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!
Have a Purpose in Life
Give us, therefore, in the conduct of life, men who have a purpose, who know what they have to do, and are determined to succeed; whose firm trust in God above them only increases their faith in themselves:
Men who neglect nothing; who constantly discipline their own minds, their own hearts, and exercise over their own powers and passions a sovereign control: men whose watchword in all their undertakings and difficulties, in all their alternations of bearing and forbearing, is duty; and who, in their labors, their successes, their failures, find themselves superior to fatigue, to good or ill luck, to praise or to blame—because they begin and persevere and hope against hope itself, through a sense of duty—of a sacred debt due to God and their own conscience.
How Education Should Prepare for the Work of Life
Education, training, discipline, cultivation of heart and mind, at home or at school, can only aim at one thing: to prepare young men for the business of life, for conduct, self-improvement, self-control, and success in the work, which the Divine Will sets apart for every individual, as the sole purpose of his existence.
In the material world, we know what is the result of a constantly accelerating force, acting upon a body moving in a given direction, and in what an amazing ratio its velocity increases minute by minute, and hour by hour.
It so happens that the Creator, both of the moral and the material universe, has stamped them both with such marvelous and striking analogies, that the spectacle of power exhibited in any field of the inanimate and unintelligent creation, may serve as a help toward studying its counterpart in the spiritual order.
For there are spiritual forces created by Him who is the sole source of life and of power; and they are ordained to act on the souls of men from the moment these are set forth by the Almighty Hand on the path of duty, and in the direction of their eternal destinies.
Call these forces acting upon man’s rational nature, graces; they are given as light to his mind, enabling him clearly to know his duty toward God, toward himself, and toward his neighbor; given as instinct, impulse, inspiration to his will, enabling him to live up to the light that is in him.
These mighty impulses, if obeyed faithfully by the soul—which can freely reject the proffered aid and vital force, as it can freely accept and follow the divine direction, urging it ever upward and heavenward—have an accelerating character; they augment, in a constantly increasing ratio, the soul’s power of getting nearer to God—nearer to him in perfection and spiritual beauty.
They lift her with an augmented velocity to new heights of goodness, of charity, of courage, of generosity, self-denial, and self-sacrifice. They enable her to become more and more Godlike at each moment of her earthly career.
Just as in the mysterious depths of space in the starry heavens, the various bodies which eye or telescope can discern, are impelled onward in their various courses with a rapidity which appalls even the scientific imagination, even so in the world of souls are there depths beyond depths, reaching away to limitless horizons, and heights above heights of acquired holiness, merit, and glory, making great and good human souls differ from each other and transcend each other in excellence, as bright star surpasses brightest star in splendor.
Superior Excellence Demanded of the Men of our Day
Hence, whatever in the past may have been the various glories of great men—men distinguished above their fellows for Godlike virtue much more than intellectual superiority—yet must we rest well assured that it is the Divine Will, that we in our day and generation, should aim with His help, to rise higher still in goodness, in generosity, in nobility of conduct.
For—and we must not mislearn this vitally important lesson to every one of us—the formation of a great character, and the attainment of this same nobility of conduct, depend on our helping ourselves.
The experience and practical wisdom of all past ages have expressed a golden truth in the saying: “God helps only who helps himself.”
It behooves every parent, every serious-minded person in the community to weigh well the following words, written by a well-known writer on the education given in Great Britain.
How far they apply, if at, all, to our own country, our readers must judge for themselves. “There is an ambition,” says Smiles, “to bring up boys us gentlemen, or rather genteel men; though the result frequently is only to make them gents.
They acquire a taste for dress, style, luxuries, and amusements, which can never form any solid foundation for manly or gentlemanly character; and the result is that we have a vast number of gingerbread young gentry thrown upon the world, who remind one of the abandoned hulls sometimes picked up at sea, with only a monkey on board.”
Very different must be the result, if the great principles advocated in this book, and the memorable examples which illustrate their practice, are made the basis of the moral training given in families, schools, and colleges, or adopted as a guide by men of the world capable of influencing the young and inexperienced who look up to them.
“We all work hard at being attractive, but many of us make the mistake of thinking it is stylish clothes, attractive hairstyles, or artfully applied makeup. While these outer things should not be ignored, they are not as important as your disposition, which should be sunny and bright.” -Fascinating Womanhood
Illustration by www.genevievegodboutillustration.com
Just in time for Mother’s Day! Hancrafted Blessed Mother Rosaries and Religious Necklaces, etc. available here.