Vacation Time/Church Groups – Fr. Leo Kinsella from The Wife Desired


Wonderful books by Father Kinsella:
The Wife Desired
The Man For Her


Another medium for development of personality for the school girl 
is vacation time. Leisure time is most necessary for the acquisition 
of some abilities. When in the third year of high school, I 
unbelievingly heard our English teacher tell us that in no other 
period of our lives would we have more time for reading. He was 
correct. As a matter of fact, I must admit that I read more and 
better literature during high school days than during any 
comparable length of time. So girls, let us be honest and admit 
that there is considerable free time during school years. If it is 
used intelligently, it can be just as important as school time for 
personality development.il_340x270.453617943_asq9

Unfortunately, too many "sad sacks" have a rather mean opinion of 
vacation. It is nothing more than a chance to lie in bed every day 
till noon. When I think of the many golden hours I had as a boy 
watching the sun come up over Lake Michigan as I fished or swam 
in the quiet waters of dawn, or of the joy of playing golf at dawn 
with the morning mists still on the grass, I wonder if these chronic 
noonday sleepers have soul to fathom how much of the beauty of 
life they are missing. The beauty of God's creation is all about us. 
They ought to get out of bed and drink in some of it. It can do their 
souls much good. So much of life slips past the habitue of the 
inner spring mattress.


A girl's parish church affords another opportunity for personality 
growth. Frequently I have heard girls say that they do not attend 
the young people's club of their church. They went to it a few 
times, but did not "get anything out of" the club. How often I have 
heard that criticism. I always wonder what they expected to "get 
out of" the sodality or young people's group. Was the young 
assistant to put on a three ring circus for their entertainment, 
while they sat like a cabbage in a movie house? Was a prodigy 
similar to Fr. Malachy's miracle to be brought off? Or did they even 
expect a more stupendous work: the pastor himself spinning 
through the hall like a whirling dervish spraying out twenty dollar 
gold coins? Hardly. Who has seen gold coins for ever so long?

These girls, disappointed in the parish group of young people, are 
always looking for what they can get out of things. It never enters 
their imagination that they might contribute to things. Obviously, 
girls with this attitude of sitting back and waiting for life to come 
to them will go away empty handed from any project. If they would 
enter the parish group with the idea of giving themselves to its 
success, in the long run they would be the ones to gain.

Self-seekers always end up holding the bag--an empty one. Those 
who give of themselves carry off the prizes. One of these rewards 
is growth in personality. Girls who give their time, energy, and 
imagination to the parish group cannot fail to promote their 
personality, albeit unconsciously.

A stranger in a big city gets lost in some side street. He asks 
directions to his hotel. Well, your hotel is down this street, then to 
the left two blocks then to the right a block. No, that's a dead end 
street. It runs into the railroad yards. Let's try it this way. Take this 
street we are on till you come to the stop sign. Then turn left for 
three blocks. Then take a right turn till you hit that side street 
running diagonally. No, by golly, that takes you to the bank of the 
river. Say, stranger, I don't think that you can get to your hotel 
from here!

This story often comes to my mind when I am dealing with a 
marriage all washed up because the wife was a total loss in 
personality. Where do they go from here? How are they going to 
get back to a happy marriage from here? Marriage is a contract, in 
which the parties give as well as receive. This poor creature seems 
to have nothing to give.

"He married me. We have children. It's his moral obligation to stay 
with me as my husband." Yes--it is his duty, but not many 
marriages endure on moral obligations. Husband and wife came 
together because they were attracted to each other and learned to 
love each other. This love includes a physical, intellectual, and 
spiritual attraction.

The moral obligation to which our imaginary wife is appealing will 
steady a marriage and carry it through a crisis here and there: but 
happy, successful marriages are not built on moral obligations. 
Too many failures have appealed to moral obligations but have 
done little to merit a contented and loving husband. Many of these 
appeals to the moral law do not have the ring of sincerity, because 
the authors of them paid little or no attention to the moral law 
before the estrangement. For years they threw stones at the 
policeman. Now they are screaming for his help. Besides, the 
policeman is no solution anyway. Their clamor for him is totally in 

Anybody can make serious mistakes. The saints did. The ideal wife 
with personality may make a serious mistake and thereby bring 
about a temporary alienation of her husband. If she possesses a 
well developed personality, the conflict generally will be resolved 
to mutual satisfaction. Of course, I am supposing that the husband 
is not a basket case and that he has the capacity of forgiveness 
and will say the Our Father from time to time with realization of 
what he is saying.

Personality development is a most interesting process which can 
go on till the grave. We are born with certain temperaments. We 
have no control over whether we are to live with a choleric or 
melancholic temperament, for example. Seldom are these 
temperaments ever changed. Yet, they may be modified. We may 
hold in check and even subdue the bad aspects of our particular 
temperament. Likewise, the good features may be developed and 
encouraged in our daily lives.4e1c0aac41752df7873ce437c4514f6e

In some quarters there is the extreme opinion that we are pretty 
much the victims of our temperament and the first few years of 
our lives. By the time we are six or seven it is fairly well 
determined what sort of lives we shall live. At this early age, so we 
are told, it has already been determined whether we shall be a 
shining light or a public nuisance. The only contingency is 
whether the stage for us will turn out to be Paducah or Keokuk.

The only trouble with this theory is that it runs head on into the 
teachings of Christ, nineteen centuries of Christian living, and our 
own personal experiences. And that is some collision. Unless we 
can develop and improve our characters and personalities, unless, 
with God's help, we are the master of our destiny, Christ should 
never have given the sermon on the Mount. "Blessed are the poor 
in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." It seems to be 
natural for little children to be selfish and greedy--anything but 
poor in spirit. Poverty of spirit must be acquired with effort.

St. Francis Xavier's youth had little in it to distinguish him from 
others. Yet he learned to live the beatitude of poverty of spirit to 
the extent of giving himself into slavery, that he might reach the 
China coast and Christianize the natives. St. Francis changed his 
whole way of life, his whole personality because he changed his 
whole attitude of life and program of activity.

Teachers certainly have been struck by evidences of personality 
growth and improvement. Many a little first year high school 
bunny wakes up and becomes a charming and personable lady ten 
years later.

When a girl is born into this life, her personality and character 
might be likened to a solid piece of gold of goblet shape and size. 
Thus, as a baby, the solid goblet cannot hold a single drop of the 
joy of living. Should the baby grow into childhood and womanhood 
with only physical development, this abnormality would eliminate 
the poor creature from normal participation in life. Without growth 
in intelligence and personality and character she would have to be 
cared for as a little baby all the days of her life. Her golden goblet 
remains solid and untouched as it was at birth. However, physical, 
mental and spiritual development usually goes on apace.

As the child begins to contribute consciously to the happiness of 
her parents by being affectionate and helpful, she begins to grind 
out her goblet. As she learns of God and her own purpose in 
existing, as she grows in the virtues and subdues the selfish 
instincts of childhood, real progress is apparent in the goblet. It 
now approaches the appearance of a hollow cup. During 
adolescence and full-blown womanhood the capacity of the goblet 
increases in direct relation to the development of her personality. 
Because she has grown in personality, her capacity for living has 
increased. Her golden goblet has become so delicate that it is 
almost translucent. Her cup is full to overflowing with the joy of 
life. And her greatest happiness comes from being able to share 
her cup of happiness with the man she loves, the husband of the 
desired wife.
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