In his book “La jeune Mariee,” Leon de la Briere quotes the advice given by a spiritual director to his penitent in the 14th century:
“You ought to be attentive and devoted to the person of your husband. Take care of him lovingly, keep his linens clean and orderly because that is your affair.
Men should take care of the outside business; husbands must be busy going and coming, running here and there in rain, wind, storm, and sleet; they must keep going dry days or rainy days; one day freezing, another day sweltering, badly fed, badly lodged in poorly heated houses and forced to rest in uncomfortable beds.
But they do not mind any of this because they are comforted by the hope that they will enjoy the care their wife will give them on their return.
How pleasant the thought of taking off his shoes before a cheerful fire, of bathing, putting on clean clothes, fresh shoes and stockings; eating well prepared meals that are properly served; of being sheltered from the inclemencies of the weather; of retiring to sleep between fresh sheets and under warm bed coverings; good furs.
Remember the country proverb which says that there are three things which drive a man from his house: “a house without a roof, a chimney that smokes, and an argumentative wife.”
Therefore, my daughter, I urge you to be gentle, agreeable and good-natured in order to keep in the good graces and the love of your husband.
Then all the while he is busy, he will have his mind and his heart directed toward you and your loving service. He will abandon every other house, every other woman, every other service.
It will all be as so much mud compared to you.”
Some very definite virtues are needed to follow out such program:
–a very high degree of pure intention to accomplish in a supernatural spirit the thousand little attentions required by human love; a deep seated charity that becomes more active and more vital by the tender affections of the heart for the beloved; a habit of order which has a place for everything and everything in its place;
–skill in home-making, that essential feminine talent of making a house a home, cheerful and agreeable, a warm and pleasant nest, and the desire on the part of the wife to make as many things as she can herself.
At the beginning of married life love alone without any special attraction toward renunciation makes such a harmony of virtues a possible achievement.
However, there comes a time in many homes when the spirit of renunciation must come to the rescue of love.
Not that husband and wife no longer hold any attraction for each other, but they know each other too well to be under any delusions regarding their insufficiencies and they have to be able to pass over many imperfections.
It is helpful for them under such circumstances to recall that marriage is a sacrament whose particular grace is to help the wedded couple live their life together.
Honest observers of Christian marriage recognize this:
Catholicism has worked a great wonder, “it has succeeded in steadying the vagabond and insatiable sexual urge, it makes long cohabitation possible, it makes characters more supple and tempers dispositions; through constant effort and the joy of duty accomplished, it increases the moral worth of the individual giving meaning thereby to life and to death; it gives to society the most solid support upon which it can stand.”
Questions to Ponder:
Is it not often true in a home that “the strength of the man is many times in the woman.“ How does Father Plus explain this?
Father Plus stresses the power of a smile…cheerfulness. Why is this important in a family?
“Granted that woman is more soul than man, and he more body than woman, more alive to the physical”… Being out in the world, and keeping in mind what Fr. Plus says, what kind of helps does a man need from his wife? What must he do for himself?
“However, there comes a time in many homes when the spirit of renunciation must come to the rescue of love.” Explain.
“He wants an Eve who is an honest-to-goodness woman, and if possible, one of unusual character;” What are your thoughts about this?
What does Fr. Plus mean by “praiseworthy vanity”?
When your husband knows he is married to his most trusted confidant, your influence soars. -Matthew L. Jacobson https://amzn.to/2MtbcTT (afflink)
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This is a unique book of Catholic devotions for young children. There is nothing routine and formal about these stories. They are interesting, full of warmth and dipped right out of life. These anecdotes will help children know about God, as each one unfolds a truth about the saints, the Church, the virtues, etc. These are short faith-filled stories, with a few questions and a prayer following each one, enabling the moral of each story to sink into the minds of your little ones. The stories are only a page long so tired mothers, who still want to give that “tucking in” time a special touch, or pause a brief moment during their busy day to gather her children around her, can feel good about bringing the realities of our faith to the minds of her children in a childlike, (though not childish), way. There is a small poem and a picture at the end of each story. Your children will be straining their necks to see the sweet pictures! Through these small stories, parents will sow seeds of our Holy Catholic Faith that will enrich their families all the years to come!
This revised 1922 classic offers gentle guidance for preteen and teenage girls on how to become a godly woman. Full of charm and sentiment, it will help mother and daughter establish a comfortable rapport for discussions about building character, friendships, obedience, high ideals, a cheerful spirit, modest dress, a pure heart, and a consecrated life.
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