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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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

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