Love’s All That Matters – Rev. Daniel A. Lord, S.J.

norman rockwell soda shop

by Norman Rockwell

LOVE’S ALL THAT MATTERS. By Rev DANIEL A. LORD S.J.

We are a romantic age, no doubt of that. Our romantic instincts have been deliberately cultivated by the writers, the songsters, the motion-picture producers, our not always too wise elders.   Into the lives of most people, we are told, there is bound to come a time when romantic love will seem to be all that matters. What possibly could then stand against it?

Sometimes it may be that this strong romantic attachment, this physical affection that can combine with a strong desire for union of lives, may mean that the two people can marry and remain contentedly married for life.

The first impulse is backed by a lot of important things. There are tastes that match and backgrounds that dovetail. There are souls that command respect, and there is virtue that gives that respect.

That is the culmination of a dignified wooing that brings the young couple to that altar of God where a sacrament consecrates their lives. Splendid.

But if it should be that the romantic attachment comes in the form of merely a major emotional disturbance . . . . . if a thousand reasons cry out that this is not really love at all but fascination and infatuation . . . . if for all their physical and romantic urge the man and the woman would clearly not make each other durably happy or would enter marriage at costs too heavy to pay. . . .

UNACCEPTABLE LOVE.

For this romantic attraction may well come to people who should not under any circumstances let it lead them further. The quick flash of fascination may come when one of the pair is already married. Sounder judgment may shake a warning finger and cry out, “This won’t work.”

Literature has never been quite sure whether a person in a state of emotional enthrallment is a comic or a tragic figure.

Usually he or she is a little of both. For undoubtedly romance has a way of vastly exaggerating. The fascination that seems like true love makes the other person totally desirable. Longing and misery become twin companions.

The fascinating person looms so large that a shadow is cast over all else. Life itself seems for the time momentarily worthless without the fulfilment of what passes for love.

I don’t need to remind even a relatively thoughtless reader that the consequences of love are pretty durable . . . . . or should be.

Two young people look upon each other and feel the strong attraction. Each awakes in the other a mutual thrill; they find themselves electric in each other’s company, and the evening passes like a fairy-tale second. Yet this is only a beginning. Out of this love may come marriage, long years of companionship, the founding of a home and the establishment of a family.

Despite the old song, the climax of life together is not the honeymoon. And if the honeymoon fades swiftly away, leaving . . .’sadder maids, and wiser men,’ . . . they are right to feel that they have allowed themselves to be tricked.

SADDER MAIDS, WISER MEN.

Real love is a permanent attraction based not only on the physical fascination but on mutual respect. It is meant to be the opening gate to a long and stable relationship. It is God’s invitation to the sacrament of matrimony, which sacrament becomes in turn the beginning of a life of beautiful partnership in the creation of domestic peace and virtues and human life.

Fascination can be tricky. Love must be trustworthy enough to be used as the foundation of an entire new life.

“Youth is at the same time the most beautiful and the most dangerous period of life; it can be the most blessed, or the most fatal of seasons. It is the time of poetry and romance, of dreams and visions, of aspirations and ambitions, of the noblest impulses and the grandest resolves. But it is also the season of inexperience and immaturity, of impulsiveness and impetuosity, of conceit, of hasty ideas, undigested plans and precipitate action. By one heroic decision a young person can lay the foundations of future greatness; and by one misstep a youth can start headlong and irresistibly to utter and irretrievable ruin.”-Rev. Fulgence G. Meyer, 1920’s

A good article by Cynthia Burley…

Just Because We Got Engaged After 5 Months of Courtship, Doesn’t Mean You Should Too

It’s time to make this official statement: just because we got engaged after 5 months of courtship, doesn’t mean you should too.” Let me tell you about someone who rushed into marriage when she shouldn’t have…. Read more here.

Courtship Reading Recommendations:

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What is the dangers of dating? What is the purpose of marriage? What does the Church teach is ok to & not ok to do with members of the opposite gender…

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For The Guys – Love is the Mightiest Force/The Fall of Adam and Eve

From True Men as We Need Them, Fr. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894

Hallowed Mutual Love is All-Powerful for Good

Love is the mightiest force of the moral world, all-mighty for good when directed toward the august purposes ordained by Him who is the Creator both of the world of spirits and of the world of matter, and who delights, in aiding the workings of the human heart much more than in controlling the winds and the waves, the play of the lightning; or the pathways of the light, much more even than in regulating the vast and mysterious movements of the starry universe.

There never yet existed two young hearts kept pure for each other by the Great Author of our nature, and united for life-long companionship through the most ancient and sacred of His ordinances, whom He did not destine to be to each other a source of purest bliss, a mutual power toward all excellence, and the parents of a race of Godlike men and women, if they would themselves only be faithful to the light that is in them!

Here lies the secret of so much sin and misery, of so many scandals among every class of society, of the ruin of so many homes and the breaking of so many hearts. The mighty force of lawful love is placed, like every other most precious gift of God to man, in the keeping and under the control of man’s free will.

He is left free by his Maker, to use the gift or neglect it, to apply it to the divinest purposes or to pervert it to the worst.

Man has but a limited control of the mighty elementary forces of nature. The storms which sport with his best-built ships on the ocean, the inundations which yearly devastate his fields and wreck his habitation, the earthquake-power that levels the proudest cities in the twinkling of an eye and engulfs whole continents in the deep, the very fire given him for so many useful and salutary ends, all show him continually that he is not their master.

Nay, more than that, the very steam which he generates and utilizes as the agent of his most triumphant progress, annihilates him at every turn, as if to convince him that his most glorious conquests can never be achieved over elements that he was not born to subdue.

The strength of man and his chief glory lie in his mastery over his own soul, and in his power of binding to himself the souls of others. His worst sin consists in the neglect of subduing his own evil passions, of cultivating and developing the good that is in himself; in the neglect of his duties toward the souls knit to his own, given him to guard from evil, to advance in all good, to love as God has loved us, by continual devotion and self-sacrifice in favor of the beloved.

Man is Responsible for the Fall in Eden

The story of the two first human beings ought to be a lesson full of warning and most wholesome instruction for every human pair, who start in life together under the sanction of God’s blessing.

No, Eve was not the author of the transgression that ruined human happiness and sullied human life at their very origin. Eve was not the head of the race. She was derived from Adam and created for him. We stood not or fell not in her and through her. Man was the head.

In him it was decreed that the entire race should stand or fall. When the woman, whom he was bound to guard and watch over far more jealously and diligently than over his beauteous domain of Paradise, fell, in great part, it may be, because he was neither diligent nor watchful in his charge over her unsuspecting innocence and comparative helplessness, we had not yet fallen.

Her sin was her own, and was not to be imputed to us. Had Adam continued innocent, then he would not have forfeited the sublime rank to which in him all human nature had been elevated.

He fell, tempted, to be sure, by his now guilty communion; but he fell freely, with his eyes open, with a full knowledge of the consequences of his disobedience, with a lively sense of the immense debt he owed to his Creator and Benefactor, and he fell to gratify his own sensuality.

No other motive is assigned in Scripture. His fall, utterly unjustifiable and utterly disgraceful as it was, dragged us all down; and the ruin caused thereby required the coming down to our level in our assumed flesh and blood of that Eternal Son, through whom all things had been made, and by whom alone the ruin of all things could be repaired.

Even so now, let us not close our eyes to the luminous fact—the ruin of the Home comes through man: woman’s baneful agency is but indirect, accidental, at the very most, secondary or subsidiary.

The head of the Home is man, the head of society is man; the destroyer of the moral world is man; its restoration and salvation must be through woman.

At any rate, certain it is that at the head of the moral order here below is man; when he fails, then there follows disorder everywhere.

Quote for the day….

Her soul, her life, is given you “to dress and to keep” and on your appreciating her nature and her worth, on your knowing how to call forth by your love, your care, your devotion to her service, by the sunlight of your examples much more even than by your mere love and tenderness—must depend whether or not you shall have a home-garden, a paradise—or a hell upon earth. -Rev. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894

Sermon for you today….

Father speaks in a marriage conference to men. What is it to be a man. This is for husbands & fathers. Please say a Hail Mary for the priest.

 

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Do Your Part and Trust in God’s Help

It IS interesting, isn’t it, how, in the last decades, women are made to feel as if they are being “losers”, “nobodys” if they are dedicated to the home. They are not using their talents if they aren’t out working in the world.

Truly, I find that illogical. How many talents does it make to run a pleasant home, raise good children, have a healthy relationship with someone you rub shoulders with night and day? That, in itself, is a full-time job…not to mention if some are homeschooling, seeking out healthy alternatives, helping with their parish life, etc., etc.

No, it takes a brave, committed, responsible, hard-working adult to do what it takes to raise a Godly family in today’s society.

And for those women who have to work on top of all that, what a load, indeed! My own mother had to work for a period in our lives and it was very difficult!

Father Lovasik, in this excerpt, talks about happiness in marriage, and how it must be earned…

 

by Father Lovasik, The Catholic Family Handbook

Happiness in marriage must be earned. It is something you must work out for yourself, chiefly by forgetting yourself and serving others.

Marriage involves the art of human relations, the psychology of children, the economics of running a home, the maintenance of health, but, above all, the development of the moral and spiritual life of the family.

All this demands a wide range of talents and skill. 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.

The supreme object of your effort and striving is the family. You worked and saved in order that you might be married and have a home of your own. Once married, you worked and saved that you might successfully bring up a family.

Your purpose in Matrimony should be to bring God’s children into the world and rear them properly, to be one in body and spirit, and to make a happy home. You are to help one another and your children in every possible way, especially to get to Heaven, which is the final and eternal destiny for us all.

You and your spouse must be willing to work at marriage as the greatest job of your lives and not desert when problems arise. When you married, each of you took on a responsibility for some part of the work that goes into the making of a home.

Both assume the responsibility of encouraging and helping the other, insofar as is possible, in the specific tasks designed for each.

The training of children is the mutual responsibility of both husband and wife. Thus, marriage is very much a fifty-fifty proposition. Only when you are willing to bear your share of the burdens of married life can you hope to have real love and peace.

Marriage is normally a source of equilibrium for you, because cause it brings you legitimate and healthy pleasures. But equilibrium always consists of an effort to impose the guidance of reason upon all your activities.

Welcome without narrow-mindedness and weakness the joy marriage offers; use your reason in meeting the difficulties that marriage inevitably entails.

If your temperament is inherently unstable, if your life is weighed down with unfavorable conditions, you can recover the health of your emotional and spiritual life only if you seek above all what is right according to the sane reason that God has given you, providing, of course, that you make yourself do it.

Only this effort can bring you the joy that is worthy of you.

At any rate, she has by nature the power, the art, and the disposition to please, to soothe, to charm, and to captivate. It is a wonderful power; and we see daily women exerting it in a wonderful way. Why will not women who are truly good, or who sincerely strive to be so, not make it the chief study of their lives to find out and acquire the sovereign art of making their influence as healthful, as cheering, as blissful as the sunlight and the warmth are to their homes? – Rev Bernard O’Reilly, True Womanhood, 1894 http://amzn.to/2mPm81e (afflink)

 

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Overcoming Sadness, Discouragement, etc.

This little excerpt is from the excellent book, Achieving Peace of Heart by Father Narciso Irala, S.J. written over 60 years ago.

Father talks about the re-education of the mind and the will when overcome with sadness, discouragement or depression. He goes more in depth in his book, but through this excerpt you are able to see that often the cure is simple, if applied consistently and with perseverance….and that the cure is in our hands.

Exercise Conscious Life

When you are not engaged in intellectual work, rest your mind by receiving conscious sensations with an easy, peaceful attention to the things of the external world.

And when doing mental work exert yourself in concentrating all your attention there. Forget the past, future and yourself. In the beginning you will do this easily for a few moments.

Then by progressive increase of attention you will attain normal concentration. The root of the evil is in domination of conscious mental activity by the unconscious.

Now the acts prescribed above are in themselves insignificant. Yet, because they are fully conscious and often repeated during the day, they attack the root of the evil directly. They produce a reaction of greater joy, peace and mastery.

Don’t Be Discouraged

Do not think it strange if in the morning you notice a greater sensation of the symptoms, discouragement or fatigue, and if fatigue is less and sadness almost gone by the afternoon or after doing some work.

The reason is that the unconscious is in control during sleep. And there is danger after awakening of continuing under its disturbing influence. After some controlled acts, however, joy returns again and our vigor is rejuvenated.

Nor should you wonder at the periodic appearance of enthusiasm and discouragement, progress and apparent setbacks. This happens in many mental and nervous illnesses.

Fight Pessimism

An uncontrolled imagination drives a man toward pessimism and exaggeration of his troubles, and hence to discouragement and despair. For sad events and experiences, at one time conscious but now perhaps forgotten, continue to be active on the unconscious level. They tend to add a pessimistic overtone to all mental images.

If we reflect on our thoughts and feelings we shall see that even insignificant beginnings can have terrifying consequences. A brief daily examination in writing of the course of your pessimistic imaginings will quickly convince you of this.

You will then belittle those fears, troubles and worries. If you discount your fears by 90 percent, you will be closer to reality.

Give no importance then to imagined ills or fears for the future. Better still, once you recognize the error or exaggeration of your unconscious mental associations, deliberately come to the opposite conclusion: enthusiasm, joy, courage, optimism.

For, as Father Gar-Mar again said, the shadow of the cross is often larger than the cross itself. So black, so sad, so crushing are the crosses we dream up for ourselves.

Foster Joy and Optimism

Insist upon joy and optimism as opposed to the sadness and discouragement which sometimes seem so natural.  Do this by briefly changing your occupation and busying yourself with thoughts, readings and conversations which make the mind happy and elevate it.

Do not pretend to drown melancholy in alcohol for, as a modern author says, drinking does not drown our troubles but only irrigates them.

The central powerhouse which supplies current to our organs is optimism, either instinctive or acquired.

Feelings of joy and health stimulate blood circulation and accelerate nutritional processes. If you doubt your forces and think yourself sick, you are already beginning to be sick. Then the central powerhouse has lowered its potential. All lights grow dim. Your organs do not work so well.

Sad passions, such as fear, worry, discouragement, agitation, anger, scorn, anxiety, make us realize the truth in the common phrase, “It makes me sick!”

All joy is curative and all discouragement tends to increase our troubles. Gladness is a swimming pool of health where we should bathe each day.

Get Down To Work

If you suffer from any of the personality maladjustments remember that there is no lesion in your higher faculties, above all in you will.

What happens is that you do not know how to use them. These faculties are marvelous forces. When well directed they are capable of transforming any mental pattern and curing any abnormality.

But you must know how to avail yourself of their benefits. This is easily attained by re-education. You have the cure in your own hands. A little constancy and method is enough.

Your thoughts are the limit of your activities. No one takes a single step further than his convictions. If you imagine to yourself that you cannot do this or that, you will never do it.

“Possunt quia posse videntur,” the old Romans used to say. “They can because they think they can.”

Aside from the times when you need the ministrations or advice of a profession physician, your six best doctors are sun, water, air, exercise, diet and joy. They are always there waiting for you. They cure your ills and do not cost you a cent.

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Speaking of your thoughts…..

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Being Selfish is NOT Okay!

From:  The Good Wife’s Guide: Embracing Your Role as a Helpmeet by Darlene Schacht

While switching channels one day, I happened upon an interview. Since they were talking about family, it caught my attention so I paused to listen.

“Family… children…” I heard those words. Could she have the same passion and convictions as I? I turned up the volume anxious to hear more.

Unfortunately what I heard didn’t resemble Christian living by any stretch of the imagination. In fact it was so absurd that I turned the television off and considered cutting cable altogether.

My stomach was in knots over the attitude of acceptance that prevailed in this interview and the fact that they let this guest have air time.

After working overseas for a few months, this woman simply decided that she didn’t want to be a mother any longer. She walked away from her two children (ages 3 and 5) and her husband of 20 years to build a career.

While away, she missed her kids, but she “didn’t miss when they were throwing up seven times during the middle of the night, and getting a call asking, ‘Can you wash pillows?’”

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What has this world come to when children are discarded like items on a yard sale table? When we say, “I don’t want to handle the responsibility that comes with being a parent, so I’ll step away—while someone else carries my load.”

It’s one thing to buy a pair of boots and change your mind a month or two down the road; it’s an entirely different thing to walk away from responsibility because life isn’t what we hoped it would be.

“Everybody has their own choices,” she said, “but my choice works for us and I think it’s not so selfish for women to say “Okay, I would like to have my own priority, I would like to have something in my life. I would like to be able to do my job.’”

“Not so selfish?” Is she serious?

That statement is the very definition of the word selfish: Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interest, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others. (Dictionary.com)

As wives and mothers we can and should have our own interests, but when our primary concern is our “self” to the point that we become our first priority, we have given in to a selfish nature that isn’t lined up with scripture.

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Unselfish Love

Everyone has the right to make their own choices—we do, but when those choices affect the welfare of children, we as a society should be moral enough to stand up against these ideas and teach women that being selfish is not “okay.”

Titus 2 exhorts women to love their children and to be keepers of the home. That doesn’t mean that we can’t have our own interests or earn extra money, but it does mean that we are to prioritize family because that’s what love does.

Love is not self-seeking. When you truly love someone you get up in the middle of the night to wash pillows, regardless of how much those sheets stink, or how tired you are.

The Problem – Or Is It?

In 1963, Betty Friedan published a book called The Feminine Mystique. For only .75 cents a copy, women would find the answers to “the problem that has no name.” This book was the catalyst for the second–and what appears to be the most damaging–wave of women’s liberation.

“The problem is always being the children’s mommy, or the minister’s wife and never being myself.”- Feminine Mystique, Chapter 1

Apparently there was a “problem” that was plaguing housewives of the day, and according to the author, this problem could be fixed. If women turned inward and began to focus on their needs, their careers, and their happiness, they would find the happiness and sexual fulfillment they had been missing out on all along.

Since the author wasn’t able to give “the problem” a name–let me. It’s called, “sacrificial love,” and according to the Bible, it’s the only love worth giving.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Was there really a “problem” or were a few women creating an issue that didn’t exist?

I pray that women today will step up and realize the fallacy that this teaching offers. Seeking fulfillment by putting our own needs ahead of others brings temporal highs that fade quickly.

If you’re seeking true joy with long-lasting results, it can only be found by building virtue upon faith. That’s where you’ll find fulfillment, and that’s where you’ll find your true purpose in life.

Turning Back the Clock

I’m not always politically correct. But as you might have noticed, that doesn’t stop me from sharing what I see as truth.

I’ve been accused of single-handedly turning back the clock on women’s rights, and I can see where that accusation is coming from. Joyfully serving your family? Submitting to your husband? Letting him be the head of your household?

These ideas are fading into the past as modern women would prefer to wear the proverbial pants in the family–or at least a matching pair.

I’d like to address the question on everyone’s lips, “Why should husbands get the final say?” I’ll start by saying this; letting him have the final say doesn’t mean that you can’t have a discussion and share your ideas.

A good marriage should have channels of communication by which husbands and wives both offer ideas and determine solutions. There should be mutual respect where both parties give and take of each other’s thoughts. And there needs to be an attitude of acceptance where both a man and his wife can offer their voice.

But at the end of the day, he gets the executive vote. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:3.

More importantly than the obvious fact that men and women are different, the reason we submit to our husbands is because we are commanded in scripture to do so.

God’s wisdom doesn’t always sit right with mankind, and it doesn’t have to.
Faith tells me that His wisdom exceeds mine and therefore I put my trust in His infallible Word. Yes, that’s politically incorrect, and to some it may be viewed as turning back the clock on women’s rights. I get that.

But really, what are the rights of a woman? Better said, what are the rights of mankind? Certainly we’re given our constitutional rights, but who gives us those rights? The way I look at scripture, we’re given one right and only one–the ability to choose. Anything and everything else we are given is grace.

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If that’s turning back the clock on women’s rights, then I say turn it back and keep turning it back until men and women accept scripture as truth that is both applicable and beneficial to families today.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

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“Think of the Queen of Heaven and Lady of the World as humble housewife at the same time that she is mother and caretaker of God’s Son. It makes me sigh of tenderness, fills me with goodwill and love for the small and great chores of the home. How fragrant would be the robes that this pure lily washed. How tasty would be the food her delicate hands prepared. From her holy lips, not a whisper, no complaint or claim, only praise and sweet words. A life of worship and continuous obedience, in the freedom of those who choose to love – were she to kneel in prayer or clean the floor.” -Veronica Mendes, A Mulher Forte

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Live, Instead of Waiting to Live

from Interior Freedom by Father Jacques PhilippeIMG_0840 IMG_0831 IMG_0839

Our present life is always something good, for the Creator has endowed it with a blessing He will never cancel, even though sin has complicated things.

“God saw that it was good,” the Book of Genesis tells us. For God, “seeing” means not merely taking note but actually conferring reality. This fundamental goodness of life is also expressed by Jesus: “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

Sometimes, though, it isn’t worry that causes us to focus on the future, but the hope of something better or happier.

It may be a very specific event, like a reunion with someone we love or coming home after a long, tiring journey.

Or it may be less well-defined: the time when things will go better, circumstances will change, life will be more interesting.

At present, we tell ourselves, we don’t really have a life, but later we will “live life to the full.”

There is nothing wrong with that, but it does contain a certain danger. We may spend our whole lives waiting to live. Thus we risk not fully accepting the reality of our present lives.

Yet, what guarantee is there that we won’t be disappointed when the long-awaited time arrives? Meanwhile we don’t put our hearts sufficiently into today, and so miss graces we should be receiving. Let us live each moment to the full, not worrying about whether time is going quickly or slowly but welcoming everything given us moment by moment.

To live today well we also should remember that God only asks for one thing at a time, never two.

It doesn’t matter whether the job we have in hand is sweeping the kitchen floor or giving a speech to forty thousand people. We must put our hearts into it, simply and calmly, and not try to solve more than one problem at a time.

Even when what we’re doing is genuinely trifling, it’s a mistake to rush through it as though we felt we were wasting our time.

If something, no matter how ordinary, needs to be done and is part of our lives, it’s worth doing for its own sake, and worth putting our hearts into.

LIVING IN THE PRESENT INSTANT:

Be docile and pliable in the hands of God. You know what you must do to achieve this.

Keep yourself at peace and in complete repose, never become upset and never trouble yourself about anything, forget the past, live as though the future does not exist, live for Jesus in every moment that you are living, or, better, live as though you have no life in yourself, but allow Jesus to live in you at His leisure; to walk thus, in all circumstances and in all encounters, without fear or worry as is becoming the children of Jesus and Mary; never think of yourself voluntarily; abandon the care of your soul to Jesus alone, etc.

It is He who takes the soul by force; it belongs to Him. It is therefore up to Him to take care of it because it is His property. Do not fear so much the judgment of such a tender Master.

Generally speaking, banish all fear and replace this feeling with love; in all of this, act gently, sweetly, steadily, without haste, without anger. Act as if you were dead when the need is there.

Walk in this fashion in all graciousness, abandonment and complete confidence. The time of this exile will end and Jesus will belong to us and we to Him.

Then each of our tribulations will be a crown of glory for us that we will place on the head of Jesus, because all glory is His alone.

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“Think of the Queen of Heaven and Lady of the World as humble housewife at the same time that she is mother and caretaker of God’s Son. It makes me sigh of tenderness, fills me with goodwill and love for the small and great chores of the home. How fragrant would be the robes that this pure lily washed. How tasty would be the food her delicate hands prepared. From her holy lips, not a whisper, no complaint or claim, only praise and sweet words. A life of worship and continuous obedience, in the freedom of those who choose to love – were she to kneel in prayer or clean the floor.” -Veronica Mendes, A Mulher Forte

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Don’t Stress Sin Too Much – Rev. George A. Kelly

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

Don’t stress sin too much. In giving your child the moral training he needs, avoid the extreme of referring to all of his transgressions in terms of how they will affect his relations with God.

It is true that parents must never encourage children to be lax about moral matters, for a sin is always hateful in the eyes of God.

Nevertheless, some parents–fortunately a very tiny minority–use their child’s religious sense as a weapon to force him to do things which should not normally be expected of him.

A mother discovered that she could get her daughter to comply instantly with her commands if she accused her of “sinful disobedience” for failing to do so. Soon the mother had a means at her disposal to force the child to do excessive amounts of housework. As a result, the girl grew up lacking respect for authority and with a scornful attitude toward all the commandments.

When parents constantly thunder about sin, their children may develop an abnormal fear of God, viewing Him as a judge who will thrash them for the slightest offense. Such children may come to lose their trust in God’s mercy–a trust they will need in later life to meet the crosses which will inevitably be theirs to bear.

In his book “Your Child’s World,” Dr. Odenwald describes a nine-year-old patient who had become so terrified of the dark that he had extreme difficulty in sleeping.

“This boy feared that because of his sins–really not sins at all but rather the normal actions of a boy his age–he would be severely punished by the Almighty,” Dr. Odenwald writes.

“Another boy reached the point where he confessed his sins to the priest on Saturday, but felt unworthy to receive Communion on Sunday because he might have offended God unwittingly by committing some mild offense.

A five-year-old girl, who was attending a Sunday School, was so impressed by a sermon on hell and damnation that she could not get it out of her mind. Because of her one-sided introduction to the idea of punishment for sins, she displayed psychotic tendencies even at this early stage.”

 

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“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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In this sermon I teach the two ways of meditation, Lectio Divina and Mental Prayer, according to St. Bruno and St. Teresa of Avila, respectively. For more please visit http://padreperegrino.org/category/po… & remember to say 3 Hail Marys for the priest

 

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Catholic Young Lady’s Maglet (Magazine/Booklet)!! Enjoy articles about friendship, courting, purity, confession, the single life, vocations, etc. Solid, Catholic advice…. A truly lovely book for that young and not-so-young single lady in your life! Available here.

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New Podcast! Thoughts…Our Destruction or Our Salvation

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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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At any rate, she has by nature the power, the art, and the disposition to please, to soothe, to charm, and to captivate. It is a wonderful power; and we see daily women exerting it in a wonderful way. Why will not women who are truly good, or who sincerely strive to be so, not make it the chief study of their lives to find out and acquire the sovereign art of making their influence as healthful, as cheering, as blissful as the sunlight and the warmth are to their homes? – Rev Bernard O’Reilly, True Womanhood, 1894 http://amzn.to/2mPm81e (afflink)

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Becoming Saints

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Painting by George Dunlop Leslie, 1835-1930

by Father Daniel Considine, S.J., 1950’s

Becoming Saints

Our Lord longs for us to become saints. Visions, etc., are not necessary for sanctity. The impression that sanctity belongs only to a very small class is quite a mistaken one. . . . It is a great mistake to think that when Our Lord asks anything, and we don’t give it, He turns away and leaves us.

In order to become a saint, it is not necessary never to make a mistake, never to keep Our Lord waiting. Sanctity is much easier than we suspect. People will say, ‘it is not for the likes of me.”

If people unfortunately won’t believe Our Lord wants their friendship, they tie His hands. “Of course, Our Lord can’t ask that of me” Many would be quite willing if only they could bring themselves to believe Our Lord is asking it of them.

What makes a saint is a very tiny spark of the love of God. It suddenly strikes me that God really loves me, and that, if I don’t do that little thing, it hurts Him.

If you try to serve Him out of love, He puts up with blunders, sulkiness, frailties, etc. There are plenty in the world who’ll work out of love; many will do for another what they won’t do for themselves.

How long it took the saints to become saints! What disappointments they had! Yet every one was persuaded that Our Lord loved them. Never be afraid of desiring the highest graces. Even the higher kinds of prayer – there is no room for vanity – no one need ever know anything at all about it.

The Shepherds at the Crib

Examine the conduct of the shepherds.

They were doing their work; they were exactly where they ought to have been. We shall not be asked if we were exalted or lowly, good-looking or plain, rich or poor. I shall be in congenial temper with God if I am doing the work God has given me to do.

The shepherds’ work meant a certain amount of hardship. They were inured to it, perhaps, but still it meant sacrifice, hardness of life. If our life doesn’t mean this, sprinkle a little of the salt of mortification upon it.

Do I know what my work is, and am I faithful to it? And if hard, do I embrace it willingly?

Some people look for God anywhere but at home, in their everyday clothes and humdrum life. Every work we have to do is God’s. We quite forget, though God is in heaven, He is in my heart and soul, and as much in my kitchen as in my drawing room.

Don’t let us dream our lives away, or wait for some great occasion of sacrifice which may never come. “Oh, if only I had the facilities another person has, what a wonderful person I should be!’ A fallacy.

Your sanctity consists in dealing with your present circumstances. Do those things which are close under your eyes and God will give you more to do. The saints became saints by using the opportunities which others disdain.

“God couldn’t have meant me to do such a work in my circumstances.” We can leave that to God quite safely, and if I allow Him to direct me, all will come right. To be willingly where we ought to be, attracts to us the invitation of Our Lord.

These shepherds were certainly not men of any mark or ability, nor out of the common outwardly. But they were, you may be sure, God-fearing men, striving to love God.

Otherwise they would have been scandalized at being called on to worship the tiny Child in the cold stable in the arms of His Mother. It is much easier to understand that the Magi could recognize Our Lord. But these poor shepherds rose to the great act of faith required of them, because they had already given their hearts to God. They were simple men.

Are we simple? God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. He actually opposes the proud, drives them from Him. If we could see a material barrier round that Crib, we should see how we are prevented from getting nearer Him by -usually- pride. They saw the Divinity which their more learned countrymen could not see, because of their simplicity. The more we advance in the spiritual life the more we become as children.

Let us pray to grow in this simplicity and that desire to see Him which is the prelude to His coming. If we long, He will satisfy our longing. Wherever we are, God will come to us, if He finds us trying to be perfect. Desire Him to come as He has never come before. Offer Him the homage of rejoicing and offer Him your heart, desiring to be rid of your failings.

Love and friendship are the remnants of the earthly paradise. In this vale of tears, when we encounter so many difficulties, to have people you can call friends is such a joy, such a comfort, such a gift. –Dietrich von Hildebrand, Man, Woman, and the Meaning of Love: God’s Plan for Love, Marriage, Intimacy, and the Family http://amzn.to/2zdpZLI (afflink)

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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. See photo for Table of Contents. Available here.

 



Marriage Without Children, Catholic Girl’s Quandary – Young People’s Questions, Fr. Donald, C.SS.R.

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Such a great book to have on hand for the singles (and the married) to peruse!

Questions Young People Ask Before Marriage

Historical Vassar

This post is so good. It is comforting advice and something to hang on to all through our married life. Parents who are open to life will often wonder how to make ends meet. We need to keep in mind what Father had to say to this young woman.

Marriage Without Children

Problem:

I am 20 years of age, and am to be married in June. I have a very serious problem.

My fiancé is making about $130 a month and I am making about the same.

You can see that after we are married we shall both have to work to make ends meet. I have heard so much about birth-control that it has been worrying me terribly.

We are both Catholics and do not want to practice birth-control. We want to have children, but I can’t see how we can for at least two years. How could my future husband support any children, let alone myself, on $130 a month?

As to putting off our marriage, we have been going together for two years, and recognize the danger of waiting any longer.

Solution:

This problem has worried many a young couple about to be married. Some it has led into habits of sin against marriage from the very beginning.

It is for all such couples that this answer is given. The issue is very clear.

On the one hand you have an opportunity to obey a grave law of God when this is difficult, and in so doing to trust yourselves to His loving and provident care, to rely on the friendship with Him that you will thereby win.

On the other hand you may foolishly decide on a certain period of serious disobedience to God, thereby renouncing any help that God could give, inviting His punishments, and trusting only in yourselves and your sins to provide for your future.

The folly of the latter course becomes clear from many angles. A couple about to be married do not know whether God will let them have children. They do not know whether they will live long enough to have children. They do not know in what strange and unusual ways God might raise their economic status before a baby could be born.

They should know, if they are Christian, that God is all powerful, infinitely loving toward His friends, intensely interested in their marriages, incapable of permitting any cross or trial to afflict them without a wise reason.

They should know that without God they are helpless, and that they choose to do without God by adopting practices of birth-control. Together the couple in our case is making about $260 a month.

Even if she becomes pregnant at once, the wife ordinarily would be able to continue working for four or five months.

Before a baby comes, the husband should be able to get a raise or two in salary, or to find a better paying job. They should be able to save something out of their combined salaries.

For any uncertainty that remains, they should have a fund of confidence in God that leaves sin out of the question. To start married life with sin is to make a failure out of marriage from the beginning.

Catholic Girl’s Quandary

Problem:

“I am engaged to be married. My boy friend is not a Catholic, but he consented to go with me to my pastor to make arrangements for our wedding.

When he found out from the priest that he would have to promise that all our children would be brought up as Catholics, he told me that he would never sincerely make such a promise. Now he wants me to marry him before a justice of the peace.

I love him dearly and cannot give him up. Isn’t there something I can do about this?”
Solution:

What should be done to meet a situation of this kind should have been done long before the impasse arose, long before any promises of marriage were given.

The very fact that you don’t know what to do indicates quite clearly that you entered upon company-keeping and permitted yourself to be propelled towards marriage without any clear, Catholic sense of proportionate values.

Now the fact that you are in love makes you want to find some way out of the duty you owe to God. For either of two reasons a courageous and well-informed Catholic girl would tell the boy in your case that she could not marry him.

The first reason is that he insists that she abandon a principle that must be rooted in the conscience of every Catholic girl, viz., that she must transmit her faith to her children.

The second reason is that he wants her to enter what would be an invalid marriage for her. To give in to a fiancé on either of these points is fatal to the soul of a Catholic.

A truly Catholic girl has such dangers as these in mind from the outset of her friendship with any man. She does not easily enter into company-keeping with a non-Catholic because of them. If she does start going with a non-Catholic, having a good reason for so doing that is stronger than the advice of the Church, she lets him know from the outset how firm is her own faith and how impossible for her is any compromise of its principles.

She tries to transmit some of her convictions, and their logical foundations, to her boy friend. If she finds him indifferent to all religion, or opposed to her religion, she becomes aware at once that marriage to him would be most unhappy.

The great tragedies of life begin with statements like yours.

What you are really saying is this: “I am in love with a man. I must abandon God to possess him. Can’t you suggest something that will let me have this man anyway?

Like Finer Femininity on FacebookIMG_0034It would do much in the home if all the members of the family were to be as kind and courteous to one another as they are to guests. The visitor receives bright smiles, pleasant words, constant attention, and the fruits of efforts to please. But the home folks are often cross, rude, selfish, and faultfinding toward one another. Are not our own as worthy of our love and care as is the stranger temporarily within our gates? -Fr. Lasance, My Prayer Book

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