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When I Was Little

This story was written by Sr. Clare for the Home of the Mother’s kids’ magazine in 2004. They are stories based on true events, but she wrote them to teach kids especially.

In this one, she expresses all of her love toward the Virgin Mary. It is a love that she would truly discover years later, and which would lead her to write this story in the hope of helping kids to do loving, generous actions for their Heavenly Mother. You can listen to Sr. Clare tell the story (in Spanish) below.

In my school there was a great big statue of Our Lady and when I was little, in the month of May, we would walk to the statue singing songs to Our Blessed Mother. Sometimes there were children who would pick flowers and put them at the feet of Our Lady there in the garden, and afterwards, the teacher would give them a sticker that had a smiley face and glowed in the dark. The boys and girls who behaved themselves very well during this month also received a sticker. They were the best stickers in the world.  

One of my younger sisters and I really wanted one of those smiley-face, glow-in-the-dark, best-in-the-world stickers. “So,” I thought, “I can get a sticker if I: 1) put a nice flower at the feet of Our Lady, or 2) behave myself well during the month of May. Number one,” I thought, “is much easier. All I have to do is pick a flower and the sticker is mine.” I told my sister Shauna the easy way to get the sticker and the two of us set off to find a flower.

My house is very close to a river called the River Foyle. Beside the river there is a big field called Daisyfield, which usually has a lot of daisies in it, so we headed in that direction.

My little sister ran ahead of me and when she reached the field she shouted, “Clare, come quickly, there’s a man driving his car and his car has big scissors at the bottom and he has cut all the grass and all the flowers!”

I ran quickly to see what had happened and sure enough there was a man with a lawn mower. He had cut all the grass and the daisies. We ran towards the man who was just finishing cutting the grass. “Hey, Mister!” my sister said. “Don’t cut anymore because now we can’t get a glow-in-the-dark sticker.” The man looked at my sister and then looked at me. “What?” he said. I explained the whole story. “Sorry, but that’s life, kid,” he said.

Sticker

“What are we going to do now?” we thought. The only other place that had nice flowers was our neighbor’s garden, but of course we couldn’t take one from there because we didn’t have permission. And anyway, she was always sitting at her door knitting, so she would see us.  

We went home sadly. We passed the house of that neighbor and she called us. “What faces you have!” she said. “Has something happened?” We explained the whole story of the sticker and what had happened in the Daisyfield. “Ah!” she said, “so the only reason you were going to put the flower at Our Lady’s feet was so that you could get the sticker...” “Yes,” we said.  The lady shook her head. “Poor Mary, poor, poor Mary.” “Why?” we asked. “Imagine if I were to invite you to my birthday party, and you were to come in, give me a little present and then run straight to the big chocolate cake on the table leaving me standing there. I would be very sad.” “We wouldn’t do that,” I said. “We would give you some of the cake,” my sister said. “That’s what you’re doing to Our Lady. It seems as if you’re giving Her the flower because you love Her, but really you’re giving it to Her because you want the sticker. Remember the song that you learned the other day in school, ‘May is the month of Mary’?  Well, this month we have to make the effort to make Our Lady happy, giving Her flowers and singing songs to Her because She always takes care of us and looks at us from Heaven. She loves it when we behave ourselves well in school and at home, when we help our mom and dad, when we share...”  

Getting up, she took two red roses from the rose bush in her garden and said: “These are for Our Lady.” The next day when we went to school, our teacher said, “How lovely!” when she saw the flowers and she gave me a sticker. The same happened with my sister.

After lunchtime, when I went to leave the rose at Mary’s feet, I saw my sister’s rose there and stuck to one of the petals was her sticker. I looked at it and then, even though I found it really hard, put my smiley-face, glow-in-the-dark, best-in-the-world sticker on one of the roses, knowing that Our Lady, who was watching me from Heaven, had a smile as big as the Daisyfield.

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