other novenas, where people ask for something from God through the intercession of His Holy Saints.

We began the meeting with the prayers in the member's guide: Act of Faith, Act of Hope, Act of Love and the prayer to St. Therese.

The craft this month was going to take some time, so we began straight away with our lesson.  I've decided that this year the girls will complete their notebook pages and coloring pages at home as part of the assignments.  This will give us more time for our lesson, games and craft during the meetings.

Virtue ~ Saint ~ Flower of the Month

I read aloud the lovely book, Helen's Special Picture by David Previtali, and we talked about St. Faustina's special life and how she is such an inspiration to trust in Jesus and to be merciful to others.  She exhibited mercy from her childhood until her death.

In our discussion, and using the leader's guide, I explained that mercy means God loves us and forgives us our sins.  Mercy is the fruit of charity - given when not expected and never withheld.  Mercy is an imitation of God.  The Church provides us with the 'Works of Mercy' to grow in and use this virtue.  Jesus appeared to St. Faustina and gave her the chaplet and image to share with the world and to show His mercy and encourage souls.

I displayed Fr. Lovakik's book The Works of Mercy and reviewed with them both the Corporal and the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

We listened to the memory verse and read, repeated it together:


Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;  in the greatness of your compassion, wipe out my offense.   Psalms 51: 3-4. 


~ Craft ~

My children have loved making lapbooks and I found one online to use in our group.  Ours turned out to be a combination of two examples I discovered.


Above shows the 'raw' materials and then pictures of my example for the girls.  A mini book of the novena and chaplet, a pocket to hold a holy card (image on front, Divine Mercy Prayer and image description on back) printed on card stock, St. Faustina with Divine Mercy image, Divine Mercy promises mini book with tabs.






They worked very diligently as even a simple lapbook takes a while to finish.  They did a great job and it will be nice to have this to refer to anytime and especially leading to Divine Mercy Sunday.


~ Snack ~



Keeping things simple, as we are in the season of Lent, the girls enjoyed
'Divine Mercy' strawberries and cream.

"The two rays denote Blood and Water.  The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous.  The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls.  These two rays issued forth from the depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross."

~ Closing ~



Our meeting was completed after praying the Hail Mary and thanking God for bringing us together to grow in virtue.

Pray for our members, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, as they work towards earning their first patch in Wreath II and grow in the Virtue of Mercy - and through these small acts, showing their love for your Son, Jesus.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Preparing to begin Wreath II

After a very inspiring year and a four month hiatus, preparations are underway to begin meeting again for Wreath II.

Our next gathering will be March 13, 2013 from 7:00 until 9:00 pm. 

My daughter are I are so excited, we can hardly wait!  So far we have four of the five members returning and hopefully, after an article in the parish newsletter, we will have other girls that may be interested in joining our small group.  That would be a blessing!

Wreath II includes the following virtues:  Mercy, Joy/Mirthfulness, Courage, Generosity, Prudence, Wisdom, Justice, Loyalty and Perseverance.

Pray for our members (and their Mommas :)) as we prepare to begin our studies.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Truthfulness ~ St. Bridget of Sweden


St. Bridget of Sweden, pray for us!

Our final meeting of Wreath I!  The past nine months has gone so fast and I hope the girls have had as much enjoyment as I have participating in our 'little' LFGC...

We began our meeting with the prayers in the member's guide: Act of Faith, Act of Hope, Act of Love (each girl recited a prayer) and the prayer to St. Thérèse.

A brief review from our lesson on the virtue of Industry.

Together we sang the memory verse from last month and glass beads were put into the vase for assignments completed while each girl shared something memorable that they did to grow in the virtue - Industry.  No problem for this group filling the vase!


Virtue ~ Saint ~ Flower of the Month





I used Chat with God's Little Ones Lesson 30, the 8th Commandment, to talk about the virtue of truthfulness.

Then, summarizing from the Leader's guide we discussed the following:  the 8th Commandment tells used not to bear false witness against our neighbor; not to hurt our neighbor's good name by lying about him or saying things that will make other people lose respect for him; never harm others by saying unkind things about them; never talk about their faults, because you have no right to judge people - Jesus said, "Judge not, and you will not be judged."  The 8th Commandment tells us not to tell a lie.  Lying is the sin against truthfulness.  God is Truth and we are called to act in truthfulness.  You must be truthful even if you know you may be punished.  You are really brave if you always tell the truth.

From The Catholic Girl's Guide :  Real, true, honest, unselfish love of all men or charity, ought to rule your heart, guide your tongue, dictate your speech.  Then there will be no unkind word, no word injurious to your neighbor.

Jesus said:  "I say to you, that every idle word that men shall speak they shall render an account for it in the day of judgement."

We recited the memory verse for this month from the marker board and then sang together using the Memory Verse CD.

The narcissus is the chosen flower for the virtue of truthfulness.  However, these beautiful long stem red roses had to substitute to honor our Blessed Mother this month as it is October and there is not a fresh narcissus to be found in the land.



Perhaps a gesture from St. Thérèse as these were so lovely and such a good price!  Plus - they adorned the mantle next to Our Lady for a full five days!

While the girls worked on their notebook and coloring pages (thanks once again to Jessica @ Shower of Roses for the notebook page template and Charlotte @ Waltzing Matilda for the coloring page), I read St. Bridget's biography out loud from the Member's Guide.




One of the mothers then read 'Meet Kindness and Truth' - A Story about Truthfulness in the Virtue and Stories book.  We had some really good discussion afterwards.



Completed notebook pages.



Craft


Narcissus 'Honesty' Necklaces

Small, wooden circles and satin light blue ribbon purchased at Hobby Lobby.  My husband drilled a small hole at the top of each wooden piece.  I copied two different images of the narcissus flower to Mod Podge.  The girls could then use permanent marker to write a Bible verse on the back:  

Let not mercy and truth leave thee, put them about thy neck, and write them in the tables of thy heart.  Proverbs 3:3  

or

A kind mouth multiplies friend, and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings.  Sirach 6:5

The choice of blue ribbon ties in the meaning of 'true blue':  loyal and unwavering in one's opinions or support for a cause.  There are several theories to its origin, one is the representation in paintings of the Virgin Mary in blue clothing.


'True blue' friends!



Snack



'Narcissus' Fruity Marshmallow Treats


I really thought that by using a leaf cookie cutter and a bit of icing and sprinkles that it would somehow turn out to look just like a narcissus...and then, sometimes ideas just don't work out like you think they will :).  We have made marshmallow treats before using Coco Pebbles and they were a real hit in our family.  I used Fruity Pebbles for maximum color and the jarred marshmallow cream.  The icing was of the canned variety that I purchased as a shortcut to save some time.  Needless to say, we've had better treats!  The girls were a bit wound up from the sugar overload, turned a few cartwheels in the living room and begged for a goofy photo.  Here you go... 


Closing

"(Name) may God bless you and help you to grow in the virtue of Industry."  "Congratulations!"


We completed our meeting by praying together the Hail Mary and thanking God for bringing us together to grow in virtue.  


Pray for our members, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, as they work towards earning their ninth patch and grow in the Virtue of Truthfulness - and through these small acts, showing their love for your Son, Jesus.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Industry ~ St. Frances Xavier Cabrini


St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us!

All together again for our eight meeting of Wreath I.  It makes me so happy that the girls are so excited to be together and share their faith.

We began our meeting with the prayers in the member's guide: Act of Faith, Act of Hope, Act of Love (each girl recited a prayer) and the prayer to St. Therese.

A brief review from our lesson on the virtue of Humility.

Together we sang the memory verse from last month and glass beads were put into the vase for assignments completed while each girl shared something memorable that they did to grow in the virtue - Humility.  I do believe they will fill the jar!

Virtue ~ Saint ~ Flower of the Month




The memory verse was posted on the marker board, the girls recited first and then sang together using the Memory Verse CD.

That isn't a new 'Little Flower' you see but a brother who very much wants to begin a Blue Knights program here (photo was taken before the meeting).  I was amazed that he also has all the verses memorized... from listening to his little sister sing them all the time!  Such a supportive big brother and he has been a great help with the behind the scenes preparations around the house on meeting days.  Thank you!!!

The daffodil is the chosen flower for the virtue of industry.  (..."Scarcely has the winter's snow disappeared from the sunny fields at the approach of spring when a charming, gold-colored flower makes its appearance - the daffodil.  I have called it industry's flower because it hastens to blossom as soon as possible..." Catholic Girl's Guide). I know that when I see the daffodils blooming in my garden beds, spring is here!  I wish our calendar months for our club meetings coincided a bit better but we began in February.  So, no fresh daffodils here :).

Our lesson this month began with examples in scripture of the importance of industry (work).    In fact, the Holy Bible gives us the greatest examples of work.  The girls were reminded that our ability to work is a gift from God.  We reinforced the examples by going directly to the catechism of the Catholic Church - reiterating the three things that we must do to be happy with God in heaven:  to know God (Piety), to love God (Love of God, Love of Neighbor) and to serve God:  how do we do this - pray well, play well and work well.  I talked about vocations and told the girls that as a wife and a mother I am called to serve God by working hard at both of these things.  Then we discussed their vocations as children of God sharing ideas about what this means...completing homework assignments even if you don't like to, without complaining, saying "God, I am doing this because I love you."  We are all called to please God by performing our work with the best efforts and intentions.  I told a story about St. Faustina:  in her diary she saw her work as little and meaningless.  She wanted to serve God in big ways.  God sent her a sign and told her that small things well is what pleases.  

"We can do no great things; only small things with great love."
St. Teresa of Calcutta  



Notebook pages (using Jessica's template @ Shower of Roses) and coloring pages (obtained from Charlotte @ Waltzing Matilda) were completed while I read a short biography of St. Frances Cabrini and also the story of 'The Knitter's Club - A Story of Industry' from Virtues and Stories.

Craft 

'Fancy' Cleaning Gloves

I was so excited about this craft!  Unfortunately we couldn't complete the craft during our meeting.  Perhaps we can do this craft at our Mother Daughter Tea.  The craft was supposed to coordinate perfectly with a group outing to the church to help the clean.  Unfortunately we were just unable to schedule this...we could always try again another time.


This is the finished product above completed the next day!  So cute and provides quite the motivation to assist with any cleaning jobs around the house!  I found the gloves at the Dollar Store, some discounted fabric (pleated as the glue was applied), ribbon border and a few sparkles on the ring fingers for added effect.

Snack

Mini Daffodil Cupcakes


Closing




Badges earned since our last meeting were presented, congratulating each Little Flower for their dedication and industry.

"(Name) may God bless you and help you to grow in the virtue of Humility."  "Congratulations!"

We completed our meeting by praying together the Hail Mary and thanking God for bringing us together to grow in virtue.  


I love how the girls rushed to have a group picture centered around the Blessed Mother.


Pray for our members, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, as they work towards earning their seventh patch and grow in the Virtue of Humiliy - and through these small acts, showing their love for your Son, Jesus.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Humility ~ St. Catherine Labouré



St. Catherine Labouré, pray for us!

Wreath I continues with our seventh meeting!  Our group was even smaller this month (we missed you girls!) The lesson and simple craft fell into place and our meeting was so enjoyable.

We began our meeting with the prayers in the member's guide: Act of Faith, Act of Hope, Act of Love (each girl recited a prayer) and the prayer to St. Therese.

A brief review from our lesson on the virtue of Piety.

Together we sang the memory verse from last month and glass beads were put into the vase for assignments completed while each girl shared something memorable that they did to grow in the virtue - Piety.  I am so impressed by all their dedication!

Virtue ~ Saint ~ Flower of the Month


The memory verse was posted on the marker board, we recited first and then sang together using the Memory Verse CD.

The violet (the simplest flower, shows humility) is the chosen flower for the virtue of humility.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any fresh violets or even silk.  The vibrant daisies were a great substitute - the purple just right.

The lesson began with two gift bags which the girls all described as equally pretty, the contents not revealed.  I then passed around the first bag (which had scented soap in it) and each girl smelled the bag and told us what it smelled like ("sweet", "fresh", "clean"); then I passed around the second bag (with an onion) and each girl smelled the bag and described ("stinky", "garlic", "potato salad").  We all agreed that the bags were nice looking on the outside but what was inside smelled very different.  Humility is something that you can't really 'see' but true humility has a profound 'scent' before God and His creation.  The behavior of modesty can be 'seen'...how do you show your love for God?  is it the way you dress, talk, eat and behave?  Humility is accepting compliments and criticism, being unassuming and not drawing attention to ourselves.  True humility is recognizing that everything we have - every talent and material good - comes from God.  The bag with the onion was heavier than the bag with the sweet soap.  The girls noticed this and we talked about the sweet scent rising towards heaven because it was lighter...when we thank God for our talents and abilities we honor Him.  We are to receive compliments with real charity and proper courtesy and not brush them off - that insults God.  Pride is a sin against humility, a turning away from God and denying that we need Him.  The bag with the onion gave off an offensive odor and was heavier than the other gift bag...not easily 'rising towards heaven'.  The weight of prideful sin and false modesty.

"Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts.  It means freedom from thinking about you at all."
William Temple      


I usually download both the coloring page and notebook page from Jessica @ Shower of Roses - thanks to her great generosity.  However, she also was unable to find a coloring page for St. Catherine Labouré.  I could find holy card images as the one posted.  A Google search did bring up a couple sites but I was unable to pull up the document(s)...ugh.  Finally I did find one of Our Lady with St. Catherine during an apparition.  I just think from heaven St. Catherine continues to outpour such humility, unassuming of attention in any way.  Those are my thoughts anyway :).  I read a short biography of St. Catherine from the Picture Book of Saints and also the story of 'Bethy's Visit, A Story about Humility' from Virtues and Stories, while the girls completed their notebook pages.     


Completed notebook pages:    


Each girl received a Miraculous Medal and we talked about the images on the front and back, and their significance/meaning. 

~ Craft ~ 


 A simple 'violet' bookmark craft using silk scrapbook flowers, crossgrain ribbon, sparkling 'violet' gems and small brads to secure.  No glue, no paint, just cut a 12 inch strip of ribbon and decorate!  They turned out really cute and useful. 


~ Snack ~  


'Violet' cupcakes...inspiration compliments of Shower of Roses (of course!).





Badge ceremony for badges earned since our last meeting.  Our meeting was completed after praying the Hail Mary together and thanking God for our gifts.


O Mary conceived without sin pray for us
who have recourse to thee.

Pray for our members, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, as they work towards earning their seventh patch and grow in the Virtue of Humiliy - and through these small acts, showing their love for your Son, Jesus.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Piety ~ St. Cecilia



St. Cecilia, pray for us!

This was our sixth meeting in Wreath I, beginning with the prayers in the member's guide: Act of Faith, Act of Hope, Act of Love and the prayer to St. Therese.

A brief review from our lesson on the virtue - Obedience:
The fourth commandment tells us to obey.  All of God's commandments are out of love and without obedience we will never have holiness.  When we obey we are imitating Jesus!  We are showing how much we love Him.  This is especially true when we don't feel like doing something and we do it anyways.  (Baltimore Catechism).   We reviewed the different types of obedience - full, immediate, cheerful, trustful and sacrificial and the girls participated to define each.


Together we sang the memory verse from last month and glass beads were put into the vase for assignments completed while each girl shared something memorable that they did to grow in the virtue - Obedience.  Great job once again, 'Little Flowers'!

Virtue ~ Saint ~ Flower of the Month

The memory verse was posted on the marker board, we recited first and then sang together using the Memory Verse CD.

I know You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be hindered.
Job 42:2

The forget-me-not flowers is tiny and plentiful reminding us of the sweet purity of Mary's eyes which longed to gaze only on her Saviour.  So too should we make little acts of piety frequently and with a pure intention.

The girls worked on their notebook pages while they listened to St. Cecilia's story and the lesson on piety.  Using the wonderful material in the Leader's Guide,  I defined piety as 'the virtue by which we give honor and service to whom we own our very being.  If you are truly pious, do everything you have to do as a service done to God.'  We should imitate our Blessed Mother as she was the perfect example of resignation to the will of God:  "Behold the handmaid of the Lord;  be it done to me according to thy word."  We then talked about the 'Robe of Piety' as described in The Catholic Girl's Guide :  as tears are an outward sign of inward grief, true piety and devotion are evident by acts and practices.  It is these acts and practices that make up the colors in the 'Robe of Piety'.  I read what each color represented.  I also talked about the sacraments and staying in the state of Grace to be closer to God and open to His will.


The construction paper was really colorful...like a rainbow!  A few flower embellishments and music notes.  I also read 'Theresa's Prayer Book - A Story of Piety' in the Virtues and Stories book while they worked.  They really seemed to enjoy it.


 ~ Craft ~

I really thought we would have time to make 'Robe of Piety' Ribbon Barrettes but we did not.  I think I will save these for our Mother/Daughter Tea.


The Colors of Piety Rainbow (original document downloaded by permission from Shower of Roses...thank you!) was copied onto watercolor paper.  These took a bit longer to complete than I expected (hence not being able to make barrettes!).


Love it!


 ~ Snack ~

'Robe of Piety' Sherbet with strawberry topping (it needed some red and would have been just perfect with a some fresh blueberries).


~ Closing ~



Badge ceremony for badges earned since our last meeting.
"(Name) may God bless you and help you to grow in the virtue of Obedience."  "Congratulations!"

Our meeting was completed after praying the Hail Mary together and thanking God for bringing us together to grow in virtue.

My hydrangea bush is just lovely this year.  Though it is not bright blue and they are not the flower of the month,  sometimes you just have to use what you have...I would like to plant forget-me-nots in our Mary's Garden next year.


Pray for our members, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, as they work towards earning their sixth patche and grow in the Virtue of Piety - and through these small acts, showing their love for your Son, Jesus.