We become like the people we associate with….and, in the same way, the books we are reading have a powerful effect on us. We can’t be too solicitous in choosing our reading material and making sure our children are doing the same.
In the same way, our modern technology needs to be closely monitored within our homes….
From Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J.
Lamartine’s mother wrote in her diary on June 19, 1801:
“I was thinking again today about the danger of light reading. I believe that I would do well to refrain altogether from it; it would be a sacrifice at first, a sacrifice that would certainly please God since such reading is one of the most dangerous pleasures in the world.
Besides, when I am taken up with this distracting kind of reading, serious and useful reading wearies and bores me; yet, I certainly need it to become capable of instructing my children.
For their sakes I have finally decided to deprive myself of the pleasures of frivolous reading.”
Parents should exercise care in their own reading.They, too, must avoid all that could sully their souls and rob them of virtue.
They can go even further and like Lamartine’s mother give up reading that consumes the precious time which could be spent in useful reading.
One needs to know so many things to rear children!
Making due allowance for needful and useful distractions, one ought always to choose reading matter that will enrich the mind and foster the qualities needed for the delicate ministry of parenthood.
What good fortune to be helped in advance by one’s children: “For their sakes, I am finally decided to deprive myself of the pleasure of frivolous reading.”
But the parents’ reading is not the only problem. There is another, the children’s reading.
What great imprudence is evident in many families where all sorts of reviews, magazines, newspapers, and books definitely unfit for children are left lying about in their way; where unwise freedom of the library is granted and children can ferret out books that are often harmful to their morals and Christian convictions.
Jean Jacques Rousseau’s story is well known.
Born a Calvinist of parents who could scarcely be called commendable, he met with nothing but disturbing examples in his early childhood; however, he manifested a singular purity in resisting all interior and exterior temptations to corruption.
He became a Catholic later and felt himself drawn to the priesthood.
But his superiors decided at the end of a few weeks that he definitely did not have the makings of a good priest in him.
Sometime after he left the seminary he was perverted morally by his benefactor, Madame de Warrens, who by most culpable relations shamefully debased the youth she called “Little One” despite her claim of wanting to act as “Mother” to him.
Awakening to a realization of his condition, Rousseau wrote in 1738: “O my God, pardon the sins I have committed up to this day, all the evils into which I have fallen….
Accept my repentance, O God, …I will remember that You are the witness of all my actions…. I will be indulgent toward others, severe toward myself; I will resist temptations; I will live purely….
O my sovereign Master, I will spend my life in serving You.”
But unfortunately a library was opened to him and he “perused books with a sort of frenzy,” with no direction, no discernment.
He fell under the influence of Diderot, and became a recruit for the Encyclopedists.
We know the rest. His story should incite us to serious thought.
On what does the orientation of a life depend?
An unlocked door, momentary forgetfulness, negligence–and a soul is perverted forever!
The conclusion is evident: Never to have bad books in the house.
What good comes of them?
If for purposes of study or other reasons, books which might prove dangerous for the rest of the family are absolutely essential, they must always be kept in a locked place.
Children are curious, so too are the help.
Harm is quickly done!
How many opportunities do we, as wives and mothers, have each day to do God’s will, not our own?? Many….many. We do not need a retreat to figure this out. A wife and a mother’s journey is laying down her life for those she loves. And we prove it each time we tend to the needs around us. We learn that most important life-lesson that the hermit in the desert is learning…..to lay down our lives for Christ.-Leane Vdp, Painting by Trent Gudmundsen
February 14th is the Feast of the great Catholic martyr and priest, St. Valentine. His persecutor, known to history as Claudius II, not only hated Catholicism, but also forbade his own Roman soldiers to marry. St. Valentine performed secret nuptial Masses for those Catholic soldiers that had found a spouse….
Need a little help staying focused this Lent? The season is around the corner…
The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Lenten Journal!
For more information or to purchase visit my Meadows of Grace Shoppe here.
This journal will lay out some simple activities in which your children will be doing their sacrifices and will have a tangible means of “counting” them for Jesus. You, Mom, will have a place to put a check mark if that the activity is remembered and completed for the day. This journal also includes a place for you to check off whether you are fulfilling your own personal resolutions…your Spiritual Reading, your Family Rosary, etc. It makes it more palpable if you can check it off at the end of the day….there’s just something about putting pen to paper when an accomplishment has been fulfilled! It is filled with inspiring quotes, too! My hope is that this journal may help you stay focused on making this Lent fruitful for your own soul and the souls of those little people entrusted to your care!