by Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., Christ in the Home
One of our modern novels gives us the following situation:
Gina Valette is a woman who is “up to date” in the unpleasant sense of the term. Very rich and provided with a husband who thoroughly spoils her, she has dogs, cats, a parrot, and a monkey, but no children.
Her brilliant existence palls on her.
Among her friends are mothers with children who courageously use their modest resources to advantage and rear quite a family.
Often when an epidemic breaks out among the children of a family, a friend of the family will take two or three of the others for the time.
To cure Gina of her depressed spirits, her friend Jamine persuades her to take young Gilles Perdrinix whose five brothers and sisters have the chickenpox.
Gina is bewildered; she knows perfectly how to care for a monkey but she finds herself embarrassed before this little Perdrinix boy who judged her severely from the height of his four years.
“How ignorant she is! How much is lacking in her training!” Little Gilles sighed to think of it. “She knows how to smoke,” he said to himself sadly, “but she can’t give me a lift to button my shirt.“
He did not complain nor did he reproach her; but on seeing her so clumsy, he thought she had much to learn to become a woman like other women.
Happily there are other kinds.
A mother of a family and a brilliant author wrote in the preface of a volume on “The Mother” which she was requested to write by the editor of a series entitled “The Up to Date Woman…“
“How shall I ever write this little book? There are no up-to-date mothers.
There are only Mamas.”
And with charming dash coupled with irresistible conviction she gave young wives this advice:
“Little Lady, you are embarking upon married life on the arm of a husband who is all taken up with you, who probably wants nothing more than to believe in you, to follow you and to approve of everything that touches the essence of your being.
Do not listen to those frustrated women or those soured unmarried girls, or those Jezebels who have nothing of the matron about them but their age and have no real experience; do not let them draw you out of the right way.
Be convinced, that the joy which babies bring is inexpressible and makes up for all the torment and fatigue of bearing them.
Be certain that the sight of that plump, smooth little body; of those dimpled hands and feet, both like pink silk yet provided with sharp nails; of that darling little mouth with its toothless smile, so simple and so trustful that the bright look, so marvelously pure, the soft cheeks, the silky hair, the utter quiet abandonment of this little being who issued forth from us floods our soul with an intense and intimate ecstasy such as I have never known before.
If only the up-to-date woman would be a mother for the future.
After the dark hours of the war, new life must be born.
There will be lives only if there are mothers, mothers who respond to their essential and divine vocation.
“There is nothing insignificant in the life which we live within our own doors. There is nothing which is without influence in the building up of character. . Let no one think that the history of any day in the life of a home, is not recorded imperishably on the sensitive lives of the children.” -J.R. MIller
“Death will come when God permits it to come, and not before; and if we are Christ’s own when it comes, then it cannot come otherwise than as the one truly tremendous and permanent victory of our life… An article from The Family and the Cross by Joseph Breig, 1959
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That is comforting, as many have been this week. Thank you!