Saturday, April 4, 2009

Little Flowers Loving God

These ideas were developed by me for my local group and are not a part of the official Little Flowers Girls Club ® created by Rachel Watkins. To purchase the excellent materials and begin your own local group, please visit

We had another meeting yesterday to discuss Love of God. Interestingly enough, I found there was not much more to say than to review what we shared at our last meeting. Love of God must come before all things, so I simply tried to reiterate that point.

First, we opened in prayer as usual, an offering, spontaneous prayer, Hail Mary, and our new St. Therese song to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Then, I gave each girl a blank sticker and asked them to draw on it a picture of something of this earth that they really love, or like a whole lot.

Once their drawings were done, we gathered together and talked about our last meeting. I asked them to remind me what our virtue is and how to live it. I asked them to remind me what the flower is and why it was chosen for this virtue. And, I asked them to remind me what the saint is and why she was chosen for this virtue. Their answers were clear and simple (and right!).

Then, I directed their attention to a tape measure I had taped to a pillar going vertically. It was a sewing one made of flexible plastic. To the top, I taped a large red heart made of craft foam on which I wrote "God." Then, I asked one of the girls to share what they wrote on their sticker. I forget what the first girl shared, but many put such things as rainbows, flowers, family, and friends. I asked whether we love God more or rainbows more, and when they responded God, I put their sticker below my heart.

I continued doing this with each girl's sticker, not saying every single one but mostly asked which we love more God or what was on the sticker. They were all eager to share their drawings, and it was a nice visual. At the end, I asked the girls if they knew what the Golden Rule said, and I reminded them that our next virtue will be Love of Neighbor. I also asked them what the Greatest Commandment is, and I indicated that our ruler on the pillar was an example of the first part of the Greatest Commandment.

The trick is going to be putting it back together, mostly, to use at our next meeting. You see, we will add to the visual, so check back in two weeks to see how I complete the Greatest Commandment! I will even include a photo at that time, I hope. The idea is from a book called The Big Book of Ideas for Children's Faith Formation.

Next, I asked for two volunteers who would be actresses that day. It was very difficult to choose, but it worked out great. I held up the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and asked who had heard the story before. About half of the girls knew the story, including the two actresses. We chose one girl to be the tree and the other girl to be the child (While reading, I changed "boy" in the story to "child," since we are all girls.). They were instructed to act out the story as I read it to the girls.

This was hilarious and beautiful all at the same time! It was so much fun. I read the story with emotion, and my actresses put on a fabulous show. We were all laughing. When the applause died down at the end, I asked the girls who demonstrated love in the story. They knew it was the tree, so I asked how she showed her love for the child. They gave responses, like "She gave all of herself" and "She kept loving over and over." Then, I asked if they thought this could teach us how to love God and how to love others. Since we agreed it could, I reminded them how important it is to put God first and give Him all of our lives in complete sacrifice to please Him always.

Craft time! I bought these Prayer Journal craft kits at Oriental Trading Company this time. The purpose of the craft was to give them an opportunity and a reminder to spend some quiet time with God, writing and/or drawing. Some mentioned writing virtues and Scripture verses in theirs. I did pre-string the youngest girls' books, because the lacing was a bit challenging. I also started the lacing on the next youngest girls' books, doing three rows to get them going. Then, I provided glitter glue, fabric paints, stickers, photos of Mary and St. Therese, and extra foam in addition to the decorations included in the kits.

After a snack break, we did the Unity Circle. I used to use this with high school retreats, so I modified it for this group. Here is the text. We had a small group yesterday, so it more clearly demonstrated how close we can be if we all stay on the same path towards Christ:
Everyone get into a circle and put your arms around one another’s shoulders. This is a silent activity, so please listen carefully and do your best not to talk or giggle.
All of us love God above all things. That is one of the beautiful things that unites us as Little Flowers, as ARCHAngels, as Catholics. Our hearts know His love for us and want to repay His love.
Christ is our light and shows us the way to real love. The candle in the center represents that light.
But, sometimes, our actions, the things we do and say each day, do not fit with our hearts desires. We are tempted and fall short of acting like we love God above all things.
Close your eyes. Reflect on how you choose to show your love for God and how you sometimes forget about Him or turn away from loving Him.
If you have ever missed saying your morning prayers, lower your head.
If you have ever forgotten to say bedtime prayers, drop your right arm.
If you have ever complained about going to Holy Mass, drop your left arm.
If you have ever thought of things having nothing to do with God during Holy Mass, turn around.
If you have ever neglected to say a grace before meals, like when at a restaurant or picnic, take a large step forward.
If you have ever gone a week without reading any Bible stories or passages, take a large step forward.
If you have ever refused to participate in family prayers out loud, take a large step forward.
Open your eyes. When we neglect to put God first, not only do we stray from His love, we separate ourselves from others. We are alone, without God and without one another.
Our Lord, however, is always forgiving. He forgives our failings and invites us to return to Him, step by step.
If you have ever prayed aloud with your family, turn around.
If you have ever read a Bible story or passage, take a large step forward.
If you have ever said grace before meals, take a large step forward.
If you have ever thought of God during Holy Mass, take a large step forward.
If you have ever willingly gone to Mass without complaint, put your left arm around your sister in Christ.
If you have ever said bedtime prayers, put your right arm around your sister in Christ.
If you have ever said morning prayers, raise your head.
The Lord longs for us to be united, loving Him and loving one another as He loves us. No matter how far we stray from Christ, we can always return to Him.
The choices we make each day are choices that determine whether we demonstrate our love for Him, moving closer to Christ and one another or we walk away from God. Follow the light of His love.
After this activity, we practiced the Scripture verse song and closed in prayer, using our St. Therese prayer, the girls' intentions, and an Act of Love. It was a beautiful day with sun and lots of wind, but we managed to have a very pleasant meeting once again.

Per the request of the official Little Flowers Girls Club ® I have removed the downloadable patch project sheets and practice pages. If you are interested in learning about how I used these documents in my group, please contact me directly.

Sunday, April 5, 2009 ~ Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

Note: These Sunday & Holy Day Gospel Reflections are written so that mothers may prepare for Holy Mass in advance either as a small group or individually (especially since we are so often necessarily distracted during Mass itself).

Mark 14:1—15:47

This week, I invite you to pick up your own Bible and in silent meditation read this Gospel passage, the Lord's Passion. Not only is it too long to reprint here, I want you to have the opportunity to read it slowly and deliberately, pausing as necessary to truly reflect on what is happening.


My friends, there is no reflection I can give to this Gospel at this time. I have been pondering it for days, but each time I read my Lord's Passion, I am overcome. I urge you to find some silence to read and ponder this Gospel sometime during this Holiest Week. May it ignite your love for Jesus Crucified anew.