What is a Home? Pope Pius XII Speaks to Married Couples…

From Dear Newlyweds, Pope Pius XII Speaks to Married Couples, January 27, 1943

What is a Home?

The joy we always experience in receiving the young husband and wives who come to ask our benediction arises, among other reasons, from the hope we derive in reflecting upon the vast and holy work which God entrusts to them: to restore and promote a strong and healthy society, motivated by a deeply practical Christian spirit and feeling.

Is not the vocation to found a home what He really asks of them?

Home! How many times, dear newlyweds, especially since you have thought of marriage after your engagement, has this word resounded in your ears in the chorus of felicitations and good wishes from your relatives and friends!

How many times has it risen spontaneously from your hearts! How many times has it filled you with ineffable sweetness, embodying an entire dream, an entire ideal, an entire life!

A word of love, a magic word, which all good souls understand and delight to hear, whether they be tasting its actual intimacy, or whether they be thinking of it painfully at great distance, in absence, in prison or whether they joyously greet the hope of its quick return!

And yet perhaps this very magic easily leads us to conceive of the home in a vague way, as if it were wrapped in a rosy and gilded cloud.

This morning, therefore, we would like to have you probe its meaning. An accurate concept will detract nothing from its poetry; rather will it better reveal its beauty, its grandeur and its fruitfulness.

But this beautiful name must be merited by fulfilling two conditions: concentration of heat and radiation of light.

Surely it is not a home where the only satisfaction of young husbands and wives consists in going out of the house as often as possible and where they are discontented without holidays, visits, journeys, vacations, and worldly or more than worldly amusements. No.

A dwelling that is neglected, cold, deserted, silent, dark, and without the serenity and bright warmth of family living, is not a home.

Nor are those dwellings true homes if they are too closed up, barred and almost inaccessible, as if they were prisons or solitary hermitages, where light and heat neither enter from outside nor radiate outward.

And yet, an intimate home is so beautiful if it radiates!

May yours be like this, dear sons and daughters, in the image and likeness of the home of Nazareth! There was never a home more intimate but at the same time more cordial, more lovable, more peaceful in poverty, or more radiant; why does it not live on even now and illumine all Christian society by its radiation?

To the degree in which it is forgotten, you see, to that degree the world grows dark and cold.

But what are these rays which must originate in your home and there find the power to expand into broad flashes of light and heat? Like those which emanate from the sun, they vary in an infinite range of colors and gradation—some brighter, others warmer.

They are the graces and the attractions of the spirit, of the heart, and of the soul; we call them qualities, gifts, talents.

The qualities are the treasures of a two-fold ancestral heritage; the talents have been acquired by work, energy and struggle; the most precious are the gifts, those virtues mysteriously infused into human nature by the gracious love of the Holy Ghost and increased by the practice of Christian life.

Until yesterday your two families were still strangers to each other. Each family had its own traditions, its own memories, its own particular traits of spirit and heart which gave it its own character; each had its own relationships among parents and friends.

And now, on the day of your marriage, your two hearts are joined in a new harmony which will extend through your descendants but which has already begun to resound around you.

Enriched by this two-fold heritage, you take pleasure in your combined personal attainments.

The events and encounters of your domestic, professional and social lives, your conversations, your reading, your studies in literature, in science and art, perhaps even in philosophy, and above all in religion, bring you a most worthwhile return in your hours of intimacy, like bees, heavy with nectar, returning to the hive.

And in your confidences you can distill the sweetest honey, nourishing yourselves and sharing it, perhaps even unconsciously, with all who come in contact with you.

In your daily relationships and the needful meeting of minds which is attained through innumerable little concessions and innumerable little victories, you will acquire and raise to a higher level all the moral virtues: strength and mildness, enthusiasm and patience, frankness and tact.

They will unite you in an overgrowing love, will place your imprint on the education of your children, and will give your dwelling a fascinating attraction which will never cease to radiate to the social circle you frequent or which surrounds you.

These should be the virtues of a family home. In Christian husbands and wives and in Christian families, these are sanctified and elevated to a supernatural order and are therefore incomparably superior to all natural capacities, for when you become children of God there were instilled in your souls, through grace, faculties of a divine order which no purely human effort, however heroic, would be able to generate even in the lowest grade.

Intelligent choice of a mate must not look only to mutual physical attraction, but more so to harmony of tastes, feelings, desires, aspirations, and of temperament. It must weigh spiritual more than physical values.

What has begun as a mere sex intimacy is not likely to end in a happy marriage.

In courtship you must be honest and honorable towards your partner. -Fr. Lovasik, Clean Love in Courtship https://amzn.to/2OIKwye (afflink)

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Special Summer Saints – St. Flavius, St Anne, etc.

So many feasts to learn about and to celebrate with our children! These feasts are coming up and we take note and pray to them in our needs. If they have special significance in your life (what saint doesn’t have special significance, right?), then do something singular on that day…or, at the very least, teach the saint to your children!

From The Year and Our Children, Mary Reed Newland

St. Felicitas of Rome (July 10)

Since she was supposed to have been the mother of seven sons, and is invoked for the bearing of male children, it is a good thing for us that my birthday is July 11 instead of July 10, or no doubt we should not have even our one daughter. You can see the powerful influence of her octave, even so.

St. Christopher (July 25). Being such a big saint, he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. He is the patron of archers,  market carriers, fruit dealers, motorists, and Christopher David Newland, and is invoked against sudden death, storms, hail, toothache, impenitence at death, and, last of all, he is the patron of fullers, who are weavers – and, as I said, our town is full of weavers.

 St. Anne (July 26)

My note: St. Anne is my patron saint and, besides Our Lady, she is the patron saint of Finer Femininity. I love her dearly. How could one not? The mother of Mary must have been so very special, with so many qualities that we women strive for in our vocations. Let’s turn to her in our needs. I know she is waiting to help!

St. Anne is very special with us because she found our present house and land when we were being evicted elsewhere.

She is the patroness of old-clothes dealers, seamstresses, laceworkers, housekeepers, carpenters, turners, cabinetmakers, stablemen, and broommakers, and she is invoked against poverty and to find lost objects.

Although the martyrology doesn’t say so, she must be the patroness of Grandmothers, and we love her for that because cause we could never get along without our grandmothers – and both have Ann in their names.

The children love to recall that if she was still there when the Christ Child learned to talk, He called her Grandmother. The nicest of her tradition that her name is Anne and her husband’s Joachim; and now and then a non-Catholic will challenge the source of the “St. Anne” who we say is the Virgin’s mother.

But our Lady had a mother and father, and they must have had names, and it is as suitable to call them the traditional names of Anne and Joachim as it is to call them anything else. It is only the name that is open to challenge. The role is not. Unless, of course, they wish to propose that the Blessed Virgin was miraculously produced without the conventional parents.

Even Catholics think that’s going too far. They stubbornly insist that she must have had parents; and they love her parents because they brought her into the world. We think the best way to celebrate in honor of St. Anne is to do something lovely for the grandmothers.

Little girls might dress their best dolls as the tiny Mary this day and lay them in flower-bedecked cradles. We borrow words in her praise from the Greek liturgy this day, to add to our night prayers:

Hail, spiritual bird, announcing the spring time of grace!

Hail, sheep, mother of the ewe lamb, who by a word, conceived the Word, the Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world!

Hail, blessed earth, whence sprang the branch that bore the divine Fruit!

O Anne, most blessed in God, grandmother of Christ our Lord, who didst give to the world a shining lamp, the mother of God; together with her intercede that great may be the mercy granted to our souls.

Let us cry to holy Anne with cymbals and psaltery. She brought forth the mountain of God and was borne up to the spiritual mountains, the tabernacles of Paradise.

St. Lawrence (August 10)

Now you remember him: he was roasted on a gridiron. Guess whom he is patron of? Cooks.

Let no one say that the Fathers who wrote the martyrology or assigned the patrons didn’t have a grand and grisly sense of humor.

He is also invoked against lumbago and fire (you’d better put his name on the fire extinguisher along with St. Florian’s) and for the protection of vineyards. He is also the patron of restaurateurs.

St. Raymond Nonnatus (August 31)

He is called “nonnatus”  because he was not “born,” but delivered by Caesarian section. Since so many of our friends have their babies this way, we feel it is important to have his friendship.

His mother died at his birth but he ended up a cardinal and a saint; so you see, God does take care of His little ones.

He is the patron of midwives and is invoked for women at childbirth, birth, and for little children.

 St. Giles, or Egidius (September 1)

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He is invoked against cancer, sterility in women, the terrors of the night (anyone have nightmares at your house?), and madness, and is the patron of cripples and spur makers. (Incidentally, the Compline hymn is a beautiful going-to-bed song for children who have nightmares: “. . . far off let idle visions fly, no phantom of the night molest.”)

There is a famous legend of St. Giles and a doe that was his friend and lived in a cave with him by the banks of the Rhone in France. One day, while running through the woods, the doe was pursued by a pack of hounds and hunters.

She raced back to the cave and disappeared inside, and the hunter leading the pack shot an arrow after her.

A moment later, Giles appeared with the arrow in his knee and the blood flowing freely. The hunter was filled with remorse, introduced himself as the king, Flavius, and offered to bring the royal physicians to treat the poor knee.

“No,” said St. Giles, “it is quite all right with me if God has permitted me to be crippled like this. He probably has some reason.”

As indeed He had, for Giles, bearing his infirmity with sweet patience for the love of God, became the patron and friend of all who share such infirmities with him.

 

“Holy water is water blessed by a priest with solemn prayer, to beg God’s blessing on those who use it, and protection from the powers of darkness. Have some holy water in your home. A holy water font is part of the equipment of a complete Catholic home. Use this powerful sacramental to help you keep clear of sin, and strengthen your desire to serve God in the name of the holy sign of the cross. Amen.” – Fr. Arthur Tonne, 1950

Every day I post great quotes, book suggestions, article links, sermons, etc. on my Finer Femininity Facebook Page! For those who don’t do Facebook, download the FF App and click on the Facebook icon. You will get all those goodies without the distractions of Facebook! A great feature…thank you Ocean Star Apps!

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In the words of this humble seventeenth-century lay Carmelite, “we must trust God once and for all and abandon ourselves to Him alone.” This difficult task necessarily requires perseverance and continual conversation with God in all activities great and small: “speaking humbly and talking lovingly with Him at all times, at every moment, without rule or system…” In reading these conversations, letters, and spiritual maxims, we learn the key to endless joy.

In short, this little spiritual classic — in its fresh, contemporary English translation — renders the simple wisdom of Brother Lawrence accessible to every Christian who yearns for the fullness of life….

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A Mother to Her Son

Picture2From: Christ in the Home by Father Raoul Plus, S.J.

At twenty years of age Leon Thomas fell into a crisis not uncommon in youth whose friends have loose morals. He stopped being a Catholic. He was wretchedly unhappy not only because of the very direction he was taking but because willful pride and involuntary confusion prevented him from breaking with doubt to return to the path of light.

His mother saw her son’s soul clearly and wrote to him:
“How is it, my dear child, that you do not write to us? I feel heavy-hearted because of it for I am sure that you do not realize what is taking place in your poor soul; all kinds of things are conflicting within it—it is ardent, but lacks the nourishment proper to it; you turn from one side to the other and you cannot tell what really bothers you.

“Ah! poor child, be calm, reflect. It is not that you feel your future lost or compromised; at your age one cannot have established his future or despaired of it. Do you think your work or studies do not show sufficient progress? Why? Perhaps because you want to do too many things at once; you are too impatient. No, it is not that? Your mind is willing enough but your heart and your soul are suffering; they have so many yearnings that you are scarcely aware of, and their unease and suffering react upon your mind sapping from it the necessary strength and attention.

“You are suffering, you are unhappy. I feel all that you experience and yet I am powerless to console or encourage you. Ah! That we might have the same convictions! Why have you rejected the faith of your childhood without a profound examination of your reason for and against it?

“The statements of those whom faith irritates or who have no religion for lack of instruction have made an impression on your young imagination; but nevertheless your heart needs a center that it will never find on earth.

“It is God, it is the Infinite you need and all your yearnings are driving you there. You belong to that select number of elect to whom God communicates Himself and in whose regard He is prodigal of his love once they have consented to humble themselves by submitting to the obscurities of faith.”

What a frightening duty mothers have! To bring forth the bodies of their children is a beautiful mission; to rear their souls is an even greater mission. What anguish for a mother when a grown child, a son in early manhood or a daughter in early womanhood cuts loose from faith, and considers God lightly!

If ever she feels that she has lost her hold over her son or daughter, it is when she sees them follow the paths of doubt or fall under the spell of the intoxicating enchantments of flirtation.

A mother must continue to bring forth her children all her life. In this sense they are always her little ones. Not that she makes them feel their bonds of dependence any longer but that she watches over them. And she prays!

Except for a brief reminder from time to time, the clear statement of her hopes joined to the definite but loving message of the father, an occasional letter in which true religious principles are recalled, the chief role of a mother whose adult child has strayed is prayer, patient waiting and sacrifice—the persevering effort to become a saint.

What if she were to die before she sees the return of her prodigal? What if the child were to die before she has seen him “return”?

She should not be discouraged. Can we know what will take place in the last moments of the child’s life? Can we know the value of a mother’s tears?

Saint Monica prayed and her son Augustine converted; but Monica had to first become a saint.

There flows a rule of conduct that is very important to keep in mind when we should happen to commit a fault. We certainly must feel sorry for having sinned, ask God for pardon, humbly beg Him to accord us the grace not to offend Him again in this way, and resolve to go to confession at an opportune moment.

Without making ourselves sad or discouraged, we should recover our peace as quickly as possible thanks to graces from on high, and resume our normal spiritual life as if nothing had happened. The more quickly we recover our peace, the better it will be! We make much more progress in this way than by becoming irritated with ourselves! -Fr. Jacques Philippe, Searching For and Maintaining Peace https://amzn.to/2R31uNq (afflink)

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The Coming of the Monster: A Tale of the Masterful Monk

Review: A study of economic and political events focusing on Communist efforts to gain a foot hold in England.  There is an officer in the French Intelligence Service, as well as a brief look at Hollywood—but the English lady resists its vulgar allure to the obvious satisfaction of the author!  A discussion of the working class, and an economic analysis that certainly sounds like Distributism (Chesterton, Belloc, and others). There is a lot of humor, and a very sober discussion of Lourdes. -Steve Benedict

Come Rack! Come Rope! is a historical novel by the English priest and writer Robert Hugh Benson (1871–1914), a convert to Catholicism from Anglicanism. Set in Derbyshire at the time of the Elizabethan persecution of Catholics, when being or harbouring a priest was considered treason and was punishable with death, it tells the story of two young lovers who give up their chance of happiness together, choosing instead to face imprisonment and martyrdom, so that “God’s will” may be done. It is perhaps the best known of Benson’s novels, and has been reprinted several times.

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Scruples, Anyone?

It’s a scary world out there. The world, the flesh, the devil is constantly pulling at us, trying to suck us in. Everywhere we look there is promiscuity, immoral values, etc. It almost makes one swing to an extreme….an extreme where there is no good in the world left and everything becomes a sin. An easy trap to fall into?

If the devil can’t get us one way, he will try another, won’t he?

This excerpt is from the wonderful book Achieving Peace of Heart, written over 50 years ago. The author is a Catholic priest. His book is the product of years of experience both as a priest and as a practicing psychologist. It is a book, therefore, written out of knowledge and charity. How much Fr. Irala’s wise words are needed today:

11659325_415437021991647_8351787182656670342_nFrom Achieving Peace of Heart, Father Narciso Irala, S.J.

The obsessing insecurity of scruples can find expression in profane matters, as in the case of one who goes out of his house and is worried whether he put out the lights, turned off the faucet, or locked the door.

This kind of obsession also, and frequently, finds expression in religious or moral affairs. A religious scruple is a torturing but unfounded fear of sinning or having sinned.

It is an error or anguishing doubt caused by a strong fear which inhibits or disturbs the reason. Scruples are the source of anxiety or sadness, of many organic ailments, bashfulness, and many personality disturbances. If not controlled in time, scruples can become the occasion of despair, moral relapses, and even moral perversion.

The predisposing causes of scruples are the same as those indicated above for exaggerated impressionability or exaggerated emotions in general, such as organic weakness and nervous exhaustion.

Another cause is a temperament that tends to look upon the negative side of things. Or it may be one or more of the following: a residue of insecurity because of not having taken action against previous unreasonable fears; an uncontrolled and exaggerated imagination; an excessively strict education; much dealing with scrupulous people; an anxious desire for excessive certitude; or fear of responsibility.

A scruple may also be a temptation of the devil. When it is very prolonged, it is almost always an indication of psychoneurosis and sometimes of psychosis.

In other words, a scruple can be one of many symptoms of mental illness, but of itself it does not indicate an evil moral life or lack of faith.

Remedies for Scruples:

1. Before all else make sure that it is really a scruple and not merely ignorance or a passing test prompted by God. This judgment should be made by the director or adviser and not by the person himself.

2. Then admit what is scientifically proven, that is, that scruples are a mental and not a moral illness. He should recall what we said about the “degrees of fear.” Whenever the fear is great (and there is no greater fear than that caused by the idea of “eternal damnation”), this not only inhibits and disturbs his muscles, but also his mind and feelings. The emotion of fear is so disturbing to the scrupulous person that it makes him see danger where there is none, or see grave sin where there is only an imperfection or a venial fault.

3. Fight the battle on the proper terrain. Do not pretend to destroy this mental and natural enemy with means that are spiritual or supernatural such as absolution. What should we say to someone who comes up to a priest and keeps saying, “Father, save me. I have such a toothache I know I am going to hell.”

The answer should be: “Go see a dentist, but do not think you are lost because of a reason like that.” The scrupulous person must be told something similar. “Do not give an eternal dimension to what is only an emotional disturbance.”

4. Recognize, then, that emotion disturbs the judgment so much that it makes one see what does not exist. This often happens when timid persons think they see apparitions at night. They forget it when they discover the phantasm, or appearance, is really something that they know very well. But they run away in terror if the fear gets control of them.

Once upon a time there was a blind man, led along by a guide, who all of a sudden, stopped and said, “I can’t go another step; I see a deep pit in front of me. Of course, being blind, he could not see what was really not there, but he had something in his imagination.

Something like this happens in the case of the scrupulous man when, despite his confessor’s judgment, he sees sin and sacrilege in receiving Communion. We should insist that he receive Communion, but, instead of losing time examining his conscience over and over again weighing the “sacrilege” that he thinks he sees, he should repeat acts of love and confidence. Such faith and obedience, which relinquish one’s own judgement for God’s sake, are heroic. And each such act of love itself gives or increases grace.

5. Whoever had a clock or thermometer out of order would be advised by everyone not to be guided by it, but to follow normal clocks or thermometers. So, God gives a right to the scrupulous person not to be guided or changed by what his disturbed conscience tells him, but by what his director tells him. More than this, his heavenly Father asks him to use this right, to lay aside for a time his subjective judgment, and to remain at peace.

6. When the scruple is concerned with one’s past life, even despite a series of general confessions; when a person thinks that he has forgotten or has not confessed well, or that his confessors have not understood him, he should remember that by means of indirect absolution all his sins have already been forgiven on the day on which you made a confession with good will.

The obligation of making known forgotten sins in a subsequent confession pertains only to those which are certainly mortal, certainly committed, and certainly omitted from confession.

7. Many confuse the concepts of perfect confession and good confession. An absolutely perfect confession could be made only by God who knows perfectly the responsibility of every act. We can all make at least a good confession, for this demands only goodwill on our part.

Many scrupulous people could hardly do any more than this because of the blocks in their mind and their disturbed emotions. They should realize, then, that in such a good confession absolution directly pertains to the sins of which they accuse themselves, and indirectly pertains to those which they have forgotten or those of which they did not accuse themselves perfectly, although they acted with goodwill at the time of the confession.

More than this, when their nervousness and confused ideas about the examination of conscience and confession itself begin to torture them, we must remember what moral theology teaches us. If the integrity of confession would tend to do them serious psychical harm, then with their confessor’s approval, they may content themselves with a general accusation or merely ask for absolution, renewing their contrition for all their past sins.

Instead of worrying about past confessions, they should increase their faith in Christ who washes all sins away through His Most Precious Blood. They should trust in the infinite mercy which delights in pardon and is shown to us in the parable of the Prodigal Son.

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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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For adults….

The famous novelist Louis de Wohl presents a stimulating historical novel about the great St. Thomas Aquinas, set against the violent background of the Italy of the Crusades. He tells the intriguing story of St. Thomas who – by taking a vow of poverty and joining the Dominicans – defied his illustrious, prominent family’s ambition for him to have great power in the Church. The battles and Crusades of the 13th century and the ruthlessness of the excommunicated Emperor Frederick II play a big part in the story, but it is Thomas of Aquino who dominates this book. De Wohl succeeds notably in portraying the exceptional quality of this man, a fusion of mighty intellect and childlike simplicity. A pupil of St. Albert the Great, the humble Thomas – through an intense life of study, writing, prayer, preaching and contemplation – ironically rose to become the influential figure of his age, and he later was proclaimed by the Church as the Angelic Doctor.

Seriously wounded at the siege of Pamplona in 1521, Don Inigo de Loyola learned that to be a Knight of God was an infinitely greater honor (and infinitely more dangerous) than to be a Knight in the forces of the Emperor. Uli von der Flue, humorous, intelligent and courageous Swiss mercenary, was responsible for the canon shot which incapacitated the worldly and ambitious young nobleman, and Uli became deeply involved in Loyola’s life. With Juanita, disguised as the boy Juan, Uli followed Loyola on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to protect him, but it was the saint who protected Uli and Juan. Through Uli’s eyes we see the surge and violence of the turbulent period in Jerusalem, Spain and Rome.

Louis de Wohl has again created an exciting and spiritually inspiring novel for all readers of historical fiction.


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Sanctity of the Laity – Christ in the Home

From Christ in the Home by Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J.

The author of the so-called “Precepts of Contemporary Philosophy” may have been trying to be witty when some years before the war broke out in 1939 he wrote the following comment on sanctity:

“Sanctity: An idealistic word no longer having any more than historical interest. Civil and military society has preserved its heroes; religious society has lost its saints or, if any more of them remain, we no longer hear them mentioned…. The age of great Christian fervor has indeed passed away…. Without wanting to appear sacrilegious, I believe that the Catholic faith would have difficulty finding martyrs thoroughly convinced of their faith and ready to sacrifice themselves for it even to death.”

True, heroic virtue is rare and where it does exist, it makes so little noise! How much real sanctity there is!

Sanctity which may never be officially canonized but real just the same: the sanctity of a doctor who spends himself for the love of God and for the suffering members of Christ without counting the cost; the sanctity of a servant who lives her life of obedience and continual renunciation humbly and in a supernatural spirit–multiple types of sanctity, hidden and unknown but effective and a delight to the Heart of God.

We should of course like to see sanctity more widespread, but we must not deny what already exists.

Furthermore, opportunities for martyrdom are not of general occurrence, and sanctity adorned by the martyr’s palm is not the only kind of sanctity.

As Rene Bazin so truly wrote: “Men do not seem to recognize the sacrifice of life unless it is made all at once.”

Martyrdom by the little fires of hidden fidelities constantly adhered to, of tormenting temptations courageously and perseveringly repulsed, of the exact and loving fulfillment of duties toward God and neighbor, of prayer faithfully practiced despite disgust, aridity and the pressure of work–is it not a martyrdom? Who can estimate the value of its countless offerings which are not publicized but which cost . . . and which count!

The amount of sanctity in the world today is not the essential problem; the important question is how much there ought to be, what the needs of the world demand, what the glory of God and Christianity well understood require.

Speaking one day with a group of cardinals, the Holy Father Pius X put this question to them:

“In your opinion, what is the most vital need for the salvation of society?”

“To build schools,” answered one cardinal.

“No.”

“To build more churches,” suggested another.

“No again.”

“To increase the number of priests,” said a third.

“No, no,” replied Pius X. “All those things are important, but what is most necessary at present is to have in every parish a group of lay people who are very virtuous, very determined, enlightened in their faith and who are true apostles.”

Let us consider now just the two words “virtuous” and “determined.”

The Holy Father said “virtuous”–“very virtuous” and he was speaking of lay people.

Do I belong to that number of virtuous lay people?

“What luck not to be a saint!” Doctor Vittoz of Lausanne used to say, “For then I can exert myself to become one!”

Pius X had good reason to add the word “determined” to the word “virtuous.”

Is my resolution to reach high sanctity resolute, determined?

a41_eternal_bond

“Love and sacrifice is thus as closely connected as the sun and the light. You can’t love without suffering and suffer without loving. It is with sacrifice that so confirms love “.

– Santa Gianna Beretta Molla

❤️🌹Our first line of defense is the bond we must have with our husband. Besides our spiritual life, which gives us the grace to do so, we must put our relationship with our husband first. It is something we work on each day.
 
How do we do this? Many times it is just by a tweaking of the attitude, seeing things from a different perspective. It is by practicing the virtues….self-sacrifice, submission, thankfulness, kindness, graciousness, etc.
 
The articles in this maglet will help you with these things. They are written by authors that are solid Catholics, as well as authors with old-fashioned values….
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Drawing on the experience of dozens of saints, Fr. Plus explains sure ways we can recollect ourselves before prayer so that once we begin to pray, our prayers will be richer and more productive; he teaches us how to practice interior silence habitually, even in the rush and noise of the world; and he explains each of the kinds of prayer and shows when we should and should not employ each.

We all pray, but few of us pray well. And although that’s troubling, few of us have found a spiritual director capable of leading us further along the path of prayer.

Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., is such a director, and reading this little book about the four types of prayer will be for you like hearing the voice of the wise and gentle counsellor you long for but can’t find: one who knows your soul well and understands its needs.

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Musings of a Mother….Just for Fun

A Little Throwback… 🙂  ❤

I don’t have a Masters Degree or a Bachelors Degree in anything. I’m not aspiring to climb the ladder of corporate success nor do I have a management position in my place of employment. I probably SHOULD have some kind of a degree in motherhood. Come to think of it, I DO have a management position, but the wages aren’t too good and I certainly don’t get paid overtime!

With 11 children, I have spent most of my time cooking, cleaning, teaching, and being a referee!  Seems I have spent a good amount of time breaking up petty squabbles between 7 bossy, boisterous, bickering girls!  At least with the boys, one blow from the other guy and it’s over.  🙂 But with girls it sometimes seems like it never ends.

For instance, I remember when my 3 yr. old and 5 yr. old were having a spat.  The 5 yr. old ran up to me and said “Mommy, Gemma said I wish you were dead!”  Seeing the look of horror on my face Gemma quickly said “I did not!  I just said I wished your head was chopped off!”

Aren’t they Angels?1st Communion 066My boys used to pose different dilemmas.  You know what they say: The bigger the boys, the bigger the toys.

I CAN understand why motors were invented.  I DON’T understand why the motors were put on just TWO WHEELS??

Do these people not like mothers??

With that recipe, add a pinch of teenage boy and watch out!  Every day I would wonder if only pieces of them would come home.   THEY wondered why their machines kept breaking down.  Actually they didn’t wonder.  They knew why…”Mom, have you been praying again??”

Look at those innocent faces: 😛

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We live 3 miles down a gravel road where the nearest neighbor is a half mile away.  It’s somewhat secluded and well, hasn’t always been peaceful.  Peaceful is just not the right word.  More like…pandemonium!

Have you ever felt like Chicken Little – that the sky was falling down?

One day my mother was over at our house, visiting.  Our home is a berm home which means the second level is at ground level.  The house wasn’t done yet.  My mother, dear soul, was in another room when we heard an ear-piercing shriek and saw a flash go by!  It was our pig!!!  It had fallen through the ceiling!  The varmint had somehow got in upstairs and slipped through some floor joists!!

Things like that don’t happen to normal people. And if they do, they SHOULD be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence……but it wasn’t.

One day we came home to find our goat’s legs and udder dangling from the ceiling!  Imagine walking in on that!! It didn’t make for a very nice chandelier! She had fallen through the drop ceiling but didn’t make it all the way down and ended up straddling a pipe!!

I always liked the Ma & Pa Kettle movies!  But I didn’t necessarily want to live them!

We have friends who come over just for the Entertainment Factor.  There’s always someone to laugh with or laugh AT in our home!Easter 2011 026Do I yearn for some peace and quiet??  Yes I do! When everyone is gone and the house is silent, I think of all the things I could do:  catch up on some work, read a book, take a nap.  After an hour I begin to get antsy.  I COULD take a nap but it’s just too quiet..  Maybe I’ll watch a movie…..nah, that’s no fun when there’s no one to share it with. Read a book? How do you concentrate on a book when there’s no noise to contend with???

After a couple of hours I’m asking myself WHERE IS EVERYBODY??

My children…truly, they are the most wonderful people in the world.  What a joy it is, when they are young,  to have their little, trusting faces beaming at you because, well….they just love you that’s all ….(or they’re just hungry 😛 ).  Mom and Dad are their heroes!  They show it every day in many ways!

For instance, I love to  dance.  I grew up dancing with my Dad.  There’s a problem, though.  My dear husband dances like a broomstick!  So at every parish or wedding dance, my sweet handsome boys would make sure and ask their mother to dance with them.  They had several girls eagerly waiting in line.  But when the right song came on, they would know who to ask.  🙂Colin & Z's Wedding Pics 331Courting days have been very interesting around here for our girls!  There was never a dull moment as the suitors stood in line.  Dad and Mom knew why.  Our girls are sweet, lovable and hospitable.  Ok, the real reason is they make killer apple pies!

Was it worth the turbulent teens??  You bet it was!

There have been SO many joys: For example: When our youngest boy was 3 yrs old, he would say, “ME love you, Mommy”, only to repeat it every 5 minutes until his overflow of love was used up…..  Watching my boys as they grow up, pick their spouses, start their new business ventures, as responsible, hard-working adults…. having my 9 yr. old make up her own crochet patterns and coming up with a very nice finished product….. enjoying my married children’s families as we all gather around our table (we can fit 17 at our table)….. having enough people to play volleyball every night if we want to ….playing table tennis with my boys…and sometimes even winning!! Easter 2011 404Feb 2010 Dance Wknd 241

From the outside, it seems we haven’t taken the easiest path.  But every walk of life has its bumps along the way.  We have chosen to share those joys and bumps with the children God has elected to give us, hoping they will take the things we have done right and run with them, while taking our mistakes and learning from them.  That is the legacy we wish to pass on.

My husband and I enjoy our life.  It’s true, the pay isn’t too good but the rewards are endless! We consider ourselves quite wealthy:  Rich in Experiences, Prosperous in Love!

One day, when we are old we will sit in our rockers, surrounded by our children and grandchildren.  They will be hanging off every word we say because of our great wisdom. (OK, THAT was an exaggeration).

We will not be lonely, that is for sure! And we will appreciate every minute of it because we have invested our time in what matters most….our family and friends.

2006:family pic

Virginia (oldest daughter on the right) was married and had one baby when this picture was taken:

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2016:

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Vinnie and Virginia’s (the Apron Lady’s) Family 2016:

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And Now….

Never weary in cheering your family with your smile. It is not enough to avoid depressing them; you must brighten them up and let their spirits expand. Be especially vigilant when the little ones are around. Give them the alms of a smile, hard though it be at times. What a pity when children have to say, “I don’t like it at home.” – Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J. http://amzn.to/2rHXstq (afflink)

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Review: Love these!! So far I’m only on the Spring edition but I love it! Short little inspiring blips here and there that a busy mom and wife can pick up and put down and receive encouragement and inspiration for the day to live out her Catholic faith and vocation! Thank you so much for putting these maglets together! The seller is wonderful with communication and didn’t hesitate to fix the problem when I hadn’t received my order. Meadows of Grace is a wonderful, personable, and professional shop that I will definitely return to!

All 5 Maglets! 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.

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The Sixth and Ninth Commandments – Fr. Lovasik

Note:  The following excerpt is from a very special, informative little book that every Catholic young lady and young man should read in their adolescence. It helped me so much when I read it in my youth.

I know it helped sort out in our own children’s minds what was a sin and what was not as they were growing up.

Let’s face it, those years of adolescence can get pretty confusing. And sometimes the kids are too embarrassed to talk about what they are going through.

This material needs to be read by those who are age appropriate and the parents need to decide when that is.

We must remember as parents that ignorance is not innocence. Knowing what they need to know, the kids are armed with the ability to fight against these temptations and learn not to be disturbed by thoughts that the devil would like them to believe are sins, in order to discourage them.

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Devin and Theresa

Clean Love in Courtshipby Father Lovasik

THE SIXTH AND NINTH COMMANDMENTS

Soul-death

True happiness comes from God. It fills your heart if you live according to God’s plan and His commandments. Unhappiness comes from breaking those commandments by sin. Disobedience is the spirit of Lucifer: “I will not serve”;

“God can’t tell me what to do.”

Since mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God, it is the greatest tragedy in the world. The emphasis is on God.

You were made His child and friend in baptism. He gives you His life, the supernatural life through the sacraments, and then in a moment of selfishness you turn your back on Him.

Do not try to make yourself believe that hurting those around you is the only possible evil. God does not agree with that view. When you break God’s law, you hurt God—and yourself!

Sin is called mortal because it causes death to your soul. It is a complete turning from God. If you do not want God in your heart, He will get out. He will not force Himself on you.

And if He leaves you, He takes with Him the supernatural life—which means spiritual death for you, because without God there can be no spiritual life, no happiness either.

The apostle says: “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom.6, 23.) Breaking God’s law by impurity in company-keeping spells death: death of the soul through the loss of sanctifying grace; death of the peace of conscience through the crushing remorse for sin; death of the delightful consciousness of the possession of unsoiled purity; death of high ideals; death of the lofty esteem and sacred reverence two people formerly had for one another.

Spiritual death of mortal sin brings misery and unhappiness in this world and eternal damnation in the next. Sin and damnation seem to be out of tune with the spirit of our time.

Just because people have stopped talking about sin, do not let yourself be fooled into thinking it must not be so bad. Sin is just as nasty and just as harmful today as it ever was.

Do not excuse your shortcomings on the plea that everybody is doing it. Evil may never be done even if everybody is doing it. Because it is too much trouble to behave yourself, you cannot say it is all right to misbehave.

It is God, not people, who declares what is right and what is wrong; and He is right, and His Church with Him, even though the whole world may call Him wrong.

The misery of the world is due to that selfishness which puts our own pleasure ahead of God’s will.

It is important to remember that three things are necessary for a sin to be mortal:

I. The thing must be very bad, e.g. any deliberate thought, word or deed against the sixth and ninth commandments.

II. It must be done with the full knowledge that it is against God. You must KNOW what you are doing.

III. The wrong must have the full consent of our will. You must really WANT to do it. When one of these three conditions is missing, there is no mortal sin.

The Sixth Commandment

The sixth commandment is: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” It forbids not only adultery, but also all actions which are contrary to the orderly propagation of the human race.

The faculty of sex has been bestowed upon man primarily for the propagation of the race. It is to be used only in the family and not for the benefit of the individual; otherwise it is a grievous crime against nature and a violation of God’s law.

General Principle

 All sexual pleasure outside marriage, alone or with others, that is directly willed or desired, intentionally procured or permitted, is a MORTAL SIN.

Therefore, it is grievously sinful in the unmarried to think, say or do anything with the intention of arousing even the smallest degree of  sensual pleasure.

If, however, this pleasure has arisen and (a) there was no intention of arousing it, (b) and no danger of consenting to it when aroused, it is a VENIAL SIN only if there was at least semi-deliberate consent, otherwise there is NO SIN at all.

MORTAL SIN:

 All impure actions that are directly willed, procured or permitted. (Sexual intercourse, intimate, passionate kissing and embracing which form the natural preliminary to intercourse; unnatural acts, such as self-abuse or sexual intimacies with a person of the same sex.)

All other actions performed for the purpose of arousing sexual pleasure. (To kiss improperly or to read a book, to look at pictures, to attend plays or see movies in order to arouse passion.)

All actions which are a near danger of performing an impure action or of consenting to illicit pleasure. (Kissing, reading of a particular type of magazine which generally leads you to lose control of yourself.)

In performing these actions you are practically certain to sin. If you knowingly court such a danger, you are already showing a will to sin. Ordinarily you are obliged under pain of serious sin to avoid such occasions.

If the occasion cannot be avoided, then you must find some means which will strengthen you against the danger.

Some things are practically always near occasions of sin; e.g., the modern burlesque show, obscene literature that portrays adultery or fornication in an attractive manner.

VENIAL SIN:

 Impure actions performed without a good and sufficient reason. (Curious and imprudent looks and reading; pondering on dangerous thoughts through idle curiosity unduly prolonged; repeated kisses by lovers, even though they intend no passion; kissing from frivolous motives.)

No SIN:

 Sexual actions performed with a good and sufficient reason. Your thoughts and actions are sinless when you have a good reason for them; you may ignore the sexual stimulation that may accidentally result. (Medical examination, dancing, slightly suggestive motion pictures, generally decent picture magazines, personal cleanliness.)

But sometimes sexual disturbances arising from physical causes, such as fatigue, from some local irritation, from nervousness, are apt to be pro longed and to be a source of very severe temptation.

They become mortally sinful only when you make them perfectly voluntary by deliberately promoting, approving of and enjoying them.

They are not sinful at all if you do what you reasonably can to yourself of any temptation involved in them.

This can be done by a brief, calm act of the will, “I don’t want it”; by saying a little aspiration for grace of a “Hail Mary”; by trying to divert the mind to something else that is interesting or humorous; by making a brief change in external occupation.

IN REGARD TO OTHERS:

 In regard to others, you must always remember the great law of charity by which you are bound not to induce others to sin or to help them to sin, and you must also take reasonable means to prevent their sinning when you can do so.

In such things as kissing, conversation, and choice of entertainment, you cannot simply settle the matter by saying: “It doesn’t bother me; therefore it’s all right.”

For instance, in kissing, a girl should keep in mind that a boy is more responsive physically than she; but if there is some good reason for a decent manifestation of affection, she may presume that he has the proper control of himself, unless he attempts or suggests immodesty.

The Ninth Commandment

The ninth commandment is: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” It forbids all lustful thoughts and desires.

MORTAL SIN:

 To entertain a bad thought willfully for the purpose of enjoying it or to entertain it willfully so that it becomes a near occasion of performing an unchaste action.

VENIAL SIN:

 To think about sexually-stimulating things without a sufficient reason.

No SIN:

 To think about sexually-stimulating things with a sufficient reason. He who wishes to keep his body clean must begin by keeping his mind clean. Indulging in morbid erotic thoughts will lead to evil deeds, and may also cause mental disturbances.

Temptation is Not a Sin

Temptation is not a sin; it is an invitation to sin. It is a fight between your duty to obey God’s law and your evil desires. As soon as you decide to give in to your evil desires and you want to disobey God’s commandment, the temptation is over and you have committed a sin. You must know what you are doing and you must want to break a serious commandment of God before a mortal sin can be committed.

The most violent emotional desires and the most pursuing evil imaginations do not constitute sin until your will gives consent. No temptation can harm you as long as you are sincerely seeking to retain the friendship and the love of God.

By turning your will resolutely to God and prudently avoiding occasions of sin, you can enjoy a good conscience peace of mind even in time of temptation.

If doubts should come as to whether you have consented to a temptation or not, remember that if you have the habitual will and determination to resist evil thoughts and if you have prayed, you may elude that deliberate consent was lacking.

Allay scruple or doubt to keep you from receiving Holy Communion.

Abstain only when you can put your hand on the Bible and swear that you are absolutely certain you are guilty of deliberate mortal sin.

Dependent upon the nature of the temptation, your disposition, and the circumstances, all temptation against purity in thought, desire, or act, must be met decisively either by directly opposing them or directly ignoring them. Be prepared to meet temptation:

I. By regular confession and frequent Holy Communion

II. By prayer

III. By self-denial, so that when temptation comes, your will may be strong enough to want good instead of evil

IV. By turning your mind away from bad thoughts becoming busy with other things; By avoiding whatever may lead you into temptation (the suggestive story, the smutty joke, the lewd picture, the suggestive movie or novel, bad companions, questionable places)

V. By fighting against temptations from the very first moment they come up

VI. By loving Jesus and the Blessed Virgin sincerely

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“No other work that God gives any of us to do is so important, so sacred, so far reaching in its influence, so delicate and easily marred—as our home-making. This is the work of all our life—that is most divine. The carpenter works in wood, the mason works in stone, the smith works in iron, the artist works on canvas—but the homemaker works on immortal lives. Whatever else we slight, let it never be our home-making. If we do nothing else well in this world, let us at least build well within our own doors.” – J.R. Miller

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Communicate With Kindness

Painting by Frederick Sands Brunner (1886 – 1954)

Marriage Wisdom for Her by Matthew Jacobson

Regularly speaking kind and loving words brings the spirit of peace into your home. How do you talk to your husband in normal, everyday communication? Is your speech marked by soft, loving words?

What would your husband say if he were asked, “Does your wife communicate with you in a kind manner?”

Choosing to communicate with kindness and love in marriage is a spiritual discipline. We’re so wired to respond “in the same manner” that whenever a perceived provocation of any degree is felt, we react on autopilot. When challenging moments happen, you need to be ready, having prepared yourself with the truth that you are not the victim of your fleshly impulses.

You have the power to respond, in any situation, with a soft answer.

But what about all those other moments that fill the normal days of marriage? Are you speaking lovingly then? Consider these examples: “Hey, take out the trash,” versus, “Hey, babe, I’d love it if you could take out the trash . . . I sure appreciate you!”

“The doctor’s bill came. You need to pay it,” versus, “Is this a good time to talk about some bills that have come in?”

“On your way home, pick up some milk and eggs,” versus, “Hey, love, would you mind picking up some milk and eggs on the way home?”

When mundane things are referenced with kindness and love you are actually adding a layer of respect to your conversation.

You may have different discussions in your home, but the principle is the same. When you speak – even in the small, seemingly insignificant matters that make up the day – do so in a thoughtful manner.

Peace follows a soft approach. After all, it’s difficult to have strife with a person who is speaking to you in a gentle tone.

Purpose to be a woman who speaks kindly toward your husband. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

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Dear Blessed Mother,

You were the epitome of kindness, graciousness and gentleness when you sojourned on this earth.  Please pray for me that I may become more like you each day…especially in my home with my husband. May I show him kindness in the words I speak and in the manner I speak them. And when I fall may I have the humility to admit it and get right back up again. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

“The Holy Family lived in a plain cottage among other working people, in a village perched on a hillside. Although they did not enjoy modern conveniences, the three persons who lived there made it the happiest home that ever was. You cannot imagine any of them at any time thinking first of himself. This is the kind of home a husband likes to return to and to remain in. Mary saw to it that such was their home. She took it as her career to be a successful homemaker and mother.”
-Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook https://amzn.to/2XHhW5N (afflink)

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Women historically have been denigrated as lower than men or viewed as privileged. Dr. Alice von Hildebrand characterizes the difference between such views as based on whether man’s vision is secularistic or steeped in the supernatural. She shows that feminism’s attempts to gain equality with men by imitation of men is unnatural, foolish, destructive, and self-defeating. The Blessed Mother’s role in the Incarnation points to the true privilege of being a woman. Both virginity and maternity meet in Mary who exhibits the feminine gifts of purity, receptivity to God’s word, and life-giving nurturance at their highest.

You’ll learn how to grow in wisdom and in love as you encounter the unglamorous, everyday problems that threaten all marriages. As the author says: If someone were to give me many short bits of wool, most likely I would throw them away. A carpet weaver thinks differently. He knows the marvels we can achieve by using small things artfully and lovingly. Like the carpet weaver, the good wife must be an artist of love. She must remember her mission and never waste the little deeds that fill her day the precious bits of wool she s been given to weave the majestic tapestry of married love.

This remarkable book will show you how to start weaving love into the tapestry of your marriage today, as it leads you more deeply into the joys of love.

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Fathers Must Imitate the Love and Authority of God

Fathers must imitate the love and authority of God

The vocation of husband also becomes the vocation of father when the married people become parents, either by giving birth or through adoption.

It is not surprising that the letter to the Ephesians, immediately after discussing the relationship between husband and wife, turns to a consideration of the relationship of parent and child.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise) that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.’ ”

Still, none of us should invoke the commandment without pondering the words that follow and complete it: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

“Of the Lord.” “In the Lord.” All members of a family are equal before God; all are unique and sacred personalities destined for the same eternal life. The natural hierarchy of authority in the family is protected from abuse by those words, “of the Lord.”

It is is not for himself that the father serves his family, but as a minister of Christ. Not only can he not require anything from his children contrary to Christian principles, but also he must see to it that the children subject to the authority shared by him and his wife are formed in Christ, through a discipline rooted in love and aimed at the gradual independence of the children as they mature.

The Christian father teaches and trains

Surely the father who makes the consequences of a child’s unacceptable act inappropriate to the act fails to discipline as the Lord would do. Remember that “to discipline” means “to teach.”

The tyrannical parent, the selfish or unfair parent — and how quickly children recognize unfairness! — is the one who rouses his child to constant, deep-seated resentment and rebellion.

Such fathers are, however, probably just as common as those who are overindulgent or indifferent, who refuse to discipline their children at all.

This lack of correction often disguises itself as love. These fathers rouse their children to resentment, too, the resentment the child feels at not having the order and serenity that only authority can impose and that the child subconsciously craves.

In addition, parents who are tyrannical, overindulgent, or indifferent incite in the child a resentment of any later attempt to impose discipline or authority.

Does it sound strange that we should be told that it is the kind father who is quick to discipline, that the man who exercises his authority is the friend to his child?

Yet any gardener knows that a beautiful flower or a healthy hedge is the result of pruning dead or wayward shoots. The undisciplined shrub, the unpruned rosebush, both soon turn ugly.

The father who loves his children — who wills their good —will not let them grow up without direction, training, and discipline. To do otherwise is to deprive them of that promise attached to their observance of the Fourth Commandment: “That it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.”

Nearly all of our “problem children,” our wayward youth, all of those children with whom things have not gone well and who are not headed for “a long life on earth,” come from homes where there was not a good, balanced sense of discipline and order.

“Responsibility is the trait of getting a job done that has been entrusted to you, and doing the job right, to the best of your ability, and having it done on time. This trait is especially needed when you have no one looking over your shoulder to make sure the job gets done.

This is what so many wives of today are lacking – a sense of responsibility for the work they do in their homes and for their families. You don’t have a time clock to punch or a manager coming by to check on you to make sure the job is getting done. Without this outside pressure, many of us just don’t do as good of a job at home as we would do somewhere else. What’s missing? That trait of responsibility.

Even when parts of your work are done by others, such as with daycare or hiring a housekeeper, your responsibility to see the job gets done is still yours. The children and the house are still yours to look after, and it is a serious flaw to take a lax attitude about your responsibilities.” -Fascinating Womanhood

“I’ve long been wanting a book on various virtues to help my children become better Catholics. But most books focused on the virtues make being bad seem funny or attractive in order to teach the child a lesson. I’ve always found them to be detrimental to the younger ones who’s logic hasn’t formed. This book does an awesome job in showing a GOOD example in each of the children with all the various struggles children commonly struggle with (lying, hiding things, being grumpy, you name it.) But this book isn’t JUST virtue training… it’s also just sweet little chats about our love for God, God’s greatness, etc…
And the best thing of all? They are SHORT! I have lots of books that are wonderful, but to be honest I rarely pick them up because I just don’t have the time to read a huge, long story. These are super short, just one page, and very to the point. The second page has a poem, picture, a short prayer and a few questions for the kids to get them thinking. It works really, really well right before our bedtime prayers and only takes a few minutes at most.
If you like “Leading the Little ones to Mary” then you will like these… they are a little more focused on ALL age groups, not just little ones… so are perfect for a family activity even through the teenage years, down to your toddler.” Available here.

An older book but very relevant today….Rooted firmly in Scripture, these pages call on husbands to stop thinking of themselves simply as bosses and breadwinners. Rather, says author Clayton Barbeau, husbands should see themselves as co-creators with God, imitators of Christ’s love for His people, high priests in the domestic Church, teachers of their children, witnesses to society, providers of spiritual and material goods, and models of holiness…

A very valuable book for the guys plucked out of the past and reprinted. It was written in 1894 by Fr. Bernard O’Reilly and the words on the pages will stir the hearts of the men to rise to virtue and chivalry…. Beautifully and eloquently written!
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Notes on Daily Mass by St. Leonard of Port Maurice

Many years I was not able to attend daily Mass because of homeschooling, pregnancies, toddlers, sicknesses, etc.  So this post is not to cause us to feel guilty and push us to neglect our home duties….

At the same time, it is a good reminder that, if we can,  take in an extra Mass during the week. And if we are in a time of life we can get to daily Mass, it will be the most efficacious thing you will do in your day!

It is also a call to priests to fulfill their serious obligation of offering daily Holy Mass….

Angelo is second altar server from the right.

from The Hidden Treasure by St. Leonard of Port Maurice, 1676

VARIOUS EXAMPLES TO INDUCE THE FAITHFUL OF EVERY CONDITION EACH MORNING TO HEAR HOLY MASS

Many are the excuses which those who attend holy Mass grudgingly and with reluctance find for their tepidity. You may observe them all immersed in business, all anxious and intent (to use a common and most accurate expression) on promoting their own interests.

For these, every fatigue is a trifle; nor is there any inconvenience which they will allow to stand in their way; while, for attending holy Mass, which is the great affair of all, you will perceive them languid, cold, with a hundred frivolous pretexts at hand about important occupations, weak health, family troubles, want of time, multiplicity of business, and so on. Continue reading