by Father George Kelly. The Catholic Marriage Manual
To succeed at any vocation, you must have patience, a determination to learn, a willingness to put aside momentary desires for the sake of final success. The vocation of marriage is no exception. It requires hard work. In fact, it is probably the hardest job of all.
For example, consider what a wife and mother must be. She must be an inspiring companion to her husband. She must be a housekeeper who has some skill in cooking, sewing and cleaning. She must be something of an economist, able to handle her household budget and to shop efficiently for food, furnishings and clothing.
She must be proficient in the feeding and physical care of her children. She must be a nurse. She must be a teacher with a working knowledge of child psychology to discipline her youngsters properly.
In addition to the actual skills needed for the successful performance of these jobs, she requires spiritual and emotional qualities —patience, tolerance, understanding, kindness, gentility, fortitude, prudence.
The successful husband and father needs similar qualities. To inspire respect for his leadership he should be reasonably competent as a man: he must be the head of the family; he must be a provider for his wife and children.
He must be a source of inspiration to his wife, encouraging her to fulfill her duties as wife and mother. He, too, must be a teacher, for his example will probably be the most important influence in the development of his son’s personality.
He also requires insights into the spiritual and emotional needs of his wife and children. He requires high resolutions and a strong sense of duty to meet those needs.
Since it is obvious that a man and woman need so many qualities to succeed as husband and wife and as father and mother, why do so many take the marriage vows without really knowing what will be expected of them?
Even couples who have lived together for years sometimes fail to realize how many adjustments they must make and how much self-discipline they must impose if their marriage is to weather future difficulties successfully.
Listen to the dreamy popular songs on the radio, read the romantic novels in many magazines, and view the love stories portrayed on television or in the movies. Seldom will you find even a vague suggestion that the vocation of marriage requires unremitting hard work by both partners.
Problems that arise in marriage as portrayed on television are almost always solved in time for the final commercial. Popular songs convey a constant impression that personality conflicts can be washed away in the sea of sex.
Even articles on marriage in popular magazines and books, seriously intended to help couples achieve better adjustment, often introduce a typical problem and, a few sentences later, report how the couple, by performing a magic act like visiting a marriage counselor, correct all past difficulties and live happily thereafter.
Few publications emphasize that mutual sacrifice is essential to marital success.
In that magnificent little volume The Imitation of Christ, compiled by Thomas Kempis in the fifteenth century, it is written: “Unless thou deny thyself, thou shalt not have perfect liberty.”
Those words might be studied by every married person. Unless you practice severe self-discipline and subjugate your own desires, striving instead to fulfill the needs of your spouse and children, you cannot gain the full happiness of marriage.
Despite what the movies say, no one “finds” happiness. If you obtain it at all, you must earn it. And it will be earned only by what the Catholic marriage ritual calls “the great principle of self-sacrifice.”
On your wedding day you surrendered your individual lives in the interest of a deeper and wider common life. From that day forward you belonged to each other. You were expected to become one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections.
And as the ritual counseled: “Whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve this common life, always make them generously.”
Does this mean that we must picture married life in grim, terrifying colors? Not a bit! Sacrifice is difficult and irksome only in the absence of love.
Love makes it easy, and the more perfect the love, the more joy in the sacrifice.
When two people learn to bear patiently with marriage and with each other, marital harmony is the result. And this meeting of minds is the greatest source of happiness humans can obtain on earth.
No earthly pleasure can match that which the loving husband gives his wife, the wife gives her husband, or children give their parents. Very few people indeed appreciate that it is the warm and living union of two persons which alone gives life its full meaning.
“Where is the busy mother who cannot find time enough to spend thus a few moments every night with each child before it falls asleep, in sweet, loving talk; and tender, earnest prayer? Far down into the years, the memory of such sacred moments will go, proving thousands of times a light in darkness, an inspiration in discouragement, a secret of victory in hard struggle, a hand to restrain from sin in time of fierce temptation.” -J.R. Miller
Follow this link to sign up for the Giveaway featuring these two Advent/Christmas Books!
Available to purchase here at Meadows of Grace.
I am smitten with this apron! The colors are true, and the fabric is weighty enough to absorb any spatter from cooking. My family really likes it too!
Love my new apron! Well made. So beautiful and feminine.
I rarely leave reviews, but I was so very impressed with the communication and customer service on this order that I wanted to publicly thank them. My impression only rose when I received the aprons and they were stunning. They are not only lovely, but sturdy and well made as well. My daughter and I have worn the aprons often and I could not be more pleased. In fact I purchased another for myself as well as some of the books and a Rosary. I ha e been beyond pleased with everything! Thank you for wonderful service and stunning products.
LOVE it! I’ve been eyeing these aprons for a while. Everytime I feel the need to look at something pretty I wander over to the Meadows of Grace Shoppe to look at all the beautiful aprons, jewelry & kanzashi flowers. I decided to treat myself with this apron as a belated birthday gift & I have no regrets! It’s absolutely perfect! The attention to detail is astounding. It’s fully lined, a coordinating fabric on the reverse side, a jewel on the pocket & fancy stitching… It’s BEAUTIFUL! The picture of our Blessed Mother & the Christ Child on the front is perfect. With this quality I’m sure this apron will last a long time & I look forward to doing my vocation as a wife and mother with this apron & having my children ask about the picture on the front. P.S. My baby points at the apron & says”Touch it?” She thinks it’s pretty too!
Beautiful, Feminine Aprons! Available here.
Advent Package available here.
Why do we wear our best clothes on Sunday? What was the Holy Ghost Hole in medieval churches? How did a Belgian nun originate the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament? Where did the Halloween mask and the jack-o’-lantern come from?
Learn the answer to these questions, as well as the history behind our traditional celebration of Thanksgiving, in this gem of a book by Father Weiser.
For over half a century, Catholic families have treasured the practical piety and homespun wisdom of Mary Reed Newland’s classic of domestic spirituality, The Year and Our Children. With this new edition, no longer will you have to search for worn, dusty copies to enjoy Newland’s faithful insights, gentle lessons, and delightful stories. They’re all here, and ready to be shared with your family or homeschooling group. Here, too, you ll find all the prayers, crafts, family activities, litanies, and recipes that will help make your children ever-mindful of the beautiful rhythm of the Church calendar.This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.