What About Those “Dirty Words”? – Rev. George A. Kelly

F1NLsxdQaRRev. Fr. George A. Kelly, The Catholic Family Handbook

What about “dirty words”? It may surprise some parents that the use of what are commonly referred to as “dirty words” generally does not involve any moral problem. It is a sin only when the name of the Lord is taken in vain.

Most words which are offensive in our society have respectable origins and have become objectionable only through usage. If your child returns home and uses gutter terms which usually consist of four letters, he probably is merely experimenting to learn what effect his use of them will have upon you.

More often than not, he lacks even a vague idea of what they mean. When and if he uses such words, firmly point out that the expressions are not tolerated in polite society. As with his genital experiments, his experiments with “dirty words” will probably end more quickly if you do not attach undue importance to them.

Blasphemous use of the name of God the Father, or Jesus Christ, or of the saints must not be permitted, of course. If your child uses blasphemous expressions in your presence, he probably has heard adults use them and considers them suitable, or he is bringing them home as an experiment.

You should tell him that our love of God must be so strong, and our gratitude for His goodness so great, that we must never use His name in any but the most respectful way.

A child should be punished if he continues to take the Lord’s name in vain after you have explained why he should not do so, for reverence for God must be the cornerstone of our religious belief and practice. Without it, true Christian lives will be difficult to achieve.

If, in spite of punishment such as the deprivation of privileges, your child persists in blaspheming God, look to his environment.

It is almost certain that he is in contact with an adult who blasphemes as a matter of habit. If you cannot remove your child from this influence, ask the offending adult to stop his habit because he is exerting an extremely harmful influence upon your child.

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“This is No Time to be Concerned With Unimportant Things”

A solution for our times?

Teresa-of-Ávila-Gerardfrom Time for God, Fr. Jacques Philippe

The grace of prayer always integrates the one praying more fully into the mystery of the Church.

This is clear in the Carmelite tradition which of all the monastic traditions is in a sense the most contemplative one in its insistence that the goal is union with God through prayer, along a route that from the outside might seem highly individualistic.

At the same time, however, it is the Carmelite tradition that makes clearest the close connection and interdependence between the contemplative life and the mystery of the Church.

This connection is simple and very deep: it is brought about by love, because all that matters between God and the soul is Love; and in the ecclesiology implicit in the teachings of the great representatives of Carmel (St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of Lisieux), Love also constitutes the essence of the mystery of the Church.

The Love uniting God and the soul and the Love that constitutes the deepest reality of the Church are one and the same—love that is the gift of the Holy Spirit.

As she was dying, St. Teresa of Avila said, “I am a daughter of the Church.” Her first reason for founding her Carmels, placing nuns in cloisters and urging them toward the mystical life, was to respond to the needs of the Church in her time.

She was deeply shaken by the ravages of the Protestant Reformation and by the tales of the “conquistadors” about the huge numbers of pagans to be won for Christ.

“The world is on fire,” she said, “and this is no time to be concerned with unimportant things.”

St. John of the Cross states very clearly that disinterested love for God, love freely given to God in prayer, is of the greatest benefit to the Church and what she needs most. 

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A Sacramental Education, Fitting Into God’s Own Plan

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A longer read but well worth it. Our efforts are not in vain as we try to instil a sacramental ambiance in our homes even in the menial and messy parts of family life….846-02792381by Mary Perkins, 1950’s The Christian Home

God’s master-plan is to be found in the work of Christ our Lord Himself, God and Man, His work of redeeming mankind. And our education of our children should surely proceed along these same lines if it is to be truly Christian education. We should make it as far as lies in our power a sacramental education, following and fitting into God’s own plan.

We should try to teach the children the invisible truths of the faith by means of the visible things around us, by means of the visible actions of daily life; we should try to give them the habit of seeing all created things as, in some way or other, signs of the power and wisdom and love of God. We should try to train the children to make the thoughts and words and actions of daily life true signs of their love of God, able to be offered with our Lord’s sacrifice in the Mass.

Such a plan of education may seem very obvious and trite until we begin to think out some of its possible implications. For example: as things are, most of us think we have done everything possible to sanctify our family meals by the three-times-a-day effort to say grace. But suppose that we began to follow out the sacramental implications of our family meals…

In the holy Eucharist, Christ’s own body and blood, His life and His grace, our gift of ourselves together in Him to God, and God’s gift of Himself to us, are all made present under the signs of bread and wine, human food and drink. And, as modern scholars tell us, the basic design of the Mass is that of a Jewish family meal. Our family meals, then, are meant to teach us and our children about the banquet of the holy Eucharist. Our food and family meals are meant to be the humble human reflections of the sacred meal of the holy Eucharist, which itself is a reflection of the eternal feast of heaven.

In the light of these facts, imagine a meal which the father earned by a piece of “sharp business” in which he did somebody out of the price of a day’s food; a meal consisting of food which the mother obtained by pushing in ahead of ten other people for a bargain at the supermarket; which she prepared in a temper and shoved onto an untidy and not-too–clean table; food which looked like something else and contained virtually no real nourishment; a meal to which the children come completely unwashed, knocking each other over in their hurry; a meal eaten in uncharitable silence, or to the accompaniment of mother’s complaints about the neighbors.

Such a meal obviously bears no relation at all to the Table of God. It is not a sign capable of teaching the children anything about God’s banquet. It will certainly give them no notion at all of why heaven should be compared to a feast. Such a meal is a completely secular activity, un-Christian, hardly even human.

But think of the possibilities inherent in our family lives if both the bread-winner and the bread-maker were trying to make each meal and everything connected with it more and more fit to be a humble human sign and reflection of the banquet of the holy Eucharist. The cooking and preparation of meals, the day-by-day, year-by-year, often seemingly hopeless task of training the children to cleanliness and decent table manners would take on real purpose and point, and so would the even more long-drawn-out and difficult job of training them to happy and interesting and charitable table conversation.

Let us suppose, for instance, that the price of the meal is earned by the father’s running a small hardware store as a real neighborhood service, making available to his neighbors at just prices the things they need for daily living; or, for that matter, by any other honest job that in some way honestly ” contributes to human welfare. Suppose that the mother bought the materials for the meal from a neighborhood grocery and vegetable store, the owner of which was also trying, according to his lights, to serve his neighborhood rather than make a fortune.

Suppose, further, that the mother, letting the children help her as much as their age and ability allowed, did her best, with whatever real food the family could afford, to prepare a meal that would both nourish her family and please them. Suppose that she served it carefully and lovingly; that the children acted, not like little angels, but like little Christians-in-the-making, with standards of hand-washing, orderly eating and Christian behavior that they did not always live up to, but were at least aware of.

Suppose, too, that an attempt was made really to pray grace before and after the meal; that the conversation at the meal was taken part in by everyone, according to his age, that the children were learning to attend to each other’s mental and spiritual needs for interest, love and attention, and to each other’s physical needs for salt or butter. Such a meal would be a truly Christian family meal, a real sign in its own order, of the Eucharistic banquet.

No matter if such an occasion were to look and sound much like any other family meal where small children are present–a more or less messy affair, with the children occasionally spilling things, using their fingers instead of their forks, interrupting the parents’ conversation in spite of rebuke, and the parents occasionally becoming short-tempered in the effort to eat and educate at the same time.

None of this would affect the main point, that the parents are trying as best they can, in the light of the sacramental significance of the holy Eucharist, to align everything concerned with their daily bread toward the requirements of full and fruitful participation in that banquet which is the sign and pledge of the everlasting wedding-feast of heaven.

(In any case, God Himself has made the material signs of heavenly realities necessarily crude and, in a sense, unworthy of those realities, so that we would take them as signs and signs only and not as the realities themselves. St. Thomas points out that Holy Scripture uses crude rather than ‘noble’ things as the basis for its figures and metaphors for this same reason. We parents, then, have no need to be ashamed of the crudity of our living picture-language, our daily family life in all its messiness, awkwardness, seeming confusion and lack of perfection. For if we are trying to order all its elements in the light of what marriage signifies–the union of Christ and the Church, and toward our all achieving that union through our daily family lives–then, surely, we have the ‘one thing necessary.’)

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New Spring Maglet – A Sunshiny Disposition – Now Available!!!

I am excited! I’m glad I started early on this Maglet because it took some dedication and perseverance….Seems I just couldn’t get things right. I will say it was glitches instead of dumb mistakes (a bit of both, really). :) But anyway…..HERE IT IS!!!

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I wish to send out a sincere THANK YOU to Maryarc who wrote the article: Fiber, Fabric and Style!

Also, from our own community, Theresa Walker, Father Kenneth Walker’s (R.I.P.) sister-in-law, who wrote: A Mother’s Cross and A Short, Tall Tale for Mothers!

It is exciting for me to share with you the talents and the thoughts of others who have something worthwhile to say to the Catholic world!!

Here is the run-down of the Table of Contents so you can see how much wonderful information is packed into this little Maglet that I called A SUNSHINY DISPOSITION!

Spring Has Sprung!
Does Your Marriage Need Warming Up?
Teach Your Child to Pray
Fiber, Fabric & Style
Tidbits from Father Lawrence G. Lovasik
Your Child’s Moral Training
The Spirit of the Kitchen
Making the Most of Mealtime
Lukewarmness?
Hospitality
The Rosary and the Bargain
Losing Our Life
Idealizing Father
Questions Young People Ask Before Marriage
Lent Lessons for Your Children
Book Review – The Precious Blood & Mother
A Mother’s Cross
A Short, Tall Tale for Mothers
Two Great Time-Tested Recipes
The Family and the Cross
Love – Christ in the Home
Easter Alleluias

The Maglet has quotes and pictures sprinkled throughout making it a pleasure to peruse! I hope you like it!!

If you do like them, please leave a review on my Meadows of Grace Shop! You can leave a review on Amazon, too!

It is available through Meadows of Grace for $7.50.

You can also get all three volumes of the Maglets for the low price of $22.50 here…..that means all 3 for $7.50 each and FREE SHIPPING! If you already have a copy of the other ones, think about giving it to someone as a gift!

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DESCRIPTION OF FINER FEMININITY 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 and 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.

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REVIEWS!!!

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

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

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

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

“Love it! This is something i will pick up over and over to read” -Sarah

So….if you like my book, won’t you please leave a review?

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Give Up Complaining for Lent?

da612d48c5d849e0ce7290b16298b152with permission by Cheri Gregory on Happy Wives Daily Blog

Every January for the last seven years, I’ve taken the Complaint-Free Challenge: one whole month without complaining.

Of course, this has not meant ignoring legitimate problems. Will Bowen, author of A Complaint-Free World, makes a clear distinction between complaining and problem-solving. Complaining is making energetic statements focused on the problem at hand rather than the resolution, while problem-solving is speaking directly and only to the person who can resolve the issue.

Complaint-Free: Who Me?

The first time I tried the Complaint-Free Challenge, I discovered how rarely I used true problem-solving techniques. My mouth seemed set on negative auto-pilot. I griped endlessly out of habit rather than choosing my words with care.

To become more aware of my complaining tendencies, I started each day with a purple “Complaint-Free World” bracelet on my left wrist. Each time I caught myself complaining, I changed the band to my other wrist.

I soon became conscious of one specific complaining habit involving my husband.

Every time Daniel came into my home office, I’d stop working and start complaining. This habit was so automatic that the moment I’d hear him walking downstairs, I’d feel irritated and find something wrong to report the moment he walked in.

This is ridiculous! I thought. What’s going on here? Why do I drop what I’m doing and fabricate a complaint whenever Daniel appears?

Finally, after some soul-searching and a good laugh at my own expense, I realized what I was doing:

I was trying to reconnect with my husband. 

We’d been apart for a while, and I was trying to re-engage with him. Of course, the method I was using was counterproductive; my complaints often resulted in disagreements or Daniel retreating in haste.

Once I recognized my true desire, I tried a new approach. I replaced all my complaints with one simple word:

“Hi!”

It worked like a charm.

3 Reasons I Aim to be Complaint-Free Wife

1.  I am more pleasant to be with. Daniel stops by to see me far more frequently, and with far less trepidation!

2. I am happier. I’ve found that what I hear, I take to heart. And since I hear myself 24/7, complaining words and thoughts cause a cacophony of “baditude” in my heart. Less complaining has created space for peace, quiet, and contentment.

3. I’m more grateful.  I used to think that I’d get around to gratitude when I didn’t have so much to complain about. When I intentionally quit complaining, I suddenly had time to notice and point out all the good. The more appreciation I expressed, the more I noticed things for which I was grateful. As gratitude became my new default, complaining naturally died off.

I recognize that going complaint-free isn’t for everyone. But I’ll tell you from experience that each time I take the Complaint-Free Challenge, I become more the happy woman–and happy wife–I most want to be.

A Couple of Complaint-Free Resources:

Ready to try the Complaint-Free Challenge? 31 days is a long commitment…how about starting with just 3! What could you learn about your complaining habits with your husband by choosing to be complaint-free for the next 3?

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Intelligent Conversation – The Wife Desired

 It is an art to know when to listen and when to speak. And when we do speak, that it is worth listening to…. 6a013480267ca9970c0168e793afc3970c

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

As most of us grow older and become less active physically, one of our greatest sources of entertainment is intelligent conversation. We derive satisfaction from the discussion of current events, of problems affecting our daily lives, and of sundry subjects of mutual interest.

Too little stress is given today in educational circles to the art of conversation. I believe that there are a number of reasons for this lack of interest on the part of educators. A group of high school girls at recess time usually presents the same picture. All are talking; none are listening. Promote talking? Teachers naturally lift an eyebrow if one suggests more conversation at their school. Yet ninety-nine per cent of all this talk is just chitchat….

Real conversation is an art. Like any other art it must be cultivated and practiced. The voice is an important phase of personality. Often the voice alone gives the cue to personality and character of a girl.

A petulant, or frivolous, or frigid, or nagging young lady frequently rings a bell of warning in her voice to interested young men who have ears to hear as well as to catch dirt.

Likewise, a warmhearted and generous woman refined and cultured with a well developed personality can tell others of her accomplishments simply by speaking a few sentences. “The flute and the psaltery make a sweet melody, but a pleasant tongue is above them both.” Ecclesiaticus 40, 21.

Perhaps by this time some find their thoughts wandering from the work at hand–namely, self-appraisal and consideration of how to advance toward the goal of the ideal and desired wife. Maybe some are asking by now why they should strive to become this paragon of a girl.

Too many young men are too stupid anyway to see and appreciate in a girl all the qualities of the ideal wife. Isn’t a girl lucky for that! A girl can thank God that these imbeciles are not attracted to her. One of these cigarette sucking simpletons might rush her off her feet, and then see with what she would be stuck the rest of her life.

It does seem that neurotics attract each other for marriage. I suppose it is one more bit of evidence of the old proverb, “Birds of a feather flock together.” So the girls who develop their personalities and acquire the other features of the ideal wife have a much better chance of attracting their counterpart, the ideal husband. Again, let that all-interesting ideal husband take care of himself for a while. Let us get back to our “netting.”

Conversation is not a one way street. It connotes the ability to listen as well as to talk. Some people make a good audience. They stimulate conversation purely by the manner of their attention. They are alive, and thus they register. Because they are interested they are interesting. They bring out the best in others.

A clever girl can do wonders by the way she listens with animation to her boyfriend. The boyfriend or the husband is only human. There will be times when he is going to want to tell “all about it.” He is loquacious for a change. Then for heaven’s sake, let the wife give him the stage. Or, perhaps, he is taciturn and yearns for quiet. The wise wife senses these various moods of her husband.

I remember a case in which the wife hauled her husband down to the Chancery. Her major complaint was that her husband would not talk things over with her, would not confide in her. “He just never talks with me.” This poor woman talked “like a blue streak” for an hour and a half. A number of times I tried to break in. At each failure I got a knowing look from the husband as much as if to say, “Know how you feel. For years I’ve been trying to get a word in edgewise.”

There is a theory of counseling based on letting the estranged husband and wife talk themselves into their own solution of the problems vexing their marital happiness. There are enthusiasts of this school of thought who maintain that they can solve any case by just letting them talk.

I wish they had been in on the case just mentioned. I finally had to run from her one day later on, when she came down alone to see me. I could not take any more than two hours of it. I imagine that she is still talking, whether at her husband or not I do not know. How he could stand it, I do not know either.

While at school a girl should “make hay while the sun shines.” It is then that she can acquire and develop ability at conversation. As she learns to swim, to play tennis, to figure skate, and to sing, she can talk with interest and intelligence about these things.

If she knows nothing about music, a girl will have to be pretty clever to be able to “get away with” talking about music. On the other hand, as she develops her personality by learning to do various things, she should acquire facility in conversing about these things.

If she reads good literature, she opens another tremendous potential for conversation. True, she must practice, and school affords that opportunity not only in the classroom, but even during moments of recreation. Practice on your girl friends? Why not? They do on you!

Friends have been defined as those between whom there need not be conversation. Husband and wife can spend a quiet evening at home with a minimum of conversation and be happy and content.

They are aware of each other’s presence, and that is enough. Yet intelligent conversation will add immeasurably to their lives. A dumb Dora may have her moments; but, if she cannot formulate two consecutive and coherent sentences, let us all pray for strength for that husband of hers.

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Cleaning the Clutter – It’s a Family Matter

Free-Clipart-of-HouseBby Emilie Barnes, 101 Ways to Clean the Clutter

It’s a Family Matter

Involve the whole family. Learn to delegate jobs and responsibilities to other members of the family. Work with the children to de-clutter their bedrooms and bath. Dad can also be a big help, especially when you begin to clear out all the unused stuff in the garage. Set a date for a cleaning bonanza and purchase all the cleaning supplies in advance.

As a surprise for your family cleaning day, purchase a fun organizational tool for each family member—one that suits their individual personality. Or plan a relay cleaning day. Designate several projects that need to be done and assign a person to each task. Set a timer for 30 minutes and start working. When the buzzer sounds, each family member rotates to a different chore station.

This plan keeps the energy high and nobody becomes bored. Allow your family members to choose the background music for the work day and promise them pizza when everything is done. You could also reward the hard workers with a movie night and a walk-through tour to see how the rooms look with their makeover.

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Labels Are Helpful

Use lots of labels and signs. If containers, bins, drawers, and shelves aren’t labeled, the family won’t be able to spot where things go. Use color coding to help identify items belonging to various members of the family; red bins for Christine, blue for Chad, and yellow for Bevan.

Keep your family involved in the process of simplifying the home life. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much they flourish in an uncluttered environment. Give your kids cleaning responsibilities at every age so that they get used to the benefits. Keep the tasks age-appropriate and be sure to acknowledge them for their efforts. Most of all, model the behavior yourself.

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You will achieve grand dreams, a day at a time, so set goals for each day—not long and difficult projects, but chores that will take you, step by step, toward your rainbow. Write them down, if you must, but limit your list so that you won’t have to drag today’s undone matters into tomorrow.   -OG MANDINO

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A Place for Everything
Without too much detective work, we can figure out that most clutter happens because there isn’t a set “home” for each item. Remember the old saying, “Everything has a place and everything is in its place.” When everything has a place, you know where to find it, where to put it back, and you don’t waste time searching through items to retrieve it.

Designate an easily accessible spot for your most used items. If those spots are filled with infrequently used items, clear them out and move them to storage (after you see if there is anything you can give away). Choose a room and spend 30 minutes assigning a place for each item that fills the corners, clutters the surface areas, and blocks doorways.

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Temptations – Light and Peace, Quadrupani

This is a beautiful passage from Light and Peace. We are all besieged by temptations of one sort or another. Sometimes we get confused…..did I sin? Sometimes we get discouraged….why such a battle? The following words may help you sort it all out. A little longer read for your Sunday, but well worth it, so snatch a few moments…. :)

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

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 My brethren, count it all joy when ye shall fall into divers temptations. (Epist. S. Jas., Cat., c. i, v. 2.) Now if I do that which I will not, it is no more I that do it, but sin, which dwelleth in me. (St. P., Rom., c. vii, v. 20.) 1.

“If we are tempted,” says the Holy Spirit, “it is a sign that God loves us.” Those whom God best loves have been most exposed to temptations.

“Because thou wast acceptable to God,” said the angel to Tobias, “it was necessary that temptation should prove thee.” (Tobias, c. xii, v. 13.)

Do not ask God to deliver you from temptations, but to grant you the grace not to succumb to them and to do nothing contrary to His divine will. He who refuses the combat, renounces the crown. Place all your trust in God and God will Himself do battle for you against the enemy.

“These persistent temptations come from the malice of the devil,” says St. Francis de Sales, “but the trouble and suffering they cause us come from the mercy of God. Thus, despite the will of the tempter, God converts his evil machinations into a distress which we may make meritorious.

Therefore I say your temptations are from the devil and hell, but your anxiety and affliction are from God and heaven.”

Despise temptation, then, and open wide your soul to this suffering which God sends in order to purify you here that He may reward you hereafter.

“Let the wind blow,” remarks the same Saint, “and do not mistake the rustling of leaves for the clashing of arms. Be perfectly convinced that all the temptations of hell are powerless to defile a soul that does not love them. St. Paul endured terrible temptations, yet God, through love, did not deliver him from them.”

Look upon God as an infinitely good and tender father and believe that He only allows the devil to try His children that their merits may increase and their recompense be correspondingly greater.

The more persistent the temptation, the clearer it is that you have not given consent to it. “It is a good sign,” says St. Francis de Sales, “when the tempter makes so much noise and commotion outside of the will, for it shows that he is not within.”

An enemy does not besiege a fortress that is already in his power, and the more obstinate the attack, the more certain We may be that our resistance continues.

 Your fears lead you to believe you are defeated at the very moment you are gaining the victory. This comes from the fact that you confound feeling with consent, and, mistaking a passive condition of the imagination for an act of the will, you consider that you have yielded to the temptation because you felt it keenly.

St. Francis de Sales, with his usual simplicity, thus describes this warring of the flesh against the spirit: “You are right, my dear daughter. There are two women within you … and the two children of these different mothers quarrel, and the good-for-nothing one is so bad that sometimes the good one can scarcely defend herself, and then she takes it into her head that she has been worsted and that the wicked one is braver than she.

Now, surely, this is not true. The bad one is not the stronger by any means, but only slyer, more persistent and more obstinate.

When she succeeds in making you weep she is delighted, because that is always just so much time lost, and she is content to make you lose time when she cannot make you lose eternity.”

 It is not always in our power to restrain the imagination. St. Jerome had retired into the desert and still his fancy represented to him the dances of the Roman ladies. His body was benumbed, as it were, and his blood chilled by the severity of his mortifications, and yet the flames of concupiscence encompassed and tortured his heart.

During these frightful conflicts the holy anchorite suffered, but he did not sin; he was tormented but was not guilty; on the contrary, his merits were augmented in the sight of God in proportion to the intensity of the temptations.

The holy abbot St. Anthony was wont to say to the phantoms of his mind: I see you, but I do not look at you: I see you because it does not depend upon me that my imagination places before my eyes things I would wish not to see; I do not look at you because with my will I repulse and reject you.

“It is so much the essence of sin to be voluntary,” says St. Augustine, “that if not voluntary, it is not sin.”

The attraction of the feelings towards the object presented by the imagination is at times so strong that the will seems to have been carried away and overcome by a sort of fascination.

This, however, is not the case. The will suffered, but did not consent; it was attacked and wounded, but not conquered. This state of things coincides with what St. Paul says of the revolt of the flesh against the spirit and of their unceasing warfare.

The soul, indeed, experiences strange sensations, but as she does not consent to them, she passes through the ordeal unsullied, just as substances coated with oil may be immersed in water without absorbing a single drop of it.

St. Francis de Sales explains this distinction so plainly and yet so simply in one of his letters, that it may be useful to repeat the passage here: “Courage, my dear soul, I say it with great love in Jesus Christ, dear soul, courage! As long as we can exclaim resolutely, even though without feeling, My Jesus! there is no cause for alarm.

Do not tell me it appears to you that you say it in a cowardly way, and only by doing great violence to yourself. It is precisely this holy violence that bears away the kingdom of heaven.

Do you not see, my daughter, it is a sign that the enemy has taken everything within our fortress except the impenetrable, unconquerable tower—and that can never be lost save by willful surrender.

This tower is the free-will which, perfectly visible to the eye of God, occupies the highest and most spiritual region of the soul, dependent on none but God and oneself; and when all the other faculties are lost and in subjection to the enemy, it alone remains free to give or to refuse consent.

Now, you often see souls afflicted because the enemy, occupying all the other faculties, makes therein so great a noise and confusion that they scarce can hear what this superior will says; for though it has a clearer and more penetrating voice than the inferior will, the loud, boisterous cries of the latter almost drown it: but note this well: as long as the temptation is displeasing to you, there is nothing to fear; for why should it displease you, except because you do not will it?”*

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The Tongue, That Unruly Member

This is a good reminder for all of us of the power of our words! It is also a good reminder that we need to be diligent in  teaching our children to keep their words wholesome and respectful!
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Beautiful Girlhood by Mabel Hale

The tongue is an unruly member, and until it is brought into control by the girl herself, it is ever liable to get her into trouble. If the old rule to “think twice before you speak once” can be remembered and obeyed, much trouble and heartache will be avoided.

When all the efforts at controlling a girl’s tongue are made by parents and teachers instead of by the girl herself, it is like trying to stop a faucet by putting your hand over it. The pressure from within is so strong that ugly words will fly out in spite of these efforts. But when the girl undertakes the task herself, she is able to turn the pressure off so that the words flow smoothly. Not that it will be without struggle; but victory is ahead for every girl who will try.

Every girl should form the habit of speaking in a gentle tone. While she is young the vocal organs can be trained to give out soft tones. Who is it who does not admire a soft and tender tone in a woman’s voice? I have always felt sorry for older women who have from childhood spoken in a loud or harsh tone of voice, for it is practically impossible for them to do otherwise now. But girls can have gentle voices if they will.

No girl can afford to be impudent or saucy. One who is such sets a poor estimate upon herself. When a girl is saucy she shows a lack of respect for elders and superiors, and also a lack of respect for her own good name. Instead of sauciness sounding smart, and making a girl appear clever and independent, it shows her to be rude and egotistical. There is nothing lovely nor desirable about it, and if indulged in to any extent will spoil any girl.

Sauciness is more hateful because it begins at home. Where the girl should be her best she is her worst, for she is always more ugly to her own loved ones than to anyone else. She makes home miserable so far as her influence goes.

Mother and Father may endeavor to be kind and just, but at the least reproof or counsel the mouth of the girl sends out a stinging retort that hurts cruelly. Saucy words cost too much in heartache and tears. They are not found in beautiful girlhood; for where the habit of sauciness is found, the beauty of girlhood is spoiled.

Words can be like swords, cutting deep, not into the flesh but into the tender heart. The time will come, my young friend, when you will gaze upon the still form of one you loved and will regret with tears and sighs the harsh words you have spoken. Do not lay up for yourself sorrow for that time.

The tongue, ungoverned, leads into many wrong channels. By it unkind remarks are made of absent ones. Boasts and threats are uttered, evil suspicions spoken, trouble kindled, and hearts broken. Almost all the sorrow of the world can be traced back to the wrong use of the tongue.

If you could learn the history of almost any neighborhood you would find that someone has suffered, some heart has been wounded or broken, by the gossiping tongue of a neighbor. Gossip of a certain kind is not really wrong. We are naturally interested in the doings of our friends, and like to talk their affairs over in a kind way. And it is one of the strongest curbs on evil doings to know that such will be soundly condemned by the neighbors. We should always be ready to condemn evil deeds.

But when this gossip is mixed with a desire to wound or hurt another, or when the one who is talking is careless of the results of her speeches, gossip becomes sinful and mean. When gossip becomes backbiting, it is one of the worst of sins.

How quickly we would condemn a man who should shoot another in the back, when only a short time before he had pretended to be a friend to him; and we despise a dog that nips our heel; and the girl who will talk about her acquaintances behind their backs and pretend friendship to their faces is just as mean. Any way we view it as evil. Speaking and backbiting are wrong and entirely unbecoming to beautiful girlhood.

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Marriage and the Bible – The Law of Union, Christ in the Home

God made man and woman to be together. God doesn’t make mistakes. If we are married, let’s make the most out of our marital bond, let’s be deserving of the wonderful responsibility God has given us as a help-mate to our husbands. Let’s learn and grow to become what God intended us to be when He first made that beautiful, gentle lady out of Adam’s rib.

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from Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J.

How marvelous is the description of the creation of man and woman which the book of Genesis gives us.

God has created the universe. He has hurled worlds into space. Among all these worlds is the earth and on it are all the splendors of the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Each time God sent forth some new creature from His creative Hands, He paused and said, “It is good!” God saw that it was good.

Yes, all of that creation is but a framework, a pedestal. Whom does He intend to place within that framework, upon that pedestal?

Man.

Look at Adam. He has intelligence, free will, and a heart.

A heart–the power to love. But to whom will man direct that power of love which God has placed in him?

God placed all of creation “beneath his feet.” But what does it mean for man to have everything beneath his feet if he has no one to clasp to his heart? God understood man. That is why the Most High is not satisfied upon the completion of His masterpiece. He does not say as He did after each preceding creation, “It is good,” but He says, “It is not good for man to be alone.”

Therefore, the Most High, the divine Sculptor, chisel in Hand approaches His masterpiece to attack the marble anew; he lays open its side and from the avenues to the heart removes a part; this part of Adam, He forms into woman.

A magnificent indication of how close must be the union between husband and wife! A union of wonderful strength, engendered by love and for love!

Saint Thomas explains that “God took the substance with which He formed woman close to the heart of man. He did not take it from the head for she is not made to dominate. Neither did he take it from man’s feet, for she is not made for servitude. He took it near the heart because she is made to love and to be loved.”

Such is the marvel of the union of love in marriage according to God. Love will make of two beings a single one.

Adam acclaimed it upon awaking: “This now is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.” That is why the sacred text adds: “Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh.”

This virginal page does not yet speak of the mother but only of the spouse. God gives Man a companion–not several but one–and this society is called conjugal society. This society will be composed of two persons, a couple, only two. So true is this that until this first woman became a mother she had no name of her own. There was only one name for both.

How wonderful is the inviolable oneness of the human couple according to the desire of God!

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