Monday, March 15, 2010

Wise Little Flowers

Now that I have changed our meeting schedule to get done before Baby is born, things are moving more quickly, and this post got lost in the shuffle. Finally, it is finished!

We had our meeting on Wisdom last Friday. After our typical opening prayers, I talked with the girls about the virtue. First, we remembered that Wisdom is part of Prudence, our last virtue, and the girls remembered that Prudence is about thinking wisely, deciding carefully, and acting appropriately. Wisdom is a huge part of the thinking part.

Some people confuse Wisdom with Knowledge, so to simplify it for the girls, we said Knowledge is facts about things and Wisdom is understanding about God and life. With Wisdom we must acknowledge that we can never know everything. We discussed having Wisdom without Knowledge versus having Knowledge without Wisdom. I gave the examples of St. Rose of Lima and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha who were wise enough to follow a path to Heaven with no formal education.

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

Wisdom is a gift from the Holy Spirit that we receive at Baptism, but like any gift, if we do not use it, it goes to waste. We can also gain Wisdom from the Bible, the Church, the saints, our parents, etc... I stressed to the girls that I want them to focus, for now, on gaining Wisdom from Scripture and from experience. To illustrate how we gain Wisdom from experience, I pulled out a hula hoop.

The girls all stood in a circle holding hands and had to pass the hula hoop all the way around the circle without using their hands. Most of them had never done this before, so it worked really well in demonstrating how the experience taught them something new they might be able to use again in the future. Indeed, many of the girls at the end of the circle had an easier time moving the hoop than those in the beginning.

I reminded the girls that we can only gain Wisdom if we are open to God's teaching. I held up a sponge and a rock and asked them which is the type of heart we need to be open to God and why. They clearly understood that we must be soft like the sponge and willing to learn. I explained that God often teaches us through other people, like our parents, so it is important to receive their instructions with a spongey heart!

Then, I read the girls this version of the "Very Wise King," King Solomon. I stressed that Solomon was open to learning from a tiny, insignificant bee. Holding up a silk iris, I explained that the purple iris has long been known as a symbol of wisdom. I also shared that the word Iris means "rainbow," which reminds me of God's covenant of love, His promise to always give us what we need, including Wisdom.

Our craft for the day was to make bookmarks, and I chose these beautiful ones from Oriental Trading Company at Jessica's suggestion. The mothers had to bend the wires for most of the girls, but the girls were very pleased with their creations. Knowing this would not take much time, I asked the girls in advance to bring a book or story that has taught them a lesson to share with their rose groups. So, as the girls finished stringing the beads and waited on the mothers to assemble the bookmarks, they talked about the books and stories they brought and what they learned from them.

After our snack break, we played a simplistic version of Jeopardy to see if the girls had grown in Wisdom regarding our Little Flowers virtues. I split the girls into two teams and had five questions that applied to the first four virtues we studied in this wreath: Mercy, Courage, Joy, Generosity. Each was worth a different amount of points. The teams chose the question, but I chose the virtue for which they would give the answer. Here were the questions and points offered:

What does the virtue mean? 100
Give an example of living the virtue. 200
Who is the saint for the virtue and why? 300
What is the flower for the virtue and why? 400
Sing the Scripture verse song for the virtue. 500

The girls had a lot of fun, and it was a very close game! When I split the teams, I made sure they had similar numbers of girls from all ages, and I specifically asked the older girls to be sure to include the younger ones. It was so cute to see the older ones whispering answers in the younger girls' ears to tell me!
Then, I shared with them about St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, also known as Edith Stein, the saint for Wisdom. I told them she was born in Germany of a Jewish family but became an atheist at age 13. I explained she was very intelligent and studied under many famous professors, receiving a doctorate in philosophy, and being well-known as an intellectual.

She became Catholic after reading St. Teresa of Avila's autobiography, which devastated her Jewish family. When the Nazis came to power in Germany, though, she was persecuted as a Jew, based on her heritage. She entered the Carmelite Monastery and was sent to Netherlands to avoid such persecution, but when the Germans occupied the Netherlands, she was arrested. They sent her to a concentration camp where she was sent to the gas chambers to die along with her sister, also a convert and Carmelite nun.

The girls then worked on their virtue pages. Since the color for this virtue is silver, I decided to use a white background and give them aluminum foil to add the silver. They turned out nicely.

We closed with our Scripture song and closing prayers, and then I distributed their patches from previous virtues along with their Patch Project Sheets and Practice Pages seen below (if you can't download these, let me know; Scribd has been acting funny). It always gives me such joy to see their pride in receiving the patches for spending time practicing the virtues.

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.

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