This is a beautiful excerpt from a beautiful book.
What struck me in the first small part was this power we have, as mothers, to instill in our children the habits and general dispositions they will tend toward as they grow older. It causes us to “pull up our socks”, once again. We have such great influence over our children’s lives! And what a noble calling motherhood is! We are blessed to realize it!
Omnis honos, omms admiratio, omne studium ad mrtutem et ad eas actiones
qucB virtuti sunt consentanece refertur.
“All honor, admiration, and zealous endeavor is referred to virtue and to the actions which are conformable to it.” CICERO.
IT is said of one of the most celebrated men of the last century, that, when a mere babe, he was made to love flowers and all beautiful things in nature. His father, a distinguished naturalist, would take the child with him into the garden, and while he was busied watering the plants and examining how it fared with each of them, he would place in the child’s hands and on his lap bunches of the loveliest flowers.
Whether or not it was an inbred disposition in the child, he would, so the story of his life relates, amuse himself with the bright and fragrant things, admiring and studying them more and more as he grew up, till this pursuit became an irresistible fascination; and thus, from botany to other departments of natural science, the student progressed, revealing to his fellow-men the wonders that he had discovered, and leaving behind him an immortal name.
Even so is it possible to place in the hands and keep before the eyes of childhood some of the loveliest and most fragrant flowers of goodness, purity, and heroism which bloom innumerable in the Church of God, and thereby awaken in the innocent soul the sense of moral beauty, till the study and pursuit of all that is ennobling and elevating becomes an absorbing passion.
Virtues of a Mother
Generosity, devotedness, self-sacrifice are the characteristic virtues of woman: in Him they shine forth with surpassing splendor; and, next to Him, the Blessed Mother, so near and dear to Him, is the most perfect mirror of womanly perfection. She is the “Woman clothed with the Sun.”
She gave him the Sacred Body in which He practiced the sweet human virtues befitting childhood, boyhood, and manhood, the deeds which graced the lowly home of Joseph and Mary at Nazareth, and those which adorned the three years of his public life, till His work was consummated on the cross.
Enlightened and warmed by this close and continual union with Him, who is the true Sun of Holiness, during the thirty years of intimacy at Nazareth, this Mother, blessed among women, could not help reflecting more perfectly than any other human being the thoughts, the aims, the sentiments, the humility and the self-sacrificing charity of her divine Son.
Thus her life was invested from this most privileged intimacy, with such a light of supernatural holiness, that it vividly pictured the life of Jesus. She had been closest, nearest, and dearest to Him, had studied Him most attentively and lovingly, had followed faithfully in His footsteps from the manger to the cross, and was, when He ascended to heaven, the living image of her crucified love to all who believed in His Name.
We are all the children of these great parents, and are therefore bound to become like to them in mind and heart and conduct. None can attain to the eternal glory of the children of God in the life to come, but such as will have acquired this living likeness by generosity in imitating God’s incarnate Son.
It is precisely because women are, by the noble instincts which God has given to their nature, prone to all that is most heroic, that this book has been written.
It aims at setting before their eyes such admirable examples of every virtue most suited to their sex in every age and condition of life, that they have only to open its pages in order to learn at a glance, what graces and excellencies render girlhood as bright and fragrant as the Garden of God in its unfading bloom, and ripe womanhood as glorious and peerless in its loveliness and power, as the May moon in her perfect fullness, when she reigns alone over the starry heavens.
THE MIRROR OF TRUE WOMANHOOD.
Nor is it for women secluded in the cloister, or consecrated by religious vows to the pursuit of perfection and the sole love of Christ and His poor, that our teachings are intended.
It is for home-life, the home-life of the artisan and the lowliest laborer, much more than that of the lordly and wealthy that this little book is calculated to bear sweet fruits of manifold blessedness and utility.
Religious Communities are so favored, in return for their generous devotion to the Divine Majesty, by graces so lavish and so extraordinary and by so exceptional a culture, that they resemble those royal gardens in which bloom the whole year round all the rarest plants, and most exquisite flowers of every clime.
But it is the wife or daughter of the man of toil, crushed beneath her load of care and fatigue, or cooped up by night between the narrow walls of an unsavory dwelling in a crowded neighborhood, that we would fain teach’ how to rear in the little garden of her soul those flowers of paradise, which will make her a spectacle to angels and to men.
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