The Church Trusts Christ
The Church has always had full confidence and absolute trust in Christ and His fidelity. She was never suspicious or jealous of Him. At times it almost seemed as though He was neglecting His fidelity to her.
In the bloody persecutions that threatened her with extinction she had to take refuge under the earth to be safe from her cruel enemies. She might have asked: “Where is my divine Spouse? Why does He not hurry to my defense? Why does He suffer me to be reduced to such a pass? Has He forgotten me? Is He going after a strange love, after another church that is to replace me?”
Not once did the Church harbor the least suspicion of His loyalty. All appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, she was always sure and restful in her trust in Him, in His timely help and abiding protection.
This is the manner of confidence a Catholic woman places in her husband. She is not only convinced of his unwavering fidelity to her, but she lets him know and feel that it is not in her power ever to doubt or question his conjugal loyalty.
From the beginning, therefore, of her married life she consistently rejects every temptation to suspiciousness and every inclination to jealousy. She fights shy of all those insidious female whisperers, whether they pose as well-meaning relatives, disinterested friends, or solicitous neighbors or acquaintances, who try to poison her marital happiness by the venom of malicious gossip or slanderous insinuations implicating her husband.
The source of these hypocritical confidential advices is usually nothing else but base jealousy, that is stung by the sight of the nuptial bliss of others and goes out ruthlessly to disturb or destroy it.
Much more is a good woman on her guard not even by way of a joke to make a remark to her husband, or to cast a slur or aspersion intimating that perhaps he is not so true as he pretends or ought to be. One such ill-advised joke has often demolished the sweetest connubial love forever.
The Church Works and Suffers for Christ
The love of the Church for Christ is not only theoretical and sentimental, but it is active and practical. The Church works and suffers for Christ, cheerfully and continuously, the more the gladder.
Whatever she does: if she baptizes children, absolves sinners, invites communicants to the Holy Altar, clothes nuns, ordains priests, consecrates bishops, crowns popes, builds churches, schools, seminaries, colleges, orphanages, hospitals, and the like, sends missionaries abroad in the land or into foreign countries: it is all and exclusively for Christ.
She does not seek her glory, but that of Christ. His joy is her joy, His victory is her victory, His triumph is her triumph.
In like manner a good woman’s love for her husband is not merely made up of sweet sentiments, honeyed phrases, or sentimental demonstrations: but it shows itself in active work, in practical enterprises, and in vital sacrifices for her husband.
She takes a lively interest in his work or business, and assists him in either or both, directly or indirectly, according to her capacity. Above all she aims to render home to him what it should be to every good man: a haven of rest for the body and mind, a harbor of true happiness for the heart, and a genuine inspiration for the soul; a magnet to his entire being, from which he separates himself but with a pang, for which he longs with desire, and to which he returns with delight.
To make such a paradise of her little home she spares neither thought nor study nor labor nor sacrifice. She feels happy and comfortable in knowing that she is contributing to the happiness and comfort of her husband.
She loves, nourishes and cherishes her husband as her own body; and in loving him she loves herself and procures for herself the highest bliss this life contains.
The Disloyal Wife
In reviewing this ideal attitude of a Christian wife, many a woman may have to admit that in her life she fails to exhibit it. Perhaps her attachment to her husband is not so constant and whole-hearted as it should be.
She has been disappointed in, or has grown tired of, married life. She begins to feel that she made a poor choice of a mate at best, and that she might have fared much better had she given herself more time to look about and select with care, or had she accepted the advances of this one or that one.
The effect of such and similar thoughts and imaginations upon her marital fidelity is not good. She soon begins to weaken and long for other loves and new thrills of sexual alliances.
There may be conditions at home or elsewhere that nurse her temptations and fan her adulterous longings into real and effective desires.
As the first woman, she gives ear to the insidious serpent, appearing to her in the way of a novel or magazine story, which she should have never read; or of a theatrical play or movie, which she should have never seen; or of a male friend or acquaintance, whom she should have never met; or of a boarder, roomer, laborer, salesman, or some professional man, whose first unbecoming approach or illicit advances she should have definitely and finally repulsed: the result is fatal and disastrous, to her virtue as well as to her peace, and often to her whole life’s happiness and career.
“The wages of sin is death.” Resist the beginning, and you will never have to regret the end, of sin.
Vocations: The Married or Religious Life….”Similarly God has fitted and qualified each person for a peculiar sphere of life. Whoever adopts the life he is created for, and pursues it properly and fervently, will achieve great success and much happiness; whereas if one seeks to follow a life for which he is not adapted, he will necessarily incur disappointment and failure. Many a plant thrives wonderfully in the tropic zone, which is pitifully dwarfed and stunted in the temperate or arctic zone, In the same way many a person prospers immensely in a given vocation,who would be the merest bungler in another calling.” -Youth’s Pathfinder, Rev. Fulgence Meyer, 1927
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In With God in Russia, Ciszek reflects on his daily life as a prisoner, the labor he endured while working in the mines and on construction gangs, his unwavering faith in God, and his firm devotion to his vows and vocation. Enduring brutal conditions, Ciszek risked his life to offer spiritual guidance to fellow prisoners who could easily have exposed him for their own gains. He chronicles these experiences with grace, humility, and candor, from his secret work leading mass and hearing confessions within the prison grounds, to his participation in a major gulag uprising, to his own “resurrection”—his eventual release in a prisoner exchange in October 1963 which astonished all who had feared he was dead.
Powerful and inspirational, With God in Russia captures the heroic patience, endurance, and religious conviction of a man whose life embodied the Christian ideals that sustained him…..
Captured by a Russian army during World War II and convicted of being a “Vatican spy,” Jesuit Father Walter J. Ciszek spent 23 agonizing years in Soviet prisons and the labor camps of Siberia. Only through an utter reliance on God’s will did he manage to endure the extreme hardship. He tells of the courage he found in prayer–a courage that eased the loneliness, the pain, the frustration, the anguish, the fears, the despair. For, as Ciszek relates, the solace of spiritual contemplation gave him an inner serenity upon which he was able to draw amidst the “arrogance of evil” that surrounded him. Ciszek learns to accept the inhuman work in the infamous Siberian salt mines as a labor pleasing to God. And through that experience, he was able to turn the adverse forces of circumstance into a source of positive value and a means of drawing closer to the compassionate and never-forsaking Divine Spirit.
He Leadeth Me is a book to inspire all Christians to greater faith and trust in God–even in their darkest hour. As the author asks, “What can ultimately trouble the soul that accepts every moment of every day as a gift from the hands of God and strives always to do his will?”
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