Church and children still needs a wise and loving spirit.
Today it was about wanting to ask them their feelings and thoughts about The Greatest Story Ever Told - the Bible Stories of the Old and New Testaments.
So many of the mysteries of those stories are easy to explain and make it easier to "suffer the little children to come unto me" as Jesus said.
Even the word "suffer" - we use today as a description of pain and sorrow, but when it was first used, it was the common word for patience and permission.
allowance and endurance, in a socially pleasant and EXPECTED way. Permit the children's need to come to God in study and prayer and love.
It is how they grow.
There were places that confused and even frightened or offended us as children - most can be explained if we care to do so.
Today the image of Mary the Mother of Jesus was enjoying the company of Children praying with her in mind.
At this age, we must be sure to make it clear to children that The image is an image - it is not Mary - The image there to help make a better mind/spirit/reality connection to the spirit of the Blessed Mother. The statue or image or picture or rosary is not worshipped as a holy substitute - just a holy symbol to help make it real. The way we love our cars that gets where we want to go....that is what Sacred art does and so we love it for the help it provides, in our path to God.
Fun details should be shared with the children - they can connect better if they understand better.
For example: The statue of Mary is in draped robes because that is how the people dressed in the days when she walked the earth - even today, in Mary's part of the world, some wear loose robes and head coverings every day instead of more modern sewn clothing - they do so to keep cool and covered from very hot sun, and let breezes reach their skin for comfort. If their lifestyle finds them outdoors a lot, the robes help cover them from sand and dust that can be difficult in very hot places.
When we pray to Mary and make the gesture of offering up prayer with polite body language and presenting roses at her feet and for her crown, that also is because, in Mary's day, one wore flowers in the hair to celebrate or to give or receive special attention - every day this was done. Flowers or other gifts placed at the feet of any honored person was the way of normal manners and courtesy in those days - every day, people bowed to the ground to show respect and love, placing a gift at the feet of the one we honor, was simply the normal thing to do, two thousand years ago....and still is done today on occasion. When we place a gift at the feet of a person or at a place, we are speaking with actions - saying, "I honor you, I am impressed with you and your thought, word or deeds, and I feel happy to be humble for a moment and declare you a superior to me, by putting the gift at your feet as I gaze upward at your face if I may.