Guide for Catholic Young Women, Especially Those Who Earn Their Own Living

by Rev. George Deshon, 1863

But you ask me…At what time should I pray? I answer. Begin in the morning when you first get up. Then you are beginning a new day. A great number of things will take place during that day. It may turn out very much to your soul’s advantage, or it may be quite the other way. Then it is well early in the morning to make a good start for the day.

If a good thought, a holy resolution, or a pious wish gets entrance first into your soul, it will go far to keep everything right during the day and make it a fruitful one for the love of God and virtue. Then, as soon as you can after waking, try to think some pious thought or make some pious wish.

For example: “God keep me from sin this day,” or “May I pass this day so that I shall be more secure of heaven at night!”

 When you wash your face and hands, say “Wash me more and more from my sins.” When you dress, say, “Clothe me with justice, with true virtues, that I may be pleasing in Thy sight.” Such practices are very good; they have a greater effect than they seem to have at the time, and prepare the soul for prayer.

When you are dressed, try to get a little time to kneel down and make a prayer to God, to recommend yourself to Him, to beg His protection for the day, to make a good intention to please God in all you do or have to suffer.

“Oh! but I have no time for this. My work is so hard and so pressing. The breakfast must be got so early; I must get off to my work in a hurry.”

Well, I know this will often be the case—a poor girl will hardly have time, as they say, to turn around; but for all that, take a little time to pray. God will accept a little under such circumstances and give as much grace as if you had spent more time, for He sees that you have trouble to give Him even that little. Get up five minutes earlier and give Him that five minutes, and you cannot tell what a benefit it will draw down upon your soul.

If you had a dear friend who was going away early in the morning, how gladly you would leave your bed half an hour earlier to bid him goodbye. Why not, then, devote at least a few minutes of your sleeping time, in order that you may talk with the Blessed Savior, and get your heart bent and inclined to spend the whole day cheerfully and joyfully in His service.

But sometimes one gets up, as they say, wrong foot foremost—that is, one feels so out of sorts, so cross and ill-natured, that one hardly knows what to do with one’s self. At such times everything looks dark, and is likely to go wrong; and many a poor girl who has not the habit of turning to God in prayer is turned all that day to evil, to passion, to dark and melancholy and wicked thoughts.

Many a one has lost a good place by simply giving way to such feelings. It is on such occasions, and they will happen to everyone sometimes, that we see the power and loveliness of the habit of offering one’s self with fervor to God in the morning.

As soon as this dark and melancholy humor comes over one, this offering changes it all into a sweet and calm resignation to the holy will of God. The dreariness of the world inspires a longing for God and heaven, and all that would foster sin and evil habits of passion now only draws and unites one more closely to God, according to Holy Scripture: “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord.” (Rom. viii. 28).

Then never mind how you feel in the morning; if you are out of sorts, if you feel ill-humored and cross, if you feel even wicked and inclined to evil, if praying is burdensome to you—go right on, all the same; cast yourself on God your Savior; tell Him that at least you desire to be good; that you will not give way to these evil feelings, that you cannot help them; but you wish to be always mild, and good, and gentle, and ask the grace that you may go on and do your duty, and imitate your Lord the same as if you felt ever so devout.

I cannot tell you how much you gain by such a course. These are the very times when we triumph over the devil, when we are dearest to God, advance the most in virtue, and go farthest in fixing the soul, so that it cannot be moved, in all that is good.

Then, on no account, though your occupation may give you little time, never omit this offering of yourself to God in the morning, and unite yourself to Him with fervor and with your whole soul.

All this is not so easy at first because you are not accustomed to it. But it will soon become easy, and you will get so used to it and so fond of it that you would as soon lose your breakfast as to omit it.

If called away suddenly from your prayers, your heart would continue to speak to God, though your hands and feet were occupied with something else, and you would perhaps pray with more fervor than if you had plenty of time at your own disposal.

NEW PODCAST… At the end of the day, you need to first and foremost be patient with yourself….look back on the day and see the energy you DID EXPEND for your family….

Children pray the rosary in Ukraine for peace in their country….

Thank you for all the lovely and encouraging comments on my Giveaway Post. You are wonderful and I continue to do this for all of you (and for me, too!), so we may bring back wholesome femininity to this broken world of ours. And any prayers are so much appreciated!

And now…the Winner of the Finer Femininity Giveaway is…..

Congratulations, Crystal! I have sent you an email.

New! The Lenten Way of the Cross Picturesque and Prayer-Filled Cards with Handcrafted Wooden Card Holder ~ Family/Children Activity!

Help make Lent more meaningful for you and your family with the Lenten Way of the Cross Cards!

Follow along with your family and prepare your hearts for the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord each year at Lent and Easter using these special picturesque and prayer-filled cards to help keep your mind and heart focused each day There are 41 cards in total.

Keep the cards in a visible spot in your home as a reminder to you and your children.

Comes with the handmade wooden card holder. Cards are approximately 7″ X 4 1/2″. (The wooden card holder is made with the wood from 100 year old pews that were made by boys in a Catholic School in the 1800’s! *While supplies last on this one).

You can look up more details on the Lenten Way of the Cross here.

This journal will lay out some simple activities in which your children will be doing their sacrifices and will have a tangible means of “counting” them for Jesus. You, Mom, will have a place to put a check mark if that the activity is remembered and completed for the day. This journal also includes a place for you to check off whether you are fulfilling your own personal resolutions…your Spiritual Reading, your Family Rosary, etc.

Lenten Bundle!

Available here.

We live in an age characterized by agitation and lack of peace. This tendency manifests itself in our spiritual as well as our secular life. In our search for God and holiness, in our service to our neighbor, a kind of restlessness and anxiety take the place of the confidence and peace which ought to be ours. What must we do to overcome the moments of fear and distress which assail us? How can we learn to place all our confidence in God and abandon ourselves into his loving care? This is what is taught in this simple, yet profound little treatise on peace of head. Taking concrete examples from our everyday life, the author invites us to respond in a Gospel fashion to the upsetting situations we must all confront. Since peace of heart is a pure gift of God, it is something we should seek, pursue and ask him for without cease. This book is here to help us in that pursuit.

Reverend Irala here addresses ways to promote mental and emotional well-being to help increase one’s health, efficiency and happiness. He speaks on topics such as how to rest, think, use the will, control feelings, train the sexual instinct, be happy, and choose an ideal. Included are also many practical instructions on dealing with mental struggles of all kinds. This book is most useful in our present times of worldly confusion.

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