– by Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand
I’m grateful for your frankness. It makes my duties as your godmother easier to fulfill.
You say that although the analogy of the stained-glass windows is very moving, nonetheless true lovers are concerned with “great things, beautiful things” and should not let themselves be troubled by small things.
Roy wouldn’t agree.
He and my friend Evelyn have been married thirty-five years. She’s sloppy and he’s meticulous. During their honeymoon, Roy noticed that she always left the toothpaste tube open. He asked Evelyn to put the cap on, but she laughed at him, claiming he had the habits of an old maid.
Time and again, Roy has asked her to change. Nothing doing! After thirty-five years, the cap still remains off and Roy has resigned himself to it.
Compare this to my own husband’s attitude. Early in our marriage, I noticed he would always leave the soap swimming in a small pool of water. It would slowly disintegrate into an unattractive, slimy goo – something I found unappealing. I drew it to his attention.
From that day on, he made a point of drying the soap after each use – to such an extent that I couldn’t tell from the “soap testimony” whether he had washed himself or not. (Moreover – and this is typical of him – he too developed a strong dislike for sticky soap.)
I was so moved by this, that to this day I feel a wave of loving gratitude for this small but significant gesture of love.
My husband was a great lover. And because he was one, he managed to relate the smallest things to love and was willing to change to please his beloved in all legitimate things. This characteristic is typical of great love.
I’m sure that as your love grows deeper, you, too, will come to see how the greater the love, the more it permeates even the smallest aspects of life.
“Every effort we make to forget self, to leave self behind us, and to devote ourselves to the labor of making every person with whom we are bound to live, happy, is rewarded by interior satisfaction and joy. The supreme effort of goodness is,—not alone to do good to others; that is its first and lower effect,—but to make others good.” Rev. Bernard O’Reilly The Mirror of True Womanhood, 1893 (afflink)
Our attitude changes our life…it’s that simple. Our good attitude greatly affects those that we love, making our homes a more cheerier and peaceful dwelling! To have this control…to be able to turn around our attitude is a tremendous thing to think about!
This Gratitude Journal is here to help you focus on the good, the beautiful, the praiseworthy. “For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 – Douay Rheims).
Yes, we need to be thinking of these things throughout the day!
You will be disciplined, the next 30 days, to write positive, thankful thoughts down in this journal. You will be thinking about good memories, special moments, things and people you are grateful for, lovely and thought-provoking Catholic quotes, thoughts before bedtime, etc. Saying it, reading it, writing it, all helps to ingrain thankfulness into our hearts…and Our Lord so loves gratefulness! It makes us happier, too!
There’s nothing complicated or magical about learning to be kinder; it just takes greater attention to the things that you do and how you do them. The Hidden Power of Kindness shows you how to become more aware of even your most offhand daily actions. You’ll find simple, step-by-step, and spiritually crucial directions for how to overcome the habitual unkindnesses that creep undetected into the behavior of even the most careful souls.
From the thousands of personal letters by St. Francis de Sales comes this short, practical guide that will develop in you the soul-nourishing habits that lead to sanctity.
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