St. Martha and Mary ~ Eutrapelia ~ Dandelion

A reading from a sermon by St. Augustine (Sermo 103, 1-2, 6: PL 38, 613, 615) for the Feast of Saint Martha sister of Mary and Lazarus on July 29.  Here Augustine reflects on that famous incident, recorded in the Gospel of Luke chapter 10, when the Lord comes to the home of Martha and Mary.  Mary sits at the Lord's feet while Martha busies herself with the details of hospitality, anxious and troubled about many things.  In the Catholic tradition, Mary is seen here to represent the contemplative life while Martha represents the active vocation and the battle we all face against the many distractions inherent in our everyday responsibilities.
Christ_in_the_House_of_Martha_and_Mary_1628_Jan_Bruegel2_and_Rubens
~~~
We met on the first Saturday of December, This was our last meeting for 2011.  Our total head count is now at 36.  We had 33 in attendance this month. 
This month we learned about Martha & Mary and Eutrapelia.  The meeting went as follows:
  • Mass
    • We took up four pews!  This was a beautiful gift for God.
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  • Roll
  • Prayer
  • Snack
    • I gave the girls more time than usual to relax and settle in.
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  • Recap of last month’s saint and virtue
    • The girls had no problem recalling St. Felictiy and Her Seven Sons.  St. Felicity has definitely became a favorite among the girls.
  • Lesson
    • Introduction
      • I introduced the girls to Eutrapelia with a simple definition.
Eutrapelia - good cheer, which disposes to moderation in sports, games, and jests, in accordance with the dictates of reason, taking into consideration the circumstance of person, season, and place.
      • I asked the girls to share what they knew about Martha and Mary.St Martha mosaic001 (3)St Mary of Bethany mosaic001 (2)
          • sisters of Lazerus of Bethany (Dec. 17)
    • Skit – Jesus is coming!  (I adapted the script that I found here.)
      • Mrs. F, Mrs. B , Mrs. R, and Miss. C volunteered to act out the skit.  Miss. C frantically prepared her house for her special guest, Jesus.  He phoned to tell Miss. C that He would be over later.  As she prepared her house the anxiety grew.  It didn’t help that she was constantly being interrupted.  First, Mrs. F came by to ask for help with her car.  She pleaded with Miss. C to help her out.  Miss. C quickly turned her away.  Jesus was coming and she didn’t have time to waste.  Then another vistor came to the door.  This time it was Mrs. R seeking donations for St. Vincent de Paul Society.  Mrs. Rwas clearly disappointed to be hurried off by the preoccupied Miss C.  Miss. C scurried off to the kitchen in a frenzy.  She was in complete disarray trying to get her home just right for her special guest.  Just then, another door bell rang.  It was Mrs. B seeking some fellowship.  Her voice quivered with nerves.  It must had taken all her courage to venture out, in a new neighborhood with no friends.  I could only imagine what heartache she felt when Miss. C denied her request for conversation.  Miss C was completely oblivious to the feelings of those who were set in her path.  In fact, I doubt she could have even recalled one thing about her unexpected visitors.  She continued to busy herself with housework.  The phone rang.  It was Jesus.  Miss. C asked we He was.  He replied, “I already came by.”  In disbelief, Miss. C questioned Jesus some more.  To which, Jesus replied, “I came three times.)  Miss. C dropped the phone, in shock.
      • The girls identified the times when Jesus came to Miss. C’s house.  He came as the person in need of help, as the charity seeking aid, and in the person in need of personal connection.  We then discussed how we should always be looking for Jesus.  This lead us into the saint lesson for the month.
      • Mary and Martha Bible reading – Luke 10:38-42 in the Catholic Children’s Bible
      • Dandelion explanation.
        • We discussed the weed that is often seen as a flower, the dandelion.
dandelion color pic
  • Discussion
      • Putting God first – jar with 3 toys
        • I used a simple visual activity to display to the calls the importance of putting God first.
          • First, I put three pieces of sidewalk chalk into a mason jar.  Then, I filled the jar with sugar.  The sugar represented everything fun that we could think of.  The girls counted out loud, the number of cups of sugar that it took to fill the mason jar.  The magic number was 7 cups.  The girls observed that the lid fit nicely once the jar was filled.  Finally, I emptied the jar to repeat the process.  Only, this time, I put the 7 cups of fun (sugar) in the mason jar, first.  Then, I attempted to put the three pieces of chalk into the jar so that the lid could close.  It was not possible.  The girls were amazed.  I had the girls imagine that the three pieces of chalk represented the Holy Trinity – GOD.  I then explained that we must put God first in all we do.  When we are right-ordered there is room for everything else.  However, when we put other things first (such as fun and play) we leave no room for God.  They were receptive to the message and began to share ways of how they could put God first.
            • prayer, Adoration, and finding Jesus in those around us.
  • Visit from Father L
    • Father spoke about Advent & Christmas.  He discussed the Birth of Christ.  He closed with a Q & A and blessing.  He’s birthday is this month.  Please pray for Fr. L.
lf fr l
    • Father M stopped by for a quick visit.
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  • Craft
    • I wanted the girls to make something that tied into the saints for the month and that could be given as a gift for Christmas.  I don’t want to ruin any surprises so I’ll share more, after Christmas.
lf decorating bags
  • Time to practice Eutrapelia (social time)
    • The girls were given a small break for the restroom.  It was beautiful how they took advantage of this time for fellowship and play.  They chatted and played at the chalk-board.
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  • Dismissal
    • We closed with a prayer to St. Martha & Mary.  The girls repeated after me.
Martha’s sister Mary, pray for us.   As you spent your time at Jesus’ feet, unlike your busy sister Martha, help us to love our Lord as Thee and practice eutrapelia.
Mary, Martha, and St. Therese – The Little Flower, pray for us!
~~~

tLuk1041Dore_JesusAtTheHouseOfMarthaAndMary

Handouts: (in order)

Resources:
Saint:
Virtue:
~~~
Little Flowers Girls Club Linky - Shower of Roses


***UPDATE***


here is the link to this month's craft - Curtain Aprons
In His JOY,
 

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