I love, love, love that I got to do the lesson on zeal this evening. Some days, I truly just feel like I am so filled with zeal that I could explode!!! Little Flowers is a great outlet for me to spread that zeal.
Our group has grown so much that I just didn't think it worked well around the tables. I came in early and put the moms' chairs in a half circle and then carpet squares on the floor for the girls. I think it actually worked much better. The girls were excited to be sitting with their friends and the moms were able to participate if they chose.
I started off with defining what zeal was. It is such an easy one to explain. It's loving God so much that it gives you energy. An enthusiasm and energy for God and all that He wants. I found that the leaders' manual was really helpful for planning this meeting. We talked about having a false zeal and St. Paul before his conversion and also about the first Christians and the zeal they must have had to be able to spread the word without phones, computers, televisions, or newspapers. All of the info came from the leaders' manual.
We then completed activity #5. I pulled over a chalkboard and talked about some of the fads. This was good because even some of the shyest girls felt comfortable enough to share a fad. I then asked the girls to share what we could do to keep our faith from becoming a fad.
Then we did a little role playing. If you haven't had a chance to check out The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, definitely check it out. They have a wonderful Virtues in Practice program. They have it broken down into different grade levels. The following comes from their lessons:
We are going to sort of role play or answer questions by responding with some Godly zeal. Think about how you can be zealous in your relationship with God by acting with intense love for Him.
- The music teacher at school is helping you learn a new hymn to be sung at Mass, and some sections of it are difficult – and you’re tired.
- You’ve been asked to help contribute your time to help out with a fundraiser for a parish mission trip to Africa. You don’t know that much about the purpose of the mission, or where it’s actually going, but you do know someone in your parish who is from that area
- You play sports for a city team. Some of your teammates are talking about religion and whether they should become Christians.
- You are at the roller skating rink and some girl notices the crucifix you are wearing on your necklace. She asks you about it.
- After a weekday Mass during the summer, one of your friends remarks that she skipped Mass last weekend because she wanted to sleep in – and she knew she would be coming to Mass during the week anyway.
- An opportunity comes up over summer vacation to help out with Vacation Bible School, but you’d much rather have the time free to hang out with friends.
We were able to work on Activity #4 as well. I read the memory verse out of the bible and then read Ephesians 6:10. I also passed out a wonderful handout from Practical Pages. Head over there for a great drawing of girl dressed in the Armor of God.
I handed out an examination of conscience for them to use nightly to help them with Activity #8. The leader's manual gave a great suggestion from Catholic Parents.
It was then time to switch speeds. We have a mounted big screen television in our social hall that we have never gotten to use, so I showed a 5 minute video on our saint of the month, St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop. This was especially good for our littlest of Little Flowers. We talked a little bit more about her after the video. The girls also got the next couple pages for their passports.
Before our craft, I showed them a map to point out Australia. I passed out a handout with some fun facts about Australia. Just one warning. I edited the list before I handed it out as it listed the first gay and lesbian radio station in Australia. Totally not necessary for our lesson. Our craft came from here. I am sure that it could easily be done without buying the file but for $1.50, it was worth it to me to get it done. They were quick crafts. The perfect amount of time for what we had left. I just needed to have a few sheets of yellow tissue paper and I printed the yellow wattles out on card stock.
Lastly, I handed out hearts to all the girls. On one side, I put a quote from St. Catherine of Sienna, "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire!". On the other side, I had the Sacred Heart of Jesus with a banner saying "Set the World Ablaze!". I encouraged the girls to live their lives the way God would want them to with lots of zeal!!
Wow, how did I fit that all in within 1 1/2 hours? Isn't it great when it all fits just perfectly? We will be having an outing in a couple of weeks. We are going to go rollerskating!! I would say that will definitely be a day filled with zeal!!