This is very beautiful. We are so very blessed to belong to the One, 
Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church! 
May we never take it for granted, but nurture 
our love for it each day! It is from 
the Catholic Girl's Guide and is written 
for young ladies. But it is inspiring for all!

The Sunflower— Faith

1. There is a flower which possesses this 
peculiarity, that it turns constantly 
to the sun, following it in its course; on this account 
it is called the sunflower. 

Our faith may be compared to this flower, since its gaze 
is ever fixed above, and turned toward the glorious sun of 
divine truth. The first flower in the maiden's 
blooming garland of virtues is and ought to be 
the faith of which we speak. For this faith, a 
clear, living, steadfast, unalterable faith is supremely 
necessary and all important for the maiden, es- 
pecially in the present day. Therefore make it 
the subject of your present meditation, my child, 
and consider first how great a blessing it is to 
possess the one true, Catholic faith. 

2. Our Lord said upon one occasion: "Blessed 
are they that have not seen and have believed." 
Why did He thus speak? Why are those blessed 
who possess the true faith? 

The first reason is this: by faith we please God. 
The desire for happiness is deeply implanted in 
every human breast, and the history of mankind 
is merely the recital of a ceaseless search for 
happiness. But where is man to find happiness, 
and where alone? 
The following lines will tell you: 

Would you be happy, this is the way: 
Please God and do His will day by day; 
Saint-like your duty do; fervently pray. 

3. Note well that we must strive to be pleasing 
to God, and it is only by believing in Him that we 
can please Him. This is so true that the Apostle 
Paul says expressly: " Without faith it is impossible 
to please God." 

And if you wish to understand 
the matter more clearly, reflect upon the relation 
in which you stand to your earthly father. When 
do you please him best, when do you honor him 
most? Is it not when you believe in him most 
firmly, and show a childlike confidence in him?
And how much more is this the case in regard to 
your heavenly Father, our Lord and God. For 
it is the will of the eternal Father that we should 
believe what He once taught and commanded us 
by the voice of His Son, and now continues to 
teach us by the voice of holy Church. 

And if St.Paul says: "This is the will of God, your sancti- 
fication," it is also the will of God that we should be- 
lieve in Him, for faith is the beginning, foundation, 
and root of all righteousness. Therefore when 
we believe in God we do His will, and by so doing 
we please Him, and are ourselves rendered happy. 

4. Our holy Catholic faith is the source of our 
greatest happiness even while we are yet on earth. 
Simply reflect upon a few ordinary events of life. 
What is the brightest and happiest day of one's - 

You know quite well; for you are reminded 
of it every year, when you see a procession of 
children entering the church, their heads adorned 
with wreaths, their faces beaming with joy. 

Do you not feel deeply, yet not without a certain tinge 
of melancholy, that the day of your first communion 
was the brightest and happiest day of your life? 
Yet would the external solemnity, the magnificent 
ceremonial of Catholic worship alone make so deep 
an impression upon the heart? Is it not rather 
our holy Catholic faith, which enables us to appre- 
ciate the beauty, and understand the happiness of 
the pure and innocent soul of the girl, who is 
privileged to enter, for the first time, into the 
closest union with the Author of life, with the 
supreme Good, with the Source of all happiness, 
that is, with God Himself? 

5. We will take another example. Have you 
perhaps beheld a pious and believing Catholic 
mother at the moment of her greatest happiness, 
her highest joy, a moment when her heart would 
adopt as its own the language of the Magnificat, and 
her eyes weep tears of joy? But when and where 
was this? 
Was it perhaps on the day when her child 
approached for the first time the table of the 
Lord with a pure and innocent soul, and a heart 
filled with the love of God? No, it was not then. 
Was it on the wedding-day of her son or daughter?
It was not on this occasion either. There is yet 
another day which comprises in itself the happi- 
ness of both the others. The greatest joy, the 
highest happiness of the pious Catholic mother, 
is experienced on the day when the bells ring out 
from the church tower with gladsome yet solemn 
voice, calling the faithful to enter the sacred edifice, 
whither a devout and expectant throng is hastening, 
and where her son, the most promising of all her 
children, is about to ascend the steps of the altar, 
in order to offer for the first time the spotless Lamb 
of God to the Eternal Father. What is the source 
of this happiness and joy? In the heart of a pious 
Mother it can be nothing but the holy Catholic 
faith, which teaches her that her son is now the 
representative of Christ, and that he can win so 
many souls for heaven, and save so many poor 
sinners from hell. 

6. But this happiness is vouchsafed only to a 
few mortals. If it is true that sorrow and suffering 
enter into the life of every child of man, and if 
it is equally true that the poor human heart needs 
some solid consolation amid grief and tribulation, 
in this case also it is the Catholic faith which is 
able to supply this consolation, and which can 
impart peace of mind under every form of sorrow 
and suffering. 

You, my daughter, know as yet but little of sorrow 
and suffering. But ask those — and their number 
is large indeed — who have often and painfully 
felt that this world is a valley of tears, ask them 
what has sustained them in their darkest hours of 
sorrow and suffering, what has poured the healing 
balm of consolation into their wounded hearts, 
and even enabled them to rejoice in tribulation. 
Ask them, and they will tell you that it is faith which 
has done all this. 

7. And what will faith do in the decisive moment, 
the supreme and terrible moment of death? When 
the mother of Melancthon was lying on her death- 
bed, she suddenly opened her eyes and asked her 
son, who was standing beside her, whether she 
should keep to the ancient Catholic faith or embrace 
the new one, that of Martin Luther, as he had done. 
With deep emotion Melancthon, though himself 
an apostate, replied as follows: "Dear mother, 
keep to your ancient, Catholic faith. The new- 
faith is indeed easier to live by, but the old faith 
is easier and happier to die by." 

Listen attentively to this, my daughter, and never forget 
that the Catholic faith renders death easier and happier. 
Cling therefore closely to this holy faith, never 
relinquish it, but prize it highly, prize it above 
everything else, as your happiness and consolation 
both in life and in death.
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