Faith, That Most Precious Gift

Our Faith should never be taken for granted. We’ve heard it before…. if we are not climbing up the ladder, we are most assuredly moving backwards. There is no standing still.

Just lately I have come across the term “the law of gradualism”. It is a daunting thought that if we do not make the effort to protect our faith, if we do not guard it from the onslaught of the world, it will slowly be chipped away until lukewarmness sets in….maybe even loss of the faith. Gradually, gradually…..

We need to watch who we are talking to, the books we are reading, the movies we are watching, the music we listen to…..making sure they are wholesome choices…..or it can all add up to “the law of gradualism”  that will slowly strangle the taste we have for spiritual things, and lead us out of the Arms of God.1920x1200-pretty-pink-flowers-wallpaper-download-flower-picture-pretty-backgrounds

Fr. Lasance’s words are excellent and we need to take heed:

1. FAITH is certainly so precious and supernatural a possession that no earthly good can be substituted for it. As innocence is the maiden’s fairest ornament, so is faith her most precious possession. It resembles the glorious light of the sun; which cheers and animates all created nature.

How sad and gloomy, how cold and unfruitful would the earth be without this light! But far sadder would our life be without the divine light of the true faith.

Therefore the first and most important affair of your life is to preserve this light, this precious treasure, with the utmost care. And this is no easy matter, especially in the present day, when unbelief is gaining ground with terribly rapid strides. Therefore mark well what you have to do in order to acquit yourself of your most important duty, in order to preserve your most precious possession — the holy faith.

2. The first thing is to attend diligently to religious instruction. In its origin, faith is a gift of grace, and this grace is imparted first of all in holy Baptism, for Baptism makes man a Christian.

But faith is then only a germ, and if this germ is not to be nipped in the bud it must be developed. And it is the Church which develops this germ. This is why St. Paul says: “Faith then comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ,” and Our Lord Himself reminds us that: “He that is of God, heareth the words of God.”

Consequently you must set a high value on the word of God as announced to you in sermons and religious instructions, and not absent yourself from them on any frivolous pretext.

Whenever you are about to listen to religious instructions be careful to recollect yourself, and invoke the aid of the Holy Spirit, in order that He may prepare your heart to receive the divine word. Afterwards apply what you have heard to yourself, not to other persons, and make it the guide of your life. In this manner you will not merely keep your faith, but be more and more confirmed in it.

3. The second means of keeping the faith is to live in accordance with its teaching. The more earnestly you strive to practice the precepts of the Gospel, the more will your faith be strengthened.

The harder the blows dealt by the hammer, the more deeply the nail is driven in; similarly faith becomes all the deeper, firmer, and stronger, the more carefully its teaching is observed.

The Japanese whom St. Francis Xavier converted in the sixteenth century grew and became strong in the faith in a manner which was nothing short of marvelous. But this was only the natural result of the extreme zeal they displayed in the performance of their Christian duties. For every kind of virtue was practiced by these recent converts in great perfection.

Their holy zeal was wonderful indeed, and so conscientious were they that it was not easy to soothe their distress whenever they fell into even trifling faults.
Do you, my daughter, imitate their bright example, and be earnest in the fulfilment of your religious duties? As soon as you grow careless in this respect, in an equal degree will your firm, undoubting faith become weaker.

4. The third means, namely, the avoidance of sin, is inseparably connected with the second. In order to keep the faith it is indispensably necessary to avoid everything which is of the nature of sin, and to lead a life which is pleasing to God. For faith can never long dwell in a heart defiled by sin.

And here listen to a parable. A wealthy Greek carefully selected a cask and filled it with the choicest wine. In order to protect himself against thieves he affixed his seal to the mouth of the cask.

However, in spite of his precaution, a cunning slave bore a little hole in the bottom of the vessel, and thus succeeded in getting at the wine, being able to close the aperture without much difficulty.

His master frequently broke the seal in order to partake of the wine, but he always replaced it. Ere long he perceived that the wine was rapidly diminishing, but, as the seal remained unbroken, he was at a loss to account for this.

The mystery was solved by a friend, who said to him: “No doubt someone draws out the wine from beneath.” However, the foolish man could not understand this and absurdly protested that the wine was not deficient at the bottom but at the top of the cask.

5. This is a very old story, for it is related by the heathen sage Hierocles. But it constantly repeats itself in regard to a widely different subject.

Faith in God, in His Divine Love and saving doctrine, is the precious wine which renews, elevates, ennobles, gladdens and strengthens the life of man.

Why has this faith so greatly diminished in the Christian world? The wine from above never diminishes; for “Every best gift and every good gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”

No, it is from beneath that the decline of faith proceeds. It originates in the lower region of life, that, namely, of sensuality and the baser impulses. Guard against them, my child, and beware lest you become their slave, and thus your faith be endangered.

6. But the chief means of preserving a firm and enlightened faith is prayer. Faith is a gift of Divine grace, as Isnard, a Frenchman who lived in the beginning of the last century, learned from experience.

During the great French revolution he totally lost his faith, and became a so-called freethinker.

By a turn of fortune’s wheel he lost his entire wealth, his life being also imperiled. At this juncture he applied himself with great ardor to the study of the truths of the Christian religion. Upon this point he expresses himself as follows in a work which he subsequently published: “I soon perceived that, in searching for the truth, everything depends on the disposition of the heart. Therefore I betook myself to prayer, and my mental horizon speedily cleared, so that I regained my faith.”

Do you also pray diligently for faith, that most necessary virtue, and in seasons of temptations have recourse to God in the words which we find in the Gospel: “I do believe; Lord, help my unbelief?”

7. Christian maiden, on no account must you consider the Catholic faith to be a thing of little moment. For, as St. Augustine says: “There is no greater wealth, no more precious treasure, than the Catholic faith.” Do everything in your power to keep it, so that one day you may be able to adopt the words of the Apostle: “I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice.”

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Radiant Reviews and a Delightful Drawing!

Happy Autumn!IMG_4760

I was excited to get a couple of reviews of my new Mag-Let and share them with you today! I really appreciate the positive input! I love the little booklets myself. They hold many inspiring thoughts and much wisdom from the past. I think they are well worth the read. :)

“I enjoyed this book so much. These are articles that can be read and reread many times especially when your spirits need a ‘pick-me-up’. I especially liked the little thoughts and sayings sprinkled throughout the book. So full of wisdom!” -Julie S.

“Oh it’s purely delightful to cuddle up with a cup of tea and my Finer Femininity Maglet. :) I LOVE IT! Can’t wait for the Christmas edition!!” -Elizabeth V.

This book is very refreshing to read. It is very beautifully written and easy to read. This book encourages you that your efforts are worth it, enlightens you to do better in a positive way and gives you confidence that you can be good in a not-so-good world. If you want an all-around good book this is it. I look forward to each new publication!” -Emily

You can get the Mag-Let from Amazon, or for a little cheaper (saves on shipping) you can get it from my Etsy Shop.

Please watch for the Advent/Christmas Edition! It will be everything you need to add meaning and inspiration to your Traditional Christmas Season!!

BookCoverPreview.doToday I want to give to one of you this heirloom-quality, classic necklace set!

It is a lovely and elegant set, with plum stone and sparkling black swarovski beads accented with the brass findings and square brass Vintaj wire.

It is all wire-wrapped to last a lifetime! I love the colors and I was thinking of all of you as I was making it, with the inspiration that it would make one of you lovely ladies a charming fall/winter set!

If you don’t wear jewelry yourself, think about someone you could give it to for Christmas.

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I will send along a  lovely homemade box….designed by Virginia (my daughter) and Nellie (my sister-in-law). They are sweet…the boxes, that is….and the girls :) !IMG_4047IMG_3638 IMG_3637

So please sign up today by making a comment! Let me know something you enjoy about the blog, what you are thinking today or just a simple hello. I love to hear from you!

I will pull the name out of the hat on Oct. 31st, just in time for All Saints’ Day!



A Beautiful Prayer….

woman_prayingby Father Jacques Philippe:

I am going to show you a secret to holiness and happiness.
For five minutes every day let your imagination be quiet, close your eyes to everything they see, and shut your ears to of all the world’s noise so that you can withdraw into the sanctuary of your baptized soul, the temple of the Holy Ghost.

And speak to that Holy Spirit and say to Him:

“Holy Spirit, soul of my soul, I adore Thee.
Enlighten me, guide me,
strengthen and comfort me.
Tell me what I ought to do and order me to do it.
I promise to submit to anything that Thou requirest from me,
and to accept everything that Thou allowest to happen to me.
Just show me what Thy will is.”

If you do this your life will be quiet and peaceful,
and comfort will abound even in the middle of troubles.
For grace will be given to match any stress together with strength to bear it, grace that will take you to the gates of Paradise, full of merit. Such submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of holiness.

prayer book 4

True Hearted Children – True Womanhood

This is a beautiful meditation on the kind of love we should have for our parents…and that our children should have for us.

The author transfers that meditation to the type of devoted love we need to have for God our Father.

It is beautiful….it is comforting.

elsley1from True Womanhood – Rev. Bernard O’Reilly

St. Clement  praises in the Corinthians a “piety full of sweetness and modesty.”

Piety is a word of Latin origin, and, among the old Romans who first used it, meant that spirit of dutiful and generous love with which children do the will and seek the interests of their parents.

This sense of free, generous, disinterested, and unselfish devotion to the happiness, honor, and interests of one’s parents, is always contrasted with the selfish, mercenary, or compulsory service of a slave or a servant in a family.

True-hearted children make their happiness to consist in seeking how they can best please and honor father and mother: what they do is not dictated by the fear of punishment or the hope of reward or the prospect of gain or self-gratification.

The hope or certainty of delighting or pleasing or helping the dear authors of their being, such is the thought which prompts the labors or obedience of a loving child.

Not so the mercenary: his motive is to gain his wages. He bargains to do so muchin return for such a wage.

The happiness of the family, the interest or honor of his employers, their satisfaction or the praise which they may bestow, do not, most likely, enter into the thoughts or calculations of venal souls.

You have known, perhaps, in many families, daughters so noble-minded, that they were content to labor untiringly for their parents, placing their whole delight in doing all they could to lighten the burden of father and mother, or to make the home bright and pleasant for brothers and sisters, without seeking or expecting one word of praise and acknowledgment.

This is the best description of filial piety.

Only transfer to God’s service that same unselfish and generous disposition, asking yourself only how much you can do to please Him, to glorify Him, to make yourself worthy of Him, to make Him known and have Him loved and served by others, andyou have an idea of what piety toward God is.

Thus faith gives to the soul that “purity of intention,” which not only makes the thought of God habitual, but enables one to lift one’s eye toward the Divine Majesty in every thing that one does, in labor as well as in repose, in suffering as well as in enjoyment, at home and abroad, in company and conversation, as well as in solitude and silence.

It kindles in the heart that flame of love which makes one burn with the absorbing desire of pleasing Him supremely.

It is thus the foundation of piety, the motive power of every good work, just as fire is the generating force of steam, and steam itself is the mighty force which annihilates distance on sea and land and transforms all the industries of the modern world.

The soul accustomed to keep God before her eyes in all her ways, cannot help being pious in the truest sense: nothing can prevent her from seeking in all that she does the Divine pleasure, and of esteeming all that she can do and suffer too little for so great a majesty and such incomparable goodness.

This piety working ever beneath that all-seeing Eye must be both sweet and modest: sweet, in the calmness and gentleness with which every thing is undertaken and accomplished; modest, in that no seeking of self and no consciousness of evil can disturb or overcast the limpid purity of a soul which reflects only the light and serenity of Heaven, and is divinely sheltered from every blast of earthly passion.

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Meadows of Grace Peek!

I thought I would put up a few photos today of the latest additions at Meadows of Grace!

We took part in a wonderful event here in September, the Shakespeare Festival. We had a “Meadows of Grace” booth there and the kids had a great time looking after it, mingling with friends and just taking part in the festivities. So my pictures will include some of those, too.

If you would like to visit my shop, Meadows of Grace, click here.

Click on first picture to view gallery.


IMG_0312This is such a lovely quote reminding us that though life hands out its hard times, even at the hands of others who are close to us, the solution is not to build formidable walls around our hearts.

No, we must forgive and keep on loving, even with the fear of knowing we may be hurt again. Of course we will. Wasn’t Our Lord? did He stop loving?

Lord, help me to keep on loving.

“Many of us find life hard and full of pain. The world treats us meanly and roughly. We suffer wrongs and injuries. Other people’s clumsy feet tread upon our tender hearts. We must endure misfortunes, trials, and disappointments.

We cannot avoid these things, but we should not allow the harsh experiences to deaden our sensibilities, or make us stoic or sour. The true aim of living, is to keep our hearts sweet and gentle amid the hardest conditions and experiences.

If you remove the snow from the hillside in the late winter, you will find sweet flowers growing there, beneath the cold drifts, unhurt by the storm and by the snowy blankets that have covered them.

Just so, should we keep our hearts tender and sensitive beneath life’s fiercest winter blasts, and through the longest years of suffering, and even of injustice and wrong treatment. That is true, victorious living.” ~ J.R. Miller


Early Autumn: A Meditation on the Love of God

Mr dear friend, Paula, kindly submitted this lovely article.
Early Autumn: A Meditation on the Love of God
by Mrs. Paula Rutherford

altar candles

There is something about the beginning of autumn that brings out the melancholy in me, even though I do like this season for its anticipation of Advent and Christmas. It is a time when nature says “slow down” and we tend to become more introspective, all the while the world says, “Hurry up! Only ___ shopping days until Christmas!” This is usually a busy time for our family; summer is over and we have just canned peaches and chokecherry jam. Now we pick several bushels of apples and take time to make apple sauce, apple pie filling, and spiced apple rings for the coming year. Sometimes there are pears or plums that we can preserve also. We get together with family and make our traditional red tamales to freeze for Christmas Eve. We try to make a lot so that we have some in the freezer for the next 12 months, but they never seem to last past June, if we can keep our hands off them for that long! It is a joyful, busy time.

But this time of year makes me a little sad, especially when it is a cold, cloudy day and I have not gotten enough sleep. I lack the energy I need to do the daily laundry, dishes, and meals: the work that is never ended. But God grants sunshine as well as clouds. He allows us to feel our imperfections and to experience the Ember Days in a more profound way, perhaps, than at other times of the year. We learn, if we are willing, to rely solely on Him. When the sun shines, the day seems to sparkle, with red and gold leaves and sometimes frost: the coming of winter is evident.

The Clouds of Autumn

For the first time since I have been a mother, I am not homeschooling my children. Seven of the ten are attending a local charter school, and I am at home with the three youngest, who are not yet old enough to go to school with their brothers and sisters. It would seem that I should feel more free, and have more time to run errands, clean the house, work on projects long overdue, and even start one or two more that I have wanted to do for a few years.

But I am tired.

I do not seem to have more time now, and I need more sleep at night. I am older than I was. The coming winter is evident in the frost-colored hairs that appear little by little, and then less gradually.

But God grants sunshine as well as clouds. I feel the end of my life coming much faster than it seemed when I was young, although I have always, ever since I can remember, seen the end of my life very near. The years and decades are shorter than they were. The clouds of doubt and sorrow and sin and regret close in, and I panic, thinking I have only so many shopping days left and not enough money! The temptation to believe that I have done nothing worthwhile with my life is very strong, and I want to just fall asleep and not think about the hopelessness of it all. But then the clear, warm, saving Sun pierces my melancholy and I am suspended in the Love of God. I have time, but I must begin again now and not give up.

Thank God for good Spiritual Directors. They are sometimes the only light shining in the darkness. Mine told me recently, when I was having a hard time seeing any good in myself, “Love yourself as others love you.” That is possibly the most difficult task I have ever undertaken. He asked me to look at the successes in my life: all of my children are happy and know that their parents and God love them. The teens among them are joyful and outgoing. The little ones are thriving and confident in the love of their family. He asked me to look seriously at the way people see me, and recognize that I have allowed God to work through me my whole life. God has granted me favors that not everyone is granted. He loves me because He made me lovable. Others have always thought of me as a kind and holy person.

I always thought that those successes were all God’s, and they are, but my Spiritual Father reminded me that I had to cooperate with God in order for these things to happen.

God's Love turns weeds into roses

And so, on this cloudy autumn day with amber sunshine piercing through the cold, I begin again to do the work He chose for me. That sink-full of dishes and that frozen roast thawing on the counter are my emblems. Some day they will be pictured beside me – grey hairs and all – on a holy card. In the meantime, “Jesus! MY Jesus! I trust in You!”

St. Paula of the Big Ham

“Sometimes we feel tired and discouraged, just like Jesus’ disciples… ‘We have worked hard all night and have caught nothing!’ (Lk 5:5) However, nothing is lost if, in the hour of darkness, we are able to trust once again in Him, Jesus, in Whom we have placed our joy and hope.” ~Pope St. John Paul II

Finer Femininity Fall 2014 Magazine/Booklet (a Mag-Let!!) is Here!

9039840fa199951fe610f427e7491456This fall, cuddle up to your favorite spiced tea, sit by the fire, and read your Finer Femininity “Mag-Let” for some inspiration and enlightenment!

I have many people in my circle who do not even have a computer…. So, in the interim, as I take a break from the blog, I decided to make this little booklet available and I am hoping to do one for each season.

I plan to have a great Christmas issue coming out soon! I will keep you posted. And please pass the word on to others.

The following is a short little tidbit on the efficacy of reading from books (Not that I don’t like my Kindle :) )!

“Slow-reading advocates recommend at least 30 to 45 minutes of daily reading away from the distractions of modern technology. By doing so, the brain can reengage with linear reading. The benefits of making slow reading a regular habit are numerous, reducing stress and improving your ability to concentrate.”

So….If you are interested, hop on over and get this sweet little booklet here! Or you can go right to Amazon and get it here! There’s a Kindle version too! :) And if you like it, please leave a review on Amazon!

** I just added the Maglet to my Etsy here where you can cut down on the overall cost with shipping. :)

It is my first publication, so I will be perfecting it along the way!

Here is the description:  Finer Femininity is a small publication compiled to inspire Catholic women in their vocations. It consists of uplifting articles from authors with traditional values, many of them from priests, written over 50 years ago. These ideals are timeless but, with the fast-paced “progress” of today’s world, the pearls within the articles are rarely meditated upon.

This little magazine offers Catholic womankind support and inspiration as they travel that oftentimes lonely road….the narrow road to heaven. The thoughts within the pages will enlighten us to regard the frequently monotonous path of our “daily duties” as the beautiful road to sanctity.

Feminine souls need this kind of information to continue to “fight the good fight” in a world that has opposing values and seldom offers any kind of support to these courageous women. Inside the pages you will find inspiration for your roles as single women, as wives and as mothers. In between the thought-provoking articles, the pages are sprinkled with pictures, quotes and maybe even a recipe or two.

A sneak peek at the contents of this issue:


Travelers – True Womanhood
The Snug Safety of God’s Love
Before Embarking
Is Order in Your Life Just Around the Corner?
The Kingdom of God is Within You
Character Building – Beautiful Girlhood
The Hail Mary of a Protestant
The Wife Desired is an Inspiration to Her Husband
Learning Life Lessons in the Oddest Places
Family, Fun and Festive Fall
How to Instill Obedience
Purity in Company-Keeping
Accept Him As He Is
Ten Rules to Being Happy Parents
Have You Prayed to St. Gomer Lately?
Seven Days of Prayer for Your Marriage
Sunday Morning Stories – The Two Tears
Recipe – Spicy Chai Tea
Reflections on the Holy Family
Smorgasbord ‘n’ Smidgens


Taking a Break…..

I will be taking a “Starting School, Many Things on my Plate” break for the next while.

Thank you very much for reading and supporting this blog. You may be quiet but I know you are out there. :)

I hope that some of these posts have inspired you as much as they have me…….

Prayers for all of you, please keep me in yours.IMG_4105-001


The Rosary and the Bargain

by Joseph A. Breig (reprinted with permission)ee959a8607bba468783cd22f109331a2

When I get to heaven – as I trust I shall – something very embarrassing is bound to happen. As sure as shooting; somebody who has known me rather too well for comfort on this earth is going to come up to me and say, in a loud voice enough for everybody to hear, “How in the world did you get in here?”

I am not going to answer in words. I am simply going to pull a rosary out of my pocket and dangle it in front of my questioner. That will be my reply; and it will be perfectly true. It will also be true for my family, which I have every reason to hope will be there with me. We will all pull our rosaries out of our pockets and wave them.

I think that we will wave them for all eternity; or at least wear them around our necks for everybody to see. It will save a lot of explaining, and it will give credit where credit is due.

I am not humble enough for public confession of my sins: besides, it would be scandalous; and the readers would be writing to the editor denouncing him for printing such shocking stuff.

I will simply say this: there is a period of my life that I want to forget; and I would still be in it if it weren’t for the rosary.

The rosary is the rope by which I climbed hand over hand out of the pit into which I had fallen.

I started climbing out after I discovered one basic rule for any kind of success in life. The way to get something done is to do it. I will never forget how that realization suddenly popped into my head and transformed me.

Ever since then, I have been getting things done, simply by doing them. And the thing that taught me that lesson was the rosary. I do not remember how or why or when I started saying the rosary daily. But I do remember that doing it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life.

When people say to me now that they just can’t seem to get at it, I chuckle. They’re telling me! They complain about the irregularity of their lives, about visitors dropping in, and whatnot. And I chuckle again.

When I started saying the daily rosary, I was a reporter for a Hearst newspaper in the big city. It was not in the least unusual for me to be out on a story half the night, or three-quarters of the night, or all night.

At any moment during the day, the city editor might answer the telephone, look across the desk at me, and order me to high-ball by automobile, or train or other conveyance to some city or town or crossroads 100, 500, 1000 miles distant.

At any hour of the night, I might be awakened by the telephone and told to dash into the office, or dash somewhere else. As for social and other affairs, I had more than my share of them. But I had discovered that the way to get something done is to do it. I had learned that the way to get the rosary said is to say it. And I said it – and I don’t think anybody ever said it harder.

Meditation? It came as naturally to me as eating glass or swallowing swords. Praying? It was hard, sweaty, ditch-digging heavy labor for me. I was going it alone then; and the going was all uphill. It was all mountain climbing.

More than once, I awoke in the wee hours of the night, still on my knees, with the upper half of my body sprawled over the bed, and the rosary still clutched in my fingers at the second or third decade.
But the way to get something done was to do it; and I wouldn’t allow myself to crawl into bed until the rosary was finished.

I tell all this only in order that the reader may know that I am not one to whom prayer came easily. You say that it is hard for you; I answer that it was hard for me.

Then suddenly, somewhere along the line, I met Father Patrick Peyton, and discovered an additional rule for success. I discovered that whereas it was exceedingly difficult for me to say the rosary alone, it was as easy as rolling off a log to say it with my family.

We were one of the early families in Father Peyton’s Family Rosary Crusade; and what he gave to us when he talked us into it, we wouldn’t trade today for all the Fords and Lincolns in Henry Fords factory for the next thousand years.

I state a simple fact; and you needn’t take it just from me. Ask my wife. Ask the children. Ask the neighbors. Ask our visitors. They’ll all tell you the same thing: that ever since we started the daily family Rosary, and kept it up, our house has been one of the happiest and healthiest homes in the world.

To use a popular jive expression, the place simply jumps with joy. And there were times when it didn’t. There were a great many times when it didn’t. There was a time when the doctor told us we might as well make up our minds to sell our home for whatever we could get and go to Florida, with or without a job, if we didn’t want to see our children dying one by one before our eyes.

He said they simply couldn’t stand the climate in which we were living; and they’d be better off living on bananas under a tree in the south than suffering what they were suffering in the north.

The rosary changed all that; and today our youngsters, everyone of them, can whip their weight in wildcats; and would do it at the drop of a hat if there were any Wildcats in sight.

But that is the least of the blessings that have come to us from the family Rosary. I remember vividly my first conversation with Father Peyton, long before he became world famous as the originator of the family hour on the radio, in which the greatest stars of Broadway and Hollywood donate their talents to popularize the slogan, “The family that prays together, stays together.”

Father Peyton, knitting his brows in the way he has, and speaking in that wonderful Irish brogue which I won’t try to reproduce, told me that, when he was first ordained, he planned to start a crusade for daily mass, communion and the rosary.

The longer he prayed and puzzled over it, the more he became convinced that if he asked for everything at first, he’d get nothing; whereas if he could get people to say the rosary, the rosary would lead them to the other things.
Today I can testify that, in our case at least, he was perfectly right. We have learned that the rosary, if you will just say it, takes care of the full spiritual development of the family.

I recall that, when we started it, the children got very tired and restless while kneeling, especially at bedtime. Soon my wife, with the wisdom that God gives to mothers, told youngsters to sit for the rosary.

Today, the two who are in grade school go to mass and communion daily, carrying their breakfast with him, or buying donuts and milk in the school basement. The rosary drew them naturally and inevitably to mass.

My wife and I often tell friends that someday we are going to write a book entitled “how to rear children.” It Is going to have 300 pages, and every page will have three words – and three words only – printed on it. “Let them alone.”

But of course there will have to be a preface: “Teach them to pray… And then let them alone.”

In spiritual as in all other affairs, we have learned that children need very little preaching to. They ought not to be analyzed and psychoanalyzed and cross-examined and made to toe Chalk Lines.

What they need is prayer and good example – and the rest takes care of itself. I would say this – that by far the easiest and least troublesome way of rearing a family of which you can be proud is to institute the family rosary in your home, and keep it up.

It eliminates almost entirely the need for discipline, because it creates such harmony and such family love that the children discipline themselves. It knits the family together with bonds 10,000 times stronger than any that can be forged by merely natural means.

I think that I’ve heard all the objections to the family rosary. Fully half the fathers and mothers who have talked with me about it have shrugged their shoulders helplessly and said that there simply doesn’t seem to be any time of the day when all the members of the family can be brought together in prayer.

The answer to that, of course, is exceedingly simple. If you can’t get all the members of the family together, say the rosary with the members who are present.

Sooner or later, something will happen to make it possible for the others to join in.

The rosary is like that. Give it a chance, and it’ll take care of the problems. The Mother of God can have whatever she wants from her divine Son; and one of the things she wants is Rosary Families.

Mothers have said to me that the smaller members of the family won’t behave during the rosary. What of it? The smaller members of our family won’t behave either.

Between them, our two-year-old Jimmy and eight month old Regina put on something resembling a three ring circus while we are saying the rosary. We don’t interfere. It’s our business to say to say the rosary; it’s theirs to have a circus. God made them that way; and if He doesn’t mind, why should we? We pray above and between their shouts and gurgles, and it works out very well.

I have also heard people say that the antics of the smaller children interfere with their meditations. They interfered with mine, too, until I learned to include the youngsters in the meditation.

Now, while saying the Joyful Mysteries, I look at Regina, cooing and bouncing in her crib, and I think, “Why, Christ was just like that once! He cooed and gurgled too, and waved his arms, and kicked his legs, and rolled over on his stomach, then worked like a Trojan to get turned to his back again.”

Or if the baby is sitting on her mother’s lap, I look at them and realize that the Christ child sat in Mary’s lap too, and clutched at her garments, and tried to pull Himself upright, and swung His hands at her face, and laughed when she smiled at Him.

I think of the fact that He, too, had to be fed; that although He held the universe in the palm of His hand and kept the planets on their courses. He depended on his mother for everything.

Perhaps we are saying the Sorrowful Mysteries. If so, sometimes I look at Jimmy and think how I would feel if he were crucified in front of my eyes. Then I know something about what Mary felt.

I know something, too, about the infinite love of God which caused Him to send His only Son to die for us.

Could I send one of my sons to die in agony for someone who had insulted me? I think of that; and then I am better able to thank God for the redemption.
If we are saying the Glorious Mysteries, I consider often what a moment it will be when all the family rises from the grave and is reunited, nevermore to be parted; when we are all together to stay together, in perfect happiness, forever.

If the happy family is a thing of rollicking joy – and it is – then what must a perfectly happy family in heaven be like! It is very well worth looking forward to. It is very well worth the trouble of saying the daily rosary.

Ten or fifteen minutes a day is what it takes; and eternity is what it purchases. I wasn’t born yesterday; and I’m not passing up a bargain like that.

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