Repetitive Prayers

From Thirsting for Prayer by Father Jacques Philippe

Besides all that has just been said, one means used to foster continual prayer, especially by religious, is to repeat short phrases, often taken from or inspired by Scripture. This is done either during the time devoted to prayer or outside it, during other activities, to keep God always in mind.

According to John Cassian, certain monks in Egypt in the fourth century used to repeat the following invocation ceaselessly: “O God, make haste to my rescue, Lord, come to my aid!” (Ps 70:1).

The beautiful book The Way of a Pilgrim spread the knowledge and practice of the “Jesus Prayer” or “prayer of the heart” in the Western world. It tells of a humble Russian peasant who was moved by the exhortation in the Letter to the Thessalonians “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17), and wondered how he could put this command into practice.

He traveled through Russia in search of a spiritual father who could teach him. A monk initiated him into the tradition of prayer that consists of ceaselessly repeating, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!,” using a simple rosary of knotted woolen thread and coordinating the recital of the prayer with the rhythm of one’s breathing, while looking into one’s heart.

Little by little, the peasant experienced the benefits: his heart was filled with peace and purified, he felt the joy of God’s presence, he received inner enlightenment about God’s love, developed compassion toward everyone, and saw the world and nature with new eyes.

This tradition goes back to the Egyptian monasticism of the first centuries and spread throughout Orthodox Christianity; in our days it is also spreading through the Western world.

More familiar to Western Catholics is the devotion of the Rosary, with its constant repetition of the Our Father and Hail Mary.

Today, simple repetition does not always get good press. Ours is a world that, having lost its sense of the most fundamental things in life, is permanently in search of novelty.

Now, it is true that repetition can become merely mechanical and routine, but it can also mean that love is being inscribed on the soul for as long as it continues.

It an intrinsic part of life: we are lucky our hearts don’t get tired of constantly beating and our breathing does not get tired of its rhythm!

Rhythm, as I said earlier, plays a fundamental role in human life. It has a calming effect; it allows energy to be used for a considerable length of time without wastage or exhaustion.

The rhythm of repetitive prayer enables a desire, an intention, to be expressed externally through the body and at the same time to take root in the heart. It is an acceptance of reality, of the fact of having bodies, and that our human condition is part of the rhythms of nature and life.

It is openness to a deep meaning that surpasses us, going beyond the perceptions of the rational mind. It gives us access to a sort of wisdom, an intelligence of life, in a dependence on our Creator to which we consent.

Our prayer is called to become not just one activity among others but the fundamental activity of our lives, the very rhythm of our deepest existence, the breathing of our heart, so to speak.

Repetitive prayers help us achieve this, since they are our human effort, our persevering quest, in the hope that God’s grace will grant that for which we ask through our humble, untiring repetition of the same words.

In a talk on the Rosary given at Lourdes in October 1998, Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP, said: If we love someone, we know that it is not enough to tell them “I love you” just once. We will want to say it again and again, and we may hope that they wish to hear it again and again.

  1. K. Chesterton argued that repetition is a characteristic of the vitality of children, who like the same stories, with the same words, time and time again, not because they are bored and unimaginative but because they delight in life.

Chesterton wrote: “Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again!’ and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead, for grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.

But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again!’ to the sun; and every evening ‘Do it again!’ to the moon.

It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes each daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old and our Father is younger than we.

The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encore the bird who laid an egg .

There is nothing in the least wrong with spending our time of prayer on these repetitive prayers, especially at moments of tiredness, difficulty in mobilizing our intellectual faculties, or else when we feel impelled by the Holy Spirit toward a prayer that, in comparison with meditation, is poorer, simpler, brought back to essentials, not relying too much on intellectual discourse or the work of imagination, but favoring the work of the heart.

This repetition should be done gently, peacefully, without its becoming forced or requiring an effort (which would be counterproductive). We should be attentive to God’s presence in us, while gently merging body and spirit with the form of prayer used.

The rhythm of the repetition can favor our entering into a state of recollection. Being faithful to the humble but sincere search for God expressed in this prayer can give us, little by little, the grace to enter into a state of true contemplation and loving union with God.

The advantage of these repetitive prayers, besides their simplicity, is that they can progressively become a sort of habit (in the good sense of the word); that makes them a valuable resource for praying at many other moments of the day besides the time devoted to prayer properly so called.

It may be when we are in the car, walking, during times of insomnia, while engaged in activities or jobs that do not take up the whole of our mind, etc.

How many opportunities do we, as wives and mothers, have each day to do God’s will, not our own?? Many….many. We do not need a retreat to figure this out. A wife and a mother’s journey is laying down her life for those she loves. And we prove it each time we tend to the needs around us. We learn that most important life-lesson that the hermit in the desert is learning…..to lay down our lives for Christ.-Finer Femininity, Painting by Trent Gudmundsen

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The Pupils’ Success ~ The Catholic Teacher’s Companion

This excerpt is a lesson for all educators…including, and especially, mothers and fathers. There aren’t many schools nowadays that are reputable (there are some, indeed), so mothers and fathers have had to take much of burden of educating their children, especially in their religion. Take heart, your reward will be great in heaven!

Some readers may be tempted to restrict the idea of the pupils’ success to what is seen on the night of the school commencement. But we have in mind the school commencement merely as the scene whence the graduates must pass to the larger stage of the world to play their parts.

The Rev. Daniel A. Lord, S.J.,  has brought out vividly the part that the Sisters play in both phases of the pupil’s success:

Back stage, hot in heavy habits that were never designed for work among canvas wings, the Sisters, tired, flushed, but happy, watched the end of their year’s work.

The next day they too were to leave; some for the motherhouse, some for the summer courses at Catholic colleges, all eventually for the annual retreat.

The curtain dropped for the last time, and the boys and girls surged out to greet happy relatives, some with a quick good-by to their teachers, others thoughtless and forgetful of all except that for them school was at an end and they were free.

Yet, though few children came to thank them, and fewer still of that seething audience gave a passing thought to the Sisters backstage, all that was epitomized in the entertainment just concluded, and the diploma just conferred was credited by a higher Power to them.

Because of their patient drilling some boy would rise higher in life. Later on some girl would come with the man who loved her, to seek out the Sister who had kept her feet straight in her youthful days.

Some boy in the grip of temptation would remember her insistent lessons of loyalty to God and put sin ruthlessly behind him. Perhaps in some distant day a wanderer from the faith of his fathers would on his deathbed murmur the act of contrition she taught him, and by that childhood prayer open for himself the gates of eternal bliss.

And perhaps before God’s altar some young priest, in the full tide of his newly-received priesthood, would pause at the Memento to whisper the name of the nun whose lessons and prayers had first turned his eyes toward the service of the Sanctuary.

Her work, unrecognized, unappreciated, but heroic with the heroism of patient unselfishness and devotion to a high ideal, is one of the loveliest things in the Church today.

She is the greatest asset of Catholic education. I crave your thanks for the teaching Sister.

The Rev. Robert Schwickerath, S.J., relates an incident of the life of Father Bonifacio, a distinguished Jesuit educator, who for more than forty years taught the classics.

One day he was visited by his brother, a professor in a university, whom he had not seen for many years. When the professor heard that the Father had spent all the years of his life in the Order in teaching Latin and Greek to young boys, he exclaimed:

“You have wasted your great talents in such inferior work! I expected to find you at least a professor of philosophy or theology. What have you done that this post is assigned to you?”

Father Bonifacio quietly opened a little book, and showed him the list of hundreds of pupils whom he had taught, many of whom occupied high positions in Church or State, or in the world of business.

Pointing at their names, the Father said with a pleasant smile:

“The success which my pupils have achieved is to me a far sweeter reward than any honor which I might have obtained the most celebrated university.”

Father Schwickerath justly adds to this account that “not all teachers have the consolation of seeing their pupils in high positions. It happens that the best efforts of a devoted teacher seem to be lost on many pupils. Even this will not discourage the religious teacher.

He will remember that his model, Jesus Christ, did not reap the fruit which might have been expected from such a Master. Not all that He sowed brought forth fruit a hundredfold, not even thirtyfold. Some fell upon stony ground, and other some fell among the thorns, and yet He went on patiently sowing.

So a teacher ought not to be disheartened if the success should not correspond with his labors. He knows that one reward is certainly in store for him, the measure of which will not be his success, but his zeal; not the fruit but his efforts.”

It is the prospect of this reward that inspires the devoted service of our Sisters.

Not long ago, in distant Algiers, an American tourist visited the lepers’ colony out of pure curiosity. These poor lepers were cared for by a Community of Sisters. The man was attracted by one of these self-sacrificing women because of her youth, beauty, and refinement, and to his surprise he learned that she was an American girl.

Being introduced to her, he said: “Sister, I would not do this work for $10,000 a year.”

“No,” said the Sister, “nor would I do it for $100,000 nor a million a year.”

“Really,” said the stranger, “you surprise me. What, then, do you receive?”

“Nothing,” was the reply, “absolutely nothing.”

“Then why do you do it?”

The Sister lifted the crucifix that was pending from her rosary and, sweetly kissing it, said, “I do it for the love of Him, for Jesus who died for the love of them and for the love of me. In the loathsome ulcers of these poor lepers I see the wounds of my crowned and crucified Savior.”

For the rest, we believe that the very choicest reward will be meted out to the School Sisters for that portion of their work that to human seeming is generally in vain. Our School Sisters may gain honor from their talented pupils; they will earn their bread (in a certain sense) by training the vast body of mediocre children; but they will merit heaven by the patient labors they devote to the dullards in their schools.

A holy house is one in which God is truly King; in which He reigns supreme over the minds and hearts of the inmates; in which every word and act honors His name. One feels on entering such a house, nay, even on approaching it, that the very atmosphere within and without is laden with holy and heavenly influences. -True Womanhood, Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894 https://amzn.to/2PsM94w (afflink)

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Hands Free Mama is the digital society’s answer to finding balance in a media-saturated, perfection-obsessed world. It doesn’t mean giving up all technology forever. It doesn’t mean forgoing our jobs and responsibilities. What it does mean is seizing the little moments that life offers us to engage in real and meaningful interaction. It means looking our loved ones in the eye and giving them the gift of our undivided attention, living a present, authentic, and intentional life despite a world full of distractions.

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Virginal Love ~ The Single Vocation in the World

Painting by Gregory Frank Harris

by Fr. Dominic J. Unger, O.F.M., 1958, The Mystery of Love for the Single

Virginal love is not an impediment to the full realization of one’s personality. It is not only no hindrance to the fullest attainment of one’s final end, but it promotes that attainment as nothing else can.

It not only does not hinder the realization of a perfect personality; it is, very positively, the completion, the sublimation, the perfection of human personality.

The reason is this: perfect chastity makes it possible for man and woman to possess most fully and completely in this world the God who alone can be the fully satisfying object of man’s essential faculties, which otherwise is possible only in the heavenly life. God and Christ must be loved above all else, and everyone and everything must be loved in and through Christ and God.

Precisely in perfect chastity is this twofold love possible to the highest degree in this world. In perfect chastity man and woman can love God with an undivided love.

They are, then, not bachelors and spinsters because they love so little; they are virginal spouses of Christ because they love so much, so ardently, that no creature can fully satisfy their longing for loving and being loved. They are, in short, on fire with love for God.

This is the essence of the mystery of love for the single in the world. The perfection of one’s own personality is the primary reason for choosing the life of perfect chastity.

It is not the only reason. This vocation is not a selfish one. True, the adversaries object that people who deliberately remain single in the world are selfish in not marrying and rearing children who could be a boon to society. That is missing the point entirely.

Those who forego marriage and practice perfect chastity do so precisely because, besides securing their own salvation, they can be a great blessing to the Church and society at large.

Precisely because such single men and women are so beneficial to the Church and are such a power for the Church’s apostolate do the heretics oppose them and persecute them. The persecutors of the Church of all times are the greatest witnesses to the social blessing that perfect chastity has been, is, and will be.

Nor is the fact of their being persecuted an argument that the vocation is not healthy for society. Christ was the one who foretold that His Church, His virginal Spouse, would be persecuted. But she is persecuted only inasmuch as her members are persecuted, not merely in her hierarchical members, in bishops and priests, but also, and very much so, in her virginal lay members.

Precisely these have produced the most beautiful flowers of purity and martyrdom in the early Church, as for example, St. Agnes and St. Agatha.

If, then, the virginal lovers of Christ are persecuted so much, that is a clear and irrefutable argument that they are very much a part of the true Church of Christ, their Virgin Mother and Model. They are, in this point, very much like Christ Himself.

Lastly, such a vocation to virginal love in the world will be no detriment to vocations to the priesthood or to the religious life. That needs no proof as far as those are concerned who remain of necessity unmarried, because these should not or cannot choose the priestly or religious vocation.

But it is true even in regard to those who freely choose to be virgins in the world, though they might have the qualifications for other vocations. The God who grants the vocations to the virgins in the world will see to it that there will always be sufficient vocations in the other states of life.

Such virginal souls will themselves be instrumental in leading many others to the altar or into the convent. In fact, some may eventually choose such a vocation themselves precisely because they prepared for it by the virginal life they lived in the world.

One may encourage such as are thinking about perfect chastity in the world to consider the priestly or the religious vocation, especially in view of the great shortage in these vocations. But these latter vocations must be chosen freely.

If one still thinks that one can fulfill God’s will by a single life in the world, one is free to choose that vocation. To do so is not to have a low esteem of the priesthood or of the religious life.

Just as to praise and foster vocations to the single life in the world is not a belittling of the priesthood or of the religious life. To esteem silver is not to despise gold; to extol clarinets is not to denounce denounce violins; to praise violets is not to damn roses.

Words of St. Paul: Don’t be anxious; instead, give thanks in all your prayers and petitions and make your requests known to God, and God’s peace which is beyond all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)

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This booklet contains practical advice on the subjects of dating and choosing a spouse from the Catholic theological viewpoint. Father Lovasik points out clearly what one’s moral obligations are in this area, providing an invaluable aid to youthful readers. Additionally, he demonstrates that Catholic marriage is different from secular marriage and why it is important to choose a partner who is of the Catholic Faith if one would insure his or her personal happiness in marriage. With the rampant dangers to impurity today, with the lax moral standards of a large segment of our society, with divorce at epidemic levels, Clean Love in Courtship will be a welcome source of light and guidance to Catholics serious about their faith.

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A Frank, Yet Reverent Instruction on the Intimate Matters of Personal Life for Young Men. To our dear and noble Catholic youths who have preserved, or want to recover, their purity of heart, and are minded to retain it throughout life. For various reasons many good fathers of themselves are not able to give their sons this enlightenment on the mysteries of life properly and sufficiently. They may find this book helpful in the discharge of their parental responsibilities in so delicate a matter.

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The Christian Mother

Without getting discouraged, without worrying about past mistakes, going forward, we need to always remember the dignity and the importance of our role as….mother.

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This excerpt is from a book called The Christian Mother, The Education of Her Children and Her Prayer. A Catholic book published in 1880.

The Christian mother has been charged by God with a two-fold mission with respect to her children; namely, the securing to them the nourishment of both soul and body.

For if she has been fitted by nature to give to her children the milk which sustains the life of their bodies, so likewise has she been peculiarly designed by the God of nature to dispense to them for the nourishment of their souls the rational milk of which the apostle speaks, and which will make them grow unto salvation.

Nor is this latter responsibility less imperative than the former. If she would consider herself derelict of duty to leave her offspring without the nourishment which sustains their natural and temporal life, still more guilty would she be were she to deprive them of the nourishment which will insure their supernatural and eternal life.

And how admirably is she not fitted for this latter mission, of the two more important and more noble!

She is by excellence the teacher of her children. Now we all know that much of the progress of a pupil depends not only on his natural gifts and talents, but also on the degree of confidence inspired by his teacher.

But who shares the affection and confidence of the child like the mother? Does he not believe every word she says?

And how firmly, therefore, and how deeply may not the Christian mother instill into his young mind those religious truths which will ever remain a pure and wholesome nourishment for his soul, giving it strength to reject the poison of unbelief so temptingly offered to it at some later day.

And if the mother is a true Christian – if she shows forth in her own life the habit of the virtues which she desires to instill into the hearts of her children – how nobly and how successfully will she fulfill her mission!

The child is by nature an imitator. If the model set before him is good there is reason to hope that the copy will be so likewise. Do mothers realize this?

And when later in life they fail to see in their children the Christian virtues of humility, patience, charity, and forgiveness, do they not also fail to trace the absence of these virtues to its true and legitimate cause?

Oh! That all mothers would bear in mind that if they desire their children to become true Christians they must present in their own lives the models of which the children will be the living copies.

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Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (September 15th)….
Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows has its origin in Christian devotion which finds it fitting to associate her with the Passion of her Son. The Church, commemorating Mary’s suffering, emphasizes her great and courageous love, which caused her to be so closely associated with the work of our Redemption. She was in very truth who, like Judith, faced with the distress and tribulation of her people, spared nothing to save us from ruin. By offering her Son for us, she became our Mother and we became her children. ~Portrait of Saints

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Finer Femininity is a small publication compiled to inspire Catholic women in their vocations. It consists of uplifting articles from authors with traditional values, with many of them from priests, written over 50 years ago. These anecdotes 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 trail….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. Available here.

Father weaves a tapestry of the Church’s teaching on the unity of the members of Christ’s Mystical Body using profound and picturesque meditations on the seven sorrows of the Blessed Mother:

• The Prophecy of Simeon,
• The Flight Into Egypt,
• The Loss of the Young Christ,
• Mary Meets Jesus on the Road to Calvary,
• The Crucifixion,
• The Pieta, and
• The Burial of Jesus.

His thoughts are enriched by references to original color etchings of John Andrews. Ideal for Lent and Holy Week.

 

9 Considerations to Impress Upon Your Children

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The Catholic Family Handbook – Father George Kelly, 1950’s

Father James Keller, M.M., director of the Christophers has made millions of Americans aware of the tremendous amount of good that one dedicated person can do.

The Christophers aim to encourage each individual to show a personal, practical responsibility in restoring the love of Christ to the marketplace and to government, education, literature, entertainment and labor unions.

They emphasize the importance of positive, constructive action and have adopted the slogan, “Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

Father Keller has encouraged countless thousands to undertake less glamorous, lower-paying jobs in order better to serve in Christ’s name. “Individuals who pursue this unpopular path receive a recompense which is a foretaste of the everlasting joy of heaven,” he states.

He lists nine considerations which you should strive to impress upon your children and which you yourself might apply. These are:

  1. You are important. You, as a distinct human being, have been created in God’s image. All of humanity is nothing more than you over and over again.
  1. No substitute for you. God has assigned to you a special mission in life which He has given to no one else. No matter how small it may seem to you or others, it is important in His sight.
  1. Don’t cheat others. The Lord sends blessings to some people through you. If you fail to pass them on, you deprive others of what is rightfully theirs.
  1. You are needed. If everyone figured “I don’t count,” imagine what disastrous consequences could result.
  1. Spiritualize your least efforts. Begin to be a Christopher or Christ-bearer by serving others in small ways. Remember Christ said that if you do no more than give a “cup of cold water” for his sake (Matt. 10:42) you shall gain an everlasting reward.
  1. Start in your home. If you develop a sense of personal responsibility in your own home, school, business and every other place, you will soon wish to reach out to wider horizons.
  1. Don’t bury your talent. Even if God has given you only one talent, put it to work for the good of others. Don’t be like the man in the Gospel who said: “And being afraid I went and hid the talent in the earth.” (Matt. 25:25)
  1. For better or worse. What you do–by prayer, word and deed–to see that God’s will is done “on earth as it is in heaven” affects the well-being of everyone to some degree. Yes, the world itself can be a little better because you have been in it.
  1. You count as one. When tempted to play down your own individual importance, recall this old saying: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do. And what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do.”

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“And you, too, must stand by your convictions at the cost of things you love. An ideal is worth little if it is not worth wholehearted, honest effort. Nothing is more pitiful than a woman whose mind admires purity and right, yet whose will is too weak to choose them and whose life is blighted by sin and mire about her. Be true, be noble, aim high, and God will give you strength to keep your ideals.” – Mabel Hale, Beautiful Girlhood
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Reverend Irala here addresses ways to promote mental and emotional well-being to help increase one’s health, efficiency and happiness. He speaks on topics such as how to rest, think, use the will, control feelings, train the sexual instinct, be happy, and choose an ideal. Included are also many practical instructions on dealing with mental struggles of all kinds. This book is most useful in our present times of worldly confusion.

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In What Consists True Independence of Character ~ True Womanhood, Fr. Bernard O’Reilly

Painting by Adolf Eberle

In this article, Father is adamant about taking care to monitor what your children are reading and the companions they have. As parents forming our children in the modern world, we add on top of that the movies they watch and the internet they are allowed to dabble in. Let us pray to Saint Isidore of Seville (560-636), patron of the internet,  to guide us in this daunting task…

from True Womanhood – Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894

In what consists True Independence of Character

To no one more than the child of the hard-working mother is true independence of soul,—that is, true nobility of character,—necessary and useful. Indeed, the all-seeing Author of our nature, who governs all our ways, has made every element of greatness in our souls and conduct necessary because He knew they would be useful; and He made them all the more necessary that He foresaw they would be more useful.

In what does this independence of soul and character consist? In this: that a boy or a girl brought up by a truly God-fearing mother, is so filled with the fear of that Great Majesty, in whose hands we are at every moment, and into whose hands we are sure to fall after death, that they look up to Him in everything, seek to please Him in all they do, and find it impossible to do anything which is wrong in His sight and contrary to the voice of their own conscience.

Let us understand this well. You rear your boy and your girl, from the very first moment you can make them understand anything, in the conviction that God’s truth, God’s word, God’s will is to be the sole measure by which they are to weigh and estimate everything; so that it will be practically impossible for them to do anything contrary to His truth, His law, or His will.

We say every day that such a man is a noble man, a truly independent man, because he is incapable of doing wrong to any one, of violating truth or honor or honesty, of going in anything whatever against his conscience and his known duty.

Hence it is—and this is the golden lesson which our forefathers learned so well and practiced so nobly, that they made their moral greatness and independence consist in depending on God alone and their conscience.

They were poor in this world’s goods,—for they had been stripped of everything,—they were deprived of civil and religious liberty and honor, and were thus, in the eyes of men, degraded to the level of the serf or the slave. But nothing could shake their dependence on God, or their implicit and invincible obedience to the voice of their conscience and their faith.

Now such are the noble men and women that can in our days,—in this generation as in the next,—go forth from the home of every laboring man among us, as they went forth in past generations; men attached to conscience, to honesty, to honor, to truth, to duty, to righteousness, and to God in all things and above all things, everywhere, in all employments and positions, though never so high or never so lowly.

Let us have men and women incapable of telling a lie, of wronging the neighbor in thought or word or deed, of wronging their employer in the meanest trifles or the weightiest matters, of betraying the trust placed in them, whether in the last place in lowliest office or in the highest that can be given in city, State, or Church; men and women who fear God alone, and, after Him, fear only what is contrary to truth, honor, and purity!

Dear mothers who read this, you may never be able to give your boys and girls at your death wherewith to buy a suit of clothes or to pay for their meals on the morrow. But if you labored morning, noon, and night till your dying day—because you would allow no dishonesty to taint your lives, and for the sole purpose of making of your children such godlike men and women as this,—you have left them a treasure ten thousand times more precious than all the hoarded millions of our wealthiest.

Make them Choose their Companions Well

In order to do this, you must be careful about two things: the choice of what your boys and girls read, and that of their companions at home or in the street. Choose well the books which you put in their hands, or which you permit them to bring home with them.

Public libraries are like druggists’ shops or public dispensaries; they are like them in this, that they contain all manner of poisons as well as healthful medicines; and they differ from them in this, that, whereas conscientious druggists will give what is healthful to all, they will only deal out what is poisonous in small quantities and to responsible and properly authorized persons;—while libraries and librarians have no conscience, and let the innocent child take away and devour what kills purity, innocence, and conscience forever.

Scarcely less baneful are, taken and read promiscuously, the daily and weekly papers. They are not only dangerous and hurtful to the young mind and heart as mere newspapers, because they reveal in their hideousness and obscenity what should never be known to youth, and what were better ignored by age itself; but they are still more hurtful as teachers and dogmatizers on religion and morality, either reducing the doctrines and practices of revealed religion to the same level with infidelity, and thus producing practical indifference toward divine truth; or they affect and profess to have an authority which can judge the Church of Christ herself, and enlighten her as to the way she ought to teach and to govern.

Thereby the mind is imperceptibly but inevitably filled with prejudices or preconceived opinions distrustful of the Church or hostile to her, and which act on the intelligence as the foul and poisonous air of coalmines acts on the lungs: they fill the organs with deadly exhalations which prevent the entrance into them of God’s pure vital air.

Just as you are careful of what books or papers your children read, even so be watchful over the companionships they form. It is impossible to take kindly to the low-minded, corrupt-hearted, or ill-bred and ill-mannered, without laying aside one’s own good manners, good breeding, purity of feeling, and innocence of mind in habitual intercourse with them.

There are worse consequences, as you know, which soon follow this familiarity with the low and the unworthy. Precisely because the great majority of young people around you are without sound moral education,—untruthful, intemperate, and as careless of honor and honesty as they are of decency,—it is your most pressing interest and duty to keep your treasures away from such contact.

“When we hold that tiny bundle in our arms for the very first time, a flood of hopes and dreams emerges like a great blue whale cresting to spout his spray into the air. But somewhere in the day-to-day busyness of life, encouraging words can get lost among the to-dos and not-to-dos. We need to take a fresh look at motherhood and recapture the commitment to be the great encouragers along a child’s journey toward adulthood.” -Sharon Jaynes, The Power of a Woman’s Words (Painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau)

Painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)

NEW! GRATITUDE JOURNAL PRINTABLE!

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Our attitude changes our life…it’s that simple. Our good attitude greatly affects those that we love, making our homes a more cheerier and peaceful dwelling! To have this control…to be able to turn around our attitude is a tremendous thing to think about!
This Gratitude Journal is here to help you focus on the good, the beautiful, the praiseworthy.
You will be disciplined, the next 30 days, to write positive, thankful thoughts down in this journal. You will be thinking about good memories, special moments, things and people you are grateful for, lovely and thought-provoking Catholic quotes, thoughts before bedtime, etc. Saying it, reading it, writing it, all helps to ingrain thankfulness into our hearts…and Our Lord so loves gratefulness! It makes us happier, too!
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These fascinating dreams involve prophecy and reading of hearts, with a powerful spiritual message. Includes: To Hell and Back, Two Boys Attacked by a Monster, The Snake and the Rosary, and many more. These dreams led to many conversions and will instruct, admonish and inspire today!

With more than one million copies sold, My Daily Bread is a true Christian classic. It’s simple, yet carefully crafted daily reflections have led thousands to a drastically improved interior life and a deeper love for Christ.

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God Watches Over Us

from An Easy Way to Become a Saint – Fr. Paul O’Sullivan

The Gift of Divine Grace

Scarcely had we been born when our parents took us to the baptismal font. We had come into the world covered with a hideous leprosy, the filth and corruption of Original Sin, which we inherited from our First Parents.

The baptismal water was poured on our heads; we were bathed in the Precious Blood of Jesus, the same that was shed for us on Calvary.

These saving waters cleansed our souls from this hideous leprosy, leaving them as pure as the Angels in Heaven, while God, by an infinitely divine act of love, clothed our souls with a dazzling mantle taken from His own shoulders, viz., with the robe of Divine Grace.

This is a real participation in His own divine nature, as St. Peter assures us.

Did we see our soul clad in this divine mantle, we should be inclined to fall down and adore it. Nothing on this earth can give us even a faint idea of a soul in Grace – an image of God, radiant, resplendent with divine beauty.

This divine grace is not only a robe of beauty; it is a divine force, a new life, which raises up our natures, giving them a new dignity.

It penetrates into our faculties, illuminates our intellects and strengthens our will.

With it we can see and do what would be otherwise utterly impossible for poor human nature.

How little do we understand the wonders God has done for us!

Foolish, ignorant parents are so blind that they sometimes leave their children for days without Baptism.

The life of the newly born babe is so fragile that is may die at any moment, and then! That dear soul will never see God, through the culpable neglect of those who should love it most.

And even if the child does not die, why leave it wallowing in the corruption and filth of Original sin?

Fathers and mothers strive to save their children from the least bodily defect, yet owing to crass ignorance, they allow them to remain so long under the curse and malediction of sin. Sad, woeful ignorance!

God Watches Over Us

Nothing perhaps manifests so clearly God’s personal love for each one of us as His Divine Providence, which is watching over us every moment and in every event of our lives.

God has never taken His eyes off us since the moment of our creation, but is ever watching over us with loving care.

Nothing happens to us that He does not see and permit. Not even a hair falls from our heads without His consent.

Every moment of our lives is a new creation; our preservation is, as it were, a continual series of creations.

Did God forget us or take His Hand off us for a single moment, we should not only die, but fall back into our former nothingness.

He takes care of the beasts that roam in the forests, of the little birds that fly in the air; He clothes the lilies of the field in a garb more beautiful than that of Solomon in all his glory,

He sees every movement of the little fishes in the ocean, of the insects which are hidden in the earth.

With far greater reason, He tells us, does He watch over us who are His dear children, so that all that happens to us is for our welfare and happiness, as St. Paul tells us: “All things work together unto good.” (Rom. 8:28)

Nothing is so touching as the care a mother takes of her little one who is playing at her side. She is apparently intent on her sewing or knitting, but not for an instant does she lose sight of the child.

At the first sign of danger, throwing aside what she has in hand, she rushes toward the little one and snatches it from the peril that threatened it.

This is exactly how God watches over us. His eyes are ever on us. Though we may think that our troubles come from an enemy or from some other cause or by chance, we may be sure that nothing happens to us that God does not will.

What is lacking is our want of confidence. If we only ran to God in all our troubles, our lot in life would be very different from what it is, very much happier.

 
“A person is made better or worse by his friends. If they are well chosen and faithful they build up and make strong the best that is in one; but if they are unwisely chosen they drag down and destroy all that is pure within. For a person will be like his friends. Show me the friends of a girl, those whom she most appreciates, and I will tell you what kind of girl she is though I never see her.” -Mabel hale, Beautiful Girlhood, http://amzn.to/2oepsGH (afflink)

For some good reading, check out My Book List!

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Strive for Genuine Love ~ Fr. Lovasik

Painting by Julien Dupre, 1851

by Father Lovasik, Catholic Family Handbook

Strive for genuine love

The Church says that happiness comes as a by-product of duty well done. It is earned, not found. The best way of achieving conjugal happiness is by fulfilling the ends for which marriage was instituted.

While the procreation of the race is the primary purpose of marriage, there are other important ends achieved by this divine institution.

Marriage fosters the love and devotion of husband and wife. It provides a legitimate expression for the divinely implanted sexual hunger. It answers man’s craving for intimate companionship, sympathy, understanding, and lasting friendship.

It enriches the personality of man by increasing his unselfishness and deepening his capacity for love, friendship, and sacrifice. Although the physical elements of marriage are not to be depreciated, the highest and most enduring joys are the mental and spiritual ones that come from the complete union of hearts and souls – the perfect fusion of two personalities, which is achieved only in the holy mystery of conjugal love.

The domestic affections – the mutual love of husband and wife, of parents and children, of brothers and sisters – are the principal source of human happiness and well-being, the chief wellsprings of actions, and also the chief safeguards against evil.

Focus on the spiritual, not the physical

Love is not a mere emotion of the body. Merely emotional or sensual love is an attraction that arises within the body and concerns itself only with the body of another.

To keep married persons from forgetting their primary duty to the race, God has implanted sexual hunger in human nature. It is part of the divine plan that the satisfaction of sexual hunger be accompanied by feelings of pleasure and happiness.

Emotional love eventually dies down after some years of marriage with the cooling of sentimental attraction. If a married person unfortunately comes to the point at which he can honestly say that his love for his spouse has completely died, this is usually an indication that it was only a selfish, sentimental, mental, animal-like love from the very beginning.

Mere animal attraction may sometimes lead to marriage, but when it passes – as it always does – love passes, too, and usually some other animal attraction is sought and satisfied.

Nothing is harder for a human being who possesses religious convictions and aspirations than to live long in marriage with a person who does practically nothing that a brute animal cannot not do. Therefore, in seeking happiness in marriage, do not stress what is physical. The fact is that only a small part of happiness in marriage is dependent upon the senses.

Happiness and pleasure sure cannot be taken as a steady diet, because the Creator never meant people to be permanently happy here on earth. Physical attraction diminishes and gives place to a greater and nobler basis for happiness.

Depend on your will, not on your feelings

The essence of love resides in the free will. The will may be stimulated to love freely by feelings and emotions. Love can be real and genuine without feelings if it is faithful and loyal, self-sacrificing sacrificing and cooperative, and manifested in word and, more often, in deed. All this can be accomplished without a great deal of intense feeling.

All human love undergoes changes and varieties in feeling. This does not affect the motive of love residing in the will. The feelings of love ten years after marriage are not the same as they were on the day of marriage, and yet the love can be true and sincere.

Duty is more important than feelings: loyalty to duty is fundamental in life; feelings are secondary and can, when the sense of duty is strong, be brought into satisfactory, if not perfect, agreement with the requirements of duty.

If your sense of duty is uppermost in your mind, contrary feelings  will never grow into hatred. Duties do not lose their force and obligation when opposed by contrary feelings; hence, a situation cannot become intolerable.

People with some background of self-discipline seldom become victims of intolerable difficulties. It is important to check feelings that are contrary to duty from the very beginning, so they will never become strong.

Therefore, do not count too much on feelings of love as the only inspiration to fidelity throughout the years, but rely primarily on the conviction of obligation created by the vows you made in the marriage ceremony.

Nevertheless, feelings should not be neglected in your marriage, for it is possible to smother and destroy all the natural feelings of love. The sense of duty must always remain, but without any normal feeling, or with a feeling of revulsion instead stead of attraction, it will be difficult to live up to that sense of duty.

Since love is essentially an activity of the free will, once it is pledged in the marriage ceremony, it can and should, with the help of the grace of God, remain alive and strong forever.

In that sense, it means working for the happiness of each other despite your own feelings and despite the faults and sins of your spouse.

God uses the feelings of love, or a sense of emotional attraction between you, not only to lead you into marriage, but also to make carrying out the duties of marriage easier and more rewarding.

You surely have one desire in marriage: to make the love that has drawn you together endure forever.

Love is destroyed only by a free act of the will. Your love for your spouse dies only if you really want it to die. Even then your love can be revived by doing the things necessary to promote  love. Love is not dead even if strong feelings are absent.

Women generally remain romantic long after their wedding; men usually do not. Most women would like their husbands to be as obviously affectionate after ten or fifteen years of marriage as they were during courtship.

The best attitude to adopt toward the idea that your spouse does not love you is to look at it as a petty annoyance and try to dismiss it as one would dismiss an unwanted temptation. Add to that a determination to keep busy, preferably in some form of service to others, especially to your family.

Permit yourself as little time to brood and worry as you possibly can. Idleness and introspection are dangerous. You can overcome this danger if you intensify your spiritual life by such practices as daily Mass and Communion, frequent prayers, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and the cultivation of a childlike confidence in God’s Providence and goodness.

If you begin to think that life is destroying the love you once had for your husband, you must rekindle the spark if you can. If a true love ever existed, it can be restored and increased. Your union is a permanent one, and you must not allow it, for want of love, to head toward estrangement and separation.

You can recapture even a lost love by daily tending and constant watching for little opportunities to show your love. Your love will grow as your eager efforts increase.

Genuine love is a rational attraction, mutually shared, between two persons, that is not contrary to God’s law or to one’s own good of soul or body. It is a special inclination to do good for another, spiritually or physically, and to share all good with that person.

Such love is rational, because it must be under the influence of the mind and will, which together direct it to what is not contrary to God’s will or to the good of the person loving as well as of the person loved.

Love is not simply a blissful state that you fall into; it is an unselfish virtue that lifts you out of yourself. It is, above all, the desire to give – body, mind, and heart – to each other without out reserve. Unless you are willing to give yourself completely, unless the first emphasis is on giving rather than on getting, you are not truly in love.

Love is the desire that you and your spouse have to spend the rest of your lives together and to work out your salvation together.

The principal reason for unhappiness in marriage is the failure to love. Love is one of the noblest passions implanted by God in human nature. St. Thomas says that “to love is to will that good should befall a person.”

Your love is genuine if it has God for its foundation; then it is an aid to reaching God.

Love is a thing of the spirit more than of the flesh. When love shows itself only in the flesh, it may be more lust than love. Religion alone brings out the full attractiveness of a human being. It alone provides the motives, actions, and practical precepts for the practice of the virtues that appeal most strongly to the love of another. Religion makes human beings higher and nobler than brute animals.

Genuine love will patch up differences and make marriage happy, provided religious motivation, self-sacrifice, prayer, and work are given their proper place in your life. Genuine love is enough for a happy marriage. Love is not one-sided, but reciprocal.

The love between husband and wife is the root from which grows perfect love between father, mother, and child. You must love each other before you can love your children perfectly.

“One day at a time. This is very important. Very often we exhaust ourselves going over the past again and again and also our fears about the future. But when we live in the present moment, we mysteriously find strength. We have the grace to live through what we encounter today. If tomorrow we must face more difficult situations, God will increase his grace. God’s grace is given at the right time for it, day by day.” -Fr. Jacques Philippe, The Way of Trust and Love http://amzn.to/2wGXpkw Painting: Scent of a Rose by Sheri Dinardi (afflink)

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Here, Baroness Maria Augusta Trapp tells in her own beautiful, simple words the extraordinary story of her romance with the baron, their escape from Nazi-occupied Austria, and their life in America.

Now with photographs from the original edition.

Most people only know the young Maria from The Sound of Music; few realize that in subsequent years, as a pious wife and a seasoned Catholic mother, Maria gave herself unreservedly to keeping her family Catholic by observing in her home the many feasts of the Church’s liturgical year, with poems and prayers, food and fun, and so much more!

With the help of Maria Von Trapp, you, too, can provide Christian structure and vibrancy to your home. Soon your home will be a warm and loving place, an earthly reflection of our eternal home.

Is Love Necessary, Is Love Sufficient? – Fr. Donald Miller, C.SS.R., 1955

From Questions Young People Ask Before Marriage, Fr. Donald Miller, C.SS.R., 1950’s

Question:

Is love necessary for a happy marriage?

 Answer:

It depends on what you mean by “love”. I might add that it also depends on what you mean by marriage, but we shall take for granted that you mean what the Lord meant, viz., an indissoluble sacramental partnership between a man and a woman who pledge themselves to help each other toward happiness on earth and in heaven, and to beget and rear children for the kingdom of God.

What do you mean by “love”? Do you mean that violent feeling of attraction, that all-suffering sense of helpless infatuation, that overpowering “can’t-think-of-anything-else” emotion, which the pulps, true story magazines and mashy novels describe as love?

If you do, my answer is a quick “no”. This kind of love is not necessary because there have been thousands of happy marriages without it, from those in which the bridegroom was chosen for the bride (or vice versa) by elders, as was customary for centuries, down to the latest marriage of two young people who kept their wits about them all through their company-keeping and engagement.

The wild infatuation that some mistake for love is a minor form of hysteria, and hysteria is not only not necessary for, but a positive drawback to, a happy marriage.

But if you define love correctly, I say that it is absolutely necessary for a happy marriage. Love is an intelligent willingness to surrender self-will, to make sacrifices, to place fidelity, charity and duty above feelings, in behalf of a person whom one has found to be a good companion, a sturdy character, and a believer in the same purposes of life and marriage as oneself.

The degree of physical and emotional attraction behind this determination of the free will may vary greatly, but it is never the essence of love.

Too many young people have thought otherwise, to the effect that, with the inevitable lessening of infatuation after a year or two of married life, they have considered themselves no longer in love.

Love is a function of the free will, and it can last as long as the free will exercises itself according to the above definition.

Therefore, to say “I am in love” should mean “I am willing to surrender my will, to sacrifice my desires, to place duty and fidelity above all else, in behalf of one person whom I have found suitable for a successful marriage.”

 

Is Love Sufficient for a Happy Marriage?

 Problem:

If one is deeply in love with a certain person, is not that sufficient for a happy marriage, even though others advise against the marriage?

I am in love with a young man, and want to marry him, but everybody tells me he won’t make me happy.

I am so happy just being in love with him that I know I’ll be happy in marriage.

 Solution:

It has been set down as one of the most futile things in life to argue with a young person already in love, who believes that the happiness of being in love is a true measure of the happiness that will be found in marriage.

However, those of us who are interested in the happiness of married folk will still go on trying to convince young people of the danger of this mistake.

You say that everybody tells you that the young man you love cannot make you happy in marriage.

I presume that this means your parents, your pastor or confessor, your close friends. Such unanimity can hardly be a result of conspiracy against you, or unfounded on good reasons.

With eyes undimmed by the infatuation that makes you a poor judge of your boy friend, they must see something in his character that makes him unfit for the responsibilities of marriage.

Perhaps he is shiftless and undependable; perhaps a drunkard; perhaps unprincipled or irreligious.

After all, there are thousands of divorces in America each year, and tens of thousands of broken hearted wives.

Can’t you see that most of the latter married because they were breathlessly in love, and only afterward, too late, found out that love is not sufficient for a happy marriage?

You did not tell me on what ground everybody opposes your marriage to this boy, and therefore I do not say for certain that their opposition is justified.

There is a good presumption that it is, however, from the fact that it is unanimous.

I do say firmly, however, that you are clinging to a false principle when you say that “because you are happy just being in love with your boy friend, you know you’ll be happy in marriage.”

It takes more than love, I assure you, to make a marriage happy, and sometimes it is only your parents, pastor, and good friends, who can tell you whether that something is present or absent.

On Love at First Sight

 Problem

“Do you believe in love at first sight?

I recently met a man and fell head over heels in love with him on our first date. He seemed to feel the same way about me.

If he asks me to marry him even after only three dates, I feel that I will just have to say Yes. Is not such a love sufficient to make marriage very happy?”

 Solution

No, it isn’t, and if you look around, you will see hundreds of proofs of this fact. Love at first sight may be the preliminary to a happy marriage, but there is no guarantee that it will be.

I should say that the chances are definitely against a happy marriage, if love at first sight and three dates are the only  preliminaries.

The reason should be clear: as a rational creature you are expected to use your head as well as your heart in all the important actions of your life.

There are few things more important than getting married, and once married, you are married till the death of either yourself or your partner.

This love at first sight that you talk about is an emotional reaction to someone who seems to have many fine qualities on the surface.

It cannot possibly see into the heart, into the conscience, into the will, into the past.

It is easily possible that a man for whom a girl would feel love at first sight would be able to present a very lovable appearance for a time, while under the surface he was harboring any number of vices and evils.

It takes time to find out whether a man has the interior qualities necessary to make a good husband and a happy marriage.

And it takes common sense on your part not to say such things as that “you would have to say Yes at once if he asked you to marry him on your third date together.”

By that time you might not even have found out whether he was married before; whether he had an ungovernable temper; whether he was subject to epilepsy, melancholia or alcoholism.

Most of the divorces result from short courtships and so-called love at first sight. Don’t be like the foolish ones of your generation.

If you like this man at first sight, remember that you must use second sight and third sight and twentieth sight to know whether you can have reasonable assurance that he won’t be giving you black eyes in the second month of your marriage.

Love at first sight is all right if after six months of going with the person you find that he is as good inside as he is outside, and that you won’t offend God or renounce God by marrying him.

“Undoubtedly,” Pope Pius XII remarked, ‘youth is a most beautiful thing of itself. But, if you have in this tender flower, the shining whiteness of Christian purity, then you have human beauty displayed as something noble and exalted, attracting the admiration and imitation of those who see it.”

 

This is a must-read for Catholic youth. The do’s and don’t s of dating, how to keep pure, what is a sin and what is just a temptation, the qualities to look for in a good spouse, etc. It is small, but power-packed, straightforward and balanced! Available here:  http://amzn.to/2niVm2T (afflink)

 

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Making Resolutions/New Children’s Podcast! ~ Growing in Grace

The resolution being now well formulated, the task of making it begins. Merely to say it over or to promise it in a feeble way is absolutely useless. The whole will, with the whole force and energy of the will, must be brought into it.

Not only that, but the whole living strengths of the will must be literally hurled into it, not once or twice, but again and again each day, right up to the very last day of the month. The resolution must be meant.

We must be able to say, “Yes! before God, I mean that! I mean it as intensely and really as I can ever mean anything! I will keep that resolution. I know I can and will keep it because I mean it. Further, I will take every precaution to keep it alive and vigorous within me by re-making it again and again.”

Needless to say such resolutions should not be lightly made, nor should they be trifled with. In them the credit of the will is at stake. It is a serious thing to make a serious resolution, and it is a bad thing to break one, bad for the will and bad for self-respect.

Now, Catholic writers suggest many means whereby we may render our resolutions more secure. One practical method is to make the “Particular Examen,” which consists in a half-daily examination of our failures or success in our resolution.

We must pray for the grace to keep our resolutions. Supernatural aid will then be ours; but prayer will also aid us naturally.

We must meditate on the advantages of keeping it and on the disadvantages of breaking it, on the beauty of patience and on the pettiness and shame of irritability. Our mind will be convinced by this means, and our emotions will be aroused in favor of the resolution.

Next, we are advised to intensify our resolution not merely by direct will-acts, but by indirect will-acts derived from self-inflicted penance. For pain and hunger will make us more in earnest and will make our “meaning” more sincere.

Such, in general, is the method which Catholics are taught to employ in the matter of resolutions. Needless to say, if this method is faithfully employed the will grows strong and energetic—its good qualities are developed and its faults are corrected.

Of course, it must not be thought that religion in itself wholly consists in making and keeping good resolutions. This is not so. Nevertheless, to a great extent, religion depends on the making and keeping of good resolutions, as on its method.

It may perhaps be well to take a type of will-hero, whose strength of will was the outcome of religion.

Such a one was John Berchmans, a young Flemish Jesuit of the early seventeenth century. His name is unknown to the literary and political world, but none the less he was possessed of remarkable gifts of mind.

The chief note of his character was moderation and good-sense, combined with an extraordinary tenacity of purpose. If he put before himself some end to be gained, he devoted his whole strength towards achieving it, and he regarded every tiny detail involved in this pursuit of his end as of the most serious consequence–maximi minima habuit.

He combined the qualities of miser and spendthrift in such matters, being most miserly about allowing himself the slightest deviation from his purpose or the slightest delay in winning it, whereas he was most lavish and generous in giving himself and all he had to the working out of his aim.

In him the maxim was verified to the fullest: “Suae quisque vitae victor est; artifex hujus operis est voluntas.” Each one is the conqueror of his life; the artist is the will of this work.

 He set himself to become a saint in a new way, by doing ordinary things extremely well, and thanks to his lifelong pertinacity of purpose he gained his end.

That be sought in religion strength and inspiration is of course indisputable. To fulfil perfectly all his religions duties was the main object of his life, and it was in fulfilling them that the promptness, consistency and persevering regularity of his will were manifested.

It would not be difficult to find among the annals of the Saints many other examples of will-heroes: some were men of extraordinary energy, like Francis Xavier, some of extreme gentleness, like Francis de Sales, some of cold intellectual intensity, like Ignatius, some of child-like sweetness, like Antony of Padua.

In each case great will-strength followed in the wake of religious perfection. In each case converse with God raised and developed the will-faculty, just as it improved every other faculty of the mind.

We have seen at some length that the practice of religion implies will-training, but nevertheless it must be remembered that it is not the special aim of religion to train the will. It does so only indirectly, and it does not always do so as perfectly and as surely as we might wish.

It seems necessary to have some specific training. To train the will, as it were, for the sake of the will itself, for the sake of the perfection of the will, and not for the sake of other thing.

The will must be taught, to some extent, to will for the sake of willing. The will builds up will by willing. As we shall see later, it builds up will best by willing will.

The will must, as it were, turn back on itself in willing, and will will. Exercises calculated to provoke willing for the sake of willing are necessary.

We must feel the pure glow of pleasure involved in willing for the sake of the will. Just as the intellect or memory must be trained, apart from the training they receive in the practice of religion, so must the will be trained apart from the training it receives in this manner.

It must not, however, be overlooked that will-training of itself, without relation to religion and morality, is in great part meaningless. For, as Professor Forster writes, “All our efforts are lacking in deeper meaning if they are not correlated to a great spiritual view of life as a whole. Even the most perfect development of willpower tends to degenerate into a mere athletic exercise without enduring significance.”

NEW CHILDREN’S PODCAST! GROWING IN GRACE

There is one way that Ernie will never stop growing. Do you know what that is? He should never stop growing in grace. Ernie, and all of us, always need to work on filling ourselves up with grace…

“Blessed is the home where unkind speech does not enter, nor cursing, nor bad literature, nor intemperance, for on that home will be heaped the blessings of peace.” – Fr. Lawrence Lovasik

Painting by James Hayllar (1829 – 1920, English)

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Here is a marriage blueprint that every woman can follow. Happy marriages do not just happen, they are made. It takes three parties to make a good marriage; the husband, the wife, and the Lord. This book is concerned with helping the woman to become the wife desired and therefore loved that every man worth having wishes to find and keep.<P> This book sold over a quarter of a million copies shortly after its publication in 1951, and it was read by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. It is a practical manual. It should be read by every woman considering entering the matrimonial state and also by those women who are already married. It can also be read by men who may wish to see what a real challenge it is for a woman to live up to their expectations and how grateful they should be if they are blessed to find the woman of their desires…

Armed with Barbeau s wisdom, you’ll grow closer to your wife and to your children, while deepening your love for God. You’ll be able to lead your family to holiness amidst the troubles and temptations that threaten even the best of families today: infidelity, divorce, materialism, loneliness, and despair.

The Father of the Family makes good fathers and good fathers are the secret to happy homes….

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