A Good Scrapbook, Etc. – Tidbits from Fr. Lasance

Always a treasure, My Prayer Book by Fr. Lasance gives us some thoughts to ruminate upon today….

Divine Providence – Resignation – Fidelity
Be faithful to your duty and abandon yourself to Divine Providence. We know that to them that love God all things work together unto good (Rom. viii. 2 ).

Divine providence watches over every creature. The very hairs of your head are all numbered, says our lord. (Luke xii. 7).

 T, and be ever directed toward Him, that is, we should be disposed to receive all things from the Hand of God, from His justice, and from His bounty, with humble submission to His blessed will.

Good and evil, health and sickness, prosperity and adversity, consolation and dryness, temptation and tranquility, interior sweetness, trials and chastisements, all should be received by the soul with humility, patience, and resignation, as coming to us by the appointment of God. This is the only means of finding peace in the midst of great troubles and adversities.” — Bishop Challoner

Piety – Fervor in God’s Service – Prosperity
Motto: “All in God; all with God; all for God; Deus meus et omnia;  My God and my all.”- ST. FRANCIS OF Assisi.

“With two wings a man is lifted up above earthly things,” says Thomas a Kempis; that is, with simplicity and purity. Simplicity must be in the intention, purity in the affection.

Simplicity aims at God. Purity takes hold of Him and  tastes Him.”

“Religiousness shall keep and justify thy heart; shall give joy and gladness” (Ecclus. i. 18).

“Piety is profitable to all things” (Tim. iv. 8).

“The just shall flourish like the palm-tree he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God” (Ps. xci. 13, I4).

“To be faithful in little things is a great thing,” says St. Augustine; and, “to maintain fervor,” says Father Petit, S. J., “it is a good plan to choose one exercise, however small, and to perform it every day in the best manner possible.”

Let us perform some pious exercise, or say a little prayer, for instance, the Memorare, every day, with great fervor, to obtain the grace of perseverance and a happy death.

“Only serve Jesus out of love, and while your eyes are yet unclosed, before the whiteness of death is yet upon your face, or those around you are sure that the gentle breathing is your last, what an unspeakable surprise will you have had at the judgment seat of your dearest 1ove!” — Faber

“Let us pray, and, like sowers sowing  their seed, let us not faint; the time when we shall reap is not far distant.” — ST. AUGUSTINE.

One day we shall look up into the face of our dear Lord; may He then say to us: “Well done, good and faithful servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matt. xxv.)

Self-Restraint

He is Most Powerful Who Has Himself in His Power. – SENECA.

A tone of pride or petulance repressed,

A selfish inclination firmly fought,

A shadow of annoyance set at naught,

A murmur of disquietude suppressed,

A peace in importunity possessed,

A reconcilement generously sought,

A purpose put aside — a banished thought,

A word of self-explaining unexpressed, —

Trifles they seem, these petty soul restraints,

Yet he who proves them such must needs possess

A constancy and courage grand and bold.

They are the trifles that have made the saints;

Give me to practice them in humbleness,

And nobler power than mine doth no man  hold — Leaflets

A Good Scrapbook

Many men of literary taste, and  many professional writers, have the practice of gathering the most just and most striking thoughts they meet with in the course of their reading; they thus form a repertory which grows richer day by day, and becomes in the end an invaluable treasure.

Here is an excellent device which we ought to make use of in the spiritual life. We read the Gospel, the writings of the saints, certain ascetic works; let us faithfully note down the thoughts which make the most impression upon us, and even the personal reflections which these thoughts suggest to us.

In a few years we shall possess a collection more precious than all our books of piety, and one which we may read again and again with great profit, especially in moments of ennui and sadness.

Each phrase of our little note-book will become like a ray of light to dissipate the darkness of our soul, or a drop of balm to calm our sorrows. –Rev. Matthew J. Russell, S.J., The Art of Being Happy

“One evening I was in their home about dinnertime. She was busy in the kitchen putting the final touches on the dinner when her husband came home from work. This happened to be payday.
He came into the kitchen, kissed her, and handed her his paycheck. She immediately stopped what she was doing, put her arms around him and said, ‘I know how hard you have worked for this … how many long hours. Thank you for providing us with so many comforts, and making it possible for me to stay home and care for the family.’
But this was not enough. She went into the living room where the children were all playing on the floor. She made them all stop and stand up.
‘Look,’ she said as she held up the paycheck. ‘See, your father has worked hard to earn this money. Now, Jane, this means you can have a new pair of shoes, and Johnny, you can have your bicycle fixed.’
The father stood there beaming. Not only did his wife appreciate him, but taught their children to.
In his eyes, she was a beautiful woman.
I’m not sure she did this every payday, but I know that here was a home where the man was appreciated for his daily efforts.
And I know that this ordinary woman was not so ordinary. She knew how to appreciate a man and this is why she was beautiful to him.” -Fascinating Womanhood https://amzn.to/2NAXkGv (afflink)

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Tick-Tock: A Mother’s Teachable Moments

The mother of Cardinal Vaughan had fourteen children–eight boys and six girls.

Remarkable educator that she was, she believed that she owed the best part of her time to her little world.

The children’s special room looked like the nave of a Church for each little boy and girl had his statue to care for and they never failed to put flowers before it on special occasions.

With what art this mother settled a quarrelsome boy or a vain or untruthful little girl!

With the littlest ones she was not afraid to become a little one and, like them, to sit on the ground.

Thus, placed on their level, as the biography of her Jesuit son expresses it, she used to put her watch to their ears and explain to them that someday God would stop the tick-tock of their lives and that He would call to Himself in heaven His children whom He had lent to earth.

In the course of the day, Mrs. Vaughan loved to pick out one or other of her band, preferably two, chosen on the basis of their earnest efforts or some particular need for improvement, and make a visit to Church.

Yes, they should pray at home too; they had God in their hearts; but in each village or in each section of town, there is a special house generally of stone where Our Lord lives as He once lived at Nazareth except that now He remains hidden under the appearances of a little Host.

She explained to them that prayer consists not in reciting set words but in conversing with Jesus.

And if they had been very, very good she would let them kiss the altar cloth and sometimes the altar itself, a favor the children regarded as most precious.

When they had beautiful flowers in their greenhouse they brought them to Church; happy and proud were the ones who were entrusted with delivering the bouquets or the vases of flowers!

Besides the visits made to “Jesus, the Head” there were also visits to the “members of Jesus,”

“What you do to the least of My brethren you do to me.”

And Mrs. Vaughan explained to each child according to its capacity to understand the great duty of charity and the reason for this duty.

She did not hesitate to take them into sordid homes.

Sometimes people were horrified to see her take the children to see the sick who suffered from a contagious disease. Wasn’t she afraid her children would contract it?

But kind, firm Mrs. Vaughan did not allow herself to be the least disturbed by such comments.

“Sickness? Well if one of them contracted a sickness while visiting the poor that would still not be too high a price to pay for Christian charity.

Besides God will protect my children much better than mother-love can.

Here was true formation in piety, true formation in charity. Here too was encouragement to follow a high ideal.

Herbert, the eldest of the boys, was once quite concerned over a hunting trip that the weather threatened to spoil. “Pray mamma,” he said, “that we have good weather!“

And Mrs.Vaughan, more concerned to lift her son’s soul than to secure him a pleasurable time, answered smilingly, “I shall pray that you will be a priest!”

How the boy took such an answer at the moment is not recorded. We do know this: Herbert was . . . the future Cardinal!

Vaughan also gave her children an appreciation of the fine arts.

She herself played the harp delightfully. From time to time she gathered her household about her for a gala time playing, singing, and a bit of mimicry; she always used the occasion to remind the children that there are other melodies and other joys more beautiful than those of earth.

“At a certain moment when going to confession to a Capuchin father, St. Therese came to understand that it was just the opposite: her “defects did not displease God” and her littleness attracted God’s love, just as a father is moved by the weakness of his children and loves them still more as soon as he sees their good will and sincere love.” -Fr. Jacques Philippe,The Way of Trust and Love, http://amzn.to/2fpXVzl Painting by Millie Childers

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The Land Without a Sunday – Maria Von Trapp

Newbury, Kansas

From Around the Year With the Trapp Family by Maria von Trapp

Our neighbors in Austria were a young couple, Baron and Baroness K. They were getting increasingly curious about Russia and what life there was really like. One day they decided to take a six-week trip all over Russia in their car. This was in the time when it was still possible to get a visa.

Of course, at the border they were received by a special guide who watched their every step and did not leave them for a moment until he deposited them safely again at the border, but they still managed to get a good first-hand impression.

Upon their return they wrote a book about their experiences, and when it was finished, they invited their neighbors and friends to their home in order to read some of their work to them.

I shall always recall how slowly and solemnly Baron K. read us the title “The Land Without a Sunday.”

Of all the things they had seen and observed, one experience had most deeply impressed them: that Russia had done away with Sunday. This had shocked them even more than what they saw of Siberian concentration camps or of the misery and hardship in cities and country. The absence of Sunday seemed to be the root of all the evil.

“Instead of a Sunday,” Baron K. told us, “the Russians have a day off.

This happens at certain intervals which vary in different parts of the country. First they had a five-day week, with the sixth day off, then they had a nine-day work period, with the tenth day off; then again it was an eight-day week. What a difference between a day off and a Sunday!

The people work in shifts. While one group enjoys its day off, the others continue to work in the factories or on the farms or in the stores, which are always open.

As a result the over-all impression throughout the country was that of incessant work, work, work. The atmosphere was one of constant rush and drive; finally, we confessed to each other that what we were missing most was not a well-cooked meal, or a hot bath, but a quiet, peaceful Sunday with church bells ringing and people resting after prayer.”

Here I must first tell what a typical Sunday in Austria was like in the old days up to the year before the Second World War. As I have spent most of my life in rural areas, it is Sunday in the country that I shall describe.

First of all, it begins on Saturday afternoon. In some parts of the country the church bell rings at three o’clock, in others at five o’clock, and the people call it “ringing in the Feierabend.”

Just as some of the big feasts begin the night before–on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Easter Eve–so every Sunday throughout the year also starts on its eve. That gives Saturday night its hallowed character.

When the church bell rings, the people cease working in the fields. They return with the horses and farm machinery, everything is stored away into the barns and sheds, and the barnyard is swept by the youngest farm-hand.

Then everyone takes “the” bath and the men shave. There is much activity in the kitchen as the mother prepares part of the Sunday dinner, perhaps a special dessert; the children get a good scrub; everyone gets ready his or her Sunday clothes, and it is usually the custom to put one’s room in order–all drawers, cupboards and closets.

Throughout the week the meals are usually short and hurried on a farm, but Saturday night everyone takes his time. Leisurely they come strolling to the table, standing around talking and gossiping. After the evening meal the rosary is said.

In front of the statue or picture of the Blessed Mother burns a vigil light. After the rosary the father will take a big book containing all the Epistles and Gospels of the Sundays and feast days of the year, and he will read the pertinent ones now to his family.

The village people usually go to Confession Saturday night, while the folks from the farms at a distance go on Sunday morning before Mass. Saturday night is a quiet night. There are no parties. People stay at home, getting attuned to Sunday. They go to bed rather early.

On Sunday everyone puts on his finery. The Sunday dress is exactly what its name implies–clothing reserved to be worn only on Sunday. We may have one or the other “better dress” besides. We may have evening gowns, party dresses–but this one is our Sunday best, set aside for the day of the Lord.

When we put it on, we invariably feel some of the Sunday spirit come over us. In those days everybody used to walk to church even though it might amount to a one or two hours’ hike down and up a mountain in rain or shine. Families usually went to the High Mass; only those who took care of the little children and the cooking had to go to the early Mass.

I feel sorry for everyone who has never experienced such a long, peaceful walk home from Sunday Mass, in the same way as I feel sorry for everyone who has never experienced the moments of twilight right after sunset before one would light the kerosene lamps. I know that automobiles and electric bulbs are more efficient, but still they are not complete substitutes for those other, more leisurely ways of living.

Throughout the country, all the smaller towns and villages have their cemeteries around the church; on Sunday, when the High Mass was over, the people would go and look for the graves of their dear ones, say a prayer, sprinkle holy water–a friendly Sunday visit with the family beyond the grave.

In most homes the Sunday dinner was at noon. The afternoon was often spent in visiting from house to house, especially visiting the sick.

The young people would meet on the village green on Sunday afternoons for hours of folk dancing; the children would play games; the grownups would very often sit together and make music. Sunday afternoon was a time for rejoicing, for being happy, each in his own way.

Until that night at Baron K.’s house we had done pretty much the same as everybody else. Saturday we had always kept as “Feierabend” for Sunday.

There was cleaning on Saturday morning throughout the house, there was cleaning in all the children’s quarters–desks and drawers and toys were put in order. There was the laying out of the Sunday clothes. There was the Saturday rosary, and then–early to bed.

On Sunday we often walked to the village church for High Mass, especially after we had started to sing. Later we used to go into the mountains with the children, taking along even the quite little ones, or we used to play an Austrian equivalent of baseball or volleyball, or we sat together and sang some of the songs we had collected ourselves on our hikes through the mountains.

We also did a good deal of folk dancing, we had company come or we went visiting ourselves–just as everybody else used to do.

And if anybody had asked us why we began our Sunday on Saturday in the late afternoon, why we celebrated our Sunday this way, we would have raised our eyebrows slightly and said, “Well, because that’s the way it’s always been done.”

But when my husband and I were walking home that night from Baron K.’s house, we realized that our complacency–so prevalent among people in pre-war days–had received a rude shock.

It dawned on us that we had taken something for granted that was, in reality, a privilege: namely, that we lived in a country where Sunday was not so much observed as it was celebrated as the day of the Lord.

This was a new way of looking at things, and the light was still rather dim, but I can see now in retrospect that a new chapter in our life as a Christian family began that very night.

Treat your boys as young men. You want them to grow up to be hardworking and confident. Is it not true, that the more productive we are, the better we feel? Then structure your children’s day to be active and busy—they will thrive under these conditions. -Finer Femininity

Painting by Mark Keathley, 1963

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Questions People Ask About Their Children ~ Going Steady, Quarreling, Love Between Parents, Etc.

From Questions Parents Ask About Their Children, Fr. Donald Miller, C.SS.R., 1950’s

What do you think about high-school students going steady?  

I dislike the current practice so heartily that I have written a pamphlet against it (“Going Steady”), thereby endangering my popularity with many a group of young people. Yes I dared to ridicule it and to speak violently on the subject.

It is, I feel, against nature. Don’t take that “against nature” in the strongest sense. I mean by it that youngsters of that age are gregarious; they tend to move as a group or a crowd; the “going steady”stuff cuts their social living down to one person.   It is against their full development.

At the time in their life when they should be learning how to get along with a wide variety of people, they concentrate on one person — to the stunting of their social sense and growth.

It is lazy. The boy does not have to plan for pleasant parties or times for his “girl.” He knows that he can call her up any time and she will be waiting for him.

It makes the girl dependent. She can’t accept other invitations without offending the boy. She has to wait for his nod, his beck and call.

It develops bad traits of character. The boy and the girl feel that they must exercise selfishness: They demand of each other the full rights of exclusive companionship.

It makes for jealousy: The boy pouts if the girl goes out with another boy; the girl is resentful if the boy goes out with another girl.

It limits their growth in the social graces. They do not have to learn to converse; they just “go together.” They get into the habit of dancing always with one partner, and they later find it not so easy to dance with others.

They come to take each other for granted, and they lose thereby the niceties of manners that are — too often — reserved for strangers.

It leads to sin. A boy and a girl cannot be continuously in each other’s company without feeling the sexual urge. Familiarity makes preliminary gestures easy. They begin to think of themselves almost as an engaged couple, with what they conceive as the rights of engaged couples. They become easily a peril to each other.

It leads nowhere. If they marry, it is likely to be a mistake. They have not, strictly speaking, made a choice. They have accepted a habit. If they do not marry, they break up — usually by way of a bad quarrel. Often in a rebound the boy marries badly. The girl is stranded and may in jealous pique throw herself at someone for whom she is even less suited than she was for the first boy, to whom she wants to prove that she can get along without him.

Group parties, going with a variety of people, learning to be pleasant and agreeable to people of assorted temperaments, avoiding the familiarity that leads to temptation, growing in friendships rather than in the premature stimulation of affection — these should be part of high-school days.

High-school students going steady is pretty much of a curse.   In a word: I think it’s a blight.

How can it happen that when a mother loves and practices her religion faithfully, her son will be indifferent — if not positively antipathetic — to religion in all forms?

This ties in with the snarling apology that some males offer for their non-attendance of church: “I had too much religion when I was a kid.”   The more exact reason usually is: “You had too much religion of the wrong kind . . . . Or the right religion was presented to you in an unattractive fashion.” You can’t possibly have too much of Christ’s religion — if it is presented as Christ meant it to be.

Parents who love their religion and practice it happily and with a certain attractive gaiety of soul seldom have cause to complain that their children do not like religion.

It may happen — and it sometimes does — that a boy or a girl has by forces outside the family been led into positive evil. The boy is practicing impurity, let’s say, and the thought of his parents’ religion appalls and frightens and shames him. Or the girl is severely tempted to sin by the company she is keeping, and she resents religion as the force that may keep her from her dangerous ways.

But if the boy is not held fast by sin or the girl is not strongly and to her own curiosity or satisfaction tempted, the explanation of a child’s indifference to religion lies with the parents.

Mothers have been known to make religion most unattractive. They have neglected their homes for religion. Instead of getting dad and the children a good breakfast, the mother is at morning Mass.

When the family very much wanted to go to see a movie, the mother dragged the family night after night to the novena services.

There are mothers who regard life mournfully and shake doleful heads over the decay of the world and the wickedness of youth. They have made Sunday something of the burden and bore that it was in Puritan New England. They constantly threaten their children with the wrath of God and the pains of hell.   No wonder their children don’t find religion attractive.

God loves us; Christ died with utter selflessness for our salvation; the Holy Spirit lives like a bright flame in our hearts. The Eucharist is with us, and the saints are about us, and heaven waits at the end of a good life.

We have the sacraments as well as the commandments. The Church has its feast days as well as its fasts. Christ says, “Come to me,” far more often than He says, “Depart!” And Mother Mary regards her children with a loving smile.

Make religion a thing of joy and beauty, of strength and promise, of life rather than death, and children will not find it other than what Christ meant it to be — the way to a blessed life here and hereafter.

To what extent should parents show affection for one another in front of their children?  

You have answered your own question in the noun you used. Show affection, and much of it. Displays or manifestations of passion might alarm your children or surprise them or make them curious.

What about parents who quarrel in the presence of their children?   God forgive them the wrong they do their children!   Even the youngest child recognizes the evil of such conduct.

Quarreling parents have nervous, highly emotional, unstable, frightened, brooding children.   Even a single sharp quarrel in the presence of children upsets the children beyond the parents’ imagining.

If parents must quarrel, I suggest that they remember the old slogan — hire a hall . . . . . or go down into the basement and shut the doors and windows . . . . . . or wait till the children are five miles away.

Do you think that true love between two people is greater at the time of their marriage or after many years of normal married life?  

Today most young couples marry on a tidal wave of romantic love . . . . . and tidal waves have a way of receding.

But if a couple have obeyed God’s laws, worked together in unity, known joys together and borne burdens together, been brought close by the partnership of a lifetime, their love ripens and matures. Their love is like their wisdom: It grows greater in quantity and deeper in kind.

The mistake is to think that romantic love is the only kind of love.   Love is a thing of the whole man and the whole woman, body and soul. As bodies develop and souls mature, love should move along in the rising growth of personality and character.

After all love is a virtue. Virtues improve with practice. Practice makes for habits. Strong habits are characteristic only of well-developed and matured personalities.

 

“The very presence of a woman who knows how to combine an enlightened piety with mildness, tact, and thoughtful sympathy, is a constant sermon; she speaks by her very silence, she instills convictions without argument, she attracts souls without wounding susceptibilities; and both in her own house and in her dealings with men and things, which must necessarily be often rude and painful, she plays the part of the soft cotton wool we put between precious but fragile vases to prevent their mutually injuring each other.” – Monseigneur Landriot, Archbishop of Rheims, 1872 –Loreto Publications

 

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

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Christ and Women (Part Four) ~ The Heart of His Mother

 

Part One is here.

Part Two is here.

Part Three is here.

by Father Daniel A. Lord, 1950’s

The Heart of His Mother

Christ understands. He read, we must remember, the story of all womankind in the life of His own mother. She was the perfect woman, and to her came whatever a woman can experience except original and personal sin.

Had He known her alone, He would still have known womankind. Because from the moment of conception Christ was in full possession of consciousness, because He combined the vision of God with the acquired experience of a man, He read the heart of His mother with perfect clearness.

In her story was, we may almost say, the story of womankind. Mary, on the threshold of womanhood, faced marriage hesitantly. The love of virginity was uppermost in her soul, and she prized that above all else. Yet in the mystery of the Incarnation the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity smiled approvingly and gave her the joy of motherhood with the preservation of her cherished virginity.

He was present at the almost overwhelming joy that flooded her soul when her fears, holy and maidenly, were swept aside and she knew that she carried in her womb the Child who was her son and the Son of God.

Christ alone of all mankind shared with a mother the secret, unspoken happiness of the months of waiting. He alone knew the eagerness, the dreads, the beautiful dreams with which mothers wrap round their unborn sons.

He experienced her anguish of soul when because of Him she bent silently before the questioning, hurt eyes of Joseph. I

n the thrilling moment when she held her first-born in her arms, He alone of all the sons of women had a conscious part.

For the rest of mankind the beautiful joys and consuming worries that surround the first years of childhood are a secret they never share. Jesus knew them, experienced them with His mother, felt their poignant reactions on her heart.

The poverty that forced her to use her veil for His baby clothes and a manger for His crib, that made her house a place of small economies and hard labor which roughened her hands and the hands of her growing boy, was His deliberate choice.

By her side He stood when Joseph died and the shadow of that death was flung over the little home. His heart was torn as hers was with the breaking of those ties that fastened Him to the house in Nazareth, for He foresaw more clearly than she possibly could the loneliness of the evenings when, after He had begun His public life, she must sit alone at the evening meal, face His empty chair, and know that He would never sit in it again.

When she stood at His torturing deathbed, He bore her sorrow added to His own pain; and in the midst of physical torture and mental agony He remembered her and cared for her.

His own rejection by His people was hard; far harder was the anguish He knew she felt when she realized that the world regarded her boy as a cheat and a failure.

No phase of woman’s life, then, was hidden from this Son, who learned all women’s joy and sorrow in the person of the one woman whose life was an epitome of every happiness and grief that women, since the world began, have ever experienced.

He Is Lonely Too

And if the heart of woman is so often lonely, surely the heart of Christ knew unspeakable loneliness too.

He walked the earth and no one except a woman, His mother, seemed to understand Him. His disciples never caught His plans, never dreamed His dreams, for up to the very moment of Pentecost, while He dreamed of a spiritual kingdom, they talked of thrones and armies and the restored kingdom of Israel. Surely nothing makes one so utterly lonely as the feeling that no one understands the things nearest to one’s heart.

Christ walked alone, talking of His hopes to people who laughed at them or misinterpreted them or turned them into new reasons for His death.

When He promised them the thing that was to prove His continued love for the world, the Blessed Sacrament, many used it as a pretext for leaving Him forever. And He followed their departure with hurt, disappointed eye.

The cry “Behold the heart that has loved men so much and has been loved so little in return,” that comes forth from the tabernacle, sounds very much like a cry of loneliness from the Eucharistic Christ.

With love squandered on everything and so little of it for Him, with throngs pouring down the city streets and lone worshipers before the altar, with the theaters crowded and the churches so often empty, it would be strange if the Christ upon our altars did not know loneliness.

Surely we sympathize most easily with the thing we ourselves know. Women are lonely? So was Christ. So, in a sense, is Christ. If lonely souls, when they find each other, cling together, surely women will cling to Christ. If the surest cure for loneliness is unselfishness to others, women have the cure for their own loneliness in devotion to the lonely Christ.

The Perfect Man

So, into the ancient world that had treated women so badly walked the lovely figure of the God-Man. He did not come as Adam came, in the full vigor of maturity, but as a baby born of a woman, the guise that must make the strongest appeal to a woman’s tenderness.

From the crib He stretches out His baby arms asking for affection and care. Can any woman be lonely when she takes a baby to her breast?

Then, as an attractive boy, He spent those early years in intimate association with a woman, sharing the burdens of her house-hold, helping her as a devoted son helps the mother he loves.

With Joseph dead, the task of providing for her became His own. His labor in the carpenter shop was what earned the food for her table, the linen for her bed, the clothes she wore.

Grown to full maturity, He walked the highways of His mission while this mother, first with pride, then with a sense of His doom, knew His greatness and His divinity.

She had experienced herself the gentleness and strength of His soul that made women follow Him devotedly, open the doors of their homes to welcome Him, stay near Him on the cross and before His tomb, faithful when all others had fled.

He, who had cared for her need, sought out the needy women of the towns. Because He was so pure, she saw sinful women for the first time in their sad history looking into the eyes of a man strong yet pitying, sinless yet infinitely forgiving.

There were lonely women’s hearts before Christ came. There need be no loneliness in the world’s most forgotten woman if she looks upon Jesus, loves Him, and asks for His sympathy and understanding.

The beautiful companionship which Jesus gave to His mother, to Martha and Mary, to the women saints of the Church, the understanding forgiveness that He showed to Magdalen and to the sinful women who turned to Him, the strength for their weakness and sympathy for their sorrows, the gentleness for their need that He gave to the women of that ancient world and to every woman who seeks Him in the Blessed Sacrament, He holds out to the women of today.

In Jesus Christ they find the ideal of their dreaming, the realization of their hopes, the man who fulfills their highest desires, the only one who never disappoints.

“To accomplish a big task, break it into a few smaller parts—these become ‘instant tasks’ that you can easily handle. It’s the big items that throw us and leave us in a panic. Think of one project that you have put off because it seemed too big to take on after a busy day or in the middle of a hectic one. Set a timer and work like mad for those 15 minutes! In a day or two you’ll have invested two or three 15-minute sessions and completed the larger task.” -Emilie Barnes, 101 Ways to Clean Out the Clutter http://amzn.to/2opUDer (afflink)

Are your thoughts building a castle or a manure pile? It is vital to control the thoughts we have in our most important relationship…the one with our husband!

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A must-read for the married and those considering marriage! This guidebook to finding a happy marriage, keeping a happy marriage, and raising happy children has been out of print for over 50 years…until now! From the master of the spiritual life, Raoul Plus, S.J., it contains loads of practical and spiritual advice on family life. Have you been looking for a handbook on marriage and raising children that is based on truth? You’ve found it!

The saints assure us that simplicity is the virtue most likely to draw us closer to God and make us more like Him.

No wonder Jesus praised the little children and the pure of heart! In them, He recognized the goodness that arises from an untroubled simplicity of life, a simplicity which in the saints is completely focused on its true center, God.

That’s easy to know, simple to say, but hard to achieve.

For our lives are complicated and our personalities too. (We even make our prayers and devotions more complicated than they need be!)

In these pages, Fr. Raoul Plus provides a remedy for the even the most tangled lives.

 

Christ and Women (Part Three) ~ His Love Goes On….

Part One is here.

Part Two is here.

by Father Daniel A. Lord, 1950’s

Women Around the Cross

From the vantage point of the cross He looked over the world to see who really loved Him. Among all those faces that He saw snarling up at Him and spitting upon Him the venom of their hatred, His gaze rested on the young face of St. John, the brave, tearless face of His mother, the sorrowing faces of the holy women and, pressed against the foot of His cross, the agonized face of Magdalen who had been the sinner.

One man, and the rest faithful women, daring the fury of a mob to be near Him as He died.

No wonder that, when Easter dawned, immemorial legend tells us He first appeared to a woman, His mother, and the Gospels tell us that He showed Himself to the holy women who had been with Him on Calvary and to Magdalen weeping near His tomb.

Women had shared His ignominy; He made them the first to share His glory.

His Love Goes On

This, then, is the attitude toward women of the historic Christ. There have been heroes who won the love and loyalty of women. But even great heroes have often been cruel to the women who loved them, as Napoleon was to Josephine or Caesar to the women whose loves dotted his career.

There have been pure knights like Galahad and brave knights like Bayard, but women meant almost nothing to them. Philosophers sometimes talked rather beautifully of women, but they went home to quarrel furiously with their wives or they left their lofty lectures to soil women with impure lusts.

Women have envied Clare the sympathy and comradeship of Francis of Assisi as they envied Scholastica her brother Benedict and Queen Blanche her son St. Louis.

But before the coming of Jesus Christ, no man ever meant to womankind what He did. No man save the God-Man ever was at once so heroic and so tender. No man ever looked upon women with such gentle eyes, yet lifted her with such strong, pure hands. No man ever gave more to women and asked less from them.

Fortunately for womankind the historic Christ lives on in His Church, and His attitude toward women remains unchanged. We are inclined to be almost astonished at the wonderful tenderness and affection He has shown to the women saints, almost as though He found in their devotion a love that made up, at least in part, for the love denied Him by a selfish world.

The mystic espousals in which Christ placed on the finger of St. Catherine His wedding ring were a symbol of the union that has joined Him to the souls of all religious women from the days of Rome’s first consecrated virgins to the days of the last young novice pronouncing her vows.

The stigmata that He pressed upon the hands and hearts of women saints are just the continued sharing of His Passion with women as He first shared it with the Mater Dolorosa and the women who stood near the cross.

So often in history He has entrusted some mission of special importance to women. His bride St. Catherine walked to Avignon and brought back His Popes from their Babylonian captivity.

St. Brigid of Ireland shared with St. Patrick the glory of making the isle Catholic.

The revelation of Lourdes was made to a little girl kneeling in prayer.

St. Joan of Arc, St. Theresa, St. Scholastica, the great women founders of religious orders, seem specially commissioned by Him for great, noble purposes. Certainly no hero in all the world has won such loyalty and faithful service as women have given to Christ.

In His name and for His love they have served the poor, taught little children, nursed the sick, made their houses like the Holy House of Nazareth, taken penitents in their protecting arms, kept devotion to Him flaming high in convents and in private homes.

Modern history is lighted  by the glowing lives of women kindled with a spark of the love of Christ.

The Revelation of Love

Then, when the greatest revelation of modern times, the revelation of the love of the Sacred Heart, was to be made to the world, we can hardly fail to see a significance in the fact that though one of His priests, Claude de la Colombiere, was commissioned to preach the devotion, the actual revelation, with its vision of the thorn-circled, flaming heart which has become the very symbol of Christ’s love for mankind, was made, not to a man, but to a woman, St. Margaret Mary, kneeling in her Visitation convent.

Once more a work of love and a special mark of love was given by Christ to a woman.

He Is Unchanged

The heart of woman can be as lonely now as it was when Christ first looked over the desolate ancient world. Her heart still needs strength with security, understanding without presumption, gentleness that is unselfish.

If, then, the women of the present age looked back twenty centuries and saw how the women of one small nation during a few years had the blessed privilege of knowing this perfect Man and feeling His sympathy, if they thought that His kindliness was restricted after that to a few unusual souls blooming in occasional convents or pious villages, they would be justified in feeling a quite natural twinge of discontent.

Surely women need Him today as much as ever they did. Surely their hearts cry out for all that He can mean to women as truly as did women’s hearts in Jerusalem or Siena or Assisi or Paray le Monial.

Because this is true, Christ, the perfect man, still offers womankind a friendship, loving yet trustworthy, gentle yet strong, sympathetic yet infinitely holy.

Christ, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, looks down with infinite understanding upon the world of women and every day in the year fills the loneliness of women’s hearts.

The Madonnas of the world bring Him their little ones and He blesses them and their children approvingly.

The Magdalens deep in despair kneel before Him; He touches their souls with gentle, healing tenderness, and lifts them from sin to sanctity, from darkness to light.

The widow raises her eyes to plead for her son long dead in sin, and Christ touches the boy and gives him back to his mother.

The little bride, fearing that the joy of her marriage feast is fast slipping into hopeless ruin, flies to Him, and He calms her fears and gives her once more the joy of her wedding day.

The modern Mary and Martha offer Him, exiled in a world that denies the very fact of the Eucharist, the hospitality of their warm, loving hearts, and He comes to dwell with them in Holy Communion as once He dwelt in the little house of Bethany.

No wonder, then, that our Catholic churches are always filled by the girls and women who day and night flock to Christ in the tabernacle.

Girls slip away from their offices, and wives from their homes, and mothers from their nurseries, and teachers from their classrooms, to find the sympathy and understanding offered to their hearts by this perfect Man.

For Christ in the tabernacle, as Christ walking the earth, knows best a woman’s joys and sorrows. He is the only one who really understands.

“Happiness in marriage must be earned. It is something you must work out for yourself, chiefly by forgetting yourself and serving others. No marriage is a success unless less you make it so, and that takes persistent effort and, still more, a constant and humble reliance on God.” – Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook http://amzn.to/2rsThRU (afflink)

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Author Mary Reed Newland here draws on her own experiences as the mother of seven to show how the classic Christian principles of sanctity can be translated into terms easily applied to children even to the very young.

Because it’s rooted in experience, not in theory, nothing that Mrs. Newland suggests is impossible or extraordinary. In fact, as you reflect on your experiences with your own children, you’ll quickly agree that hers is an excellent commonsense approach to raising good Catholic children.

Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, the renowned author of The Hidden Power of Kindness, gives faithful Catholics all the essential ingredients of a stable and loving Catholic marriage and family — ingredients that are in danger of being lost in our turbulent age.

Using Scripture and Church teachings in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format, Fr. Lovasik helps you understand the proper role of the Catholic father and mother and the blessings of family. He shows you how you can secure happiness in marriage, develop the virtues necessary for a successful marriage, raise children in a truly Catholic way, and much more.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Show Your Child How Nature Reveals God

What a beautiful time of the year to teach our children about Mother Nature and its workings in relationship to the Supernatural….

Illustration by Marcel Marlier (1930, Belgian)

by Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children

Sky, trees, sun, all of nature was created by God and serves Him perfectly, giving Him great glory. But nature study by itself teaches only an assortment of interesting facts. It can teach much more, if we would use it to teach as our Lord did and help our children to see the world as proof of God and His greatness and generosity.

For instance, one time our Lord said: Consider the ravens, for they sow not, neither do they reap, neither have they storehouse nor barn, and God feedeth them. How much are you more valuable than they!

He was talking to grown-ups at the time, telling them to be so detached that the sight of a flock of crows would remind them to trust their Father in Heaven.

We have crows all over our pasture and woods in the summertime, and the children love to think of Christ watching just such flights, hearing the same sounds of cawing when He told his listeners to think of crows like this.

If you live in the city and complain, “But we have only sparrows in the city,” well, He said the same thing about sparrows.

Weren’t two sparrows sold for only a penny? He asked. And yet not one fell to the ground without God’s first giving permission. “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

We do not have to tax our ingenuity in our use of nature to teach our children these first steps toward detachment. We need only to imitate Christ. That is one of the ways He taught most often.

Encouraged to look at the world this way and to wonder at all its beauty and mystery, they begin to see these truths by themselves.

Then the ants around an anthill tell them wonderful things, not just about ants, but about the power of God, who could give such tiny insects instincts of order and industry that they follow faithfully and thereby give glory to Him.

A child will come in to report tearfully that kitty has caught a mouse and is eating it on the porch, and it’s the beginning of learning the incredible obedience in nature: that it’s the nature of kitty to do just that.

A mouse will eat the grain (or nibble the bread in the pantry), a cat will eat the mouse, a dog will chase the cat, and on up the scale. It’s a fallen world since the first sin in the Garden, and we are all the victims of fallen nature.

Animals have no soul like ours, no reason, no gifts of grace. So they are obedient to their nature by doing the things their instincts tell them to do. And in their obedience, they praise God.

During deer season in our part of the country, the children are horror-stricken at the thought of killing deer; even seeing hunters cross our land to go into the hills makes for much excitement.

So every season, we have to reread the passage in Genesis where God gave man all the beasts of the earth for his food. Then, explaining that by hunting, for the purpose of food, the deer population is kept in check and the orchards that bear our native apples and peaches are protected from damage by too many deer, they begin to learn something of the divine economy in nature, the pattern of victim to prey, and the great dignity of man, to whom God made all other things subject.

These things may seem trivial, far afield of detachment, but for children, they’re the beginning. But often we miss the opportunity, in our haste to correct them for some attitude we think cruel or disrespectful, to use such situations to anchor them just a bit more firmly in their knowledge of God.

For instance, some children discovered a turtle and started pelting him with stones. When they ran back to report the fun to the grown-ups, some admonished them not to throw stones at turtles: “It isn’t nice.”

Others said, “You mustn’t throw stones at turtles. God made the turtle, and he is obeying God perfectly, according to his turtle way. You are far above a turtle. You have a mind and a soul, many things he has not. When you see a turtle, see him as something quite wonderful coming from the hand of God, with a funny little head that goes in and out, and a little house he carries on his back. And remember that both you and he were put here by God to do His will and praise Him — the one by acting like a turtle, the other by acting like a boy.”

This sounds like the kind of thing that might go in one ear and out the other, especially coming in the middle of an afternoon of noisy play. But days later, one of the boys at the turtle episode ran to his brothers after discovering a baby rabbit in its nest.

“Did you catch it?”

“No, it’s God’s. I just kneeled down and looked at it.”

Every mouse, every bird, every ant and grub can be an occasion for a small reflection, and these poured together like grains of sand slowly, surely, help to anchor a child in God. Sin, not God, causes nature’s harshness

Someone posed this problem, however. If you go too far with all this, wouldn’t a child conclude that he must stand still and let a wild beast devour him because the beast is God’s?

But we’re always permitted to defend ourselves. God gave Adam the animals and told him to “rule over them.” So we’re their masters, and they were made to serve us.

If some of the saints, in perfect detachment, could walk with serenity into the jaws of wild beasts, we can only wonder at their abandonment and pray that we, too, may one day trust as they did.

Lacking such trust (and it’s a rare and wonderful gift), it’s never a sin to kill a mad dog, or a poisonous snake, or even — and children will bring it up — swat a fly or kill a mosquito.

“Well, I wish they’d never committed Original Sin, and these darned mosquitoes wouldn’t bite.” And Jamie, scratching madly, begins to understand something of the nature of a fallen world when he applies it to mosquito bites.

St. Paul’s letter to the Romans helps a great deal to explain to children about the world and its longing to be restored to harmony (although it has to be retold in words they understand).

In it he wrote: Creation was made subject to vanity, not by its own will, but by reason of Him that made it subject, in hope, because creation itself also shall be delivered from its slavery to corruption, into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God. For we know that all creation groans and travails in pain until now.

Even the storms and tornadoes and earthquakes that seem so cruel and mysterious are the result of the Fall. And St. Paul says that this would not have happened if God hadn’t made nature share in the punishment for man’s sin.

But in its way, nature, too, hopes for the day when harmony will be restored and it will be perfect again. This is very comforting to a child who listens to hurricane warnings on the radio and asks, “Will there be a hurricane because God wants to show us His power?”

He is not a cruel God. He is perfect and just. But He warned Adam not to disobey. It was Adam’s sin that set in motion the cruelty in nature, and if Jesus had not consented to become man and share these misfortunes with us, we would never know what to do with them.

He turned punishment inside out for us, and gave us a way to use the sufferings we endure, from mosquito bites all the way up to hurricanes. We can pour them into the well of His own suffering and help Him redeem the world.

And of course this is the only answer to natural disorders and afflictions that makes any sense. Many children learn it, while many “wise” men do not.

 
“Let me encourage you to find room for a garden in your life, for a garden has secrets that can teach you so much. In it we have the privilege of witnessing firsthand a part of God’s character: Creation. We are so much richer because of our love for plants, flowers, and trees and our involvement in their growth.”
Emilie Barnes. Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home  (afflink) Illustration by http://www.genevievegodboutillustration.com/
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Our attitude changes our life…it’s that simple. Our good attitude greatly affects those that we love, making our homes a more cheerier and peaceful dwelling! To have this control…to be able to turn around our attitude is a tremendous thing to think about!
This Gratitude Journal is here to help you focus on the good, the beautiful, the praiseworthy. “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!
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How does one develop a space for one’s children free from the worst aspects of the surrounding culture? How to foster a spiritual life where children can develop a vision of God, themselves, and the world, and an approach to Him through prayer and the habits of daily life? Mary Reed Newland, in We and Our Children, here offers wise counsel on making the home a domestic church for the raising of Catholic children in holiness, truth, and the Christian virtues. All things central to a child’s life–play, work, school, creative activity, family responsibilities, prayer, the sacraments, and the Mass–are shown to be occasions for encouraging a spiritual outlook and the formation of sound Catholic habits.

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The good news is that a beautiful home doesn’t require too much money, too much energy, or too much time. Bestselling author and home-management expert Emilie Barnes shows readers how they can easily weave beauty and happiness into the fabric of their daily lives. With just a touch of inspiration, readers can

  • turn their homes into havens of welcome and blessing
  • build a lifestyle that beautifully reflects their unique personalities
  • enrich their spirits with growing things (even if their thumbs are several shades shy of green)
  • make mealtimes feasts of thanksgiving and kitchen duty fun
  • establish traditions of celebration that allow joy to filter through to everyday life

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

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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“We must live in the present moment. This is the only moment within our hands, the only one that can make us happy. The past exists no more; let us leave it to the Divine Mercy. And, though it does not yet exist, let us entrust the future to God’s loving Providence and live happily in the present.” -Fr. Narciso Irala, S.J., Achieving Peace of Heart http://amzn.to/2soEBXz (afflink)

Catholic Boy’s Journal!

The Catholic Boy’s Traditional 30-Day Journal! Let’s keep our youth engaged in the Faith! Let’s teach them how to be organized, how to prioritize, how to keep on top of, first, the Spiritual things in their lives, and then the other daily duties that God requires of them… Available here.
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This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

This book consists of fifteen discourses (four on Sins of the Tongue, three on Envy and Jealousy, two on Rash Judgments, two on Christian Patience, and four on Grace) that were originally talks given to laywomen of his diocese in the late 19th century. At the beginning the good Archbishop says… I propose, my children, to give you some instructions on the tongue, and the faults which it causes us to commit. I shall commence today by speaking of the power and beauty of that organ, of the noble use which ought to be made of it, and of the many advantages we may derive from it… There is precious little teaching on the topics covered in these instructions which is accessible to the average man and woman of today.

If you want to make progress in the spiritual life, you can’t afford to miss the bracing insights in this handbook for souls who yearn to be kinder. They’ll give you years of solid help in overcoming sin so that you’ll live more fully with others and truly transform your corner of the world!

Breathing Life into Your Home

by Lisa Jacobson, Marriage Wisdom for Her

A wise woman breathes life into her home by choosing cheerful words over complaining ones.

It all started with a sigh. A sigh so natural to me that I never noticed it escaping my lips. A long heavy sigh. I was washing vegetables for the dinner salad. Celery, peppers, and carrots. The typical evening prep. Feeling behind and burdened by my day.

That’s when my husband walked into the room and asked, “Hey babe, how was today?” And then, “Why the big sigh?” He asked and so I answered.

And it went something like this: “The bickering kids, the avalanche of housework, the unanswered emails, the half-broken appliances, the errands that took longer than they should have, and the three medical bills that arrived in the mail. . . .” A long list of complaints, but nothing special. All the usual.

But right before my eyes, I watched those strong, solid shoulders of the man I love drop a little. Hunch over a bit. Heavy with all I’d just dumped on him. But he’d asked and I’d answered him honestly. And I believe it’s important to be honest, don’t you?

Except for one thing. My “honesty” was taking him down. I was literally sucking the life out of our home with my complaining. I’d developed the very bad habit of grumbling, and I’d masked it all under the disguise of “being honest” instead of calling what it really was.

What I really was.

A complaining wife.

And that’s when I knew something had to change. I had to stop this negative stream of communication that greeted him almost every evening. It was time to trade out my whining discontent and to replace it with a thankful spirit. To choose cheerful words rather than negative ones.

I wanted to breathe life back into my home and our relationship. Oh, not that it meant I could never be “honest” again; there’s a time and place for that. But I realized that I could save it for another moment. And I was going to make sure that I wasn’t merely “dumping” on him, but truly coming to him for support, help, or a little sympathy. Not complaining for the sake of complaining.

Rather than focusing on all that had gone wrong, I was going to concentrate on all that was good in my day. Things that were true, lovely, and worthy.

And that goes something like this: “The kids had lots of fun at the park today, I got the pantry cleaned out, so glad for my washing machine and (partially-working) dryer, made it to the grocery store, got a nice compliment from my co-worker, and grateful our girl got medical care when she really needed it. . . .”

Same day – different perspective. And that has made all the difference in the world.

Maybe you’ve picked up the habit of complaining as well?

Try changing this one bad habit and see the good it brings to your husband, your marriage, and your home.

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Here is a marriage blueprint that every woman can follow. Happy marriages do not just happen, they are made. It takes three parties to make a good marriage; the husband, the wife, and the Lord. This book is concerned with helping the woman to become the wife desired and therefore loved that every man worth having wishes to find and keep…..

Ladies, we have one shot at loving our man. We all have the capacity and capability to love him and to do it well. It’s time for our marriages to start thriving in love. This practical book gives specific, real-life instruction on how to enjoy the best marriage has to offer….

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Mixed, Wrong and Sinful Company-Keeping, – Fr. Donald Miller, C.SS.R. 1955

Sin or Virtue doesn’t change. These articles are timeless…..

Is Mixed Company-Keeping a Mortal Sin?

 Problem

I am a Catholic nineteen year old and have a non-Catholic boy-friend whom I like very much. Recently my father told me that I must give this boy up because it is a mortal sin for a Catholic to keep steady company with a non-Catholic.

I am sure that this cannot be true because if it is there are surely hundreds of Catholics committing this mortal sin.

My father reads The Liguorian and I beg you to write the truth about this question so that he will understand.

 Solution

Your father is considerably nearer the truth than the many young Catholics who are endangering their happiness and their souls by mixed company-keeping, even though there are some distinctions to be made in the matter.

Your father no doubt bases his statements on a principle that is clearly set down in the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, according to which Catholics are seriously forbidden to enter into mixed marriages.

The law goes on to state that this prohibition arises from the divine law whenever there is danger of loss or lessening of the faith of the Catholic, whenever there is danger that the children of such a marriage will be deprived of a full Catholic upbringing, and whenever there is danger of scandal or weakening of the faith of others. (Experience proves that in most mixed marriages some of these dangers are to be found.)

But even apart from these dangers which one may not deliberately encounter without breaking the divine law, mixed marriages are forbidden to Catholics by the universal ecclesiastical law.

Since mixed marriage itself is thus forbidden, the conclusion can surely be drawn that, since company-keeping is only lawful when it may be a preparation for a good marriage, mixed company-keeping is unlawful for Catholics.

There may be exceptions to this general rule, but the exceptions can be based only on definite reasons for which the Church grants dispensations for Catholics to marry non-Catholics.

Some of the exceptions would be based on the following circumstances:

1) If a Catholic lives in an area in which there are very few Catholics, so that there is little chance of marriage except with a non-Catholic.

2) If a Catholic is well past the ordinary years in which marriage is thought about, and thus has greatly lessened chances of finding a partner for marriage.

3) If a Catholic starts going with a non-Catholic who almost at once shows a sincere interest in the Catholic faith and thus gives solid hope that he (or she) will become a Catholic, preferably before marriage or even engagement.

In any case the company-keeping is forbidden if there is obvious danger to the faith or morals or future children of the Catholic.

As a girl of nineteen, living in a city with a large Catholic population, you cannot defend your mixed company-keeping on either of the first two counts.

If you are on the sure way to making your boy-friend a Catholic, you need only convince your father of that and all will be well.

Wrong Company-Keeping

 Problem

If you are in love and cannot possibly marry for a number of years, is it better to give up the person you love or to continue keeping company in the hope of eventual marriage? My case is this. I got married during the first World War, and a few years later my wife ran away and divorced me.

Now I have met a girl who, I believe, would make an excellent wife. I want to be married as a good Catholic, by a priest, but have been told I cannot because my first wife is still alive.

I am 42 years old. I am still determined to be married only by a priest. The girl wants to wait until I am free.

Should we continue to keep company until something happens to make it possible for us to be married. or should we separate?

 Solution

There is a principle of Christian ethics that must be applied directly to your case. The principle is this: Only they are permitted to keep close and continuous company who are free to marry within a reasonable and foreseeable time.

The reason for this is that company-keeping between a man and woman who are attracted to each other ordinarily becomes a greater and greater danger to their souls the longer it goes on.

It is intended by nature to lead, not to sin, but to marriage. If it cannot lead to marriage, as in your case, it will almost surely lead to sin of one kind or another.

You are not permitted to risk so great a danger when you can escape it by giving up the company-keeping.

Having a lawful wife, even though divorced, you are not free to marry within a reasonable or foreseeable time, and therefore, the security of your soul demands that you forego company-keeping till such time as you are free to marry again.

A second reason why you should not continue to keep company with the girl is that, despite her expressed willingness to wait for you, you are doing her an injustice by limiting her freedom to go out with someone whom she could marry.

It is also a sin of scandal to keep her in the circumstances that can so easily lead to sin, and of bad example to others in the same situation as you are.

It must be remembered that the evil of adulterous thoughts, intentions and actions is not changed by the fact that a married man does not happen to be living with his wife.

His marriage vow binds him till death breaks it, and in the meantime he may not think of another marriage or those things that led to marriage.

Sinful Company-Keeping

 Problem

I cannot see the justice of your statement that company-keeping is lawful only when there is some prospect and intention of marrying.

I have a boy friend with whom I have been keeping company for ten years.

Neither of us cares to get married. He does not want to be tied down to marriage and I do not want to give up my job because I have no taste for house work or bearing children.

I suppose I should admit that we fall into sin now and then, but we always go to confession afterward.

Certainly we have a right to each other’s companionship even though we do not plan on ever getting married.

 Solution

I am afraid I must be blunt in contradicting you. Under the circumstances you describe you have no moral right to keep company.

Two things make it sinful.

The first is the fact that you have actually excluded the prospect of marriage from that which is lawful only as a possible preparation for marriage.

The second thing only multiplies the guilt you incur under the first head; it is the fact that your company-keeping has become an occasion of habitual sin.

It is practically certain, moreover, that your confessions are bad, because a confession cannot be good unless there be sincere and practical sorrow for sins confessed.

Such sorrow is impossible unless there be a determination to give up unnecessary occasions of sin.

It is obvious that when you confess the sins committed with your boy friend you have no intention of giving up the unnecessary occasion of those sins, which is keeping steady company with the deliberate intention of never marrying.

It is one of the moral monstrosities of our day that there are people who keep company for years, take to themselves the pleasures that are lawful only in marriage, and yet exclude marriage and its responsibilities from their thoughts and intentions.

That it is a monstrosity is evident in the fact that your own conscience has become so dull to so fundamental a moral principle.

I beg you to pray hard for light and courage to see and do what is right; to talk things over with your boy friend, and then, for the sake of your immortal soul, to decide to give up company-keeping or to plan on marriage soon.

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This Maglet (magazine/booklet) is for you…dear young (and not-so-young), Catholic, Feminine Soul. It is a compilation of traditional, valuable Catholic articles on the subjects that touch the hearts of serious-minded Catholic young ladies. There are articles on courtship, purity, singleness, vocation, prayer, confession, friends, tea parties, obedience, etc. This information is solid, written by orthodox Catholic writers (most of them gone to their eternal home) that cared about the proper formation of a young Catholic adult in a confused world. Take this information to heart and your journey through adulthood will be filled with many blessings! It is 40 pages, packed with information.  Available here.

With his facile pen and from the wealth of his nation-wide experience, the well-known author treats anything and everything that might be included under the heading of home education: the pre-marriage training of prospective parents, the problems of the pre-school days down through the years of adolescence. No topic is neglected. “What is most praiseworthy is Fr. Lord’s insistence throughout that no educational agency can supplant the work that must be done by parents.” – Felix M. Kirsch, O.F.M.

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Necessary advice to Catholic parents building a Catholic home. Reliable advice that is almost completely lost today, from people who know how it’s done. How to make it. How to live it. How to keep it. This book covers every aspect of Catholicizing your home–from spiritual matters like prayer and catechism to nuts and bolts topics like Keeping the Family Budget, Games and Toys, Harmony between School and Home, Family Prayers, Good Reading in the Home, Necessity of Home Life and much more

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