My New Book – Catholic Mother Goose!

I am very excited about my new book, Catholic Mother Goose! :)

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When my children were young I loved to read to them stories, poems and nursery rhymes! They knew those rhymes inside and out and it was such a happy pastime! I did yearn, at times, for little ditties that had more meaning…….So I decided to write a book myself for the generation after me….especially thinking of my grandchildren, but for all Catholic children everywhere!

This is a 140 page fun-packed book full of Catholic poems and pictures! The amazing pencil drawings are by the wonderful artist, Mrs. Becky Melechinsky, along with a few contributions from my daughter, Virginia!

Description on the Back of the Book:

At last, a Nursery Rhyme book for Catholic children!

Who can resist those little ditties, those lovely little sing-song verses called Nursery Rhymes? Songs and rhymes for young children have been passed down from generation to generation. Nursery rhymes are fun, children love them, and they provide a warm, nurturing experience for the whole family.

This is not your regular Nursery Rhyme book! These poems are sprinkled with sentiments about our beautiful Catholic Faith. They are enjoyable and lighthearted yet are dotted with thoughts about the feasts of the Church, holy water, scapulars, the saints and much more!

This book not only offers all the benefits of reading and memorizing Nursery Rhymes, but it will plant seeds that will turn those little minds to what is most important in life….their Catholic Faith.

Research shows children learn more in their first eight years than they do in the rest of their lives. This is a powerful time to teach them.

Most important, it is a crucial time for us, as those devout Catholic parents of old, to teach our children their Faith as they sit at our feet and learn from us.

These are meaningful little rhymes that will provide an enjoyable way to teach your children and will enrich your home with Catholic culture!

 

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Here are some neat pictures of some of the pages:

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If you would like to purchase a copy go here.

And, please, if you like it, leave me a review. I would really appreciate it! Thank you!!❤

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Month of May, Month of Mary!

Happy May Day! What an incredible blessing to have a Mother like Mary! Let’s remember throughout the day to think of her, to take her hand and have her lead us through each seemingly unimportant happening….she cares very much!

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Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year

The heart of every Christian turns spontaneously toward his heavenly Mother, with a desire to live in closer intimacy with her and to strengthen the sweet ties which bind him to her. It is a great comfort on our spiritual way, which is often fatiguing and bristling with difficulties, to meet the gentle presence of a mother.

One is so at ease near one’s mother. With her, everything becomes easier; the weary, discouraged heart, disturbed by storms, finds new hope and strength, and continues the journey with fresh courage.

“If the winds of temptation arise,” sings St. Bernard, “if you run into the reefs of trials, look to the star, call upon Mary. In danger, sorrow or perplexity, think of Mary, call upon Mary.”

There are times when the hard road of the “nothing” frightens us, miserable as we are; and then, more then ever, we need her help, the help of our Mother. The Blessed Virgin Mary has, before us, trodden the straight and narrow path which leads to sanctity; before us she has carried the cross, before us she has known the ascents of the spirit through suffering.

Sometimes, perhaps, we do not dare to look at Jesus the God-Man, who because of His divinity seems too far above us; but near Him is Mary, His Mother and our Mother, a privileged creature surely, yet a creature like ourselves, and therefore a model more accessible for our weakness.

Mary comes to meet us during this month, to take us by the hand, to initiate us into the secret of her interior life, which must become the model and norm of our own.

We must consider Mary in the concrete picture of her earthly life. It is a simple, humble picture, which never leaves the framework of the ordinary life common to all mothers; under this aspect, Mary is truly imitable.

Our programme for the month of May, then, will be to contemplate the grandeurs of Mary, that we may be stimulated to imitate her virtues.

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Courtship and Chaperoning

We are coming close to the end of another courtship in our home so I thought I would do a throwback of this older post.

This is Dominic and Sarah and they will be married in a week. They have had a beautiful courtship and are looking forward to the big day!

 

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Here are pictures of our other couples:

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Courtship is a precious and precarious time.

There is one thing that we have done in our home that has paid great dividends. I know that everyone has their own dynamics in their home. But we started this at the beginning of our first child’s courtship season and have found it to be very beneficial. It’s called “chaperoning“.

Now, this may seem a somewhat antiquated approach. We don’t mind that. We have tested the waters and after marrying 5 of our children off, we know of the benefits.

The married children will attest to it, too, and appreciate, in hindsight, all the effort put into having a little kid brother and sister with them at all times. It has saved them from even entering upon perilous temptations!

Don’t get us wrong. They have time to talk and get to know one another. But it is usually in our or the upcoming spouse’s home while the family is doing other things. The couple will sit outside on the swing, or sit and talk on the couch. We are not breathing down their necks. But if they decide to go for a walk, or want to go to dinner, or even go to the Adoration Chapel to make a holy hour, they will have someone tagging along!

It can get pretty annoying, I am sure. And I let the couples know that it is annoying to the chaperone, too, so it goes both ways and not to complain! But in general, it is accepted and they do not murmur! In fact, they are very grateful and know that it is a big effort on everyone’s part to ensure the purity and beauty of their courtship period.

And when they walk away from that wedding, hand in hand, with no little kid tagging along, they are one happy couple!!!!

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I Kissed Dating Goodbye

by Joshua Harris

Seven habits of highly defective dating

1) Dating leads to intimacy, but not necessarily to commitment.

2) Dating tends to skip the ‘friendship’ stage of a relationship.

3) Dating often mistakes a physical relationship for love.

4) Dating often isolates a couple from other vital relationships.

5) Dating distracts young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for the future.

6) Dating can cause discontentment with God’s gift of singleness.

7) Dating creates an artificial environment for evaluating someone’s character.

Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention?

Hints

1) Friendship is about something other than the two people, something other than the two friends being together. The key to friendship is a common goal or object on which both companions focus. As soon as the two people involved focus on the relationship (intimacy), it has moved beyond friendship.

2) Include others (i.e. friends, family, or strangers) instead of isolating yourselves with just one person.

3) Seek opportunities to serve, not to be entertained.

 

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Teach Your Child to Pray

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How to Raise Good Catholic Children, by Mary Reed Newland

Praying is pretty personal. After all, it’s conversation with God, and conversation with someone you love ought to be entirely personal — warm and intimate, full of secrets and praises and declarations of love.

Praying ought to be fun, too, most of the time, because it’s our one chance to talk as much as we like and know that we don’t bore, that we will be heard, and that everything we say draws us closer to God — which is what He wants and the reason for praying in the first place.

The trouble is that many people think of prayer more as a recitation than as a conversation, and all their lives they speak to God with words that other people have put together for them. They’re beautiful words, beautifully put together, and they give great praise.

But it’s a big mistake to think that only formal prayers are proper when we speak to the Father who made us, who knows us better than we know ourselves and would like us to come simply, like children, and say what we want to say in our own words.

Once there was a girl who told her confessor, “Father, I try to say the Rosary every night when I’m in bed, but get so involved talking to God that, before I know it, I’ve fallen asleep. Do you think I’m deliberately allowing myself to be distracted?”

Her confessor laughed. “If you were God,” he said, “would you rather have someone talk to you in his own words, or in someone else’s? By all means, say your Rosary some other time, but continue your conversations with God, and do stop confusing distraction with mental prayer.”

This is the understanding of prayer we can give our children in their earliest years, long before they learn recited prayers, and in this way we give them a pattern of approach to God in prayer that will suit not only their childhood, but all the years of their lives.

Even when they begin to learn formal prayers, in the beginning they have no real understanding of them, and it’s a rather bleak start to one’s life of prayer to think it must consist of a lot of phrases learned by heart but not understood, which one repeats at certain times because Mother says you must.

The Our Father is the perfect pattern for prayer because when the Apostles asked our Lord how they should pray, He gave this prayer to them.

The Mass contains the same pattern, and both make clear the four aspects of our relation to God: penitent, seeker, beloved, and gratefully blessed.

If our children learn to pray each of these roles, they will have learned the rudiments of all prayer, without which the saints say no progress is possible in the spiritual life.

It would be presumptuous for me to tell someone else how he should pray or what words he should use, because the words one person would choose are rarely the words another would choose, and each person’s way is shaped and colored by his tastes, personality, and all the many small differences that make him who he is and not someone else.

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Education and Your Child – Rev. George A Kelly

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by Rev. Fr. George A. Kelly, The Catholic Family Handbook

THE most important assignment husbands and wives have from God is to see that their children are properly educated. This is a prime and basic purpose of marriage itself. And while the process of education goes on for a lifetime, it does require today a certain amount of schooling, particularly during the formative years.

When parents, therefore, choose a school for their children, they delegate to the teachers a large part of their responsibilities and a significant portion of their child’s education. It is important that they realize the implications of that choice.

If you choose, you send your child to a public school, to a private school, to a parochial school. You hire a private tutor, even keep him home and tutor him yourself, since the State merely establishes minimum standards of achievement.

As a practical matter your choice usually lies between the parochial school and the public nonsectarian school. Before making such a choice you should first determine what purpose you intend his schooling to serve.

In a general way, persons holding all shades of religious belief agree that the school should help prepare a child for life as a responsible adult. But since all men do not agree on the purpose and meaning of life, they obviously cannot agree on the type of school which can best prepare the child for it.

As a Catholic, of course, you take the position outlined in one of the first questions in the catechism–that your child was born to know, love, and serve God in this world in order to be happy with Him in the next. You either believe this or you don’t. If you do, his schooling must help him achieve this goal.

This existence and eternal presence of God is the most important fact of our lives. On this truth all other knowledge is built. The work of the school, like the work of parental education itself, is to make the child see this truth and all other truths which flow from it–truths about the world, himself and other people.

All of his experiences–intellectual, social, moral–must be so guided that nothing is wanting to his training as an intellectual, a man and a Christian. The child must be taught religion, not merely for information but to strengthen his ties with the Heavenly Father, Redeemer and Sanctifier.

He must be taught social studies to give him that understanding which will tie him more closely to other human beings. He must be taught science to help him appreciate and use with care the creatures of the material world.

While bringing ideas and facts to the child, the teacher must relate these to basic Christian principles and our American heritage. The child should be educated to hold sound convictions about the dependence of all men upon God, the rights and duties that belong to every man because of his human dignity and his social nature, the sacredness of the family, the great worth of human work, the obligation of men and nations to share material and spiritual goods with others.

By its very nature, then, knowledge of God and His divine plan cannot be a thing apart. Rather it must be the guiding light which illuminates every other subject that we learn.

Justice Robert H. Jackson of the United States Supreme Court in 1948 said this about religion and education: “It would not seem practical to teach either practice or appreciation of the arts if we are to forbid exposure of youth to any religious influences.

Music without sacred music, architecture minus the cathedral, or painting without the scriptural themes would be eccentric and incomplete…. Certainly a course in English literature that omitted the Bible and other powerful uses of our mother tongue for religious ends would be pretty barren….

The fact is that, for good or ill, nearly everything which gives meaning to life, is saturated with religious influences…. One can hardly respect a system of education which would leave the student wholly ignorant of the currents of religious thought that move the world today…for a part in which he is being prepared.”

When your child attends elementary school, his teacher probably influences him for more hours each day than you do. What he learns from her will have a powerful effect upon his character.

Simple prudence dictates, therefore, that the influence to which he is exposed at school should intensify and reinforce your own teachings.

This is possible only in a school which recognizes God, because your child will learn to be truthful, honest and just in his dealings with his fellow man and to respect authority only as he understands God. The only true motive for these and all other virtues is the knowledge that we are dependent on God for everything and that He requires obedience to His law as a test of our love for Him.

Supporters of nonsectarian education often object when Catholics characterize public schools as “Godless.” But the cold fact is that they are Godless in the literal sense of that word.

Inasmuch as our society consists of citizens with every conceivable gradation of belief and those who profess no faith at all, it has been deemed necessary to eliminate such a controversial subject as God from the public school curriculum.

One need not look far for graphic illustrations of this fact. In some areas, even attempts to start the school day with a prayer to the “Supreme Author of Life” have met with rebuffs from those who advocate “separation of Church and State.”

Some schools prohibit the observance of Christmas as a religious feast. The children may sing harmless jingles, but they may not learn that this great feast celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Ironically, attempts to teach even the simplest facts about religion are hemmed in by so many restrictions in most public school systems that such education becomes tailored to the wishes of the tiny minority of citizens who oppose every religion and even God Himself.

As Monsignor Carl J. Ryan, superintendent of schools of the Cincinnati archdiocese, has pointed out, these persons are truly a privileged class.

“When the out-and-out secularist pays his tax money, he gets exactly the kind of school his ideology calls for–one from which God and mention of God is entirely excluded.”

No less an authority than Thomas Jefferson, speaking on the teaching of religious truth, said, “The relations which exist between man and his Maker, and the duties resulting from those relations, are the most interesting and important to every human being and the most incumbent on his study and investigation.”

How can your child recognize the pre-eminence of God and the necessity of religious faith for his salvation if these facts are completely ignored by one of the most important influences in his life?

Even a young child will tend to question the religious beliefs and moral lessons taught to him at home when they are considered of such little importance that they go unmentioned at school.

No Christian parent could maintain that a knowledge of geography–or music or dancing–is more important to a child’s development than his religious training; yet public schools, by their very ignoring of God, can subtly create this impression.

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Is Your Faith First?

A repost for Throwback Thursday….

Oftentimes in life we will need to make decisions. What will be the motivation behind those decisions? I think that it will depend on who we are hanging out with, what books we are reading and on our prayer life at the time. One day we will also realize how much the good turns in our lives had to do with the people who were praying for us.

Here’s a little story of some good decisions I made when I was foot loose and fancy free. Oftentimes I look back in gratitude because I realize it was simply a grace, one that I thankfully cooperated with, and that things could have SO went the other way.  I had the right information at the right time.

I was twenty-one and from all outward appearances, life was treating me good and I had it made! Looking pretty good, aren’t I? 😀 vintage-sunglasses-black

A young lady, in my blossoming prime, I was off to a good start on my “career” in the big city of Regina. Regina was the capital city of the Province of Saskatchewan in the middle of Canada. It had lots to offer….if you like the glamors of the big city…the good, the bad and the ugly.

I was a dedicated young lady working as head secretary of an office. I was 21, had full run of the office, called the shots and had the job of hiring and firing. I would say for someone my age it was a position that was indeed coveted.
I had started working there when I was 17 during the summers as a part time help to an elderly woman who had been working there for years. She decided to retire, and they asked me if I wanted the job! I jumped at it!

It was a job with much responsibility and I handled it well. I was able to buy myself a brand new car…a 1985 Mercury Cougar! 85xr7_01It was pretty slick. I had an apartment of my own and the freedom to do what I wished.

A new computer program had been introduced and they were flying me to the United States! Anyone from Canada would look at that as a REAL opportunity! I was going to New Holland, Pennsylvania to take part in a computer seminar where an employee from each of the offices throughout North America was going to meet!

We were wined and dined while we were there. We ate seven course meals and shoo-fly pie. It was really neat to see the carriage-drawn Amish families and learn of their lifestyle. I rubbed shoulders with some of the big-wigs of the company, which was pretty interesting, too. It was all new, fascinating and heady.

I enjoyed the pampering and I was intent on learning this program as best I could.
I came back from that trip and began to incorporate the new program into our office. The boys in the back warehouse looked on me with a new respect.
I had a lot of things going for me.

In hindsight I can see now that I was one of the fortunate ones. I was fortunate because in my young life, I had struggled enough that I did not glory in all of this. It could have went straight to my head but instead there was an extreme empty ache.

I had  already had lots of obstacles. I grew up in an alcoholic home. It was not an abusive home but the influence of alcohol had wreaked its havoc and this had caused me to suffer. This suffering was good. Isn’t that the way? At the time, those things that are most painful, become our greatest gifts. Looking back, I am very grateful.

You know what they say, “Pain is Gain.My gain is that it caused me to search for what life was really about. While everyone around me was falling into the sins of youth that would take them years to climb out of, if they ever did, I was searching.

The answers to life didn’t come easy. I knew that God was in the picture, I knew that He was the answer to man’s search for happiness but I didn’t know how to apply that.

I was born and raised a Catholic and I attended Mass. Unfortunately, things were pretty liberal in the Church at that time. I did not know about the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist until well AFTER I graduated….thirteen years of Catholic school, rubbing shoulders with priests and nuns!

I remember, at this particular time, I talked to my sister-in-law’s mother. She was a woman I respected…a simple, warm-hearted housewife with a great love for her family.

I was wondering what I should do….where my search would take me? My closest friends were leaving the Church. Nothing was there for them.

There was an Alliance church down the way. The pastor was dynamic and animated and was drawing many of the youth to his side of the fence….yes, even my closest Catholic friends.

Then there were the ones who drifted over to the Pentecostal Church…..

Should I follow?

Mrs. Botelho, that dear Portuguese woman who prayed the rosary every day,  looked me in the eyes and, with a conviction that spoke volumes, said with her heavy accent, “Whatever you decide to do, Leane, don’t leave the Catholic Church.”

 I hung onto that.

In the meantime, immersed in  urban life mentality, surrounded by worldliness, I struggled.

It was at that time that, through my mom, I got a hold of some good old Catholic Books. You know, those ones you find at garage sales or church sales because they were obsolete.

They had their effect on me and I found out that truth is never obsolete. It is never-changing and eternal.

I read ones that especially pertained to motherhood and youth. Books like Clean Love in Courtship, The Catholic Youth’s Guide to Life and Love, The Catholic Marriage Manual, The Christian Home. They were my saving grace. They helped me to form a purpose for my life but I did not know how it would unfold.
One thing I knew for sure –  this career was not the life for me. I had decided what I wanted. I wanted to be a wife and mother. I wanted a large family. And I could see that the position I had, coveted as it seemed, was not getting me any closer to the goal I really wanted.

The books I was reading enhanced my restlessness. And it was a good restlessness.

I realized I had to make some changes. In spite of the rueful looks, shaking heads and bewildered relatives, I gave my two week notice, trained the next secretary that had been hired out of many, many resumes and ended up leaving that job.

It hurt me that I was a disappointment to many…..to my boss who had just flown me to the states for the new program. I was also a disappointment to many of my aunts and uncles. They could not understand why I was leaving such a position to go and pump gas in a small town for my mom and dad’s little business.

My friends already knew I was weird so it didn’t surprise them.😀

I knew what I was doing. I didn’t know exactly where the path would direct me but it was the beginning for me of a journey that would lead me to work at a little Catholic shrine in North Dakota for a dear priest who taught me to love my Catholic faith. I consecrated myself to Our Lady there and I met my future husband.

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I have never regretted those decisions. “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you!”

The way was not mapped out for me in a letter from God. There was much of “self” involved in my decisions….many stumblings. We are human, after all. God works in spite of our humanness, as long as we are of good will. That is why I am indeed grateful where my path led me and that I was given the grace to say “yes” to Him.

He did not say it was going to be easy, but it is simple. There have been many bumps, many struggles and many, many joys!

What ever you give up for the sake of Him He will bless. And whatever you grab hold of, for the sake of Him, He will bless.

With eleven wonderful children, and (almost) sixteen grandchildren, I feel very blessed. They are all living close by and life is grandly busy, hectic and full of love.April 7, 2014 063-001April 7, 2014 064IMG_0458IMG_0538IMG_1875IMG_1863IMG_1496IMG_1030

So….if your heart is telling you to make some hard decisions for the sake of your faith, your future or your family, know that you will be paid back a hundredfold for it!

At the time it may not be apparent. You may get backlash from family and friends. It may seem like that black cloud is settling and not going to leave. But eventually the clouds dispel, and you can see where God has blessed you in many, many ways.

Do not be afraid to take the steps you need to take in order to keep your faith and your family first in your life! God is not outdone in generosity!

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Organization: Today is the Day! – Emilie Barnes

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Organize your day with tips from Emilie Barnes and her book 101 Ways to Clean Out the Clutter !

Prevent Interruptions

Most people are interrupted at least once every five minutes. If this is true for you, analyze what’s causing those interruptions.

You and your situation are unique—the things that disrupt your day are different than the things that disrupt another’s day. If you haven’t studied this loss of time, become aware of it. You will be amazed at how much time is whittled away by these interruptions and disturbances.

Consider how to safeguard your time. There’s nothing wrong with telling people you can see them at 9:30, 12:15, or 6:40 exactly. Even family members can be taught not to interrupt.

Maybe you cause the interruptions by insisting on checking email every few minutes or answering your cell phone even when you are in the middle of something. If you don’t respect your time, others certainly won’t know how to respect your time.

Today Is the Day!

Resolve to make each and every day count. Instead of constantly anticipating tomorrow, live for today.

When you invest in tomorrow’s worries or schedule, you’re missing out on what is supposed to happen or be experienced today!

Have you ever spent a great deal of time fretting over a future obligation or task only to find that it was not that burdensome—but the weeks of worrying were?

Make today count toward your pursuit of a more organized life. Select one item and find an ideal place for it. Now, when that item ends up on the coffee table or on the kitchen counter, you’ll know exactly where it belongs. Your quest to de-clutter your home can truly be this simple.

The Family Communication Center

Hang a bulletin board, pegboard, racks, or other wall-mounted storage where it can be seen by all members of your family. This will become your home “communication center.” Messages can be sent, messages can be received, and messages can be displayed here.

Other helpful supplies to keep in this area include a dry erase board, a calendar, a list of important phone numbers, and a key holder. Encourage your family to use this area by leaving special notes or treats for them to pick up every now and then. This center is really helpful to have in place when babysitters and houseguests are over. Be sure to write a nice greeting on the white board for your guests, or pin a greeting card and their guest keys to the bulletin board.

Purge the Paper Piles

Get rid of extra paper. Almost 90 percent of all paper in your home and office is never referred to again. That’s a staggering amount of paper!

Choose a room, any room, and there is probably a pile of paper stashed in a drawer, cupboard, or even loose on furniture surfaces.

In the kitchen you might have recipes, cooking articles, and grocery lists piling up. In your office school papers, bills, and receipts gather. Your bedroom ends up being a place for scraps of reminder notes and magazines to accumulate.

Pick a room and go straight for the papers. Allow yourself to keep only a few pieces, maybe five, and toss the rest.

Yes, you can keep more if they are important. However, if it’s a piece you haven’t referred to in a while, won’t need anymore or mean to read but never will…it goes.

Toss at least ten times the amount of stuff you keep. Your rooms will look and feel so much better—and so will you.

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The Wife Desired is an Inspiration to Her Husband – Fr. Leo Kinsella

This is a motivating post that should cause us to ask ourselves, “AM I an inspiration to my husband….through good times and bad?”

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The Wife Desired by Father Leo J. Kinsella, 1950’s

John was dead tired as he left work for home late one Monday afternoon. His physical fatigue partly accounted for his low spirits. He felt that he was on an economic treadmill. He was getting nowhere.

Married five years he and Aeleen and the two little ones were still cooped up in a miserable little four room birth control trap of a flat. And worst of all they had saved pitifully little for their own home It was not like John to quit.

John was not giving up this particular Monday night either. Yet he was worried about the future. He did not seem to be getting anywhere. He had cast about in his mind for some solution till he was in a mental whirl.

Should he look for a part time job on the side? Should he quit his job, take the plunge, and go in with Joe Burns on that gas station? He hated to vex Aeleen with these problems. She had the housework and the children. His was the responsibility of decision.

As he reached for the kitchen door knob, he paused. A dark cloud passed over his face. Aeleen had no bargain in him. She was the beauty of her whole school. Intelligent and bubbling over with personality she could have done much better.

As the door swung open, Aeleen was wiping a bit of spilled milk from the floor. One knee was on the floor; the other balanced Michael, the culprit whose mess she was cleaning up.

Her face came up to meet John’s. It was all smiling. The hug and the kiss told him that no one else in all this world was as welcome to step through that kitchen door. She noticed that he held her just a little longer than usual. “He needs me this evening more than ever.” she sensed. “And what a comfy feeling to know one is needed.”

That evening Aeleen fulfilled with colors flying the greatest function of a wife. She was his inspiration. She quickly drove the black devils of defeatism from his troubled mind. Before bedtime he was ready like Cyrano de Bergerac, to fight giants. Her confidence in him was complete, not that she did not have to chase out disturbing doubts now and then about his capacities.

She was much in love with John and knew his love. This mutual love made it easier for her to discipline her mind, so that her whole being evidenced her assurance in him. Come what might John was her man and he was the best in the world for her.

Thoughts constant and deep have a way of manifesting themselves especially to one spiritually tuned in to the thinker. Aeleen’s faith, quietly evidenced in her husband, renewed his courage. He would not fail her. Aeleen was God’s manifestation to him of all that was good and beautiful. Like David, the psalmist, he felt that, if Aeleen was with him, who was against him?

Aeleen made him conscious that he was the greatest man in the world for her money. There was no pretense in Aeleen’s admiration for John. She loved him deeply. He was her sunshine and the light blinded her from seeing anyone else.

It was no effort for her to stifle within her soul any invidious comparisons between John and other husbands seemingly more successful. On the surface, the husbands of some of her acquaintances might be more successful.

Some of them obviously commanded much more income. “So what?” fought back Aeleen within herself. “It takes more than that to make a husband. John may not be on fire, nor the most gifted person, but take him for what he is, all in all, he is a man.”

From this brief little picture of Aeleen and John, it is obvious that the ideal wife is much more than a companion, a good housekeeper, a good cook, and a good mother. She is an inspiration. Unless she is this to her husband there is danger that all the other fine aspects of her role as wife will be wasted in final failure.

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Human Respect and Resolutions – Light and Peace

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This excerpt is from the wonderful little book written in the 1890’s:

Light and Peace: Instructions for Devout Souls to Dispel Their Doubts

HUMAN RESPECT

I will pay my vows to the Lord before all his people. . . . I will not restrain my lips. . . I have not concealed thy mercy and thy truth from a great council. (Psalms CXV and XXXIX.)

That which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. . . Whosoever shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. (St. Matthew, c. X., w. 27-32.)

Charity towards your neighbor, tolerance for his opinions, indulgence for his defects, compassion for his errors, yes; but no cowardly and guilty concessions to human respect. Never allow fear of the ridicule or contempt of men to make you blush for your faith.

We are not even forbidden to call one human weakness to the assistance of another that is contrary to it: men do not like to contradict themselves, and they dread to be considered fickle.

Well, then, in order that no person may be ignorant of the fact that you are a Christian, once for all boldly confess your faith and your firm resolve to practice it, and let it be known that in all your actions your sole desire is to seek the glory of God and the good of your neighbor.

Let this profession be made upon occasion in a gentle and modest manner, but firmly and positively; and you will find that subsequently it will be much easier for you to continue what you have thus courageously begun.

RESOLUTIONS

Long-standing custom will make resistance, but by a better habit shall it be subdued. {Imitation, B. III., c. XII.)

To him who shall overcome, I will grant to sit with me in my throne, as I also have overcome. (Apocalypse, c. III., v. 21.)

We should not undertake to perfect ourselves upon all points at once; resolutions as to details ought to be made and carried out one by one, directing them first against our predominant passion.

By a predominant passion we mean the source of that sin to which we oftenest yield and from which spring the greater number of our faults.

In order to attack it successfully it is essential to make use of strategy. It must be approached little by little, besieged with great caution as if it were the stronghold of an enemy, and the outposts taken one after another.

For example, if your ruling passion be anger, simply propose to yourself in the beginning never to speak when you feel irritated.

Renew this resolution two or three times during the day and ask God’s pardon for every time you have failed against it.

When the results of this first resolution shall have become a habit, so that you no longer have any difficulty in keeping it, you can take a step forward.

Propose, for instance, to repress promptly every thought capable of agitating you, or of arousing interior anger; afterwards you can adopt the practice of meeting without annoyance persons who are naturally repugnant to you; then of being able to treat with especial kindness those of whom you have reason to complain.

Finally, you will learn to see in all things, even in those most painful to nature, the will of God offering you opportunities to acquire merit; and in those who cause you suffering, only the instruments of this same merciful providence.

You will then no longer think of repulsing or bewailing them, but will bless and thank your divine Savior for having chosen you to bear with Him the burden of His cross, and for deigning to hold to your lips the precious chalice of His passion.

Some saints recommend us to make an act of hope or love or to perform some act of mortification when we discover that we have failed to keep our resolutions. This practice is good, but if you adopt it do not consider it of obligation nor bind yourself so strictly to it as to suppose you have committed a sin when you neglect it.

It is by this progressive method that you can at length succeed in entirely overcoming your passions, and will be able to acquire the virtues you lack. Always begin with what is easiest. Choose at first external acts over which the will has greater control, and in time you can advance from these, little by little, to the most interior and difficult details of the spiritual life.

Resolutions of too general a character, such as, for example, to be always moderate in speech, always patient, chaste, and peaceable and the like, ordinarily do not amount to much and sometimes to nothing at all.

To undertake little at a time, and to pursue this little with perseverance until one has by degrees brought it to perfection, is a common rule of human prudence. The saints particularly recommend us to apply it to the subject of our resolutions.

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False Goods and Friendship- St. Francis de Sales

In this article, St. Francis de Sales warns us of false friendships, and that oftentimes the things we deem as something to be sought after in a friend are really vain and shallow.

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Friendship by St. Francis de Sales

Among the passions, love holds first place: It is the king of the heart’s movements and it converts everything to it, rendering the one who loves similar to the one loved.

Be very careful, therefore, dear Reader, not to have any evil love, because you will in turn quickly become evil yourself.

Friendship is the most dangerous of all loves. Why? Because other loves can exist without communication, exchange, closeness. But friendship is completely founded upon communication and exchange and cannot exist in practice without sharing in the qualities and defects of the friend loved.

Not all love is friendship: First of all, because one can love without being loved. It may then be love, but not friendship. For friendship is mutual, reciprocal, and if it is not reciprocated, it is not friendship.

Secondly, because it is not enough that it be reciprocal; it is also essential that those who love each other recognize their mutual love. If they are unaware of it, it is not friendship.

Thirdly, because in friendship there must exist some kind of exchange or communication, for such is the foundation of friendship.

Friendship differs according to the different kinds of communication, and the communications differ according to the variety of goods exchanged. If these are false goods, then the friendship is false.

Honey gathered from the best flowers is the best. So too, the better the goods exchanged, the better the friendship. It is said that the honey of Heraclea, gathered from aconite, which is very abundant in that region, renders mad those who eat it.

So too, friendship founded on the exchange of false and vicious goods is itself completely false and vicious.

The exchange of carnal delights ought not to be called friendship in human relations any more than it would be called such in donkeys or horses.

If marriage implied only this kind of exchange, it would no longer deserve to be called friendship. In addition to this there must be a communication of life, of work, of feelings, and finally an indissoluble fidelity.

With these dimensions the friendship of marriage is a true and holy friendship. Friendship founded on the exchange of sensual pleasures is gross and unworthy of the name of friendship, and so too is that based on vain and frivolous qualities, since these also depend on the senses.

I call sensual pleasures those which are attached directly and principally to the five senses: the pleasure of seeing beauty, of hearing a sweet voice, of touching pleasant things… I term frivolous qualities those capacities, innate or acquired, which superficial people call “virtues” or “perfections.”

Just listen to young people; they do not hesitate to conclude that a person has great qualities simply because he dances well, dresses well, sings well, chats pleasantly, has a fine appearance or is skilled in all kinds of games.

Do not charlatans consider the biggest clowns to be the most accomplished people in their group? Since all this relates only to the level of the senses, we can qualify as sensual those friendships based on such.

They really deserve to be called amusements rather than friendships. Such are ordinarily the friendships among young people, stopping as they often do at such things as moustaches, hair, glances, clothing, attractiveness, small talk – friendships worthy of that age whose virtue is still only downy and whose judgment is just in the bud: friendships which are but fleeting, melting like snow in the sun.

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