Disclaimer: We do not have to keep real and difficult problems (alcoholism, mental illness, and other major addictions..and abuse) to ourselves. Just make sure and go through the right channels to get help…with discretion and prayer. We mustn’t isolate ourselves…at the same time, we carry our cross and don’t talk to just anyone about it.
I have seen this scenario, that Father talks about here, myself. A woman was disgruntled with her husband and talked to her pastor about him….several times. An intimate friendship was sparked and eventually she left her husband and married the pastor (who had also been married).
So this is a fine line to walk, be careful to protect your heart….
Keep Your Family Troubles to Yourself
A cardinal principle in home-life is, never to allow one’s self to suspect or to distrust one’s dear ones, save only when the evidence of guilt or unworthiness is irresistible. Even then, only when absolutely necessary and in an extremity that a wife should mention it, — though never so guardedly, — to an experienced and holy guide.
From one’s relatives on both sides, — from father or mother, brother or sister, — the secret should be strictly and sacredly kept, so long as the reformation and salvation of the guilty one or the protection of one’s children, or some such weighty consideration, does not compel one to speak so much of the truth as is needful.
Where conscience is concerned extreme care should be taken both in choosing the person to be consulted and in the manner in which the communication is to be made.
Even a father, if he be a man of wisdom, experience, and high principle, will rarely encourage a married daughter to make him her confidant in her secret troubles. If he has been a good husband, blessed with a good wife, his own heart will have taught him how jealous a husband is of seeing any man made his wife’s confidant.
There must be extreme necessity, then, to justify a wife in revealing her troubles to priest or to father, — even with all the reservations made above.
To go with one’s troubles to a stranger, be he what he may, is to court danger, and to go more than halfway to meet ruin.
If confidence given to persons of the opposite sex is fraught with such certain peril, how much more so is friendship?
Lady friends and lady confidantes unwisely chosen, and kept in spite of a husband’s remonstrances, have destroyed the peace of many a home where there was, otherwise, every element of happiness,—sincere mutual affection, companionship, and faith in each other’s virtue.
But gentlemen friends—where a wife is so bereft of sense, of discernment, of womanly tact, as to permit such a monstrosity to come into her life—gentlemen friends are the worst enemies of her honor, her home, and the happiness of all belonging to her.
If a wife be already happy in possessing a husband who fulfills her ideal of manliness, who is all in all to her, she does him the foulest wrong and her own honor irreparable injury in transferring to any man living any part of her affections.
If, as we suppose, she loves her husband with her whole heart, how jealous would she feel of any woman on whom her husband would bestow anything like friendship! Would she not resent it—and most justly—as a grievous wrong done to herself?
The Christian Woman is Bound to be Supernatural
This lesson addresses itself to Christian wives,—to women bound to be Supernatural, —who are supposed to have entered on their matrimonial engagements with supernatural motives (and the not doing so is the source of untold and inconceivable miseries), who profess to lead a supernatural life amid all the joys, the cares, the trials, and disappointments of their subsequent condition.
Woe to them, if they are not supernatural and lovers of the cross and the Crucified, when the fair and fond visions of earthly love requited vanish from their early path like the golden clouds of morning!
There is one book out of which every young wife, from her bridal day, would do well to read a daily chapter to her companion—”The Imitation of Christ:” it is brimful of the Spirit of God.
Would that the wife on whose life the shadow of the dreadful heart-trials hinted at here falls for the first time, would take up this almost divine book, and read such passages as the following: “O Lord God, holy Father, be thou now and forever blessed! For, as Thou wilt, even so hath it been done to me; and what Thou dost is good.”
Let thy servant take joy in Thee, not in herself nor in any other being. For, Thou alone art true joy,—Thou art my hope and my crown,—Thou, O Lord, art my bliss and my honor!
O Father, just, holy, and ever to be praised, the hour of trial is come for thy servant.”
What soul will not rise from the foot of the crucifix, after such a prayer as this, with the consciousness, the deep-seated conviction, that God with her and in her will enable her to face and overcome the trials before her?
It is time that in every Christian household mothers should inculcate the lesson—morning, noon, and night—that their children—both sons and daughters—never will be or can be anything, unless they study before and above all things else to be Supernatural men and women. They must be that, or they will become worse than pagans.
Love Tried in the Flame
But if glowing words from the well-tried heart of the sweetest of Catholic singers in our tongue have virtue to warm and comfort, then read:
“Let thy gold be cast in the furnace,
Thy red gold, precious and bright,
Do not fear the hungry fire,
With its caverns of burning light:
And thy gold shall return more precious,
Free from every spot and stain;
For gold must be tried by fire,
As a heart must be tried by pain!
I shall know by the gleam and glitter
Of the golden chain you wear,
By your heart’s calm strength in loving,
Of the fire they have had to bear.
Beat on, true heart, forever;
Shine bright, strong golden chain,
And bless the cleansing fire,
And the furnace of living pain!
“In truth, the family circle is the nursery of saints as of sane human beings. There the child finds the love, security and guidance which are his greatest needs. It is by loving and being loved that persons grow as persons. It is in the family that relationships are essentially personal and each person is valued as a person.” -Dominican Sister, Australia, 1955
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A very beautiful book, worthy of our attention. In it, you will find many pearls of wisdom for a woman striving to be the heart of the home, an inspiration to all who cross her path. You will be inspired to reconsider the importance of your role of wife and mother! Written by Rev. Bernard O’Reilly in 1894, the treasures found within its pages ring true and remain timeless…
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