How hard it is to be made aware of our imperfections! And yet, how necessary and efficacious. We should consider it a gift as it will help us to grow in character and in virtue…
Girls ~ Faults and Ideals
Christ has something to say to every man, woman, and child, in every relation, on every day, in every experience of life. It is not something for Sundays, and for sick-rooms, death-beds, and funerals: it is just as much for the school-room, the playground, the store, the kitchen, the street.
Wherever you may chance to be, if you listen you will hear a voice behind you, whispering, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” Christ has something to say each day, at every point of experience, to every one of us.
I want to help the girls and young women, if I can, to hear a little of what Christ has to say to them.
It is good for us to see ourselves as others see us. Hence, I have asked a number of Christian young men to give me answers to certain questions, and from these I have quoted in this familiar talk.
I take two of these questions, viz.;
1. “What are some of the most common faults in young women of your
2. “What are some of the essential elements of character in your ideal
of true young womanhood?”
We shall think then of common faults and of ideals. The first text I have chosen is a prayer for the cleansing of faults. The second is a description of the life that pleases God.
“Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” Is there one of us who does not, from deepest heart pray this prayer? I pity that man or that woman who does not long to be cured of faults, whatever they are, however painful nor costly their removal may be.
Some one says,–and the words are worthy of being written in gold,–“Count yourself richer that day you discover a new fault in yourself,–not richer because it is there, but richer because it is no longer a hidden fault; and if you have not found all your faults, pray to have them revealed to you, even if the revelation must come in a way that hurts your pride.”
Mr. Ruskin has this word also for young women:
“Make sure that however good you may be, you learn your faults; that however dull you may be, you can find out what they are; and that however slight they may be, you had better make some patient effort to get rid of them….
Therefore see that no day passes in which you do not make yourself a somewhat better creature; and in order to do that find out first what you are now….
Always have two mirrors on your toilet table, and see that with proper care you dress both the mind and body before them daily.”
These words show us the importance of the prayer: “Cleanse thou me from
We all have our faults, which mar the beauty of our lives in the eyes of others.
Every noble soul desires to grow out of all faults, to have them corrected. The smallest fault mars the beauty of the character; and one who seeks to possess only “whatsoever things are lovely” will be eager to be rid of whatever is faulty.
Ofttimes, however, we do not know our own faults: we are unconscious of them. We cannot see ourselves as others see us.
The friend does us a true kindness who tells us of the things in our character, habits, manners, which appear as blemishes, although many people have too much vanity to be told of their faults.
They resent it as a personal insult when one points out any blemish in them.
But this is most foolish short-sightedness. To learn of a fault is an opportunity to add a new line of beauty to the life. Our prayer each day should be that God would show us our secret faults, whatever messenger he may send to point them out, and then give us grace to correct them.
The young men who have replied to my question concerning the faults of young women have done so in most kindly spirit, for to a noble soul it is always an unwelcome task to find fault; it is much easier to name the beautiful things in those we love than the blemishes.
Several writers have referred to the matter of dress.
One says “Too much time is given by many young ladies to dressing. They scarcely think of anything else.”
Another names, “The love of dress, the inordinate desire to excel their companions in this particular,” as among the common faults in young women, adding that it has led many of them to ruin.
Another says they like to make themselves attractive by conspicuous colors, and suggests that if they would spend less time in shopping and more in some elevating occupation, for example in making home brighter for brothers and parents, it would be better.
“Following fashion to an extreme that is unbecoming and often extravagant; too great attention to outward adornment at the expense of inner adornment,” another marks as a too prominent fault.
We remember that St. Peter has a word about dressing: “Whose adorning, let it not be the outward plaiting of the hair, or the wearing of gold, or the putting on of apparel: But the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptibility of a quiet and a meek spirit which is rich in the sight of God.” Douay Reims
Every young woman should dress well, that is, neatly, tastefully, modestly, whether she be rich or poor.
Conspicuous dressing is vulgar. True refinement avoids anything showy and flashy: it never dresses better than it can afford, and yet it is always well dressed, even in simple muslin or plain calico.
Another fault mentioned is the lack of moral earnestness.
“Frivolity, arising from want of purpose in life,” one names, “even the most sacred duties and relations being marred by this frivolousness. The best years of life are wasted in small talk and still smaller reading, tears and sighs being wasted over a novelist’s creations, while God’s creatures die for want of a word of sympathy.”
Another names, “Frivolity, want of definiteness of purpose.” Still another says: “The giving of so little time to serious reflection and for preparation for the responsible duties of life. In other words, frivolity of manner, shallowness of thought, and, as a consequence, insipidity of speech are strongly marked faults in some young ladies.”
This writer pleads for deeper, more intense earnestness.
“Young women will reach a high excellence of moral character only as they prepare themselves for life by self-discipline and culture.”
Another puts it down as “A want of firm decision in character and action,” and says that too often, in times “when they ought to stand like a rock, they yield and fall;” and adds: “The young ladies of our land have power to mold the lives of the young men for good or for evil.”
There is a caution in these words which every young woman should heed. Life is not play, for it has its solemn responsibilities, its sacred duties; and eternity lies beyond this little span.
I call you to earnestness, moral earnestness. Determine to make the most and the best of your life. Get an education to fit you for life’s duties, even though it must be gotten in the little fragments of time that you can redeem from busy days.
Life is too short to crowd everything into it. Something must always be left out. Better leave out many of your amusements and recreations, than grow up into womanhood ignorant and with undisciplined intellectual powers. Train your mind to think. Set your ideal before you,–rich, beautiful womanhood,–and bend all your energy to reach it.
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This printable is for the Month of July and can be printed and used each year!
Following the timeless Traditional Liturgical Calendar, each day you will be reminded of the feast day!
Daily, you will have your hourly planner schedule that you can fill in. There is a space for Daily Goals/Spiritual Intentions and an “I am Grateful For” space. Also included is a Spiritual Goals Checklist to remind you of the important foundation of your day!
A Monthly Meal Menu Page is included along with a Monthly Home School Page that you can print out according to how many children you are teaching.
A beautiful quote is on each day of the planner giving you something to think about…Quotes by solid Catholics with their timeless commonsense and knowledge.
Get yourself a pretty binder and you will have a lovely tool to assist you. Your life will run more smoothly as you plan in advance your daily duties…
The rosary, scapulars, formal prayers and blessings, holy water, incense, altar candles. . . . The sacramentals of the Holy Catholic Church express the supreme beauty and goodness of Almighty God. The words and language of the blessings are beautiful; the form and art of statues and pictures inspire the best in us. The sacramentals of themselves do not save souls, but they are the means for securing heavenly help for those who use them properly. A sacramental is anything set apart or blessed by the Church to excite good thoughts and to help devotion, and thus secure grace and take away venial sin or the temporal punishment due to sin. This beautiful compendium of Catholic sacramentals contains more than 60,000 words and over 50 full color illustrations that make the time-tested sacramental traditions of the Church – many of which have been forgotten since Vatican II – readily available to every believer…
The Raccolta (literally, “collection” in Italian) is a book that listed Roman Catholic prayers and other acts of piety, such as novenas for which specific indulgances were granted by Popes. It was translated by Father St. John who was a convert to Catholicism and was one of the first books of popular devotion issued by the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory, supplying them with the congregational prayers, still in use in their church, for the Stations of the Cross, for the 1110nth of May, the Triduo and Novenas in preparation for the Feasts of our Lady, and similar devotions.
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