Family Tidbits – Fr. Fulgence Meyer, 1927

Frederick Brunner – Artist

From Plain Talks on Marriage by Rev. Fulgence Meyer, 1927

Nature’s Sexual Mysteries

At the age of puberty, when the girls are about thirteen and the boys about fourteen years old, certain physical developments take place in the human organism, with the nature and purposes of which it is wholesome for the children to become acquainted gradually and circumspectly.

It is the part of the father to instruct his sons, and the duty of the mother to instruct her daughters regarding the origin, the meaning and the reproduction of life. It is far better that the children obtain, this valuable and necessary information from wise parents in a decent and sacred manner, than that they get it in a vicious and objectionable way from tainted and corrupt companions.

This instruction properly given will serve the children as a safeguard and protection in the dangerous years of adolescence.

When the angel informed our Blessed Mother that she was to be the Mother of God, she replied: “How shall this be done, because I know not man?” (Luke, 1, 34). Evidently, though she was but about sixteen years old at the time, she had a knowledge of the sacred process of human generation; and yet she was the purest of the pure, and more innocent than any angel of God.

Little Crosses: Big Crosses

Little children are said to be little crosses, while big children are said to be big crosses. Formerly it used to be said, that little children step on the mother’s dress, while big children step on their mother’s heart. Woman’s dress today renders this proverb out of date, but the nature of children is the same as ever.

Whatever those sayings may mean and be backed up by, parents make a big mistake in believing that their growing or adolescent children need their attention and correction less than before. They often need them more, although perhaps in a different way.

To achieve the best results in educating their children in the fear of the Lord, it is above all necessary that father and mother work harmoniously and mutually supplementarily.

In other words they work together hand in hand, upholding and endorsing one another, and the one supplies what the other lacks.

The mother will usually abound in grace, tenderness, sympathy, gentleness and kindness: the father will represent dignity, power, firmness, authority and discipline.

As marriage in general, the burden of education will be carried like a yoke. If both go into the same direction, aim at the same goal, and keep about the same tempo, the burden becomes easy, light and agreeable: whereas if one insists on going one way, and the other is stubborn about going into the opposite direction, there will be nothing but confusion, failure, disappointment and ruin.

For the sake of harmony, then, in this very important department of family life, wise concessions from both parties are much in order, and worth all they cost.

The Deadly Lake Ride

A story is told about the evil consequences of division or disharmony of parents in the upbringing of their children.

A girl had asked permission of her father to take a ride in a launch on the lake. It was Sunday afternoon. The father refused permission. He would not accede to the request, no matter how much his daughter pleaded.

When he left the house for a walk, the girl entreated her mother to allow her to take the ride. The mother yielded, but cautioned the child not to let her father suspect that she granted her the permission.

Several hours later a storm suddenly swept over the lake and surrounding territory. The father, who had returned home, was just telling his wife how much he was congratulating himself for not allowing his daughter to go on the lake, when a messenger knocked at the door to bring the sad news that the launch containing the girl and her companions was upset in the storm, and that all its passengers were drowned.

He added, that the corpse of the girl had been recovered, and was ready to be brought in by the men who were waiting outside. Imagine the consternation of the father, and the guilty and crushed feeling of the mother.

Such a catastrophe may not happen often in the physical order, but morally it is, alas, but too frequent.

The Shipwreck of the Soul

Many Catholic children suffer moral and religious shipwreck due to a lack of union and cooperation of father and mother in their education. And what has been said regarding the parents in their relation to one another in this matter, ought to comprise the teachers and pastors of their children also, in the sense that parents should cooperate all they can with them, too, in promoting the welfare of their children.

They will consequently defend and support the authority of pastors and teachers in all things, and never permit the children to make faultfinding or otherwise derogatory remarks about them; much less will they ever openly take a child’s part against the teacher or pastor.

No one is faultless. Teachers and pastors make mistakes as do other human agents.  But it damages rather than benefits the children, if their parents tolerate, or even endorse a critical, carping, disparaging and rebellious attitude on their part towards teachers and priests.

The Power of Love

The best, the most agreeable and effective way for parents to achieve fine results in rearing their children is by harboring for them, and plainly exhibiting towards them genuine, consistent, impartial, generous, sympathetic and unselfish love.

Love begets and elicits counter-love. It is easy for you to guide and train a child that sincerely and fondly loves you.

Enter into their interests, take part in their games and pastimes, as much as possible, and help them with their studies and other laudable efforts towards success. You will thus win their trust and confidence.

They will tell you their secrets, acquaint you with their ambitions, and inform you of their friendships and their loves. They will appreciate your counsels, and welcome your guidance.

It will be easy for you then to know the company they keep, the amusements they frequent, and the acquaintances they make. In other words, parental watchfulness, instead of being an irksome task, will be for you an agreeable duty.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day and the Miraculous Medal

An older post to inspire your use of the sacramentals….

Thursdays are busy days around here. The day starts off with the kids and I going to Mass and then to Legion of Mary. We get home late in the morning to do our chores, etc. Later on, in the early evening, I head back to our parish for the Senior Legion of Mary with my husband and the older kids…. Read more here.

Fortunate the child whose mother stands by its cradle like a Guardian Angel to inspire and lead it in the path of goodness! – Pope Pius XII

Beautiful Vintaj Brass Wire St. Therese Rosary! Lovely, Durable… Each link is handmade to ensure quality!

Available here.

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As The Evenings Grow Longer (Part Two)-Group Discussion, Singing, Home Concerts – Maria Von Trapp

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

Part One is here.


Once, in one of our camp seasons, a lady said to me just before lunch, “Can’t we have a discussion some day?” I answered quickly, “Oh, certainly–on what?” and was slightly baffled when she answered cheerily, “Never mind on what–just a discussion.”

This led me to announce at the end of lunch: “At three o’clock we shall have a discussion. Everybody who is interested please come to Stephen Foster Hall.”

Everybody was at Stephen Foster Hall at three o’clock, wondering what the discussion would be about. I started out by relating the little incident before lunch and inviting those present to name a few topics which might be of general interest. And we had a most enjoyable hour. Continue reading

As the Evenings Grow Longer (Part One) – Dancing, Reading Aloud by Maria Von Trapp

Part Two is here.

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

Soon after our first concert tour in this country letters came pouring in, always asking the same question: “What did you do to keep your family together?” or “What did you do to keep your children at home?”

In answering the same question over and over again I developed something almost like a slogan, which I finally stated on the stage at every concert when giving a little introduction to our ancient instruments “If a family plays together, sings together, and prays together–it usually stays together.” Continue reading

Emotional Needs of Adolescents

from Catholic Family Handbook by Rev. George Kelly, 1950’s

A wise teacher once observed that the best aid a parent can have in training a teenager is a good memory.

He meant that if you can recall your own doubts and indecisions, your striving for independence, your rebellion because your parents would not give you the emancipation you sought, and above all, the stresses, strains and temptations of your own teen years, you will be able to deal much more sympathetically with your youngster.

Some parents are guilty of precisely what their children accuse them of–they have forgotten that they too were once young, inexperienced and troubled by secret fears of inadequacy and failure. If you recall your own adolescent problems, you will more readily give your child four basic helps he needs at this critical time. Continue reading

Availability/Time – Spiritual Tidbits

“A Family Grouping” by James Hayllar

From Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe

Availability to Other People

Availability is fundamental in our relations with others. In every encounter with someone else, however long or short, we should make him feel we’re one hundred percent there for him at that moment, with nothing else to do except be with him and do whatever needs doing for him. Good manners, yes, but also real, heartfelt availability. Continue reading

Our Neighbors – Part Two

Part One is here.

From Beginning at Home by Mary Perkins, 1950’s

There is, of course, no hard and fast line between the individual and social development of a child; for to develop oneself is to develop one’s possibilities of serving others; to develop skills in serving others is to develop oneself.

And, in general, it seems that most children find the idea of self-perfection a rather static and unappealing motive, whereas the idea of fitting oneself both by discipline and development to be someone’s fellow-worker, therefore to help Christ to win His victory, build up His Kingdom, help other people come to His happiness–all this makes good sense. Continue reading

Our Neighbors – Part One

Artist Charles Freitag

Part Two is here.

From Beginning at Home by Mary Perkins, 1950’s

We believe, of course, that every human being is, in one way or another, a sign of God his Creator and Sanctifier and of Christ his Redeemer. We ourselves, incorporated into Christ by Baptism, are meant in God’s plan to become more and more Christ-ened all our lives long, increasingly perfect undimmed signs of Christ, through whom He can love and serve His Father and His brethren. And He has so identified Himself with the human race that we can recognize and serve Him in every person we meet, baptized or not, sinners or saints. Continue reading

Be Temperate Toward Material Things – Catholic Family Handbook

by Father Lovasik, Catholic Family Handbook

Be temperate toward material things

Ill-regulated love of material things can be the cause of much trouble, unhappiness, and downright misery in the home. Your attitude toward money can be a source of great friction if it is not well ordered.

Two extremes are to be avoided: miserliness and prodigality. Continue reading

Fr. Lasance Tidbits for Your Day…

Painting by David Dalhoff Neal (1838 – 1915)

Reading, a Molder of Character

The inspiration of a single book has made teachers, preachers, philosophers, authors, and statesmen.

The first book read by one has often appeared before him through life as a beacon which has saved him from many a danger. On the other hand, the demoralizing effects of one book have made profligates and criminals.

Many youths and adults now in prison trace the beginning of their downfall to the reading of a bad book. Continue reading

“Don’ts” on Dates – Fr. Lovasik

One living in this modern age may think this list is antiquated. I ask you, has human nature changed? Are the Ten Commandments still applicable? Are people still born with Original Sin?

No, sin and virtue are not antiquated, they are just as real as they were 100, 500, 2000 years ago.

Father Lovasik puts before us some specific guidelines on how to have a chaste courtship. How important this is! It lays the foundation to a healthy and wholesome marriage. And if the courtship ends because one or the other sees too many obstacles, there will be no regrets…

“Don’ts” on Dates

Artist: Loui Jover

From Clean Love in Courtship by Fr. Lovasik

Though the following suggestions are directed mainly to girls, they are equally applicable to boys, inasmuch as boys will know what is expected of a decent girl and will cooperate with her in preserving her virtue. Continue reading