I have to admit, I was a little nervous about doing this virtue. I mean, it took me forever to even learn how to pronounce it!!! So, I did what I always do. I worked on it, set it aside for awhile and prayed on it. Yesterday, it all came together. It amazes me every time. God just puts it in my heart, and then I get excited!!!
Tonight was the first meeting that I wasn't nervous at all. Not sure if it's because I'm finally getting comfortable or what, but it was great. It always makes it interesting having two daughters in the group. My youngest was just a little too energetic and talkative this evening, but I know she is just excited to be at Little Flowers.
We started the meeting by taking care of business. Since I handed out the registration forms at the pizza party, we were able to collect activity fees and money to place an order for badges and books. Last year, I made the mistake of letting moms place a few different orders. I decided not to drive my husband crazy with lots of charges on my credit card. This year one order would be placed after the first meeting. Worked great.
So onto Eutrapelia. So what is it? Well it's a virtue of pleasantness, playfulness, and moderate relaxation. It can be a type of playfulness, joking and amusement. St. Thomas Aquinas said that just as the body needs rest when it is tired, so does the soul.
God is so good to us. He gives us the perfect opportunity to practice this virtue when he gave us Sunday!!! While we should always begin the day by going to church, we also have the day that we can spend with our family relaxing, and enjoying each others company.
The flower for the month is just perfect for Eutrapelia, the dandelion. For kids, it's a beautiful little flower that they make into pretty crowns, beautiful necklaces, and make wishes on when they turn fluffy and white. Now for grown ups, dandelions are weeds and most of us would like nothing more than to get rid of them. Somewhere along the line, we lose the simple joy of blowing on a dandelion.
So you see, this is a good virtue for us moms to work on as well. There are probably quite a few of us who have a hard time relaxing or finding that playfulness. Now on the other hand, the girls may want to have too much playing around or amusement. Eutrapelia is about finding that balance.
St. Thomas Aquinas wrote about having too much of a good thing (of course my words, not his). He points out that there can be too much playing or relaxing, that humor can be rude or hurtful, or that having fun can be at inappropriate times. I had the girls help come up with examples for these things. Seemed like an easy concept to understand.
We then moved on to our saints of the month, Martha and Mary. I read about them from the Catholic Children's Bible and we talked about which saint was practicing Eutrapelia. This was perfect as it led us into one of the activities of the month which was to read Luke 10:38-42 and then rewrite the story or draw a picture.
We also went around the room and told our favorite joke or riddle. This helped complete #4 of the activities. The girls really enjoyed this. Lots of laughs. One little flower even had a joke book with her and shared some of them with us.
For our craft, I tied it into another activity. They had to write out five ways in which they like to relax. I had them work with their moms to write them out and then they made fluffy white dandelions out of yarn and attached them to their lists. Here is the link with the directions for making them. They turned out great and were easy enough for each of the girls to do on their own.
While we might not be able to work on the badge activities at each meeting, I know how much it is appreciated by the moms (including me). Tonight we were able to get four of the activities completed!! More time to practice that Eutrapelia during the rest of the month.