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!

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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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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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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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Courageous Adventurers……Fathers of Families – Christ in the Home

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CHARLES PEGUY called fathers of families, “these great adventurers of the modern world.” How correct he was!

What courage is needed to step out before life, with a companion on one’s arm, aspiring to have children and hoping that Mother Earth will be able to support and nourish their own little world!

Certainly the joy that attends the birth of a babe is sweet.

Here is how a father describes it: When one sees a little one so weak yet so well formed one loves the Creator still more and how much more one thanks Him for giving us life!

What a beautiful mystery maternity is!

To see a young mother feeding her babe suffices to incite one to adore God.

There is nothing more touching than to see this dear little treasure resting in the arms of its mother.

It was baptized on March 28.

What a majestic ceremony it was and how proud one feels to be able to say his son is a Christian!

But what anguish is suffered if the children are sick; if the mother’s strength fails beneath her work.

How anxious one grows when the little ones cough and gasp for breath.

And even if all goes well as far as health is concerned, there is no end to buying clothes, having shoes resoled, and providing food for the ever hungry mouths.

When the children grow up, one must be concerned about their education.

One must start thinking about school for the boys and the girls. Which school is best? Which teachers are best qualified?

Will they take the same interest in our children that we the parents do? Will they give them what they really need to face life?

Then come the sudden worries–auto accidents, accidents in sports, war in which the worst bodily dangers threaten!

But worse still and more serious by far are the soul dangers–the boy who keeps bad hours, who has an evil tongue and a shifty glance, who evades questions and begins to lie.

Yes, indeed, what magnificent and courageous adventurers are fathers of families!

A reporter recounted the enthusiastic acclaim the people of Paris gave the intrepid sailor Alain Gerbault who had succeeded in sailing around the world in a very frail skiff.

“For my part,” said the reporter, “I gave to Alain Gerbault the recognition that was his due.”

But in the crowd that had gathered about the famous sailor, the newspaper man found himself next to a family of rather humble means to judge by their appearance, although they did not lack dignity.

There were five children with the father and mother, all modestly and neatly dressed.

The father was explaining to his sons, “Oh, what an admirable type is this Gerbault! What a hero!“

“I shared that idea,” commented the reporter, “but I thought that father was also a hero to pilot a skiff loaded down with children on the ocean of life as he was doing . . . . I even wondered if it were not more admirable than to guide a boat on the high sea with only oneself to think of.”

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“The Holy Family lived in a plain cottage among other working people, in a village perched on a hillside. Although they did not enjoy modern conveniences, the three persons who lived there made it the happiest home that ever was. You cannot imagine any of them at any time thinking first of himself. This is the kind of home a husband likes to return to and to remain in. Mary saw to it that such was their home. She took it as her career to be a successful homemaker and mother.”
-Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook

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TRUE MEN AS WE NEED THEM – Rev. Fr. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894

A very valuable book for the guys plucked out of the past and reprinted. It was written in 1894 by Fr. Bernard O’Reilly and the words on the pages will stir the hearts of the men to rise to virtue and chivalry…. Beautifully and eloquently written! A great Father’s Day gift!

 

 

How to be a Good Father – Rev. George A. Kelly

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Wonderful book! The Catholic Family Handbook, Rev. George A. Kelly, 1950’s

With Father’s Day just around the corner, it is fitting to talk about what makes a good father.

If this article gets you frustrated with your husband, we will consider the article “How to be a Good Mother” and realize we don’t quite measure up either. 🙂

Pray for your husband, and see the many good points he DOES have!

This is very good for those young ladies who are single, so they can look for these kind of qualities in the man they wish to marry.  

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Probably nobody denies that the typical father exercises less authority in his home today than at any time in history. Reasons for this decline probably are of no interest or help in the present discussion; but the effect of it cannot be overlooked. For evidence accumulated by psychiatrists, social workers and similar experts proves unmistakably that when children lack a strong father to guide them, they suffer serious damage in many important ways.

Consider these facts:

There is a startling growth in homosexual tendencies among the young, and most authorities agree that the boy who develops feminine characteristics usually has had unsatisfactory relations with his father in one or several important respects.

Increases in juvenile delinquency–a headlined trend in every part of the country–are also due to the weak position of the father; the lack of an affectionate and understanding relationship between father and son is a prevalent characteristic in the background of boys charged with criminal offenses.

Many authorities also blame the shocking rates of divorce and marriage breakdowns to this cause. The fathers of those who cannot succeed in marriage often never gave their children a realistic example of how a man should live with his wife in this relationship.

The importance of the father as an example of manhood to his son and daughter probably cannot be overestimated.

For example, one day your son may marry and have a family.

To be a successful father, he should know how to train his children; how to treat his wife and their mother in their presence; what to discuss with them about his work; how to show them manual skills, such as repairing a chair or painting furniture; how to perform in countless other important areas. The best way to learn how to act as a father is to observe one in action.

What ideals will he display as husband and father? To a large extent, that answer will depend upon those he has learned from you, his father, in your own home. What part will he play in the religious education of his children? The answer will largely depend upon whether you have led the family to Mass each Sunday, whether you say grace before meals in your home, whether you take an active part in the spiritual life of your parish.

How should he act toward his wife–aloof, affectionate, domineering, docile? Here too the answer will mainly depend upon your example.

The adage, “Like father, like son,” is firmly based on fact. No matter how much he may resist your influence, your son will be like you in many different ways.

If your influence is wholesome, the effect upon him will be wholesome.

If you are a bad father, you will almost surely corrupt him in some significant way.

Remember also that you represent God before your child because you are–or should be–the figure of authority in your home.

He will be taught that he can always depend upon the mercy and goodness of the eternal Father, but it will be difficult for him to grasp the full importance of that teaching if he cannot rely upon the goodness of his earthly father.

It has been said that, in addition to giving wholesome example, a good father follows four fundamental rules in his dealing with his children.

First, he shows himself to be truly and sincerely interested in their welfare. Secondly, he accepts each child for what he is, and encourages any special talent which the youngster possesses. Thirdly, he takes an active part in disciplining his children. And finally, he keeps lines of communication open with them at all times. Each of these rules is worth detailed consideration, because the typical American father often ignores one or more of them.

  1. Show an interest in your child’s welfare. You can do this by devoting time to him, every day if possible. Try to discuss with him his experiences, problems, successes and failures. By giving yourself to him in this intimate way, you give him the feeling that he can always depend upon you to understand and help him in his difficulties.

In a large family, it is especially important that you find time for intimate moments with each child. Every youngster should know that his father is interested in him as an individual, and is sympathetic with him and devoted to his welfare.

Modern fathers may find it more difficult to make their children an intimate part of their lives than did men of a few generations ago.

Today’s fathers often work many miles away from home. They leave for their jobs early in the morning and do not return until late in the evening, perhaps after the children are in bed. Unlike the men of an earlier age who often worked close to their homes, today’s fathers may seldom see their youngsters during the week. To offset this condition, they should try to devote as much of their week ends to them as possible.

This does not mean that you should be a “pal” to your children or that you must act like a juvenile, when aging bones may not permit this. But at family gatherings, picnics, trips to the ball park or even visits to the school, you are sharing leisure moments with them.

  1. Accept your child and encourage his talents. One man hoped for a son, and found it impossible to conceal his disappointment when a girl was born. He now spends much time trying to inculcate masculine virtues in her and berates her constantly because she is not proficient at sports.

A successful lawyer prides himself upon his intellect and once hoped that his son would achieve great scholastic success. But the lad, now in high school, has shown no pronounced ability in academic work; however, he is skilled at working with his hands. He must face unending sneers from his father about his “stupidity.

A third man married a beautiful woman and expected his daughters to be beauties too. One girl is extremely plain, however. Even at the age of ten she knows that she is a complete disappointment to her father.

All of these examples indicate ways in which fathers display a lack of acceptance of their children. It is a fact that the qualities a child inherits–his physical attributes, aptitudes, and many other characteristics–are the result of chance. He may be a genius or an idiot: you should not claim credit if the first possibility occurs any more than you should feel ashamed for the second.

The moral is plain: your children are a gift from God, and you should always accept each of them in a spirit of gratitude. In fact, the saintly father will accept a defective child with greater gratitude, for God has offered him an opportunity to provide more love, affection and direction than the ordinary youngster might need.

Remember also that your child is an individual, with talents which you perhaps cannot appreciate. Let him develop them in the best way possible.

In attempting to learn why many gifted children do not go to college, researchers have found that their parents often have actively discouraged them. In a typical case, a father became wealthy through real estate investments and could easily afford college for a son with a strong aptitude in science. But the father accused the boy of trying to “put on airs” whenever college was discussed. Thanks to him, the son is now a misfit.

  1. Don’t shirk unpleasant tasks of parenthood. “See your mother; don’t bother me” is a remark commonly made by one type of father. He returns from work, eats his dinner and then settles down to an evening behind his newspaper or before the television screen. When his children seek his aid with their homework or when they become unruly and require a strong parental hand, he is “too busy” to pay attention. Such an attitude tells a child that his mother is the true figure of importance in the family, while Dad is only the boarder who pays the bills.

It is not fair for fathers to enjoy all the pleasures of parenthood–to play with the children, to boast about their growth–and to give mothers all the painful duties. A father should discipline as often as the mother. If he fails to do so, he gives the children the idea that he does not stand with the mother in her efforts to instill proper manners and acceptable forms of behavior. As a matter of fact, in major matters the good father is likely to be the court of last resort. This is as it should be for his authority is more impressive and its effect more lasting than that of the mother.

  1. Keep lines of communication open with your children. Teenagers often say that they cannot talk to their fathers about questions which disturb them. This breakdown in communication usually stems from one of three factors, or a combination of them. The father may be so severe in his discipline that he appears as a dictator in the youngster’s mind; in the past he has always been “too busy” to keep on close terms with his boy; or he has not given his youngster the respectful attention he should have.

Stalin-type fathers fortunately are on the way out in America, for most men have learned that it is easier to train a child with loving kindness than with brute force. But some stern unyielding fathers remain. They may beat their child into patterns of behavior that offend no one, but in the process they often create a bitter adult who is never able to confide fully in another human being.

The second and third possible explanations for a child’s unwillingness or inability to confide in his father may have even worse effects than the first. In the first instance, unless the father is a calloused brute, his child may at least discern evidence that his father is interested in his welfare. But when a father does not even care enough to concern himself with the child’s upbringing in any serious way, he evidences a complete absence of love or interest.

There are many things that human beings prefer to keep to themselves, and it is probably good that this is so. Your child should not feel that he must lay bare his innermost thoughts and desires. But he should know that in times of stress and strain he has a sympathetic and loving adviser to turn to. You will fulfill that role if you strive always to treat him with courtesy and sympathy, and with an understanding based upon your memory of the difficulties, problems, fears and aspirations of your own boyhood. Never ridicule him: it is the opposite of sympathy and probably locks more doors between father and son than any other action.

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quote for the day2

One who, in order to please God, perseveres in prayer although he finds no consolation in it, but rather repugnance, gives Him a beautiful proof of true love. –Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, Divine Intimacy

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Loving and Thanking God – How to Raise Good Catholic Children

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The devil trembles when, in spite of your not wanting to, you get on your knees and pray!

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How to Raise Good Catholic Children, by Mary Reed Newland

Spiritual and temporal needs over with, children can turn to the joy that is simply loving God. “I love You, Blessed Jesus, and I love Your Blessed Mother.”

This must be the part He listens for the hardest. It’s really all He asks, because if love is there and a right disposition, with grace the rest will follow.

So we encourage children to say it over and over until their whole idea of God is bound inseparably to their love for Him. After the loving comes the thanking; one follows the other with ease.

“And thank You for . . .” each night a different blessing, from babies and books to lollipops and circuses — anything and everything — so that they will see that their world is full of blessings straight from the hand of God.

Gradually, as they grow older, the form of their prayers will change. If they attend parochial school and Sister recommends certain practices, we should help to put these into effect. They will learn formal prayers, prayers proper to each liturgical season, the family Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, Mass preparations, and much more.

But the approach of their prayers remains unchanged, the contrition, asking, praising, and thanksgiving are in all these, and if they understand, above all, that prayer is talking to God, the knowledge will never leave them.

Knowing all this, however, is still no guarantee that children will always want to pray. Would that all grown-ups always wanted to pray. But they don’t, and their own perversity is not always the reason.

Many times God allows it to be hard to pray, simply to school us in applying our wills, to teach us that the value of prayer does not depend on the amount of emotion we can whip up.

So when “Time for prayers” is greeted with moans and groans, it’s time to explain that saying prayers when you least want to, simply because you love God and have a kind of dry respect and a sense of obedience, is to gain the greatest merit for them.

Many times the saints had trouble getting excited about prayers, but they said them, because prayers were due and their value had nothing to do with how eagerly they went about saying them.

“But with so many people in the world praying, I get the feeling God can’t really be listening to me.” Here we can remind our children of how our Lord said that God counts even the hairs on our heads, and all the sparrows that fall.

It’s hard to understand, but we need not understand; we need only believe that every word and sigh and flick of an eyelash is watched and weighed and counted, and every word is heard as though we were the only one praying.

The morning offering can be a simple form of gathering up the day and all it will hold and giving it to God.

Our children say, “I offer You this day as a prayer of love and thanksgiving, and thank You for keeping me safe through the night. Please help me to be pure and good, and keep me safe from harm. Please help us all with our work.”

They can offer it for one or many intentions, or simply give it to Jesus and Mary and ask them to apply its merits as they wish.

The “safe through the night” isn’t meant to imply that dying in the night would be the horror of horrors, but to remind them of God’s watchfulness while we sleep and to teach that, if we have survived the night, obviously God’s will for us includes another day of work and play and prayer to be lived as best we can.

When the older children started catechism classes (we have no parochial schools in our town), Sister taught them the traditional Morning Offering; so now they like to say that. But whatever form of offering they use, the important thing is to think of it like the net that strained with many fishes but still did not break. It will hold all the good a child can say and think and do in his entire day and give him a wonderful sense of having used every minute.

Many times I have heard one or another of our children (who are really no more pious than other children) say, “There, now wiping the dishes is part of my prayers because I made my Morning Offering.”

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“Life is too short to spend it doing things that don’t get you where you want to go. For instance, if it’s important to you to read aloud to your kids, but you find yourself rarely doing that, you’ll feel the disconnect and it will discourage you. You’ll feel off track and out of sorts, but might not be able to put your finger on why.
Spend some time thinking about what you DO want in your life. Then make those choices each day. When you live intentionally and with purpose, it will make a tremendous difference in your life and the lives of those you love.” – Charlotte Siems

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When my children were young I loved to read to them stories, poems and nursery rhymes! They knew those rhymes inside and out and it was such a happy pastime! I did yearn, at times, for little ditties that had more meaning…….So I decided to write a book myself for the generation after me….especially thinking of my grandchildren, but for all Catholic children everywhere!

This is a 140 page fun-packed book full of Catholic poems and pictures!

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 life….their Catholic Faith.

Available here.

Don't forget to sign up for the Giveaway for my book and the bracelet! I will pull the name from the hat Tuesday, May 10th!

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My Heart is Full by Theresa (VanderPutten) Byrne

For Throwback Thursday – Our Daughter’s Story……    🙂

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Once an old man remarked to a friend of mine who was shopping, with two little children in tow, “My you’ve got your hands full!”
Without skipping a beat my friend looked up, smiled and said, “Actually, I’ve got my heart full!”
I haven’t forgotten her words and I bet the old man hasn’t either.
How would you define, “to have your heart full?”
I think different people would have different answers.

I think back to my teenage years, the get-togethers, the fun, the go, go, go.
My parents monitored things closely and we had lots of good, joyful, wholesome fun in a home open to family and friends.
I worked by waiting tables at a small hometown restaurant, ran the Junior Legion of Mary, cooked and baked, and sang for our choir.

Rosary was a daily part of our lives, sprinkled with daily Mass and St. Theresa novenas.
People flocked to our home because it was stable, joyful and good. Dad and Mom sacrificed their home and time, to keep an eye on things while being a part of the games and activity.

We had Paintball Wars! The boys played and the girls cooked and took care of the wounded!
The Traditional Family Weekend originated through Mom and Dad about twelve years ago and twice a year, families from different states came together for music, dancing, talks, Mass and just a wholesome family time!

I traveled twice to France with good Catholic friends, for the Chartres Pilgrimage, then took a jaunt with the leprechauns to the homeland of the Irish. While we were there, we danced, we sang, we prayed, we lived with no regrets.

Being in such a good situation gave my siblings and I a chance to get to know many good men and women…..a golden opportunity for when the time was right to choose our spouse!
Many good marriages came from my parents being open to these get-togethers and having a home open for good people.

So, as you can see my youth was filled with faith, fun, stability and many good young men to choose a spouse from.

I was at peace and happy but my heart wasn’t full yet.

Then I met Devin, my future husband, at one of our Traditional Family Weekends….

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I am grateful, so grateful, to my parents for the sacrifices they made for their children. I entered marriage pure, with no regrets.
I am grateful for the nights they stayed up late and for the brother or sister who was always chaperoning when we courted.

Fast forward ten years….

We have three children now and time has flown. Each day is precious!
From holding our first little boy to watching him receive his First Holy Communion….All the happiness I have experienced in the past, could not come close to the joy I felt when my first-born received Jesus for the first time!

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From the time I married a wonderful man and have been given three children, I have been blessed.
We have had our ups and downs along the road. Mono put me in bed for a year and with it came a lot of anxiety.
When I got well, life was all the sweeter and I was more aware of my Faith.

My husband and I delight in our children. Together we watch the birds, check for eggs and view the sunsets. Our family is our joy!

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When something good happens, the kids always call Daddy at work. He is interested in what his children are excited about and this is how we share the good times, even when he is not home.
Each day is an adventure, sometimes you laugh, sometimes you cry!

 

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We were driving the other day when my son, Brendan, excitedly said from the back seat, “Mom, you won’t believe this! I know it is because I have received Communion so many times and Jesus is in my heart…..I think God came up through my boots because I put my long sock on my right foot and now it’s on my left! Wow, miracles are happening to me all the time!”

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He’s right! Every day is a miracle!
When I look at my children I feel a sense of urgency. They have been given to me for such a short time; I must take advantage of this moment.

When I can go to bed knowing I have read with my children, prayed with my children and laughed with my children, I am at peace.
In fact, I have never known such joy, as what daily living with my husband and children have given me.
The hard times make the good times better.
I wouldn’t change my life for anything!
I look around at the sad, lonely old people who thought kids and family weren’t worth the trouble. You know… the ones that are quick to say, “You sure have your hands full!”
Without skipping a beat, I can now say, “Yes, but my heart is overflowing!”

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“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

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Lovely handcrafted items available at Meadows of Grace Shoppe!

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You are invited!

Traditional Family Weekend 2017

 

 

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