Mental Hygiene – The Catholic Teacher’s Companion

This book, The Catholic Teacher’s Companion, has been a real gem! It was written for teaching sisters and this excerpt touches on the mental state of a person and how it affects one’s physical health….

From The Catholic Teacher’s Companion, 1924

In his helpful book Health through Will Power, Dr. James J. Walsh has drawn attention to the surprising power of the will for preserving or recovering one’s health.

The author draws on his wide reading and long experience to prove that the simple exercise of natural will-power is all that is required to cure half the ills of life. All the “dreads” can be cured by scientifically strengthening the will, and recovery from such diseases as pneumonia and tuberculosis depends largely on the patient’s vigor of will.

He counsels the use of the saints’ ascesis, in hours of stress and strain, instead of the “good cry,” which, in his opinion, only weakens the character.

The teacher has a double duty to perform in this respect, one toward herself and another toward her pupils.

Professor La Rue therefore demands justly in his book Psychology for Teachers, that the teacher live a life of mental health in the presence of her pupils; she must daily show them a living example of a big, strong, purposeful, well-poised, good-humored, sympathetic soul.

To this end he gives the following rules of mental hygiene:

1. Look at life in the large. Take a big view of things.

2.Pursue a great purpose. Whoever seeks his own selfish will is traveling toward zero; but he who seeks to serve mankind and her God in the children, is facing toward infinity.

3.Practice mental hardening. Children should be taught to meet and conquer all their ordinary worries and troubles, and not to shun them.

4.Keep your poise. Many people fail because of over-anxiety lest they fail.

5.Form good mental habits:

Habits of the intellect:

(1) planning: there should be an ideal for life, a plan for the year, a program for the day.

“The difficulty,” says Judd, speaking of over-worked teachers, in Genetic Psychology for Teachers, “is not so much in the fact that teachers have to think and plan, as that they come to their work in a state of mental confusion and excitement which renders any task difficult.”

(2) Concentration, unit-mindedness, the one-thing-at-a-time attitude, distinguishes the master mind. Work when you work and play when you play. One must concentrate on recreation as well as on work.

Don’t spoil your game or your walk by carrying all through it a load of anxious thought.

And on going to bed, learn to turn off consciousness as you do your electric light.

Observe that the child in school is prevented from planning the larger features of his work, and that school conditions often favor distraction rather than concentration.

It is sad to think how many children are probably contracting bad mental habits in school.

II.Emotional health requires that we kill off the feelings that are bad for us and practice those that are good for us.

There is reason to believe that a large proportion, if not the major portion, of those who lose their positions do not lack either intellect or skill, but emotional control.

Many are egocentric, paranoid, have too much self-feeling; others are emotionally unstable; and still others, emotionally weak.

One’s prevailing mental state should be that of happiness and humor. It is surprising to find how much can be accomplished by just setting the mind to be happy whatever the circumstances.

Humor is like an application of mental massage which flushes out fatigue poisons and limbers one up all through. It lets loose the tensity of mental currents. The mind seems to relax, straighten up from its work, and take a long, fresh breath.

III.Quiet but effective determination must keep the mental machine running smoothly, rousing us to kill off some thoughts and feelings and promote others.

God’s grace coupled with natural will-power can accomplish wonders with a frail body.

Almost every Religious Order has cases similar to that of the Master General of the Dominicans, Father Cormier, who being professed as a preparation for death, outlived all his fellow-novices, and having joined the Order to efface himself, was from the beginning put upon the candlestick to be a light for his brethren.

But even the confirmed invalid has a real mission to perform in the Religious Community.

Canon Sheehan contended that there should be an invalid and an incurable one in every Religious Community, if only to bring God nearer to the Brothers or Sisters in His great love.

“Every effort we make to forget self, to leave self behind us, and to devote ourselves to the labor of making every person with whom we are bound to live, happy, is rewarded by interior satisfaction and joy. The supreme effort of goodness is,—not alone to do good to others; that is its first and lower effect,—but to make others good.” Rev. Bernard O’Reilly The Mirror of True Womanhood, 1893 https://amzn.to/2o35uN3 (afflink)

Lecture on protecting your family from the neo-pagan society that we live in today. How to do that? Music, books, stories, liturgy, etc. are answers…..

 

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Encouraging Catholic Customs

This is a post on Catholic customs…a very important part of our spiritual walk with our families….

Just an aside….Advent is around the corner and it is always nice to be prepared. Many years I put off getting things together because there is so much going on! But if we can think a bit each day about this wonderful season that is approaching, the things we want to accomplish, what materials we will need, and get it together before that first Sunday of Advent (Dec. 2nd this year), we will breathe a huge sigh of relief.

If you have been following my site, you may have adopted some of the customs we talk about here. So, I am going to post this page from my Traditional Advent Journal to get you thinking. You can print it out as a checklist on what to get together before Advent arrives…

Digital version the Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal here.

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From A Candle is Lighted, P. Stewart Craig

THE FAMILY

There is a whole school of thought that sniffs at the idea of encouraging Catholic customs in the home—or anywhere else, for that matter. Customs like the saying of the rosary together, the decorating of an altar in May seem to them too childish for consideration.

For them the doctrines of the Church are sufficient, without these extras. And indeed the doctrines of the Church are enough for anyone. They are like straight, unwinding roads that lead into eternity; only on either side of these roads are hedges and ditches and meadows and all sorts of flowers.

The ultra- catholic Catholic is not interested in these flowers or fields. Still, such things are to a road what Catholic customs are to the faith; they adorn it, enliven it, they help to keep one on the journey.

It is not strange that all sorts of devotional practices have sprung up round Catholicism, sometimes practices that may seem rather trifling until one realizes that customs cannot be worthless that have evolved from the faith of the people through many hundreds of years, sometimes through well over a thousand years.

What family is there that does not use certain sayings and phrases that have significance only for those belonging to the circle? What family exists that has no peculiar customs, nicknames, rites, birthday ceremonial that outsiders cannot be expected to appreciate?

I can remember an unfailing ritual that was observed among us as children when we ate porridge. First, you ate it all round the edge until half of it was gone and then straight across until the red and blue figure of Tom the piper’s son showed himself on the bottom of the plate, complete with pig and pursuing policeman.

Why we did that I have no idea and I doubt if anyone can account for the curious rites they observed as children. Those rites are not necessary for family life, but they adorn it and enliven it.

And since the Church is not an institution but a family that ranges from God and God’s mother and thence to the saints and thence to the souls in purgatory and from them to ourselves, is it astonishing that spiritual family rites and customs have sprung up?

It is surprising how few people think of this. But the parents who do enter into these spiritual family customs can give their children treasures, whose value they may not realize until eternity. And not only parents can do this, but anyone who works with young people and children, whether in school or clubs or any type of organization.

There is nothing forced in this idea: why does the church in her liturgy allot the various days to the honor of her saints, or to events in the lives of Christ and of Mary, if she does not wish us to celebrate them in some way?

These feasts are fixed, but the way they can be celebrated can vary—and does vary tremendously from place to place.

With the passing of time the festivities and the customs of the day have also changed, still the essence remains the same.

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“Bank holidays are a poor exchange for the feasts of the Church. It means that people’s noses are now kept much longer to the grindstone than they ever were in the days when the civil year was based on the liturgy.

It means too that a popular, vivid, visual way of teaching the faith has almost disappeared. Those who work with young people, in schools or any sort of youth organizations, or those with families of young children are the only ones who can ensure that this way of making religion real does not vanish completely.

Many of the Church’s feasts were celebrated in a childish, obvious even crude way. This ought to be a recommendation, rather than a drawback. When boys and girls drift away from their faith the reason almost always is that this faith has never been a reality to them. The popular celebrations that obtained so long in this country did indeed help to make the faith real then to those who took part; it could do so again.”

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Visit Finer Femininity on Facebook. It is full of quotes and inspirations to brighten your day!

“These diapers that are changed daily, these meals that are cooked again and again, these floors that are scrubbed today only to get dirty tomorrow — these are as truly prayer in a mother’s vocation as the watches and prayers of the religious are in theirs.” -Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children http://amzn.to/2vBGgH7 (afflink)

If you would like to order this St. Andrew/Christmas Novena Chaplet click here. The novena starts the end of this month!! A very powerful novena, indeed! I will post more on this as it gets closer.

Prepare now for Advent and Christmas! This little Maglet (magazine/booklet) is full of inspiration and devotions for your Advent and Christmas Season! Check it out here.

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The Mass: The Perfect Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving almost here, Catholics take the opportunity to meditate on how much we have to be grateful for, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!

Father Kenneth Walker’s First Mass:

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The Year and Our Children, Mary Reed Newland

Men have not only prayed in thanksgiving, but have offered in thanksgiving: something that was a sign of themselves, to show they were thankful for life, were sorry for their sins against the Giver of life, would give their lives in return, if they might, to the One they owe so much.

They made offerings in thanks for the things that sustain life, for the preservation of life. “Abel also offered of the firstlings of his flock, and of their fat.”

“So Noah went out, he and his sons, his wife and the wives of his sons – all living things went out of the ark. And Noah built an altar unto the Lord: and taking of all cattle and fowl that were clean, offered holocausts upon the altar….”

They made bloody offerings, because the offering is a symbol of the offerer, and blood is the essence of life. Blood is life.

There were other offerings: “Melchizedek, the king of Salem, bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God, blessed him and said, `Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created heaven and earth.'”

“‘ .. Because bread maintains life, and wine enhances life. God told them what to sacrifice and how to sacrifice; but especially He told them to make the sacrifice of the Pasch, because it was a memorial to their freedom and their protection, a memorial of thanksgiving to the God who loved them: ”

. . . and it shall be a lamb without blemish, a male, one year … and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening.” . . . ”

And this day shall be a memorial unto you: and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord … for with a strong hand the Lord hath brought you out of this place.”

He brought them through water, led them by fire, fed them with manna, and when they sinned against Him, He chastised them and accepted their sacrifices of expiation. He made it part of their Law, their Covenant, that they were to offer sacrifice: of reparation, of petition, of praise, of thanksgiving.

Then Christ came. When it was time for the thing to happen for which He came, He said to the Apostles, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this, in remembrance of me.” And He said: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which shall be shed for you.”

This was the new covenant, the new Pasch … “in my blood,” He said. From that moment on, they were to make sacrifice “in my blood.”

The offering is a symbol of the offerer. Blood is the essence of life. This is our gift to offer: His Body and Blood, every day.

Think of all the things the Redemption accomplished, and do not forget this last: to put into our hands the perfect Gift, the pure Victim – “holy and spotless, the holy bread of everlasting life and the chalice of everlasting salvation.”

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THE VALUE OF THE MASS 

  • At the hour of death the Holy Masses you have heard devoutly will be your greatest consolation.
  • Every Mass will go with you to Judgment and will plead pardon for you.
  • By every Mass you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins, more or less, according to your fervor.
  • By devoutly assisting at Holy Mass you render the greatest homage possible to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord.
  • Through the Holy Sacrifice, Our Lord Jesus Christ supplies for many of your negligences and omissions.
  • He forgives you all the venial sins which you are determined to avoid. He forgives you all your unknown sins which you never confessed. The Power of Satan over you is diminished.
  • By piously hearing Holy Mass you afford the Souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief.
  • One Holy Mass heard during your life will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death.
  • Through the Holy Mass you are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes which would otherwise have befallen you. You shorten your Purgatory by every Mass.
  • During Holy Mass you kneel amid a multitude of holy Angels, who are present at the Adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe.
  • Through Holy Mass you are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.
  • When you hear Holy Mass devoutly, offering it to Almighty God in honor of any particular Saint or Angel thanking God for the favors bestowed on him, you afford that Saint or Angel a new degree of honor, joy and happiness, and draw his special love and protection for yourself.
  • Every time you assist at Holy Mass, besides other intentions, you should offer it in honor of the Saint of the day.

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Mothers, know how very special you are. You are the essence, the heart of your home. Your smile lightens the burdens, your words brighten the hearts of those who will be part of your festivities. The tone of this special family time is set by you! We, as mothers, are privileged to have such an important part in the making of our homes! May your day be filled with grace and love!

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The history books will tell you that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Protestant pilgrims of Massachusetts in 1621. Not so. There was the Catholic Thanksgiving of 1565 in Florida and another Catholic Thanksgiving of 1589 in Texas….

6 Interesting Catholic Thanksgiving Facts You Need to Know

Advent Chaplet (Hail and Blessed, St. Andrew Novena) and Prayer Card!

This St. Andrew Novena Chaplet consists of 15 beads that make up the 15 prayers for the novena throughout the Advent Season up to Christmas Eve. The chaplet is wire wrapped with Vintaj square brass wire and will last for many Advents to come! Also included is a laminated prayer card that has the novena prayer printed on it.

Review: “Quality materials and workmanship. There will be no losing beads because the wire is beautifully woven in and around each bead itself. The box it came in had a handmade flower glued on it, inside a little ribboned gift bag with the prayer card. It could have been gifted as is. Shipped quickly.

An aside: This chaplet was quickly and accidentally adopted by my four year old because “It’s pretty so its prayers will be pretty.” Well, that isn’t quite the point but I love how little kids’ minds make connections. We prayed 15 Glory Be prayers that day, and the next day 15 little Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity.”

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Necessity of a Deep and Settled Principle to Cling Closely to God

This excerpt was originally written for young women having to make their way in the world. It is beautiful, and reminds all of us to keep our eyes and our hearts set on the goal. This will help us to make good decisions and to embrace our crosses along the way…

From GUIDE for CATHOLIC YOUNG WOMEN by Rev. George Deshon, 1863

 

All the advantage, all the good of a life of labor depends on your being faithful.

Two girls may be in equally good situations, yet one will be contented and happy and growing better every day, while the other will be always complaining and fretting, making herself and everybody else unhappy and getting more and more wicked.

Let us look into it and see the reason of all this difference.

These two girls are acting on very different principles. One looks first at this world in everything. Her mind is taken up with the idea of enjoying all the pleasure she can now. She is all the time studying the ease and comfort of the present moment.

As soon as any desire rises up in her heart she allows herself to be completely carried away by it, and God and religion have to stand in the background.

The other is in the habit of looking away from this world, and looking first at God. The question with her is: Is it right? Is it good for my soul? And not, how do I like it?

She takes a calm and holy pleasure in denying herself what is wrong or not good for her, because she knows that her soul is united more closely to God, her only real good, by so doing.

This is the reason of all the difference in their lives—why one is so happy and good, the other so unhappy and sinful; and this shows the necessity of having a right principle of conduct, a principle good enough, and broad enough, and strong enough to regulate all the actions of our life.

We cannot do better than lay down some such principle. St. Paul had such a ruling principle. He says: “I do not live any longer, but it is Christ that lives in me.” (Gal. ii. 20). He had Christ so firmly seated in his mind, he had it so much at heart to please Him, that he was able to say that he lived no longer for himself, but for Christ.

Here was his fixed principle: He would no longer live for himself, but for Jesus Christ. No doubt he used to say to himself on all occasions: “Remember, Paul, you are no longer to live for yourself, but for Christ ‘‘; and it was by acting on this principle that he arrived at such a high state of perfection.

In the same way, if you want to live a good life, you must take care to have some such principle, which shall have the upper hand in your soul and control your whole conduct.

It is no matter how it is expressed—whether one says, “It is better to lose the whole world than suffer the loss of the soul”; or “My only real happiness consists in serving God”; or “My meat and drink shall be to do the will of God”; or “I will look at God and His will first in all I do” or “All my desire is to please God and save my soul”… all these things mean really the same thing.

They mean only what our Savior meant when He said, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul,” or “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul.” (St. Mark viii. 36).

We need some such thought to sink deep in our minds, so deep that it may never be forgotten or lost sight of. Oh! My good girl, do not rest satisfied until you can repeat some such sentiment with your whole soul.
When St. Ignatius wanted to get St. Francis Xavier to devote himself to God he did it in this way. He saw St. Francis, at that time a worldly young man, who thought little of his soul, quite frequently, and managed at every interview to repeat the words: “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world if he lose his own soul.”

By and by they began to have their effect, and St. Francis said to himself: “Indeed, what will it profit me to gain all worldly distinction if I am lost?” He saw things in their true light, devoted himself to God heart and soul, and became a great saint.

So, my dear good girl, you must strive to possess and fill your soul with the grand principle of living for God, of wishing and striving to please and love God more and more. You must, as it were, keep your eyes fixed on this mark, that the sight of it may always afford you strength and courage.

Suppose a beautiful house, on a hill-top, surrounded by pleasant groves and gardens of flowers, could be placed in your sight, with the promise that it should be yours after a term of faithful service.

If you found that service getting tiresome, you would go to your window, look at that beautiful house, your courage would rise, and your labor would again become lightsome and easy.

So have in your mind’s eye the love of the Savior, that great treasure which will make you rich for all eternity, have it always ready to look at, and I will warrant that all the troubles of life, and all the mischances that may happen to you, cannot hinder your soul from rejoicing at the glorious prospects before you.

Would that we could always bear this in mind! But the trouble is, and I may say the only trouble is, that it is so often forgotten ; either lost sight of altogether over time, or seen only so dimly and indistinctly that it appears like a dream and has little or no effect on the mind.

Yes, it is very true; this glorious prospect can always be kept in view if we will, and yet it is often, very often lost from sight.

Now, I do not want you to lose sight of it, if others do. Your whole spiritual life, goodness, and happiness depend upon your not losing sight of it. Therefore, you must, like a prudent person, consider within yourself what means you will take to keep it always in view.

“If you accept a man at face value, is there any hope he will change? He may not, and you need to accept this fact. But in a miraculous way, when you accept him at face value, he is more likely to change. The only hope that a man will change is for you to not try to change him. Others may try to teach him and offer suggestions, but the woman he loves must accept him for the man he is, and look to his better side.” – Helen Andelin

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Sermon on the symbolism of the advent wreath & Christ…

Mortification means ‘to make dead’. It is the struggle against our evil inclinations in order to subject them to the will, and our will to God. By mortification we establish the right order of all our faculties and prepare ourselves for a higher life. Advent is a time when we should practice mortification (a small Lent). During Advent, we also reflect upon the death of the world. The destruction of this world helps strike holy fear into our hearts and reminds all that man can’t construct a heaven upon earth, but must rather die to the gluttony, lust, pride and anger so prevalent in this world. The better we observe Advent, the more joyous our Christmas will be….

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A Worthy Character

From FW Index,

Fascinating Womanhood

Are You Up On Your Pedestal?

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Fine character in a woman will stir deep feelings in a man. It may awaken love. It surely will let him know that he can trust you with his feelings, thoughts, and dreams.

Some Traits of Fine Character

Self-Control

It seems no other trait pertains to so many things as does self-control. You need this trait to be successful in many areas of your life. It helps you control your tongue, appetites, thoughts, money, emotions, time, and more. How do you gain self-control?

-Develop a sense of self-worth and a good self-image. This will give you the confidence you need to trust in your decisions. Remember that it is a feminine trait to vacillate. You need to trust yourself and your decisions.

-Doing without food for a period of time while you fast and pray will give you a head-start on gaining self-control. Fasting accompanied by prayer will also give you the spiritual strength you need to fight the battle with your will and win.

-Get in the habit of telling yourself “no” or doing something difficult in order to train your will every day. You can do something unpleasant, or eat something you don’t like, take on a hard job, go without something you usually allow yourself, put yourself on a time limit, or other such things.

-An important element of self-control is determination. Set your face like a flint and make up your mind that you are going to succeed. Don’t allow discouragement, hardships, or temporary setbacks to keep you from your goal. Make sure others don’t hinder you with side issues, time wasters, or discouraging talk. Keep your eye on the goal and stick with it.

 Unselfishness

It takes a fair amount of self-thought to gain self-control, but at the same time you have to be unselfish. This seems to be a contradiction. Self-love is what you need to take care of yourself and stick to your standards and goals. Unselfishness is giving part of yourself for the good of someone else. It does not mean you compromise your standards, but that you put the needs of someone else in the forefront even when it causes you some discomfort.

There are many of us who can be kind when it’s easy and costs us nothing, but for an act to be truly unselfish it must have an element of sacrifice on your part. You do not have to love the person you are caring for, but instead are moved to action because it is what you do when someone has a need – unselfishness is a principle you live by.

Charity

While unselfishness spurs us to action because of duty, charity causes us to act because of feeling. Charity is deep love for another regardless of race, social standing or religion – it is much like the love of our Father toward us. This kind of love awakens service toward others.

Your first duty as a wife and mother is to your family and home, but after these needs are met, you have a duty as a charitable woman to the outside world. There are many less fortunate or weaker than you that need your help.

There are three main parts to charity – compassion, understanding the need, and sacrifice. Compassion will cause you to see the worth and value of an individual. It’s what causes you to take notice of them in the first place. After you notice them, a wise person will get to the root of the situation and perceive the actual need. Meeting the need will most likely require some sort of personal sacrifice or discomfort. It may mean going the second mile. It will help you if you remember, service is almost never convenient.

Humility

As I have stated before, humility is not false modesty that comes from denying you have talents or gifts of some sort. A humble person knows they have these things, but also knows how to use them, appreciate them and appreciate the talent in others. You are not arrogant or proud about your gifts, but instead are thankful and appreciative of them, and desire to use them in the best way. A humble person is free from a feeling of superiority over others and is aware of their own shortcomings.

It is all too easy to let things like riches, money and possessions, knowledge and learning, good looks and figure, character traits, and social standing become sources of pride. If you notice yourself looking down at others or becoming critical of those not as fortunate as you in some area, then pride is rearing its ugly head. Yes, you may have a gift someone else does not have, but you have your own areas of lack, too.

Keep things in perspective. No one is so wonderful and marvelous that they have no need of humility. Humility is essential to a person of high character.

Responsibility

Responsibility is the trait of getting a job done that has been entrusted to you, and doing the job right, to the best of your ability, and having it done on time. This trait is especially needed when you have no one looking over your shoulder to make sure the job gets done.

This is what so many wives of today are lacking – a sense of responsibility for the work they do in their homes and for their families. You don’t have a time clock to punch or a manager coming by to check on you to make sure the job is getting done. Without this outside pressure, many of us just don’t do as good of a job at home as we would do somewhere else. What’s missing? That trait of responsibility.

Even when parts of your work are done by others, such as with daycare or hiring a housekeeper, your responsibility to see the job gets done is still yours. The children and the house are still yours to look after, and it is a serious flaw to tack a lax attitude about your responsibilities.

Diligence

Diligence is closely related to responsibility, in my opinion. Responsibility lets you know that you have important work to take care of, and diligence sees the job through to the end. It gives you the stick-to-it-ivness you need to keep going when you want to quit.

Patience

Patience is the trait of waiting for the right timing. Patience means you have a large amount of forbearance. You tolerate things with a good attitude. You put up with inconveniences, delays, mishaps, and the many interruptions life hands us with a good attitude.

You need patience when you deal with other people. Your own home is an excellent incubator in which to grow patience. Children must have a sense of responsibility in the area of seeing to it their parents grow in this area. Husbands and wives need patience when learning to get along with each other.

It also takes patience to develop character qualities you are lacking. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail, but keep at it. Take the same attitude when learning a new skill or subject.

Moral Courage

Can you stand your ground when faced with criticism, humiliation, gossip, personal loss, or even bodily harm? If so, then you have the trait of moral courage. In order to have moral courage you first have to know what you believe and why. You have to have values and standards in place. Once you know what these are, times will come when you are questioned or tested. It takes courage to stick to your beliefs and not give in to pressure.

Some tests of your courage may be small. Are you able to say “no” when asked to take on duties that are too much for you? Can you get off the phone or computer when you are needed elsewhere? These are great starting places to begin practicing moral courage.

It also takes courage to admit you are wrong. There can be serious consequences to your wrong action, and it will take strength to get your actions out in the open.

Honesty

I doubt many of us are out and out liars since we have been trained to tell the truth, but do you realize that stretching the truth or covering the truth are forms of dishonesty? It is dishonest to conceal facts or embellish them. Usually we think we will suffer in some way if the truth comes out, so we hide the facts. Use your moral courage to be truthful in all things. You will be glad when you have a good conscience toward your Maker and your fellow man.

Chastity

Chastity is sexual pureness in thought and deed. It means to refrain from adultery, fornication, homosexuality or other sexual sins and to guard your mind in this area by avoiding pornography, illicit movies, trashy books, impure thoughts and impure imaginations.

Other Character Traits

The Bible is full of talk of high-quality character traits, things like, graciousness, hospitality, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, and faith. These are acquired by knowledge and application. Once you know what a trait is, you can begin to apply it in your life. I would like to encourage you to study character qualities of people you admire, then begin to do several things a day to build these qualities within yourself.

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

A lovely gift idea!

Beautiful, Graceful wire-wrapped rosaries available at Meadows of Grace! Each link of the Vintaj wire is wrapped around itself to ensure quality.

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Your Marriage; Be Ready to Forgive and Compromise – Father Lovasik

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Be ready to compromise and to forgive

There will be many disagreements in your married life. Marriage has many difficulties and trials that are inevitable when two human beings live together in a life-long union of the greatest intimacy, with all the changes in mood and temperament that the varying conditions of life occasion.

Self-sacrifice is one of the standards of measurement for true love. Self-sacrifice is opposed to selfishness. Selfishness means wanting your own way always. It makes you a dictator.

Self-sacrifice must take the form of compromise. This compromise does not surrender in matters of moral or spiritual principle, but does surrender in disputes over the use of money, leisure time, or material things.

If you always insist on having your way, on doing what you want, on buying what you want, on going where you choose, without considering the desires of your partner, there is selfishness in place of love. Such selfishness is the basis of all impatience, and anger is the fruit of impatience.

A happy marriage depends so much on cooperation, self-sacrifice, sacrifice, and understanding that whatever is gained by insisting on rights will be lost in peace and good will.

So never talk about what you have a right to do against the wishes of your partner. It is difficult, if not impossible, to bring peace into a home where either the husband or the wife is stubbornly insisting on some right against the judgment or wishes of the partner.

You cannot force a person to be a good companion. That must come from the person’s own desire and from his freedom from external tasks and worries. Rather than just laying down the law, you would do far better to show an interest in each other’s work and to make some effort, even with all your own responsibilities, to help each other with it.

The partnership of marriage requires give and take. There are still husbands who feel that only men are entitled to freedom of movement and outside-the-house contacts and associations.

Either they are very jealous men, who unreasonably fear that they might lose their wives’ affection if they permit them to mingle with people outside the home, or they are simply the dictator type, who feel that women should be subject to men and to their duties as wives and mothers, and that they should ask for nothing in the way of relaxation and recreation.

This is not normal, but it is something wives should accept patiently. They can use any reasonable means to correct the condition. Anger, resentment, and bitterness will not accomplish anything; rather they will serve only to harden some husbands in their unjust attitude.

If your husband has a kind of tyrannical temperament – if he thinks he knows it all as far as you are concerned – you will not change his opinion of his superior wisdom merely by butting your head against his will.

You must have a full measure of respect for the judgment and wishes of your spouse. Use spiritual motives to accept with peace the tyranny you cannot avoid without war.

If your husband insists on making all the decisions, no matter how intimately you may be involved, then only by the grace of God, combined with a constant effort to cultivate patience, prudence, and tact will you be able to solve your problem.

Furthermore, you accepted him “for better or for worse,” and when “the worse” comes out in him, remember your promise at God’s altar. Be thankful that you have a good Catholic husband, if that be the case, who does not, with all his faults, make it difficult for you to live up to your Faith and to save your soul.

Be forgiving

Self-sacrifice must take the form of forgiveness. Forgiveness means the sacrifice of anger, bitterness, resentment, and revenge against your partner. There is no marriage in which forgiveness is not sometimes required, because there are no perfect human beings on earth.

It is inevitable when you live with another person day after day that at times your feelings will be hurt, and you will think that your rights are abused. So do not be too sensitive, and do not feel sorry for yourself.

A nagging wife never wholeheartedly forgives, because she never lets her husband forget his faults and defects of character. A husband who bears grudges against his wife and enters into moody silences for long periods of time is too selfish to forgive from his heart.

The causes for disagreements are usually very trivial. If you have misunderstandings, do everything possible to straighten out these domestic problems as soon as possible, and try to keep harmony.

Balance your accounts every day: if you quarrel in the morning, try to be at peace by nightfall. If you have failed, admit the mistake, and your spouse should forgive and forget.

You need a technique for handling the differences that so often lead to explosions of temper in marriage. Try to discuss your differences with calmness and understanding and settle them through reason tempered with good will and love. Without these elements, no disagreement can be solved.

With the help of God and your good will, love, and understanding, a solution can be found for every difficulty.

Accept each other’s faults

The state of being in love is not a sufficient guide to the new life of marriage, as a pagan, secular world would have us believe. The implications of the vows of Matrimony become clear only gradually.

When you were married, each of you had to choose first the interests of the other. This choice could not be accomplished in a matter of days. When you began to live as one, you discovered in yourselves faults of temper and character of which previously you may not have been aware. Even to this day you will find these faults your stumbling blocks.

Your chance of happiness depends on your sincere determination and your capacity for self-sacrifice to get them out of your way. Learn to accept each other’s faults with patient love. Do not brood over them. If you do, you will pile one thing upon another and make mountains out of molehills.

Forgiveness is especially a necessary part of your relationship. If you see a fault in your spouse that you consider serious, and which makes you unhappy, be patient and bring it up to your partner in a kind, prudent way.

Be ready to accept correction for your own faults and failings. If you have complaints about your spouse, begin the process of correction by examining and correcting yourself. A case cannot be settled on the basis of one spouse’s complaints alone. The principal fault may be found on one side only, but you should not take it for granted without self-examination and humble self-improvement.

You must dare to put aside your petty personal pattern, your peeves and fears, and in humble trust and prayer beg the help of God, offered to you in the sacrament of Matrimony.

Make unpleasant experiences fewer. There will be numerous occasions when even loving personalities verge on hatred. There will be spells of boredom and dreariness that even real love does not dispel. There will be days and nights of weariness, discouragement, unhappiness, and almost despair.

Remember that you have enough help to assure you of improvement. Both of you are working for the ideal marriage, and both of you are eager to find ways of making your life happier.

If only you cooperate, God will give you innumerable graces -those particularly conferred by the sacrament of Matrimony – actual grace and sanctifying grace. This means a real lift to progress at the very moment you need it most.

Punctuality exacts self-discipline and detachment; it often asks us to interrupt some interesting, pleasant work in order to give ourselves to another kind, perhaps less attractive or less important.
However, it would be a great mistake to esteem our duties and to dedicate ourselves to them according to the attraction we have for them or according to their more or less apparent importance.
All is important and beautiful when it is the expression of the will of God, and the soul who wishes to live in this hole he will every minute of the day, will never omit the slightest act prescribed by its rule of life. -Divine Intimacy

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A special Christmas gift!

The All-New, Full-Color Catholic Mother Goose Volume Two and The Catholic Mother Goose Volume One

Review: The volumes are so thick and worth the price! Both the black and white volume with its intricate pencil illustrations, and the volume with its bright wall-to-wall colors, have equal appeal each in their own way. It is a sturdy paperback, and will last in a house full of kids. Shipped quickly.

Review: Catholic Mother Goose, Volume Two, is a ‘one of a kind’ treasure for young and old alike! Little minds will be captivated by the beautifully colored and illustrated pages. Throughout the nursery rhymes, children will learn the lessons of kindness, unselfishness, the efficacy of suffering and the value of prayer! They will become more familiar with the lives of the Saints, St. Therese, St. Francis, etc. and their great love for Jesus and Mary. These beautifully written poems will plant the seed for good literature and a love for reading for years to come. This is how we make our Catholic faith and culture come alive for our children! This book is a must!

Available here.

Package Deal on Volumes One and Two here.

 

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Inspirational Quotes & The Winner Is….

Here are a few inspirational quotes for your day!

(The Winner of the Advent Drawing follows….)

“As far as possible, be at home with your children. As you nourished your child before he was capable of eating solid food, so in the early formative years, nature has determined that you must nourish your child in virtue.” –Fr. Lovasik, The Catholic Family Handbook

The education of your children is the result of the combined efforts of both parents. But in his youngest years, the child is almost exclusively under the mother’s guidance. Your efforts are to produce effects that will have their final reckoning in eternity. Although your educational influence is of a nature entirely different from that of the father, your vocation as mother is equal in importance to your husband’s. –The Catholic Family Handbook, Fr. Lovasik

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Aprons tell a beautiful story…..a story of love and sacrifice….of baking bread and mopping floors, of planting seeds and household chores. Sadly, many women have tossed the aprons aside and donned their business attire. Wear your apron with joy….it is a symbol of Femininity….”Finer” Femininity! (Gemma’s lovely apron, given to her as a gift for her Confirmation, from her sister Rosie. Made by her sister, Gin.)

“A woman’s role is supportive, and she is to be her husband’s helper, confidant, counselor if need be, friend and one of his greatest allies. You should be more than willing to make your man feel important, appreciated and admired.” –Fascinating Womanhood

“Don’t get serious about a boy who is not willing to prove himself by avoiding sin, especially impurity and drunkenness, frequenting the sacraments, and spending a reasonable amount of time in prayer daily. Never think of marrying someone who will not be able to make you better for living with him, for the foundation of a happy marriage is a holy love which will enable you to aid each other to practice virtue and fulfill your duties.” –Fr. Lovasik, clean Love in Courtship 

“Although good homemaking is an admirable virtue, it can be overdone. Create a home, not a showplace. A man appreciates efforts for his sake, but doesn’t want homemaking to take priority over him, or things he considers more important. The castle is not more important than the king that dwells therein.” – Helen Andelin

As Catholics, we “venerate” images such as the image of Jesus, the saints, the Blessed Mother, which simply means we regard with great respect and reverence the person portrayed in the image, an action which is not contrary to the First Commandment. Saint Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica, said the following: “Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement towards the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2132). www.finerfem.com

A woman can triumph over any faults of her early training and develop into a competent housewife as long as she has a willing spirit, never stops learning and never gives up! www.finerfem.com

Dear Blessed Mother, you were chosen by God to bear within you our world’s greatest gift, the Savior of all humanity. I come to you now asking for the health and safety of the child that God has graced me to conceive. Guard this life that God has created, and let your gentle hands, like that of a skilled physician, assist my delivery so that this baby will know good health and lasting happiness. May my child be favored with the grace of Holy Baptism, and grow to love our Lord Jesus Christ above all else in this world. Amen. www.finerfem.com

“While the procreation of the race is the primary purpose of marriage, it also fosters the love and devotion of husband and wife. It answers man’s craving for intimate companionship, sympathy, understanding, and lasting friendship. It enriches the personality of man by increasing his unselfishness and deepening his capacity for love, friendship, and sacrifice.” – Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook

“Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself…do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage.” Introduction the the Devout Life― St. Francis de Sales

Thank you for all the lovely comments on the Giveaway post! It is good to hear from all of you and please know you are in my prayers!

And now the winner of these Advent goodies is…

Jennifer! (jennkray)

Congratulations!

(I have sent you an email)

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Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Apron! Feminine and Beautiful!

Fully lined, lace overlay, made with care and detail. Available here.

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Fr. Lasance Tidbits – Pain & Grief, Peace, Heart & Face, etc.

From My Prayer Book by Father Lasance

The Blessing of Pain and Grief

Pain and grief clear the mind and help man to know himself. Trouble sweeps away as a mist all deceits and false living, and leaves man to see himself just as he is. Hence he can study his motives, his tendencies, his character honestly.

Temporary pleasures, momentary delights, the glare of sunlight, are all taken away, and just as the eyes can often see farther on a cloudy day than in the full sunlight, so the man sees more exactly his life and all that touches his life.

Thank God that sometimes all the fancy touches and adornments of existence are removed, and we see plainly. For God looks at the heart of us, not at the dress; and to master life is to see it with His eyes.

So, when trouble comes, when loneliness or grief approaches, when a dark day dawns, be glad that there is a chance for self-study, for stock-taking, for a clearing up, for a moral and spiritual housecleaning.

The Path of Sorrow

Do away with penance, humility, obedience, and self-denial, and you abolish the crucifix.

But so long as we retain that symbol, constantly preaching to us the story of God’s sufferings; so long as we believe that He suffered not merely to make atonement for our sins, but to teach us to “fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ” in our flesh (Col. i. 24); so long must the spirit of self-denial remain in practice in the Church that He has founded.

The path of sorrow, and that path alone, leads to the land where sorrow is unknown.

Job’s Comforters

Many, like the comforters of Job, look upon all calamity and suffering as the direct result of sin and say: “Sin, and you suffer; sin not, and you suffer not.”

But Christ seems to point to a higher harmony and a more profound reason, and indeed to a solution of the problem which, though it may leave something to be desired by human reason, is all satisfactory to reason illumined by faith.

“Neither this man hath sinned nor his parents, but that the works of God may be made manifest in him.” Out of suffering comes all good, and in the providence of God it is the means of lifting man to the very pinnacle of greatness here below and to eternal beatitude hereafter.

Peace

When our divine Lord sent His disciples out to preach, one of His instructions was: “Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house.”

Peace is a good word. It is more than a salutation; falling from the Master’s lips, it is a divine benediction as well. Peace, too, is a fruit of grace, which includes all that is sweetest and divine in Christian culture.

Christ’s peace is a blessing which comes out of struggle and discipline. Well, therefore, does the salutation “Peace!” befit a Catholic home, which ought to be the abode of peace.

Heart and Face

A good heart makes a good face — perhaps not beautiful or classic, but refined, sincere, and noble. The face will shine with God behind it.

There are some faces even today that at times seem to have a glow upon them. There are faces that are quiet and uninteresting in repose that light up amazingly with the animation of talking.

There are some who can never get a good photograph, because the camera cannot catch the subtle sparkle of the eye in which the whole individuality lies.

There are some whom you would not at first call handsome, whose faces grow on you with constant acquaintance until they become beautiful to you.

For you see the soul shining through, you see the splendor of a noble character glorifying every feature.

True beauty in the soul will come out in the sweetness, the brightness, the quiet glory of the face.

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These are the items on the Giveaway:
(I’m hoping to announce the winner tomorrow!)

Let us make a home that is warm and welcoming, comfortable and freeing – a place where we can express the beauty of our Faith and nurture relationships with people we love. Let us build a home that reflects our personalities and renews our souls. Today, do something special to show your loved ones you care. Put a tablecloth on the table, light a candle, bake a cake, buy some flowers to grace your table….It doesn’t have to be huge…just something to lighten the burdens of the day and to bring a smile to those who cross your threshold. -Finer Femininity

Beautiful Vintaj Blessed Mother Brass Wire Rosary! Lovely, Durable… Each link is handmade and wrapped around itself to ensure quality. Available here.

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Taking Him for Granted – Fr. Kinsella, The Wife Desired

IMG_3820The Wife Desired, Fr. Kinsella

No one likes to be taken for granted. In any human relationship a little sign of appreciation goes a long way. Life does not have to be a hard pull uphill all the time. To know that someone, especially the one we love, values our efforts sends us off with our heads in the clouds. The wife who is wise enough to show her husband appreciation for all his efforts will keep his heart fixed upon her.

With a fixed heart he will have a free hand to do the things a responsible head of the house must do. That is why, as Chesterton has pointed out, Christ said, “My son, give Me thy heart.” With his heart securely fixed on Christ the disciple had a pivot from which he could swing through all the complexities of life without losing his purpose. Appreciation gives purpose and motivation to a husband. It is one form of inspiration.

Some years ago a couple came to my attention whom I always have remembered. They illustrated the importance of a wife’s making her husband realize that she valued him. The wife had to leave her home and care for her sick mother. She was gone for a month. She and her husband rented without a lease, wondering from week to week whether they would have a home for themselves and their three little children.

While she was gone, he fell upon a good buy in a fairly new home. He said that he regretted the transaction was made while she was away, but the opportunity came then. He felt that it was his responsibility to do something about their living conditions. Having failed twice to locate her by phone he closed the deal.

The first Sunday his wife was home they went out for a drive. He intended to surprise her. As they were driving around, he suddenly stopped in front of their new home. Her curiosity at his action turned to grief on being let in on the secret. As she sat in the car looking at her new home she began to moan and groan that she did not like it. Why did he do it? Why did he not wait until she came back?

For a moment he sat there crestfallen, not knowing what to say or do. He expected elation and was prepared for a pat on the back. He made an effort to recover his confidence and suggested that they see the inside. She would like the arrangement of the rooms and closet space.

As they went from room to room, she continued her manifestations of disappointment and even resentment that she had no say in the choice of their new home. It was a bad day for both of them, how bad neither of them were to realize for several years. On that day he got the idea that his wife did not appreciate him. The idea continued to grow.

When we talked over their problems, their estrangement, and the future of the children, they had been separated for over a year. By that time he was all through and living with another woman. He had found someone to give him appreciation.

There is always someone around to give it if the wife does not. “The big dummy,” every woman is saying who reads this, “should get everything coming to him.” Perhaps he was something of dummy, but his wife had always loved him, still did, and wanted him back.

In justice to the husband in question, we should remember the circumstances prevailing when he bought the home. However, to make all wives happy, let us suppose that he made a terrible mistake in buying a home without his wife’s knowledge. The deed was done. What did she profit reminding him of his mistake? Was it wise for her to carry a grudge, to give him the idea that she considered him unfair or incompetent? Did her duty of inspiration cease because he was guilty of the worst possible judgment?

She was an excellent wife and mother in some respects, but she failed completely in the important function of inspiration. She told how she had never thought of it but now realized her big mistake, her shortcoming.

This woman was not the nagging type, at least not habitually so. She took her husband for granted. She felt that she was doing her job well. She assumed that he was. She did not assume a thing when they were courting.

If wives worked just half as hard and wisely at keeping their husbands as they do in getting them, the divorce mills would go out of business. A husband needs his wife even more than she needs him. With a little intelligence and verve she can keep him easily.

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Given unconditional love, boundaries to live by, and a Faith to cherish, your children will blossom. They will know that no matter how bad things may be on the outside there is a place of hope and acceptance with family. -Finer Femininity

Our Lady of Fatima Apron! Feminine and Beautiful! Fully lined, lace overlay, made with care and detail. Available here.

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My Little Story About Attitude…and An Update

Hubby with the grandkids…

Vincent leads a Junior Legion of Mary in our home for the grandchildren…

As it gets close to Thanksgiving, I like to post this little story about Attitude. It is important to remember that no matter what we are going through, we have control over our thought processes.

It isn’t easy at times, it can be a fight just to remain above water, but when we cry out to God for help, let us also thank Him for all we go through because He WILL come. And He will help us to have a proper attitude through it all.

And when it comes to just the little things in life that bug us, let us remain cheerful. These are such sweet offerings we can give back to Our Lord who has given so much to us!

And now an update….

I would like to give you an update on a couple of things I have asked you to pray about…

I have gone for tests about my health, and….. they have found nothing wrong! So, even though it is perplexing…I take it as a great gift and an answer to prayer…thank you!

A little more perplexing is our dear Rosie who entered the convent about a month ago. Rosie has struggled with her health through the years but had been stable for quite some time before she entered the convent.

After she entered, she quickly spiraled downhill health-wise. The Benedictine nuns were overwhelmingly supportive and worked with her. But it became evident to Mother, after some serious symptoms that even made a run to the emergency room a necessity…that Rosie needed to come home.

So…we are picking her up today. Please continue to keep our Rosie in your prayers.

Rosie smiling through the convent window. 🙂

And now, My Little Story About Attitude

Life is 90% attitude and 10% circumstance.    I like this saying.  I use it on my children when they are giving into their “stinkin’ thinkin”!  If it was my quote I would change it a little. Life is 90 percent attitude, coupled with faith, and 10 percent circumstances.  We DO have choices on how we react to what life is dishing out!

I am very grateful that I have had some people in my life that have made a powerful impact on me because of their awesome attitudes, especially in the face of adversity!  Today I would like to write about 3 of these people.

I met Kay when I was 18 yrs.old.  She is a middle-aged German woman who always had a smile on her face and a ready laugh.  Young people were attracted to her like a magnet. She was always available to talk to and had good, sound advice for the problems of youth.   I was one of those people that was immediately attracted to Kay.  I wondered how she managed to stay in a good mood…all the time!

ONE DAY Kay told me her story.  She had been married and had 2 lovely daughters.  She and her husband lived next door to Kay’s best friend. Life was going along great until one dark day when Kay found out that her husband was cheating on her…with her best friend.  Not only was Kay heartbroken, she was incensed!

Kay is a strong German woman…emotionally and physically.  You didn’t want to get her enraged!  She took out her gun.  She went behind some bushes and pointed the gun at her best friend.  Kay wasn’t being dramatic.  She was cold, dead serious.  Fortunately she had one sane moment when she realized where this action would take her.  Jail didn’t look too good.  So she pointed it at her own head, once again took a second look at what she was doing (she was a Catholic), put the gun down and walked away.

She then began her journey groping her way out of her gloom.  She lived on a dairy farm and every day she would go to milk the cows, pain and bitterness shadowing her every step.  Through gritted teeth she would murmur bible quotes like, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” or “Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice”!  Slowly, slowly, it began to change her frame of mind. The cloud began to lift!

When I met Kay she was a dynamo of joy and strength.  She had a love for life that was coupled with compassion because of what she had endured and overcome.  Her situation hadn’t changed but she sure had!  I lived with Kay and her daughter for about a year. I learned a lot from her. She was a true example to me of overcoming difficult circumstances through prayer and simple steps of changing one’s attitude.

Then there is Jim.  Ten years ago Jim was a Harley Davidson guy.  His way of life and his habits were quickly destroying him.  One day Jim got into a terrible car accident!

He woke up from it and was not able to move his limbs! Jim was now a quadriplegic.  He couldn’t move anything below his neck except his right hand – and he could only move that a little.

Now, when you go into Jim’s room it is quiet with no movement.  It is usually dimly lit. Jim is laying on his back…and that’s pretty much it.  It kind of gives one the feeling of walking into a tomb.  Silence…stillness…solitude.

But it doesn’t end there.  When Jim starts to talk you begin to see something very much alive!   Jim will tell you, with his eyes sparkling, that he is happier now than he has ever been! It’s really quite astounding!

You see, since Jim had his accident, he became a Catholic. Through one of our Legion of Mary members who came to visit him often in the hospital, he converted. He now uses every ounce of his suffering for his wife (who left him after the accident), the conversion of his children and for the many families who have befriended Jim from our parish. He has many of our pictures up on the wall so he can pray for us all! He has a deep and incredible purpose in his life now and he knows his sufferings are like gold in the Eyes of God, if borne properly!

Physically, Jim’s quality of life had changed dramatically but his outlook is incredible.  Now He has faith, hope and joy.  Interiorly, Jim is a new man!  There are people who visit him and walk away shaking their heads because of the irony of it. When I talk to Jim on the phone I get tingles in my spine, realizing what an awesome guy he is! He is an inspiration to all.

The last but certainly not the least person I’d like to talk about today is someone quite close to me – my husband, Vincent.  Here’s a man who has an attitude with a Capital A.  He told me that he tried to be in a bad mood once, but didn’t like it!

Here’s just a small example.

Our home is unique. It is built with a lot of used material and lumber and rock left over from Vincent’s jobs. It took us five years to get it barely to the point of being livable. It is made up of mostly block and rock and we built it when we had time and money (both of which have a way of not showing up at the same time!) Vincent worked on it after a hard day’s work…..for five long years. The house still had a lot of finishing to do but we finally moved in! Happy Day!!…considering we had been living in a one-bedroom little home with 7 children!

Vincent had finally and painstakingly finished our little Cathedral ceiling. It had sat there with insulation exposed for 3 years. He took some old pickets from a fence, planed them, varnished them and placed them in the ceiling! It was beautiful!

Shortly after, in 2003, we had a fire that could have taken some of our lives!  When the firemen arrived they violently swung their axes into that nice cathedral ceiling!  We gasped! Oh no! Not the cathedral ceiling…we waited so long for it!

They then began to heap the debris up into a pile when Vincent spotted something!  It was his long lost wallet that still contained $500.00.  He pulled it out of the mound, grinned and said a one-liner we’ll never forget, “This is my lucky day!” 😛Virginia's Formal Wedding pics 345

He always amazes me.  It is difficult in this day and age to be the sole bread winner of a family of 13.  I’ve seen him go through some pretty terrifying circumstances.  When the dust settles or even before it does, he rises smiling, looking at the bright side of things, thanking God for everything He has given him! What an attitude!

When my dear husband is gone, he will certainly be remembered by his undying good attitude! Circumstances do not deter him. He knows he is a Child of God and he relies on his Faith to get him through! What a witness he is!

Did you know that researchers have determined that the average person thinks over 40,000 thoughts each day?   Wow!  That’s a lot of thoughts scurrying through our minds.  If we analyzed these thoughts I wonder if we would discover just how much is negative self-talk.  The exciting thing about it is that we CAN change our thoughts and in turn our destiny.  How?

A wise woman once said, “I figure that practice makes perfect!  I know people who, though they did not have a natural knack for music, started piano lessons and practiced every day.  After 2 or 3 yrs. their fingers moved across the keys easily and their music sounded sweeter each time they played.  If you ask them how they do it, they would answer ‘Practice.  I have practiced so much that it comes second nature to me.’  Our life is like that.  If we practice thoughts of joy and thanksgiving it will become easier and easier to have a good attitude, even in adversity.”

I am still practicing and learning these things.  I will always be a student educating myself in the Book of Life. I’m really thankful for the people in my life that have led the way for me and continue to be a tremendous example of the power of an attitude.

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Mothers, know how very special you are. You are the essence, the heart of your home. Your smile lightens the burdens, your words brighten the hearts of those who will be part of your festivities. The tone of this special family time is set by you! We, as mothers, are privileged to have such an important part in the making of our homes! May your day be filled with grace and love! -Finer Femininity

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A beautiful way to deepen your Advent experience…for yourself and your family. The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal available here.

Advent Package Special! The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal & Celine’s Advent! Available here.

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