The Wife Desired is Religious (Part Two)

Part One here.

From The Wife Desired, Fr. Leo Kinsella, 1950’s

Whatever has been said of truth holds good for all the other virtues. Honesty, humility, kindness of manner, and generosity in judging others, her husband included — these and all the other virtues found in the truly religious wife make her a desirable companion for life.

How many wives have diminished their lovableness in the eyes of their husbands by judging them rashly. Generosity is an attractive quality of soul. All gravitate toward a person generous in her opinions and judgments of others.

I remember a wife who guaranteed the everlasting love and devotion of her husband by being kind and generous in judging him. Although this husband foolishly, yet innocently enough, allowed a series of circumstances to arise which seemed on the surface to implicate him with another woman, he was entirely innocent of any wrong.

There was plenty to arouse the suspicions of any wife. The wife of our story did not rashly judge him. She never mentioned the episode. On the contrary she went out of her way to show her husband her complete confidence and love.

When he told her the whole story and asked her if she was not worried she told him, as her actions already had indicated, that she trusted and loved him and could never stand in rash judgment over him. She did not know all the facts and was confident that there was an explanation.

This wife merited by her bigness of soul the admiration, fidelity, and love of her husband. The religious wife is a wife desired because she merits the love of her husband. She deserves and will have his love.

Because she remains close to God, the source of all true love, because, in other words, she is religious and virtuous, she remains lovable and desired by her husband. “A virtuous woman rejoiceth her husband, and shall fulfill the years of his life in peace.” Ecclus. 26, 2.

Christ did not wish His work of redemption to be a single historic act dead and past. In many ways He has perpetuated Himself down through the centuries. He wished to remain among the people of the world until the end of time.

To point out and explain all the ways in which He has accomplished this desire would carry us too far afield for the purpose of this chapter. Suffice it to say that Christ still remains in the world for those who want Him.

Between Himself and His followers there is a union of love all the more real because it is spiritual. To ever remind us of this union of love He chose the love of man and wife as a symbol and sign.

There is an old saying that all the world loves a lover. The love of a bridal couple is always new and exciting.

In other words, Christ wished the visible union of man and wife in love to keep the world aware of the invisible union between His followers and Himself.

Obviously Christ wished the love of husband and wife to be a sacred thing. To effect this He raised the natural contract of marriage to the dignity of a sacrament for His baptized followers.

Marriage is not all moonlight and roses. To enable husband and wife to meet all the manifold problems and difficulties of married life Christ gives them His help for all their married lives.

They need and have His help to manifest to the world through their love of each other the love which Christ and His followers have for each other.

Because the ideal wife is religious she realizes the sacred character of her marriage and treasures it as her most precious possession.

Although each must work out her eternal happiness alone in the innermost recesses of her soul, yet to the wife God has given many helps in the order of nature as well as in the supernatural sphere.

The greatest of these aids is her husband and the sacrament of matrimony administered to her by him. He brings love and companionship and warmth of life to help bridge the long nights and days of self-insufficiency.

Realizing what a gift from God her husband is to her, the ideal wife clings to him in appreciation. To a greater extent than the average wife ever takes time to fathom, he is her means of salvation. Divorced from him, particularly in the earliest years of her life, she is a rudderless ship on the cruel sea of life.

The ideal wife has a sense of the right order of things. This is religion in the right sense of the word. Just as she understands her connection with God as creature to Creator, she also realizes the proper relation between herself and her husband.

The religious wife knows and accepts the words of St. Paul on obedience. These words of the Apostle are found in some marriage ceremonies. We quote them at length because no one has ever given clearer expression with more authority to the right order between man and wife. “Let wives be subject to their husbands as to the Lord; because a husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is head of the Church, being Himself savior of the body. But just as the Church is subject to Christ, so also let wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for her….”

“Do wives actually have to obey their husbands?” is a sure fire question from some lady in any panel discussion on marriage. I usually try to soften the blow by remarking that any man who enters marriage under the delusion of ordering his wife around is in for a sad awakening.

It goes without saying that there are many equalities between man and wife. Both are human beings. Both have souls to save with inalienable rights.

Yet there must be a head for the home. The husband is it. No wife in her right mind will try to “wear the pants.” By trying to do so she forfeits the most charming and irresistible aspect of her femininity, her surrender and submission.

Likewise, she hardly succeeds in making herself a man, try as she may. She ends up being neither flesh nor fish.

Recently the newspapers carried a decision of the supreme court of an Eastern State that a woman worker has no redress against a male worker who swears at her. The court felt that, seeing that women had won equal rights and responsibilities with men workers in the factories, they must accept the same hazards–to wit, being sworn at.

In a Christian society women need not worry about acquiring “equalities” with men. They are head and shoulders above men– way up on pedestals where they belong. It is the wild eyed feminist who has won for her sex the dubious privilege of being sworn at.

An acquaintance of mine many years ago got himself so involved in his personal affairs that he decided to move downstate and begin all over. He was a physician.

His wife resented leaving the city for a small town. She felt that there she would waste the sweetness of her social charms on the desert air. She began her exile–so she considered it–in a petulant spirit soon degenerating into a nagging of her husband to return to the city.

She had no concept of her obligation of obedience to go wherever her husband knew that he could make a living and a home for themselves. Finally she left him with the ultimatum that, if he still wanted her, he would find her back at their old home in the city. Because the doctor was still mentally confused over his past difficulties and quite lacking in confidence in himself and because he was very much attached to his wife, he shortly followed her back to the city.

The reunion was none too promising for their future for he resented her domination over him and her failure to be a real helpmate.

Her struggle for dominance, and his anguish continued until the wife found him one day in the garage dead of monoxide gas.

The forlorn picture of this wife standing at the grave alone without children and with only the memory of her fatal attempt to lead her husband around by the nose–this melancholy picture remains with me.

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“One of the first essential elements in a wife is faithfulness, in the largest sense. The heart of her husband safely trusts in her. Perfect confidence is the basis of all true affection. A shadow of doubt destroys the peace of married life. A true wife, by her character and by her conduct, proves herself worthy of her husband’s trust. He has confidence in her affection; he knows that her heart is unalterably true to him.” -.J.R.Miller

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The Wife Desired is Religious (Part One)

Part Two is here.

From The Wife Desired, Fr. Leo Kinsella, 1950’s

Mrs. Brown walked through the vestibule of St. Luke’s and out into the evening mist with a handkerchief held to her nose. She looked to the little group of women standing under the street light.

Mrs. Julia Thup, the Brownie leader of Troop Sixteen, surely must have been to services. It was a pity if she had not been. The Reverend

Towne talked with glowing terms about public spirited citizens who left their homes and gave unstintingly of themselves.

Yes, mused Mrs. Brown, Julie was an asset to the community. Having only one child herself, a delightful little Brownie, she could be a sort of mother by proxy to all the girls making up Troop Sixteen.

Mrs. Thup did not believe a mother should have too many children. Else how could she be active in community affairs?

Julia was emphatic on this score. Mrs. Brown could remember how having her little girl almost forced Julia to give up her work with the Orphans of the Storm, the anti-cruelty to animals society.

There were few women with the force of character of Julia. If it had not been for her Mrs. Brown was sure that she never would have given two thoughts to the suffering little animals. In fact, just that afternoon she did not feel too kindly about Snap, the next door neighbor’s poodle. Snap barked incessantly all afternoon and robbed her of several hours sleep. As she walked up to the group of ladies, her cold seemed to go before her and introduce its victim.

“Why Mrs. Brown,” exclaimed Mrs. Thup, “What are you doing out on a night like this with such a heavy cold?”

Now wasn’t that just like her kind friend, Julia. Mrs. Brown tried hard to reply with a look of fierce heroism that said she would sidestep three weeks’ ironing, if necessary, to come to church services. Her reputation of being a religious and church-going woman would not suffer tonight, thanks to Julia.

Julia deserved some reward for pointing out to the other less discerning ladies what suffering the evening attendance at church had caused Mrs. Brown. As they left the front of St. Luke’s to walk each other home, Mrs. Brown began to tell Julia something perfectly awful. Julia was a Brownie leader and she should know.

Besides, the information would help her better understand little Ginger, who was a Brownie. Of course, Julia was not to whisper a word of these scandalous goings on to a soul.

Could Julia ever believe that Ginger’s father and mother were seen

– – – ? Mr. Brown wanted to take her to one of those places some years ago. The very idea! Why, she was furious, and gave him a tongue lashing he would never forget.

Mr. Brown, as Muriel was sorry to say Julia must know, was not a churchgoing man. It was her cross, as the Rev. Towne had consoled her. She tried to make up for him.

“And you do such a wonderful job. Muriel.”

“Thanks, Julia, you know how much that means to me.”

The two friends parted company, and Mrs. Brown stalked into her home. It was not a very happy home, nor a very tidy one tither.

Muriel did not get around to the house work or the ironing that day. She rested for the sake of her cold. Since Mr. Brown was not a church-going person and since Mrs. Brown was one with a vengeance, it was crystal clear to Mrs. Brown where the fault lay for their shabby marriage.

Mr. Brown got more than his share of good example. He was always right up to his ears in it. He could never rely on a clean, ironed shirt, but he could ever depend on Muriel’s giving him the best advice about going to church.

If Mr. Brown looked askance at some old friends returning to the table from the refrigerator by way of the pot on the stove, he was informed of how the Rev. Towne suffered in his early missionary days. His food was most primitive and meager.

Mr. Brown never seemed to be comforted by reference to the past austerities of the Rev. Towne. The present trials and tribulations of his own appeared more real and pressing.

Once, however, he was so overcome with emotion concerning his wife’s recital of the fearful missionland experiences that he pitched the pot of “old friends” out the kitchen window.

He had no intention of hitting Snap next door. Yet he could not convince the imbeciles who belonged to Snap of his innocence.

They, being regular members, felt that the Anti-Cruelty to Animals

Society of dowagers should come into the case.

Julia, living down the block, was the nearest Field Representative and was contacted quickly by the central office. Her appearance at the Brown threshold caused strong emotional reactions in both of the Browns.

Mr. Brown slammed the door in her face with a house rattling crash, which did not quite drown out his imprecation. Mrs. Brown fell away into what was the nearest thing to a faint she could manage. Her recovery from this episode was slow. It was some time before she ventured to show her face at St. Luke’s. What would Julia and the rest think?

Only the irreligious would call Mrs. Brown religious. We doubt that they would consider her an ideal wife. Thus at the outset it behooves us to understand that affiliation with and even regular attendance at church in itself does not necessarily bring into being the virtue of religion, at least not in the sense in which it should be exercised by the ideal wife.

Granted that it is a step in the right direction, there are too many Muriel Browns around for any church-going wife to be complacent. No wife can assume that she is an ideal wife because she goes to church. It does happen that she can be a pillar of the church and a pillory of grief for her husband.

The word “religious” is used here in its true etymological sense.

The Latin word “ligare” means to bind, to tie, to connect something with something. The “re” signifies “back.” Thus the English word, really a transliteration of the Latin word means a binding of the creature back to its Creator.

When the creature acknowledges its Creator and translates this knowledge into its daily life, we say that person is religious. In other words, when a person recognizes her real worth as an image of God and her ultimate destiny in a union of love with Him, she is said to be religious.

For our purpose we use the word “religious” in this sense and shun any secondary meaning of the word, any false concepts of the word amounting sometimes to a very travesty on true religion.

The little Penny Catechism told us that we are images of God, made after His own likeness. We were created in closer likeness to Him than any other creature in the world because He desired us to love Him and be loved by Him.

No one can love unless she possess intelligence to know and free will to choose. Because of these powers of God Himself, we are His children and closer to Him than a child is to its human mother.

A human being is a most lovable being because she is an image of God. The goodness and lovableness of God shines through her.

When a young man becomes aware of this wonderful and exciting fact, he has already fallen in love with her. He has rubbed elbows with thousands of other images of God during his life, but for some mysterious reasons she disclosed to him a preview of and glimpse of God. She became for him an image of God.

Of course, she was this all the time. No one else noticed it. At first he did not either. Then the lightning struck. He was in love. He had found the Ideal Woman of all the dreams of his life, and he was content.

Others may be blind and unable to see the image of God in her. To him has been given the happy privilege of seeing what others cannot see. “The beauty of a woman cheereth the countenance of her husband, and a man desireth nothing more.” Ecclus. 36, 24.

How often have we heard the question of how John could possibly have married the girl he did. She was a rather plain girl, perhaps even a little bit on the homely side. As frequently as not people who were perplexed at John’s choice admitted that the couple was deeply in love.

John thought that the sun rose and set on his wife. They were happy and made an ideal husband and wife. The reason is simple. They saw the goodness of God in each other. They wanted this goodness above all else in life. They were in love.

It is thus obvious that no young man falls in love with a girl because of the evil in her life. He may fall in love with her in spite of evil or in ignorance of it but never because of it. He never is really in love with her, unless he sees that she is an image of God.

Certainly he may become physically attracted and infatuated and marry her on this basis. Though this may lead to love, still it is not genuine love.

Love is something spiritual and must have reference to God. It has repercussions in the physical order of our natures, but of its essence it transcends the biological.

Human love could never exist but for God. It will never endure, if God is shut out of the picture. In the words of the poet, “All things betray thee who betrayest Me.”

Sooner or later love will betray the wife who betrays God, for the simple reason that devoid of God she has pitifully little wherewith to command love.

A person, no matter how evil she becomes, always remains an image of God. But, if she should allow evil in any form: dishonesty, lying and deceit, racial or nationalistic hatreds, gluttony and sloth to come into her life and practically obscure the beautiful image she is or could be for her husband, who could be attracted to her, who could love her?

Young people often ask whether true love can ever die. They seem to expect the answer in the negative. The sad fact is that it happens every day.

Some women think that they can dispense with the precepts and counsels of their youth. As children they learned from their parents and from religious instruction that they could never be happy in sin.

Lying, they were told, would hurt them much more than anyone else whom they might deceive. No lie could be justified, even if it would spare the whole world its aches and pains.

Somewhere along the line in their lives they felt that this was impractical. Life was a matter of “dog eat dog”. A lie here and there made things much easier.

I wonder how many marriages I have seen ruined by the untruthfulness of a wife. These lying creatures, caught in the mesh of their vice, had to learn the hard way the wisdom of their youthful religious training. Truth was lightly regarded, if not condemned. They felt, apparently, that as long as they did not kill or steal they were doing all right. That the truth is worth living and dying for never entered their minds.

Cases of lost love and respect because of a lying wife crowd in upon my memory. These husbands loved their wives with sufficient love at least to marry them. With the years this love normally would have deepened had they been able to continue seeing the image of God which had originally attracted them. Soon after marriage the true worth of these lying wives disclosed itself.

Instead of seeing in their wives the beauty of God these men saw the deceit of the devil. Instead of the God of truth they saw the father of lies. Is it any wonder that they were repelled and came to the parting of the ways?

Without truth there can be no trust, and without trust there can be no love. The lying wife so often learns only through bitter experience in her remorse that by lying she flees from God, who is truth.

She should also know that by separating herself from God she is in the greatest danger of separating herself from everything worthwhile, her husband included.

“Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me.

Strange, piteous, futile thing . . .

And human love needs human meriting:

How hast thou merited–

Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?

Alack, thou knowest not

How little worth of any love thou art!”

Francis Thompson did not write these lines about lying wives. Yet, any woman careless of the truth could well ponder them. No one can expect to merit human love by lying. Although no woman becomes a desired wife by the possession of only the virtue of truth, yet this virtue is an essential part of the picture of the ideal wife. Without it all her other accomplishments and attributes may be wasted.

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“And you, too, must stand by your convictions at the cost of things you love. An ideal is worth little if it is not worth wholehearted, honest effort. Nothing is more pitiful than a woman whose mind admires purity and right, yet whose will is too weak to choose them and whose life is blighted by sin and mire about her. Be true, be noble, aim high, and God will give you strength to keep your ideals.” – Mabel Hale, Beautiful Girlhood http://amzn.to/2ucQAF0 (afflink)

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Don’t Be Intimidated! – Tidbits from Emilie Barnes

 

In Just Five Minutes!

Are you overwhelmed today by all the projects you feel you must accomplish? Do you find yourself on a treadmill of one thing after another, until you feel you’ll never get off?

How can you have time for the important things you want to do, like prayer time, Bible study, reading to your kids, or making a special batch of cookies for your family?

Well, you can do it all, but it will take some planning.

First, be ruthless-get rid of extra paper! Almost 90 percent of the paper in your home (or office) is never referred to again. Get rid of it!

And then apply this simple rule, which I call the “five-minute pickup” rule. Pick up and dust each room for five minutes – time yourself self with a kitchen timer!

Discipline yourself to stop when the bell goes off. Sometimes all it takes to eliminate mess, clutter, and confusion are a few hooks here, a basket or two there, and a bit of reshuffling of items on a shelf.

Give it a try and make your life a lot simpler!

Simple Pleasures

I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.

-CHARLOTTE BRONTE

Don’t Be Intimidated!

I’ve heard it a million times, expressed with admiration and usually a little envy, “Oh, she’s so creative.” Usually it describes an “artsy” kind of person-someone who paints or writes or makes pottery.

But some of us have even been a bit jealous of the friend who simply knows how to put a room together or combine fabrics in a way that is especially attractive. It’s so easy to lose our confidence – if we ever had it to begin with.

Today, refuse to be intimidated by your own insecurities. Be bold!

You really don’t have to be an artist to infuse your home-and life-with the spirit of creativity. Creativity is a God-given ability to take something ordinary and make it into something special! It’s an openness to doing old things in new ways!

And you are just as creative as the next person!

Most of us just keep it hidden. The creative spirit is part of our heritage as children of the One who created all things. And nurturing our creativity is part of our responsibility as stewards of God’s good gifts.

Simple Pleasures

Find some roses today. Buy one for yourself and one for someone you love. aA fragrance spray can enliven any room in your house. Draw a picture and mail it to a child with your words of encouragement.

The Gift of Trust

Real trust is a gift you give to someone you love!

For many years, I’ve had tea parties with my granddaughter, Christine. I trusted her to drink very carefully out of my delicate china teacups. I knew she could easily break them, but I took that risk to show her how special she was to me. And she got the message!

This wonderful ritual I share with my granddaughter has given me a little insight into how God fills my cup with trust.

More and more, as I grow older, I’ve become aware of God’s love and trust working in my life. He allows the pain and the fear I often experience, because He trusts me to respond in a way that will allow me to grow through them rather than be discouraged by them.

And as I surrender my heart to trust Him, I hear Him say, “Go ahead, You can trust Me.” And I’ve found that I truly can!

Simple Pleasures

Begin collecting lovely toiletries-powders, unguents, creams. Start an evening ritual of herbal tea and a candle. Nourish a sense of calm. Pretty new pillowcases add a special touch to old, familiar sheets.

Now That’s Creative!

Creativity keeps life interesting and fun. It also demonstrates that we are enthusiastic about the people and projects in our lives.

Creativity is one of the qualities of our Creator – God. Start by believing that you are creative – and then look for ways to express that creativity today.

Use your imagination to display your fine collection of cups and saucers, bells, dolls, Hummels, or salt-and-pepper shakers.

If this collection brings you pleasure, it will also be a blessing to friends and family around you.

A friend of mine displayed her collection of teddy bears in a clean but nonfunctional fireplace. Now that’s creative!

Another woman I know collects photographs of the people she loves. She put track lighting down a long, dark hallway and displayed over 30 photographs of family and friends in an assortment of pretty frames. Now that’s creative!

Take a moment to change a room setting, rearrange a bookshelf, or place a vase of flowers somewhere new or unique. It doesn’t need to be fancy to be creative!

Simple Pleasures

From fairest creatures we desire increase, That thereby beauty’s rose might never die.

-WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

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“I insist that it is every woman’s duty to know, or to acquire some practical knowledge of housekeeping, so that she may be ready for any emergency. Her fitness for it will be a perpetual source of satisfaction to her, for there is nothing more self-satisfying than to feel that one is capable; it gives confidence, strength, and self-reliance.”- Annie S. Swan, Courtship and Marriage And the Gentle Art of Home-Making, 1893 http://amzn.to/2slSTay (afflink)

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One Little Secret of a Happy Life – Tidbits from Fr. Lasance

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Tidbits from Father Lasance:

From My Prayer Book

DON’T WORRY

Nowadays we hear and read frequently about “Don’t-Worry Clubs.” Membership in one of these clubs of optimists may be a requirement, but it is not a necessity to a practical Catholic; for there can be no doubt that the best “Don’t-Worry Club” in the world is the Catholic Church, because she directs members to lead a pure and holy life, to do their duty, to rejoice in the Lord always, and to preserve their peace of soul by a simple, childlike confidence in the providence of Our Father in heaven, in accordance with the words of Saint Paul: “We know that to them that love God all things work together unto good” (Rom. Viii. 28).

“Happy is the man,” says the dear St. Francis de Sales, “who does not worry, nor grieve himself, about anything in this world, but leads a holy life, without any inordinate attachment, and abandons himself cheerfully to the will of God.”

St. Francis de Sales, knowing that all the accidents of life, without exception, happen by the order of Providence, reposed in Him with the greatest tranquility, like a child on the bosom of its mother.

This gentle Saint was filled with so great a confidence in God that in the midst of the greatest disasters nothing could disturb his peace of his soul. “I cannot but be persuaded,” he often said, “that he who believes in an infinite Providence, which extends even to the lowest worm, must expect good from all that happens to him.”

In the same spirit, St. Vincent de Paul exhorts us: “Let us place our confidence in God and establish ourselves in an entire dependence on Him. Then fear not what men may say or do against us, all will turn to our advantage.

Yes, if all the earth should rise up against us, nothing will happen but as God pleases, in whom we have established our hopes.”

Says the author of the “Spiritual Combat”: “Nothing is impossible to God, since His power is infinite. Nothing is difficult to God, since His wisdom is equally infinite. God desires our good with an infinite desire, since His goodness is without limit. What could be more capable of inspiring us with great confidence in Him?”

Have confidence” (Mark vi. 50).  “Let your care be to possess your soul in peace and tranquility; let no accident be to you a cause of ill humor.

ONE LITTLE SECRET OF A HAPPY LIFE

One secret of a sweet and happy Christian life is learning to live by the day. It is the long stretches that tire us. We think of life as a whole, running on for us. We cannot carry this load until we are three score and ten. We cannot fight this battle continually for half a century.

But really there are no long stretches. Life does not come to us all at one time; it comes only a day at a time. Even tomorrow is never ours until it becomes today, and we have nothing whatever to do with it but to pass down to it a fair and good inheritance in today’s work well done, and today’s life well lived.

It is a blessed secret this, of living by the day. Anyone can carry his burden, however heavy, till nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, until the sun goes down. And this is all life ever means to us – just one little day.

“Do today’s duty; fight today’s temptations, and do not weaken or distract yourself by looking forward to things you cannot see, and could not understand if you saw them.”

God gives us nights to shut down upon our little days. We cannot see beyond. Short horizons make life easier and give us one of the blessed secrets of brave, true, holy living.

9

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FF Quote for the Day

True beauty comes from within. If that beauty is lacking, no exercise program, eating plan, or wardrobe update can put it there. No interior decorating scheme can give it to me. “The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit… is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:4 – Emilie Barnes.

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The Feminine Manner

il_570xN.662278741_tb4sfrom Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin

The feminine manner involves the movements of a woman’s body, the way she walks, talks, uses her hands, the sound of her voice, her facial expressions, and her laugh. The more distinct the difference between a woman’s mannerisms to a man’s, the more delightful it is to him. His mannerisms are strong, hard and firm, while a feminine woman’s are soft and delicate.

As important as the feminine appearance is, the effect will be a disappointment and even funny if it is not coupled with the feminine manner. If you are dressed in ruffles and frills, with hair and make-up just right, but you move in a hard, stiff manner with a loud voice you will be seen as a walking contradiction. Your manner needs to harmonize with your clothes.

Acquiring a Feminine Manner

When considering the feminine manner, pay attention to the differences between femininity and masculinity. Think of lightness, softness, delicateness and the associated actions that go with these terms.

Apply these principles in the following ways:

Facial Expressions

Your character shines through your facial features. If you have a soft, gentle character, your face will naturally match. If you have a hard, critical, impatient character you will have a hard time hiding this from the rest of the world. It will show on your face. Spend time working on your character.  Practice smiling and having tender attitudes toward people.

Conversation

Your conversation should reflect gentleness and kindness. You should show tenderness and sympathy when speaking of someone in unfortunate circumstances. If you think an unkind remark, keep it to yourself.
Avoid talking about people in a bad way. Think of something nice to say. Don’t get sucked into heated arguments.
Be quick to show tenderness and love, especially to children. Make kind remarks the rule rather than the exception.

Refinement

A trait of the truly feminine woman is refinement which implies good social breeding. Traits of good breeding are tactfulness, courteousness, diplomacy, sensitivity, good taste and graciousness. Those lacking in refinement are rude, impolite, inconsiderate, crude, coarse, vulgar and unwholesome.

Avoid these traits of crudeness:

– Never use vulgar, profane, or foul language.
– Never pick your nose, scratch yourself or blow your nose in public.
– Never bring up subjects that are inappropriate.
– Never be rude or callous.
– Never shun or ignore people.
– Never be arrogant.
– Never be cheeky or nervy.
– Never impose on people.

Learn these skills of refinement:

– Dress with skill and taste.
– Apply makeup and style your hair in a becoming manner.
– Display good taste in furnishing and decor for your house.
– Be courteous to everyone you meet regardless of station or standing.
– Show consideration for the feelings and opinions of others.
– Freely give compliments and praise, especially when you know it will be appreciated.
– Take queues from your host and hostess about social behavior at parties.
– Show respect for another’s enthusiasm.

Is Beauty Necessary?

No! There are many beautiful women who fail miserably at femininity. They are arrogant, controlling, stiff, and masculine. They don’t inspire a man with any feelings of wonder. You don’t need to be beautiful to be feminine and charming.

Likewise, many women in the world are not exceptionally beautiful, but they can be successful at being fascinating women. They are soft, sweet, and make a man feel wonderful. Such a woman is beautiful to a man regardless of her physical shortcomings.

There are some women who are puzzling to those who are more beautiful. They are somewhat homely, but attract many men. Men find these feminine women perky, fun, cute, lovable, saucy, sassy, dainty, charming, and other highly fascinating traits. Such a highly feminine woman can cause those more beautiful to pale beside her.

You may feel that the absence of beauty is a stumbling block to your success as a fascinating woman. You must not let this deter you. However, if you are beautiful, don’t think this is all you need to succeed. Beauty really is only skin deep and of little consequence with the highly feminine woman.

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quote fo rthe day

“You will never have this day with your children again – tomorrow they’ll be a little older than they are today. Today is a gift, breathe and notice, smile and hold them, study their faces and little feet and pay attention. Enjoy today, Mama- it will be over before you know it. Relish the charms of the present.” – Anne Joachim

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Talking about Femininity and looking the part, there are NEW APRONS available at Meadows of Grace!

These fully lined, handcrafted aprons will add a beautiful touch to your Kitchen and Hospitality Wardrobe. Truly lovely!

Lovely in Lavender Apron!

God Bless Our Country Apron!

Roses in Blue Apron!

 

Other aprons available at Meadows of Grace Shoppe!

 

Check out my book, Cheerful Chats for Catholic Children here! 🙂

Reviews (Thank you, Corina!) : “This book is an awesome addition to a nightly routine or any time of day you can add a little devotion. I use this kind of devotional also as a discipline tool as you can recall the stories and remind your children of their errors through the examples of these stories. I am so glad to find another helper in raising our children in the Catholic Faith…”

(Thank you, Hannah!): I just bought this book about a week ago, and I already love it! The stories are well-written, clear, and childlike without being “dumbed-down.” My kids range in age from 10 to 5, and they each really appreciate the stories. I like that there is a good selection of discussion questions, some of which are open-ended, and some of which are review. Perfect item for this busy homeschool mama!

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You can get my True Womanhood Finer Femininity Maglet  here. 

Full of inspiration to keep you smiling!

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In Praise of UnMarried Women – Fr. Daniel A. Lord

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By DANIEL A. LORD, S.J.

Australian Catholic Truth Society 1950

Whatever literature may say about spinsters, and however much history may ignore them – except for outstanding spinsters like Elizabeth of England – the Church’s attitude toward unmarried women has been, from the first, one of reverence.

This I came to know when my faith emerged from mere youthful practice to intelligent study and appreciation. Among the Jews a spinster was merely an unfortunate girl not lucky enough to have won a husband for herself. Among the pagans she was usually the slave or bondmaiden, the grudgingly tolerated hanger-on in the house of her parents or her luckier married sisters.

With St. Paul all that was changed. He loved virginity, and he turned to the ministrations and loyalty – as many a parish has done since – of the splendid young and older unmarried women of his time. The legends of St. Paul and St. Tecla – whose name was the Greek word for pearl – are many and beautiful. Phoebe, to whom Paul sends affectionate messages, seems to have been one of the first consecrated Catholic virgins.

ST. PAUL SPEAKS

It was left for the great St. Paul, who could find for marriage no more appropriate comparison than that of the love which Christ bears for His Church (see Ephesians 5: 21-32), to speak almost the first words in praise of those who deliberately did not marry or who, for any good reasons, remained unmarried.

“But,” he wrote to the Corinthians, “I say to the unmarried and to widows, it is good for them if they so remain, even as I.” (1 Cor 7: 8)

Then he directs to men who remain unmarried and cherish their virginity strong praise that quite clearly he means for both men and women. For he continues: “I would have you free from care. He who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please God.

Whereas he who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife; and he is divided. And the unmarried woman, and the virgin, thinks about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy in body and in spirit. Whereas she who is married thinks about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” (1 Cor 7: 32-34)

UNMARRIED SAINTS

This was an astonishing teaching to people who had regarded virginity as rather a futile thing and the unmarried girl as the object of a none too gentle pity. Yet instantly the early Church, which loved the virgin Christ and the Virgin Mary and the beloved virgin John, took to heart the good advice. It is noteworthy that the virgin martyrs of those early days were not nuns in any modern sense. They had in some cases taken the veil of virginity at the hands of Peter or of Paul, but they lived at home, served the poor in the big cities, and, save for their intense concentration on the love of God and their neighbors, lived, as we would say, in the world.

Such was the young Agnes, the older Agatha, Cecilia, and half a dozen others forced into marriage against their will and carrying to God through martyrdom the glory of their virginity. They had detached themselves from the love of any man to give their whole love to the greatest of the sons of men.

They cared for their houses and were devoted to their parents. They ministered to the poor and at dawn or at dusk went to the catacombs for Mass and prayer. They were saintly spinsters, if you wish, or spinster saints. True, the pagan world regarded them as abnormal and queer and fit only for death. The Christians loved them unforgettably.

GREAT CONTRIBUTION

Their contribution to the early Church is beyond computation. They lived the purity that was supposed to characterize the religion of the Savior. They did the good works that He had listed as sign and proof of His followers.

They were personally the great correctives for the abuses of marriage and for the corruption of morals. They demonstrated with shining and spectacular force that it was possible for married couples to remain faithful since normal girls with all the normal desires and impulses could remain pure while unmarried.

They led along paths of maidenly modesty other girls who could not accept a lifetime of virginity, until premarital purity made them worthy to be mothers of the little sons and daughters of our God and Father.

The Church has never forgotten those first unmarried saints, the models of the millions who were to be the most distinctive and unique contribution of Christianity to world morality. Christian marriage would never have been possible without them. Christian virginity got its pattern from their unforgettable acceptance of Christ’s new purity.

It is not at all an exaggeration to say that the unmarried Catholic woman of the present can look upon herself as the legitimate successor to these virgins and martyrs of earliest Christian times. She may be proud of that association and conscious of the possibility within her to repeat in our generation their great contribution to life, love, and the decencies.

REWARD

No doubt about it, the unmarried woman has the chance to win a reward exceeding great.

She is able daily to offer to God the beautiful perfume that is her virginal innocence. God loves her for that and honors her with the same kind of reverence that is due Mary. So do those of His followers who see life and measure values with a Christ-like eye.

If the cup of cold water given in Christ’s name wins eternal reward, what of the food and drink and clothes and housing that are provided by these generous women again and again and again?

May this saintly woman come very close to God. For there is no interfering love in her life. Those she loves, she loves unselfishly, almost without human reward but in the calm certainly that God is pleased by her life. “Whatsoever you do for the least of these my little ones, you do for me.”

The words of the Savior, tremendously reassuring, never fitted anyone more perfectly than they do Catholic teachers, Catholic nurses, Catholic businesswomen, and those sisters, daughters, and aunts who do and do and do – endlessly and without probability of repayment – for the sons and daughters of others – and of God.

The fine Catholic example of this kind of women has far more influence than she herself dreams.

Her laborious unselfishness is a constant rebuke to the greed and self-indulgence of the world. She is one of those unrecognized heroines whose work is never properly praised but is always effective to a degree that will be measured by celestial weights and measures.

She is a not unworthy successor of the holy women of the primitive Church who, with the Apostles and the doctors of the Church, taught a new way of life to humanity.

 VISION

Nor can we forget the bright and inspiring vision of St. John. There upon the mount that is Sion he saw the Lamb of God surrounded by the specially honored one hundred and forty-four thousand, a mystical number embracing the vast host of those who will be nearest the Savior in eternity. Their closeness to the Savior, Saint John explains by one simple statement: “For they are virgins.” (See Rev 14:4)

Lift up your eyes, you heroines called spinsters! The Savior of the world loves you most especially and has a place for you in eternity in His own immediate company. It is a glorious certainty.

And if a certain group of spinsters will permit me to bring them back from those sublime heights to a more immediately grateful person . . . I thank you . . . and you . . . and you . . . and you . . . and all you others with whom it has been my happy privilege to be associated in a common enterprise during these many years. I know your holiness. I have felt your unselfishness. I know your shining beauty.

Surely my life has been made rich and full by the fact that I have counted you among my friends and partners in a work for the unmarried Christ and the Virgin Mary.

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FF Quote for the Day
“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. Your soul belongs to Him. It is therefore up to Him to take care of it because it is His property. Generally speaking, banish all fear and replace this feeling with love; in all of this, act gently, sweetly, steadily, without haste, without anger. Walk in this fashion in all graciousness, abandonment and complete confidence.”-Fr. Jacques Philippe, Searching For and Maintaining Peace of Heart
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Finer Femininity is a small publication compiled to inspire Catholic women in their vocations. It consists of uplifting articles from authors with traditional values, with many of them from priests, written over 50 years ago. These anecdotes are timeless but, with the fast-paced “progress “of today’s world, the pearls within the articles are rarely meditated upon. This little magazine offers Catholic womankind support and inspiration as they travel that oftentimes lonely trail….the narrow road to heaven. The thoughts within the pages will enlighten us to regard the frequently monotonous path of our “daily duties” as the beautiful road to sanctity. Feminine souls need this kind of information to continue to “fight the good fight” in a world that has opposing values and seldom offers any kind of support to these courageous women. Inside the pages you will find inspiration for your roles as single women, as wives and as mothers. In between the thought-provoking articles, the pages are sprinkled with pictures, quotes and maybe even a recipe or two…
REVIEWS!!!
“I enjoyed this book so much. These are articles that can be read and reread many times especially when your spirits need a ‘pick-me-up’. I especially liked the little thoughts and sayings sprinkled throughout the book. So full of wisdom!” -Julie S.
“Oh it’s purely delightful to cuddle up with a cup of tea and my Finer Femininity Maglet. 🙂 I LOVE IT! Can’t wait for the Christmas edition!!” -Elizabeth V.
“This book is very refreshing to read. It is very beautifully written and easy to read. This book encourages you that your efforts are worth it, enlightens you to do better in a positive way and gives you confidence that you can be good in a not-so-good world. If you want an all-around good book this is it. I look forward to each new publication!” -Emily
“Love it! this is something I will pick up over and over to read.” -Sarah
Available here.
 

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You Can Have a Happy Family (Part One) – Rev. George A. Kelly

 

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by Rev. Fr. George A. Kelly, The Catholic Family Handbook, 1950’s

Part Two

Conclusion

WHEN you became a parent, you undertook the most important job of your life–the job of guiding your children so that they might live happily on earth and win eternal happiness in heaven.

The foundations of Christian family life have never faced the many-sided assault they must stand up against today, and the task of the conscientious Catholic parent has never been more difficult.

In order for you to understand what objectives you should strive for as a parent, you should first realize that your Catholic family symbolizes in miniature the Mystical Body of Christ. The husband and father is the head of the body and represents Christ.

The wife represents the Church and the children, as members of the body, represent the faithful. And this family unit has been designated by Christ to worship our Heavenly Father. Through its common life all the members give glory to God and express their submission to Him.

In addition, the family works with Christ for the redemption of its members and the world. For when Our Lord made marriage a sacrament, He established the family as a basic means through which His grace could be given to men. The husband and wife channel grace to each other and to their children and vice versa.

If these graces do not come to us in this way (through another member of the Mystical Body), they do not come at all. Therefore it is most important that parents and children live in the state of grace, and that the Holy Spirit continually dwell in their souls. For mortal sin in any member prevents the free flow of grace to other members of the household.

You will achieve the greatest success in your family life if you remember that you are fulfilling this sacred vocation. Like the priest, you are called upon to teach, rule and sanctify your children in the name of Jesus Christ.

His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Spellman, once wrote: “A man’s family (is) a place to which God could look, as He did to Bethlehem, for the beginning of mortal lives which are also eternal, for the beginnings of lives of tiny citizens of two worlds–of earth and of heaven.”

Your work as parents, therefore, is a holy and religious work. You may produce doctors, lawyers, scientists. But to the extent that your children do not reach heaven or are given every opportunity to do so, you have not succeeded. And you will begin to realize the full potentialities of your vocation when you see your family in this light.

Modern pressures harm family life. Today, unfortunately, we do not always have that Catholic family life of which older generations were justly proud and which produced great human beings and outstanding Christians.

The adult children of those fine German, Italian, Irish and Polish households now tend to reject their parents’ way of domestic living. They may value their many brothers and sisters and pay generous tribute to their self-sacrificing fathers and mothers, but the effort involved in having a large family is too heroic for them.

The training for hard work and service to others, the mental stability, the sense of right and wrong, the religious faith which they received–they want these for their children too, but they often do not want to do all the work or accept the point of view that makes such accomplishments possible.

In fact, some couples have wandered so far from the ideals of Christian marriage that they are not Christian parents at all.

Today we see the individual exalted at the expense of the family.

People marry foolishly and then leave marriage to suit their own convenience. Others deliberately limit children and thus belittle the importance to solid family life of a full household; their birth-control mentality tempts them to look upon their union merely as companionship or a means of mutual gratification.

Frequently a small and prosperous family has a built-in selfishness which disturbs, where it does not destroy, domestic peace. And parents who use contraceptives may have lax opinions about sexual morality, so that the young consciences under their care are harmed.

Many modern wives have forgotten, or do not want to know, that their first purpose is motherhood and that making a home is their most worth-while career. They have emancipated themselves from serious self-sacrifice on behalf of their husband or family.

Many husbands, too, have mentally divorced themselves from their high calling as teacher and ruler of their young ones; as a result, their homes are in a state of anarchy or matriarchy. Thus the marriage bond in many instances has ceased to be moral and spiritual. Instead it has become sensual, social and esthetic.

Some modern social scientists have termed Catholic concern over the decay of public and private morality and the disintegration of home life “alarmist poppycock.” They array a large amount of statistical evidence to demonstrate that the American world is no worse off than it was before. They declaim that elders have always looked upon every new generation as a generation of vipers.

But we who deal with people as people, and are interested in their moral well-being, know that the divorced, the promiscuous, the drug addict, the alcoholic, the homosexual, the juvenile delinquent, are increasingly prevalent phenomena which cannot be discovered in social pathology books, let alone the neighborhood streets, of thirty years ago.

They live next door–in large numbers and among ordinary family folk, and can be found in the mainstreams of society.

Parents, priests, doctors, teachers, judges, policemen and thoughtful citizens are rightfully alarmed, even if the sociologists and psychologists are not. And you, as parents, must be concerned lest the plague infect your home.

The blame for these blights on modern happiness can be laid squarely on the secular culture of our country which equates happiness with the pursuit of private pleasure and denies the existence of spiritual goals and values. The lack of religion, the encouraged agnosticism of our public institutions, particularly our schools, and the denial of the authority and rights of parents are all related to secularism.

In the face of such widespread error, the Church turns hopefully, as she did two thousand years ago, to the family. She would (1) have you recognize the Christian dignity of marriage; (2) strengthen your determination to live your family life in Christ and for Christ; (3) confirm your resistance to the pressures which threaten to destroy family virtue and domestic tranquility; (4) inoculate your family against further moral contamination.

For no matter what evil influences flourish outside your home, your family can be an impregnable refuge of Christian life.

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The Devil exults most when he can steal a man’s joy of spirit from him. He carries a powder with him to throw into any smallest possible chinks of our conscience, to soil the spotlessness of our mind and the purity of our life. But when spiritual joy fills our hearts, the Serpent pours out his deadly poison in vain. – St. Francis of Assissi
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It was an amazing thing to read the following Review from a friend, Mary Fifer, to whom I had given my Catholic Mother Goose Book.

She is busy with her own home duties and her Apostolate, one that works to promote Catholic Culture within the family, and so I was thrilled that she liked my book, and, surprisingly, to promote it like she did. I did not expect it.

Mary’s websites are:

St. Anne’s Helper

Color With Fuzzy

Print ‘N’ Practice

She has many things for Catholic parents to peruse so please take a moment to stop by her sites! Her downloads and products will help you to make the liturgy come alive more fully into your home through coloring pages for Feast Days, Catechism Audios for your children, etc.

Here is the link to the whole review of my  book, which includes titles of many of the poems and some pictures. A portion of it I have quoted below:

I don’t often make recommendations yet when Leane Vanderputten gave me her new book to review, Catholic Mother Goose, I couldn’t refuse.

I read her book cover to cover, and I love the whole thing. I think that it has the best Mother Goose nursery rhymes on the planet!

For over 25 years I’ve searched for unconditionally good books for younger children and her Catholic Mother Goose is a dream come true. It was an honest pleasure to read her book. This is how all Catholic books ought to be written. No Wite-Out necessary!

You can put it right next to your Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson rhyme books. You can read it to your little ones and assign it to your older children. I’ll bet that by putting it in the living room, it will be read without suggestion.

I wish I’d had it for our children when they were little, and I’ve got it on my list for when grandchildren come. I’m so glad to have a truly good Catholic book to recommend to family and friends for Catholic preschool and kindergarten and I’m very glad to be able to add it to our website.

This is the kind of Catholic book our children need!

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Nursery rhymes are fun, yet did you ever feel as if you wanted to correct the old Mother Goose rhymes? I did. I often felt that they were nonsensical and that I should have our children learn rhymes that were more useful in their lives or that would help them remember the catechism. Leane has “written the book” that’s fun and also edifies children.

As a matter of fact, for me, I found very little time for nursery rhymes. I had read a Mother Goose book a time or two and did not like it myself so I did not read it often to the children. I’ve read the old Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes to little children and saw that the main thing they did was search the pictures, sometimes not so nice pictures. They often looked at me strangely wanting to know if the stories made sense or if that was truly the end of the story.

But this book! If we would have had Leane’s Catholic Mother Goose book (buy at Amazon), things would have been different. She has lovely rhymes with lovely pictures that are great for kids to read again and again. I would start early with my preschool children by simply sharing the Mother Goose stories as we cuddle on the couch for read aloud time. I’ve already shown Leane’s book to several children who loved the pictures right away.

The pictures are the type I would have loved to have been able to color when I was a child. Becky Melechinsky drew many drawings that could be colored like a coloring book and Leane’s photos are darling pictures of children that could also be colored. This would make a wonderful project for older children who could keep their own copy like a Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes coloring book to keep through the years. I would give this to my children as keepsakes because Leane’s Catholic Mother Goose is also a great second and third grade reading book.

All in all, I think Leane VanderPutten has created a book that you’ll love right now and that your children will love for generations for the very reason Leane gives in her Foreword:

“It gives us some lovely rhymes that can, and should, be committed to heart by your children. Not only will it provide all the benefits of reading and memorizing, but it will supply some simple reflections that will turn those little minds to what is most important in their lives….their Catholic Faith.”

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Thank you so much, Mary Fifer!!

Finances – The Wife Desired, Fr. Leo Kinsella

From The Wife Desired, Fr. Kinsella, 1950’s

The problem of finances for a married couple is a two-edged sword. It is a factor in their lives which can cut to pieces their happiness and peace and even their marriage. It can also bring them closer together in companionship as they stand as one in slashing at the wolf at the door. Through their use of money husband and wife can evidence their love for each other or their selfishness.

It has been stated that money is the root of all evil. Money represents the material possessions of this world, the things which militate against the spirit and the good in mankind. Because money and selfishness are boon companions and because there is selfishness or lack of love in all evil, the truth of the statement becomes clearer.

Money is a consequence of original sin. We never should have had to bother with it except for Adam’s disloyalty and fall. We could almost say that money in itself is an evil. Yet, out of evil good often comes. Christ and Redemption was a good to come out of the evil of Adam’s sin.

In having to wrestle with the mutual problem of money man and wife generally are brought closer together in fighting a common enemy. Thus the good of love and companionship is occasioned by an evil.

It is a particularly sad thing, when man and wife fall out over finances, because the common problem of money easily could have promoted their love for each other. The use of money can afford limitless opportunities to manifest unselfishness and love through their sacrifices for each other.

Thus the question of finances, even poverty, cannot be considered in itself a cause of disharmony in marriage. True enough, it is listed as one of the common causes of broken homes along with fighting drinking, and in-laws. It is so listed, because often it comes into the picture of unhappy marriages as a contributing or primary cause of their troubles. Yet, it should be realized that their finances were not the real cause of their troubles. There was a deeper cause. It was the foolish, almost sinful idea, that they could have their happiness through themselves and not through each other.

Happy married people have the same problems as unhappy or estranged married people. The happy ones are still happy because they knew that there is no happiness in this world or under this world or above this world except through another. Once a person seeks her happiness through herself, she is doomed to eventual misery along with the person through whom she should have sought it. There is no other way of being happy except by making someone else happy.

Money is thus truly a two-edged sword. The self-seeking husband or wife will cut happiness from under themselves. The couple who use their money to promote the other’s happiness cut themselves in on additional connubial bliss.

Of its nature this book is one-sided. It deals with the wife and brings the husband in occasionally only as a necessary distraction.

So, you see, it is not wholly a man’s world.

Because husband and wife must work hand and glove in regard to finances, and because family income is primarily a husband’s responsibility, an exception will be made here in the discussion of money matters. At times a struggle was necessary to resist the temptation to bring the husband into the picture. Let us give in to the one temptation for once.

Many young married couples have made the mistake of assuming that they could begin their married lives in the economic circumstances of their parents. They forgot that it took their parents thirty or forty years to get where they are. And it took lots of struggling and sacrifice unbeknown to their little children growing up.

The young couple had it nice and easy before marriage. They lived in fine homes with all the modern conveniences. They had frequent use of the family car. Both worked for several years before marriage and thus had a considerable amount of money to spend on themselves. In fact, for so many this was a rather selfish period in life. A good time and few, if any, sacrifices made up the picture.

Then came marriage with all its joys and its responsibilities as well. The husband, instead of giving ten dollars a week to his parents for board, or nothing at all, now had to pay rent. Food had to be bought. Babies were arriving along with outrageous doctor bills. Something had to give somewhere. Were they going to attempt to maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed before marriage? Frequent parties, fine dinners at expensive places, numerous and costly gifts freely exchanged between relations and friends, and many other luxuries were part and parcel of their lives. Were they to continue? Then how would the family expenses be met?

The average husband, just getting a start in the economic arena, simply cannot maintain his previous standard of living and decently support his family to the satisfaction of his responsibility.

Over and over again marriages have come to grief because husbands have spent too great a proportion of their incomes on themselves to the callous disregard for their wives and children.

The naiveté of some of these selfish monsters is hard to fathom.

With hardly a blush some of them will admit to removing as much as twenty-five per cent of their incomes for their own pleasures in the form of golf, fishing, drinking, or some other activity unshared with the family.

A young woman must be very careful not to give her heart to any man, until she is certain he is responsible and unselfish. What is his attitude about money? Does he spend the greater part of his income before marriage merely on his personal gratification?

Many girls have been deceived into thinking that a young man was generous and unselfish, because he seemed to throw his money around freely. Many disillusioned wives have had to come too late to the realization that he was throwing his money around pretty much on himself. The good times which he gave her were good times which he gave himself as well, and her good time was incidental to his. These characters save nothing for their future marriages.

It takes sacrifice to forego present pleasure in order to have the wherewithal to begin married life. The man who was unable to deny himself by saving for his marriage may rise to the occasion during marriage. But he may not. He is a poor risk. His happy-go-lucky attitude about money is as likely to carry over into married life. With a situation like this, heartaches more than companionship will be her lot.

The ideal husband made the choice where his real happiness rested. He gave up his pre-marriage pleasures as being inconsequential in comparison to his new found happiness. He cast his lot with his wife and their children. To curb himself from previous pleasures, even such innocent and seemingly unselfish customs as the exchange of expensive gifts with every relative in sight, required sacrifice. The sacrifice was rewarded by a growth in love. There was no other way in which love could develop.

The ideal wife was sensitive to her husband’s struggle to adapt himself to a new way of life, not only because she loved him but because she was faced with the same problem of change. She too had to forego the pre-marriage butterfly existence of spending right up to her income with no provision for future contingencies and necessities. She, even more than her husband, was interested in saving for the down payment for their new home.

The home was to be her work shop. If it should be inadequate for the needs of her family, she would be the one to suffer most. If she was pigeon-holed in a cliff dwellers’ apartment building, she found the confinement of herself and the children nerve wrecking. How could she keep an eye on the children in their third-floor flat, as she ground out a week’s laundry in the dingy basement with an old broken down washing machine? Obviously then, she had more motive than her husband for putting aside cash for the building of a better day.

Yet we meet young wives who are still too immature for marriage.

One situation occurs to illustrate the lack of an effort on the part of the wife to be a real helpmate in this question of money. She visioned herself as something of a glamour girl. Wishing to have her pie and eat it at the same time, she wanted to continue her night clubbing along with her new married life. Her main objective each day seemed to be to rest up for the night’s activities. As soon as dinner was finished, she was raring to go. Tonight it was the Panther Room; tomorrow it had to be the Leopard Room at some downtown hotel.

For some weeks the husband made a gallant effort to satiate her girlish whims in this direction of frivolous entertainment. Then he began to run down at the heels. His work was suffering. Moreover, he saw that he could not continue the squandering of money at this merry clip.

His first efforts to reason with her brought the rejoinder that he no longer was any fun. When he finally put his foot down and said that they had to stop the silly business, she became petulant. She could not be serious with him. She simply would not bother her pretty little head about finances. Did he not love her anymore?

Had she married a “tight wad?” Then why did he squirm at the cost of giving her a good time? A husband should like to show off his pretty wife elegantly dressed, well fed, and expensively entertained at some fashionable spot.

His exasperation at her immaturity drove them farther apart. Their eventual separation could no more be blamed on money problems than on the man in the moon. In fact, inasmuch as the word lunacy comes from the Latin word for moon, perhaps that man up there was her undoing.

She was incapable of real love. She did not have the slightest concept of seeking her happiness through her husband. The self-seeking type of wife could never be a helpmate and companion for her husband. If she had not fallen out with her husband over finances, it would have been something else.

Although this example of the glamour girl unwilling to settle down to marriage is drawn from real life, perhaps it is a little extreme.

The wives who are unfair with their husbands in money matters are more likely to manifest their selfishness by spending beyond their husband’s income on clothes, jewelry, and perfume. They were accustomed before marriage to expensive things. After marriage they do not want to sacrifice for their husband and children because they have not really learned to love.

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“Home should not be just a place. Rather, it must be THE place. All else should be ‘outside.’ Home should be the center of activities and interests. It was built for births, courtship, marriage, and death. It is maintained so that children might grow, trained by precept and example – so that they will develop spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, just as they do physically.”
– Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook: http://amzn.to/2ohW5nk (afflink)

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This graceful Vintaj necklace can be worn every day as a reminder of your devotion to St. Zelie, that exemplary mother of St. Therese the Little Flower! Get it blessed and you can use it also as a sacramental. Catholic mothers can pray to her for all our needs! St. Zelie, pray for us! Available here.

Blessed Mother Graceful Vintaj Religious Pendant. Available here.

Blessed Mother Graceful Vintaj Religious Pendant. Available here.

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No Children? – Plain Talks on Marriage

We know a dear couple who were not able to have children. It was a very big cross for them. While we were enjoying the wonder and beauty of seeing our babies come into the world, this couple remained barren.

They prayed and prayed. One day they decided to adopt a sweet little girl. As the girl grew, she prayed along with her parents for a little brother and sister. Never did they give up and I was amazed at the confidence of this woman!

One day, eleven years later, they found out they were with child! Oh, the rejoicing! They brought this first baby into the world and had 4 others afterwards! What a reward for their patience!

Not all stories end this way but it is a testimony of the Power of Prayer and Perseverance. If God still deems that the couple remain barren, He will provide joy and fulfillment in other ways….

 

 

From Plain Talks on Marriage by Rev. Fulgence Meyer, 1920’s

Perhaps you have no children, and have never had any. You and your wife are eager to have children, and you would welcome them with warm thanksgiving. But for some reason or other, you say, God is not hearing your fervent prayers in this regard, and your home appears more empty and incomplete from day to day.

Whilst children are a great blessing, the greatest earthly blessing, in fact, which God bestows upon married people, still they are at the same time a great responsibility, and often prove to be a heavy cross.

If God, therefore, deems it best to withhold children from you, thank Him in humble and loving resignation.

Even without children God-loving people can be perfectly satisfied and happy with each other, and they can ward off all loneliness from their home by the practice of charity and piety in an intense degree.

A Grand Charity

Maybe by mutual consent you can adopt a child or two and educate them in the fear of the Lord.

This is a splendid and usually a most grateful act of charity. Adoptive parents often conceive for their adopted children so strong and delightful a love that they could hardly have any greater love for their own children, or derive more gratification out of their rearing.

It is God’s reward for their goodness. I know that sometimes adopted children are ungrateful; but natural or carnal children are ungrateful, too; and it is not easy to say who of the two form the higher percentage in in ingratitude.

At any rate, if you adopt a child from good motives, the result will not affect the merit of your act in the sight of God, nor interfere with its grand reward in eternity.

Jesus says invitingly: “He that shall receive one such little child in My Name, receiveth Me” (Matt., 18, 5).

If you do not know how to go about adopting a child, go to your pastor or some other priest for information and direction.

In the meanwhile keep on praying with confidence for offspring of your own. Some of the greatest saints in history, such as our Blessed Mother Mary, St. John the Baptist, the prophet Samuel of old, and a number of others were the reward of trustful and persevering prayers of their parents who received them when already quite advanced in years.

 

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“A desire to be beautiful is not unwomanly. A woman who is not beautiful cannot properly fill her place. But, mark you, true beauty is not of the face, but of the soul. There is a beauty so deep and lasting that it will shine out of the homeliest face and make it comely. This is the beauty to be first sought and admired. It is a quality of the mind and heart and is manifested in word and deed.” – Beautiful Girlhood, Mabel Hale http://amzn.to/2pOKmtj (afflink) Illustration by http://www.genevievegodboutillustration.com/

 

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Your little girl will love these feminine and pretty, fully lined aprons. Their beautiful colored patterns and charming accessories will inspire the young lady in her homemaking skills! 💗 🌺

Available at http://www.meadowsofgrace.com 

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Purity is Beautiful – Fr. Lovasik

The following is a post to urge those who are in the single state to fight hard to retain their their purity during courtship. It is so important to preserve purity before marriage…and always!!

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Purity Is Beautiful

From Clean Love in Courtship by Father Lovasik

Faith tells you that the use of sexual powers according to the will of God is something beautifully sacred, but the exercise of that same power in any way whatsoever outside of marriage is a desecration; just as the Mass itself is the most glorious thing in the world when said by a true priest, but is sacrilege of the worst kind when some imposter goes through the same ceremonies.

The Christian attitude towards the body is one of great reverence —reverence for something our Lord wishes to be sacred.

Your body is your soul’s helpmate in its quest for God. St. Paul says, “Your bodies are members of Christ – . . you are Christ’s.” For all these reasons you cannot use your body as an instrument of sin. That body is destined to rise with Christ in glory.

At Communion Jesus plants in it anew the seed of the Resurrection. Your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, for God dwells in your soul through sanctifying grace. That temple should never be desecrated by sin.

Chastity is the moral virtue that controls the expression of the sexual appetite. In the unmarried it excludes all voluntary expression of the sexual appetite for sexual pleasure. Unchastity is grievously wrong because its evil lies in the use of a faculty outside the purpose and plan of God and nature.

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

The virtue of purity is beautiful and most pleasing to God. The angels have no need to fight impurity. Man must wage war against the sins of the flesh, and if he remains pure in the face of these temptations, he becomes greater than the angels.

Love purity as a great treasure and the fairest adornment of your soul. Let the desire for complete sinlessness get into your bloodstream. It will have beneficial influence on your whole character, giving you a sense of self-control, a confidence that will enable you to look the world straight in the eye. You will command respect of others.

That, is the reason why a decent young man really respects the young woman who quietly refuses to be “pawed over” and “necked”; he wants a wife who has kept pure. A decent girl breathes a sigh of relief when she finds that a young man respects her as a human being, as a friend, and as a lady.

There is nothing so beautiful and so powerful as virtuous loveliness. Riches, high position, physical beauty—none of these entrances as does sinlessness. Self-control, purity, exalts the soul while preserving it from defilement.

A clean heart is a happy heart. Chastity imparts a beauty and loveliness entirely distinct from mere natural perfection of feature and grace of body.

In the exercise of chastity you need not be prudish or be on the lookout for evil. On the contrary, your virtue, sustained by the Sacraments and prayer, will become your protector from vice.

Guarded by the innocence of your life and the prudent exercise of modesty and dignity, you can meet your friends and enjoy their companionship in a wholesome and unaffected manner.

On the other hand,the vice of impurity is ugly. It is a tyrant. Once you surrender to it, you will find that it will eat away your ideals of moral goodness and will make you afraid of the open.

It will breed selfishness of the worst kind. It will weaken your will and make your reason a slave to mere physical instincts, when it should be their master.

God hates impurity because it is an ugly vice; God loves purity because it is a beautiful virtue, a reflection of His own infinite beauty and sinlessness.

Impurity Is Forbidden

The Natural Law Forbids Impurity.

God has stamped this law upon our very being and it is expressed by our conscience and a feeling of shame when we are guilty. To seek indulgence in the sex appetite without regard to its purpose, namely, bringing children into the world, is a crime against nature and the lowering of ourselves to a level below that of a beast.

This purpose is lawfully sought in the state appointed by God, and that is the married state. The soul and reason must rule the body and its animal appetites. The man who thinks sensual pleasures an end in themselves to be sought quite lawfully whenever desired will himself end in a corrupt heart, an enfeebled mind, and a paralyzed will, his whole character ruined. He is a slave of the devil!

God’s Moral Law Forbids Impurity.

Chastity is a virtue, and impurity is a vice. God forbids this vice in the sixth and ninth commandments: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”

Christ Forbids Impurity.

“Whosoever shall look upon a woman to lust after her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5, 28.)“If thy right eye scandalize thee (is an occasion of sin to you), pluck it out and cast it from thee.

For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body go into hell.” Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5, 8).

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A few years back we had a wonderful priest come and talk at our Traditional Family Weekend about courtship, purity, etc. Our good friend, Rob Heschmeyer, thankfully recorded that sermon. We listen to it periodically with the kids and pass it on to those who have never listened to it.

Here is a good sermon from Sensus Fidelium (a channel on Youtube with great sermons)!

Gather your young adults around, make some popcorn and listen up! It is a fantastic privilege to have such sermons available!

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Alice von Hildebrand – “St. Francis de Sales tells us that pious women should be well-dressed, but this doesn’t mean they must become slaves of fashion. There’s a way of dressing which is attractive, even elegant, but at the same time modest and simple. More importantly, attractiveness shouldn’t be reserved for guests and those you meet outside the home, while you ‘let yourself go’ when you’re at home. The moment a couple marries, they should begin to try always to be at their best for each other, physically (and above all) spiritually.” The Privilege of Being a Woman, http://amzn.to/2p2Oyrr (afflink)

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Available at Meadows of Grace.

 

 

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