Kelly Guest shares a simple twist on a poplar summertime dessert to make with your children while teaching them about the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Friday is the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And Saturday is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What beautiful feast days! Both teach us so much about God’s great love for us and how are to love him in return. Here is a delicious way to teach your children about the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, using a popular summertime dessert.
Before you begin this activity, you may want to show your children pictures of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. If you do not have them in your home, you can easily find pictures on the internet; however, I strongly urge you to ask for these images for your next birthday or Christmas. After all, when Jesus revealed his Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary, he gave her twelve promises, one of which declares, “I will bless every place where an image of my heart shall be exposed and honored.” Indeed, our homes are blessed when the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary reign over them.
Truth be told, I found this idea a few years ago from another wonderful Catholic website, CatholicIcing.com. I have tweaked it a bit here and there, depending on my children's ages. Still, the dessert stays the same, and the kiddos love it. Who doesn’t love strawberries and whipped cream?
What You Will Need:
1 small sponge cake or angel food cake
1 large strawberry, cut in half lengthwise
Canned whipped cream
Chocolate jimmies/sprinkles for the Sacred Heart
OR flower sprinkles for the Immaculate Heart
1 mini marshmallow
Yellow or gold sugar sprinkles
1 cocktail spear or a party frill toothpick
How to Prepare the Treat (and teach while doing it):
- Give your child the small sponge cake. Ask him to press down in the center of the cake with a finger. “Is the cake hard or soft. Yes, soft. We cannot have hard heart if we are going to receive God’s love.” Happy are those who fear the Lord, but those who harden their hearts fall into evil. (Proverbs 28:14)
- Let your child put a layer of whipped cream onto of the cake. Explain that white is the color of purity. We must also have pure hearts to receive Jesus’ love. Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)
- Cut the strawberry in half, Then, cut the stem out in a V-shape, so that the strawberry looks like a heart. Place the strawberry, flat side up, onto the whipped cream. “Receive the love of Jesus! He loves us so much.” We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
- Take a few chocolate sprinkles and have your child lay them across the center of the strawberry. “These represent the crown of thorns that encircle the Heart of Jesus. The thorns remind us of all that Jesus suffered for love of us.” He was wounded for our offenses; he was crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and by his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
- Cut the mini marshmallow diagonally in half. Let your child press the sticky cut side into the sugar sprinkles. Using a little squirt of whipped cream, place the marshmallow flame atop the heart inside the V-shape cut. “Jesus’ heart is burning for love for us. We cannot even begin to imagine how much he loves us!” I have come to set the world on fire; how I wish it were already blazing! (Luke 12:49)
Finally, take a cocktail spear and let your child put a small slit in the bottom right side of the strawberry. This is where the soldier’s spear pierced the heart of Jesus. Like battle scars, Jesus’ wound marks/boo-boos did not go away. They are a glorious reminder of his love and how Jesus can take something bad and make them good. Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your fingers here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
To Make the Immaculate Heart of Mary TREAT:
Follow the same procedures for steps 1-3.
- Mary’s heart was not hard because she did everything God asked of her.
- Mary’s love for God and others was pure.
- God loved Mary very much, and Mary loved God very much, too. Her heart was a lot like Jesus’.
- Instead of chocolate sprinkles, place flower sprinkles across the center of the strawberry heart. Point out that Mary’s heart is crowned with roses. Roses do have thorns, but they are hidden. Mary’s love for Jesus made her willing to suffer with him. That made her sufferings as beautiful as flowers. Our little sacrifices made for love of Jesus and Mary are beautiful and fragrant to God, too.
- Follow the same directions as above. Mary’s heart is on fire for love of Jesus and all her children (that’s us because Jesus gave her to us to be our mother, too)!
- The sword pierces Mary’s heart. So, take the cocktail sword or frilly toothpick and gently push it through the strawberry. Read Luke 2:25-35. We can become closer to Jesus by sharing our deepest thoughts with Mary. She tells Jesus everything. She wants to help us love God. And you yourself shall be pierced so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (Luke 2:35)
The conversations that come from making this treat together! We have had discussion about what it means to have a pure heart. We, also, have had a show-and-tell of various battle scars received over the years! Still, I am often delightfully surprised by the deep thoughts and great love the children harbor inside them. As such, the greatest treat is often not the one being eaten!
Copyright 2021 Kelly Guest
Images copyright 2021 Kelly Guest, all rights reserved.
About the Author
God has given Kelly lots of wonderful opportunities to follow Him. She was a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia in Nashville, an education coordinator for a Catholic Charities' program for pregnant teens, a middle school teacher, a director of religious education and is now a youth minister. Her most challenging and rewarding calling, though, is wife and mother of ten children. What she has learned, she blogs at CatholicMom.com. Kelly's book, Saintly Moms: 25 Stories of Holiness, is due out October 2021.