Although sex is an important aspect of marriage, yet it is really a small part. Especially is this true in the marriages where all is well as regards sex. The companionship of marriage is what brings the real fullness of peace and contentment to a couple. And after all, peace and contentment are the real day in and day out ingredients of happiness.
The full flaming moments of ecstasy of love, rocketing a soul into the very presence of God, are few and far between for the average mortal. These moments are cherished as a glimpse of eternal things to come. Now we have not even the capacity to long endure them.
A human being is not very self-sufficient. A person needs others to fill the emptiness of his own being. Husband and wife fill this need for each other. They complement each other in this manner much more even than they do in any physical sense.
There is something beautiful about the companionship of man and wife as it bridges the years. Especially is this true for those who have kept something of the chivalry of the first days of their love.
Familiarity does not have to breed contempt. Perhaps it does among savages. The natural, easy familiarity between man and wife, springing from their daily companionship can easily remain, and does in very many instances, a fine influence in their lives.
All wives appreciate the little courtesies of respect and esteem from their husbands. Some do nothing to promote this attitude on the part of their husbands. A lady will receive attention and courtesy if she merits it, and if she is gracious enough to acknowledge the efforts of the male.
By nature a man has a deep-seated sense of respect, of chivalry for the lady. It does something for him to manifest this feeling. It helps to make him a better man.
At an early age, I was somewhat disillusioned about the female in this matter of chivalry. During high school years I rode the “E-l” in Chicago during the morning rush hour.
I shall never forget my first efforts to be courteous with the female passengers. I was almost trampled to death. It was impossible to show these women any deference. They had become callous. For them life was a matter of dog eat dog. They shoved and gouged and grabbed any preference before a man could offer it to them.
A man on the “E-l” during the rush hour had about as much opportunity to be chivalrous as a polite hog at a trough has of getting in a bite.
I have often wondered what kind of wives those little ladies became. Perhaps they were tired or confused at being thrown into the vortex of the economic struggle for survival. In a saner world they would have been at home, where the true nobility of their lives could find its proper environment for growth.
Intelligent couples never take each other for granted. Of course there is a natural easiness and relaxation in each other’s company shutting out any stiffness or lack of intimacy. The bright husband will never relinquish the prerogative of being a gentleman.
Thoughtfulness is his watch word. A kindness here and a consideration there go a long way to promote companionship with his wife. The opening of a car door for her, helping her with her coat, seating her at table, these and a dozen other little actions evidence his tenderness for her. She is precious to him, so he surrounds her with attentions.
What wife could be so dull as not to yearn for such interest? Then she makes an unobtrusive but very real effort to keep for her married life the chivalry of her days of courtship.
Many married couples never lose the evidence of chivalry and romance of their days of courtship. Actually all their married lives they court each other. So blessed with this disposition they walk through life leading each other to their eternal reward in loving companionship.
“When marriage and parenthood seem difficult, picture yourself with your spouse as an old couple who, just before you hear the Master’s summoning call, look back along the road you have traveled. That road did not seem nearly so rough when you were leaning heavily upon each other. You faced threatening enemies on the way with stronger courage because you fought side by side. Courage sprang from knowing that you did not work or walk alone.” -Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook
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With his facile pen and from the wealth of his nation-wide experience, the well-known author treats anything and everything that might be included under the heading of home education: the pre-marriage training of prospective parents, the problems of the pre-school days down through the years of adolescence. No topic is neglected. “What is most praiseworthy is Fr. Lord’s insistence throughout that no educational agency can supplant the work that must be done by parents.” – Felix M. Kirsch, O.F.M.
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This post paints a pretty bleak picture of a woman who is obsessed with suspicion. Let us hope we don’t fall into this trap…and nip the beginnings of it in the bud! As you can see, after reading this post, suspicion, uncontrolled, is most unbecoming and makes a fool out of the one whose heart is filled with this vice!
Fundamentally, a suspicious woman is a cynic who believes that all human conduct is directed wholly by self-interest or self-indulgence. Insecure in this cold, evil world, she must protect herself. She trusts no one. All must prove themselves innocent, else they are guilty.
There is something in her of the hypocrisy of Diogenes, shuffling along with a lantern looking for an honest man. He was blinded by his own light and not very honest. In his most desperate moment of loneliness no one should ever trust a suspicious woman with any confidence.
The suspicious being is a petty, beetle-browed parody of a son of God. The suspicious wife is obnoxious to all, and it is little wonder, seeing what mental company she keeps.
Satan, ever ready to whisper into her ear a choice little morsel of gossip, suspicion, or rash judgment, is her boon companion. Suspecting sin of others, especially her husband, she herself drones through life in sin. It is a sin of injustice to suspect another of wrong doing, to put evil motives into the minds of others.
Most suspicious wives fall into a definite pattern. Suspecting their husbands of infidelity, they themselves are unfaithful to the trust and confidence out of which grows real companionship. The suspicious wife generally informs the whole neighborhood of her husband’s imagined infidelity.
Relatives are dragged into the sorry picture. She makes a nuisance of herself even where he works by continually checking on him over the phone or by waiting for him at his place of business. He becomes the butt of nasty jokes from his fellow workers. He is suspected of irresponsibility by his employers. If he is not released from his position, at least he is considered a poor risk for any advancement.
Often the suspicious wife makes a liar of her husband. In order to allay her apprehensions over some trivial matter, he takes what he foolishly thinks is the easy way out. He lies. One lie usually demands another. Sooner or later the truth will out.
Once she has caught her husband in a lie, the suspicious wife goes to work on him with the eagerness of a bloodhound on the scent.
An innocent highball with the boss on the way home from work might be misconstrued by the little woman so he fabricates some excuse for being a half hour late for dinner. On finding the truth later she belabors him with it.
He is perpetually in a turmoil whether a truth or a falsehood will stir up her suspicions. For him it is either the frying pan or the fire. His silence is construed as guilt, and his protestations of fidelity are its proof.
In this connection the sad picture of a husband comes to memory. After telling his story of a suspicious wife and his gradual alienation, he sat in silence for a few moments and then said, “A ghost woman ruined our marriage.”
The short and the long of the matter is that these women are capable of very little love. Love brings trust and confidence upon which companionship can be built. Most of these suspicious women complain of the lack of companionship with their husbands. They do not stay home in the evening. They never have any holidays together. Their conversation is meager.
These wives do not seem to be able to see that they are driving their husbands away from them–even at times into the infidelity of which they are suspicious.
The wife desired is in love with her husband, and therefore she has absolute trust in him. Because she is a practical woman, she knows that there is no other possible course. She realizes that her husband carries with him the weakness of humankind. So she is poised more in readiness to forgive than to drive herself into mental illness by constantly fretting about the possibilities.
She is only human, so the devil will use sundry situations to drop suspicions into her mind. He will play on her imagination. She wisely pounces upon these dirty offerings at the first consciousness of them and flings them from her mind.
In this action she recalls the wisdom of the ancients–obsta principiis, resist beginnings. An evil suspicion willingly harbored in her mind quickly sends out roots to sap the very life blood of her love. The longer it is nursed the more difficult will be the extraction. She knows this and tosses the devil’s garbage back at once. The tranquility of her soul is not to be whipped into turmoil so easily.
Jealousy and her twin sister, Envy, have spawned more mischief upon this world than is generally realized. These are the vices with which the devil is most tormented. Little wonder it is, then, that he takes particular delight in seeing jealousy or envy bring about the moral downfall and consequent misery of a human being. These vices have a frightful history of human tragedy strewn in their wake stretching back from the latest divorce to the murder of Abel.
It is hard to imagine a vice less rewarding to its victim than jealousy. Conceivably, the robber derives some enjoyment from her spoils, the adulteress from her passion, the deceiver from her deception. Jealousy produces nothing but sadness and grief. A jealous wife makes me think of the picture of a wounded snake biting itself.
If it were not for the tragedy of broken marriages arising from jealousy, the situations springing therefrom often would be comic.
One wife complained one day that her husband gave his affection to everybody but her. At a wedding reception she saw him kissing his cousins. He explained that there was nothing to it. Simply they were kissing cousins. She made a searching study of the propensities of his side of the family and proclaimed that his cousins were not kissing cousins.
A jealous wife watches her husband like a hawk. He had better not show any affection even to his sister, or he will be in hot water. A momentary, furtive glance at a beautiful woman always alarms and makes her uneasy. Because a jealous wife is an unhappy wife she contributes no happiness to a marriage. From jealousy it is one fast, easy step to suspicion and all its incumbent evils.
A wife striving to be desired by her husband will be ever on guard against jealousy. It is a petty sin in the sense of its meanness, not in its consequences. Lest some feel that the language concerning suspicion and jealousy has been too severe, hearken to the words of Scripture. “With a jealous woman is a scourge–he that hath hold of her, is as he that taketh hold of a scorpion.” Ecclus. XXVI, 9, 10.
Once a friend gave a bit of sage advice concerning friendship and companionship for those on long vacations with a group of friends. He advised going off by oneself for a day. A week or ten days of constant companionship begins to wear. After having spent the day alone, one will come running back to one’s friends and be happy to be with them again.
The wise wife will realize that it is good for the husband to have an evening out once in a while to attend some club or lodge, or to bowl. She will not want to keep him under her eye constantly. She should be free likewise, of course, to get out by herself and visit her girl friends. No hard and fast rules can be given for guidance on a question like this. Yet the principle must be recognized that deep and lasting companionship does not suffer from occasional, brief separation.
Some silly wives begin to pout, if the husband ever ventures out for an evening. By their childish and short-sighted attitudes, sometimes even clouded with suspicion, they become less desirable companions. Little wonder it is then that the husband starts to wander off more than he should. The ideal wife will be successful in some phases of companionship in the same proportion as she is successful in developing her personality.
“Blessed is the home where unkind speech does not enter, nor cursing, nor bad literature, nor intemperance, for on that home will be heaped the blessings of peace.” – Fr. Lawrence Lovasik http://amzn.to/2nq50xO Catholic Family Handbook (afflink)
NEW!! The following pages in this Maglet (magazine/booklet) is for you…to inspire you in your daily walk as a loving, strong, patient Catholic mother.As mothers we have an awesome responsibility, as one of the key people in our children’s lives, to help mold them into happy, well-adjusted, faith-filled adults. This Maglet is filled with unique articles and anecdotes to help you in this journey.It is unique because most of the articles are written by men and women (some priests and a Dominican nun) who have lived in an age where common sense was more of the norm. Their advice and experience are timeless and invaluable… Available here.
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A very optimistic book showing how an “ordinary” Catholic can become a great saint without ever doing anything “extraordinary”–just by using the many opportunities for holiness that to most people lie hidden in each day. Written with an assurance of success that is totally convincing and infectious. Many easy but infallible means of reaching great sanctity.
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A real man likes to picture his wife as one with spirit and bounce. Because she is intelligent with a mind of her own she knows when to maintain a principle, when to be roguish and sportive. Gifted with imagination she can give herself to the game of intriguing her husband. Always she is exciting and vivacious.
The wife loves a little compliment here and there herself, so she knows the value of this form of encouragement. Incidentally, in most marriages heading for the rocks the couples exchange no compliments. Just the opposite is true between people who seem still to have some sort of possessive love for each other.
I do not suppose there exists a married couple who could not concentrate upon and draw up a list of each other’s shortcomings. The wise wife knows that there is no future in this mean indoor sport. She counts her blessings. She makes her husband’s good points the foundation upon which she strives to help him build improvements.
The ideal wife does not mother her husband. Yet she knows that he stands alone only with difficulty. Physical or mental pain may drive him to her. She knows how to accept him then with feeling.
Toward the end of his days a man can look back upon his life and find no greater accomplishment than his full success as a husband and father. All his varied activities possessed significance, really meant something only in relation to his role as husband and head of the house.
If he had great success in the cheap sense of the word and became very rich, but was a failure as a husband, what contentment is there in the last recollections of his life? What success, real or fictitious, can compensate for his failure as a husband?
No woman can escape sharing her husband’s misery or his contentment and peace. If she has contributed to his making, to her comes the reward of real happiness. No wife hurts her husband more than she hurts herself. No wife makes her husband happier than she makes herself.
“No one can put up with the gloomy and disagreeable man all day long. Thus a person is bound, by a certain natural debt in decency, to get along amicably with others.” -St. Thomas Aquinas
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by Monseigneur Landriot, Archbishop of Rheims,
Translated from the French by Helena Lyons
“This book consists of fifteen discourses (four on Sins of the Tongue, three on Envy and Jealousy, two on Rash Judgments, two on Christian Patience, and four on Grace) that were originally talks given to laywomen of his diocese in the late 19th century. At the beginning the good Archbishop says I propose, my children, to give you some instructions on the tongue, and the faults which it causes us to commit. I shall commence today by speaking of the power and beauty of that organ, of the noble use which ought to be made of it, and of the many advantages we may derive from it. There is precious little teaching on the topics covered in these instructions which is accessible to the average man and woman of today.” Loreto Publications
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Finer Femininity is taking a break from Facebook.
I am on MeWe if you would like to follow me there. This platform is a lot like Facebook but respects the privacy and the free speech of the user. Here is the link to my FF MeWe Page. Each day I add tidbits to inspire you on your journey.
A must-read for the married and those considering marriage! This guidebook to finding a happy marriage, keeping a happy marriage, and raising happy children has been out of print for over 50 years…until now! From the master of the spiritual life, Raoul Plus, S.J., it contains loads of practical and spiritual advice on family life. Have you been looking for a handbook on marriage and raising children that is based on truth? You’ve found it!
The saints assure us that simplicity is the virtue most likely to draw us closer to God and make us more like Him.
No wonder Jesus praised the little children and the pure of heart! In them, He recognized the goodness that arises from an untroubled simplicity of life, a simplicity which in the saints is completely focused on its true center, God.
That’s easy to know, simple to say, but hard to achieve.
For our lives are complicated and our personalities too. (We even make our prayers and devotions more complicated than they need be!)
In these pages, Fr. Raoul Plus provides a remedy for the even the most tangled lives.
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While no system of caring for family finances will work unless husband and wife unselfishly are looking out for each other’s welfare and that of the whole family, yet some sensible method of handling money is necessary. Thus, the subject of a family budget must be considered. No matter how high the husband’s income may be, some attention must be given to a budget, lest their finances end in chaos.
An individual may live a happy-go-lucky existence and get away with it, but not a husband and wife with responsibilities to each other and to their children.
There are all sorts of methods of keeping a budget. No hard and fast rules can be given. Personalities differ. What has been found successful for one couple might bring disaster to another.
In all cases it is essential that there exist between husband and wife absolute trust and confidence in each other. How many couples live with little or no trust and no habit of sitting down and frankly and intimately discussing their finances has been one of the greatest revelations to me.
The first requisite is that husband and wife come to frank understanding and mutual agreement as to what they are going to do with their income.
For the vast majority a high percentage will have to go for current household expenses. Because they are no longer children, they will want to save some for the future, for their own home, the children’s education, contingencies of sickness, and so on.
Their earnestness in this direction will be indicated, if they remove a pre-determined amount from the weekly check and bank it before they begin spending for their current need and expenses.
Incidentally, it is interesting to observe what are considered needs and what are thought to be luxuries by different couples. Those who confuse luxuries for needs usually are drumming along no farther ahead economically years after their marriage.
Foolishly some parents will squander amazing amounts of money on, for example, toys for their little children. As often as not a big spoon would keep a little child as contented as some intricate and expensive toy. It lasts longer, too.
A doting parent accedes to the myriad requests of his little children. Besides spoiling them this weak-kneed and misdirected affection looks not to the future.
Money kept from them, when they could not possibly appreciate it, is saved by intelligent parents for them for the time when they will be able to understand the advantages of a fine home, an education, and vacations.
In this difficult task of saving for the future, it is a great help to a couple to have a definite goal, such as a new home of their own. I do not know whether or not there are any statistics on the percentage of divorced couples who rented or owned their own homes. I have a strong suspicion, though, which way the wind blows.
Once the couple understands what they want to do with their money, another question comes up as to who will handle the finances. Since the husband is the breadwinner and head of the family, the ultimate responsibility would seem to rest ordinarily with him.
Of course, if he is wise, he will work out with his wife a weekly or monthly budget for the daily household expenses.
The big item here will be the purchase of the food. The wife is by far the more competent to do the ordinary shopping. She should have a set and agreed upon amount of cash for this purpose. From time to time adjustments as to the amount will have to be made to keep at the level or standard of living upon which they have agreed.
The husband does the banking. He takes care of the other expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, phone bills, and the like.
This system of caring for family finances seems in theory to be the most sensible. In actual practice the procedure seems to be the one most successfully followed by the great majority of happy couples.
Some husbands with little background of true sportsmanship will expect, apparently, in their own peculiar, dumb way that the wife should be able to take care of her personal expenses out of a limited budget for food. It would be just as unreasonable for her to expect him to be able to take his personal expenses out of the phone bill or the rent money.
She should have some leeway in her budget, so that she does not have to skimp on food or does not have to come to him and beg him for a dollar for some personal item or other. Within their income, of course, both should have a little personal expense account as part of their over-all budget.
Another method of caring for family finances is for the husband to hand over his check to his wife. She returns him an amount necessary for his daily expenses such as carfare, lunch money, and cigarettes. She does the banking and takes care of all the family expenses and sees to the regular saving of some money.
This system has many successful adherents. However, it has several latent dangers which must be pointed out.
Even though they have come to an accord on the above mentioned system, too many husbands lose a big part of their responsibility.
They develop a lazy sort of “let the little lady take care of it” attitude. Also, some husbands who are met at the door on pay day with an out stretched hand of an efficient wife begin to feel just a little henpecked.
There is another weakness in this method which has caused all sorts of mischief. Many husbands who hand over their checks and then do not bother their heads over the family finances have a tendency to think that their wives are spendthrifts or at least rather wasteful. Otherwise, why does she not have any money saved up at the end of the month? Where did it all go?
All sorts of wild ideas enter their minds. Is she buying groceries for that no good brother of hers? In some cases they even become pantry detectives. They keep secret count on the canned goods.
The wise wife will begin her married life by keeping an itemized account of absolutely every purchase, even if she is taking care of expenses only for food. If she spends five cents, she lists it. After several months of this it becomes obvious where the money is going. A good deal of it is going right down his gullet.
Leane and Theresa from Finer Femininity discuss the lovely Catholic customs and traditions in the home during the Advent and Christmas season…
As Advent approaches, and if you are using my Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal (if you are not, this tidbit is still a good reminder), you will want to peek at the following page. It will help you to get the things together you will need to do the Advent Traditions in the book. If there are some activities you are not doing then check or cross them off this list. We do them all but you need to decide for your own family…
You can also purchase the St. Andrew/Christmas Novena Chaplet here.
🌸💞I want to be able to lay my head down at night knowing I have connected with those things that matter most….. So that when my life is at its close it can be said, “You have run the race, you have fought the good fight.” and I will be remembered, not for what I have accomplished, but for HAVING LOVED WELL….. -Finer Femininity
Drawn from Archbishop Sheen’s bestselling books, these 28 reflections will lead you day by day through the Advent season. Eloquent quotes are paired with beautiful Scriptures on the themes of the season―patience, waiting, gift, hope, humility, joy―and more. Spend a few quiet moments of each day with one of the 20th century’s greatest preachers, preparing your heart to receive the Savior of the world.
Prayers for use by the laity in waging spiritual warfare from the public domain and the Church’s treasury. The book has an imprimatur from the Archdiocese of Denver.
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Since humility is the foundation for all virtue, it is not surprising that it is the requisite for a sense of humor. Humility is the proper and correct appraisal of ourselves. We are the creatures of God. Of ourselves we are nothing. Whatever we are or have is from Him and His.
Because we are able to see ourselves in proper perspective, we are able to laugh at ourselves as well as at others. Our foibles and fancies and past blunders are a source of amusement to ourselves as well as to others.
We are not completely unremunerated comediennes. I have never forgotten the scene of a small boy crying with a banana in his mouth and a loaf of bread under his arm. Too many of us go through life in this comic fashion, sad-eyed-Sams with God’s blessing all about us.
On the other hand many wonderful people keep their cheerfulness with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. If sick people can remain cheerful, how ashamed the rest of us should feel for being wet blankets.
The real difference between a gloomy Gerty and a cheerful person is that the latter is tuned into the harmony of God’s never ending and always new symphony. The gloomy Gerty is out of tune and full of static, a nuisance to herself and to all within earshot.
We must admit that there is an undertone of tragedy to real humor, as is evidenced in the works of Dickens. However, a sense of humor is productive of a cheerful attitude toward life. The living are more attractive than the dead.
The interested wife is interesting because she is animated to the joy of living. Joy appeals to all. The joyful wife is a pleasure to her husband. She is a pearl of great price. The wife who has a sense of humor will make a much more stable wife as well as a much more lovable and desired one. She is safeguarded against many repelling characteristics.
Conceit and a sense of humor do not get along together very well. Adolph Hitler was not famous for a sense of humor, nor are any of the other tyrants, who plague the world.
Some people are perfectionists. They want to do things perfectly all the time. Because of their aim they are in a dither with themselves and others too frequently.
A wife who is a perfectionist must watch herself. Unless she be on guard, she can easily commit one of the mortal sins of marriage by nagging her husband. A sense of humor will temper this tendency and save her from becoming a veritable shrew.
Possessing a sense of humor the wife is prevented from getting too excited over the idiosyncrasies of her husband. She can see the amusing side of things and thus is saved from many heartaches.
Besides, because she is humble, she is less sensitive. Consequently, it is hard for anyone to hurt her. She will have little temptation to go around brooding over real or imagined slights. For the give and take of every day life with her husband she is well equipped.
THE WIFE DESIRED IS A COMPANION TO HER HUSBAND
The wife desired is the companion of her husband. Hand in hand they walk through life sharing their joys and sorrows. Together they stand against the world. They have secrets shared with no one else. Their union goes beyond that of friendship, for in it are found the little intimacies of lovers.
Together they meet life fortified with each other. Their hearts leap for gladness in the merry month of May of their lives. In the grey December their sorrows are softened with the comfort of carrying each other’s burden.
No pain can equal the pain of the loss of each other. Their loneliness when death takes the other has no counterpart in this vale of tears.
Marriage is a partnership in the business of living. Just as most phases of life are specialized, so marriage itself is specialized. To the husband fall certain obligations, to the wife others. He must bring home the bacon. She upholds her end of the bargain by being the queen of the home. “As the sun when it rises upon the world in the high places of God. so is the beauty of a good wife for the ornament of her house.” Ecclus. 26, 21.
In this chapter we consider a number of aspects of married life which may seem to have little or no reference to companionship. A girl contemplating marriage and especially the phase of companionship which it brings may wonder what sewing, cooking, and housework can have to do with companionship. The answer in a nutshell is that, unless the wife takes care of her end of the bargain, there will be little companionship.
If the husband is irresponsible and does not support the family, how can there be the normal companionship of marriage? Likewise, if the wife is remiss in the specialized chores which are her lot in life, she will make a very poor companion.
In other words, the husband’s support of the home and the wife’s cooking and housework are the basis upon which it is possible for them to build a companionship without which marriage is a bleak affair.
As we have already said, marriage is a partnership, and companionship is the reward beyond reckoning for those who accomplish the duties befalling them as partners in a glorious enterprise.
Suppose that a young lady married a man unequipped for and irresponsible about his obligations. After a few days of honeymoon–he did not have the cash for a more extended one– they returned to live with her parents. He had a few more days of freedom, she understood, before getting back to his job.
The first day or two passed well enough: but then she became worried. As she busied herself about the house under mother’s watchful eye, her man seemed unconcerned about the future.
As the days went by, his naps on the davenport became more frequent and prolonged. She could not hide her anxiety any longer, so she asked him whether he was going back to his job soon. “What job?” he frowned up at her. It did not seem that he had a job at the time, but, like Micawber, he felt that one might turn up soon.
To be sure, a wife in this position would be in for a very difficult marriage. I have seen very many men of this type–lazy, selfish, irresponsible, and as well prepared for marriage as a jackrabbit.
Occasionally, he will be a very likable individual. He is good natured and easy going and dances like a gigolo–a wonderful fellow with whom to pass a holiday at the lake, but not a man to settle down within the partnership of marriage.
Let us return to the wife. After all, she is our wonderful subject. Again we can imagine the opposite case in which the wife was delinquent.
The husband was a fine, responsible young man. He was industrious and had saved money for his marriage. In fact, he had bought a home albeit with a fat mortgage. After ten days of honeymooning they returned to their little home. He had several more days vacation before returning to work. It was summer, and they were going to make the most of it at the beach.
The wife suggested the first day that, instead of wasting time in the kitchen, they have a sandwich and milk shake on their way. They could thus have more time at the beach. The husband thought it was a good idea.
On the way home in the middle of the afternoon the wife mentioned that Aunt Susie wanted them over for dinner that night. Remember Aunt Susie? She went all out for us in the generosity of her wedding present. Splendid. Aunt Susie’s it was.
The next day and the next it was the same story–clever maneuvering away from the kitchen. By now the husband wondered why he did not save construction costs on the home by eliminating the kitchen.
This poor little wife could just about manage to boil water. She had never cooked a thing in her life and did not evidence any concern for the future.
Although these two imaginary cases are extreme, do not think that they are out of this world. One would think that a girl would pride herself on being able to cook, to sew, and to keep house. Sometimes an over efficient and fussy mother keeps her daughter from having a chance to learn these things.
More often her inefficiency indicates an indolent and even selfish girl. She prefers to let her mother spoil her by waiting on her hand and foot, while she ensconces herself on a sofa with a book and bonbons.
Of course, many of these girls rise to the occasion with their marriage and learn to be efficient wives in respect to the home. The love of her husband and children does the trick.
The worst offenders in this important phase of marriage are those who stagnate after marriage and lose interest in their homes.
One instance comes to mind in which the husband would come home from work and wash several days’ dishes and tidy up the kitchen. He had hoped to shame his wife into a realization of her position. She merely laughed at him.
She was slovenly in the care of her child. When she got around to changing the baby’s diaper, she was more than likely to throw it into a corner to remain there for some distant future reference.
This woman did little more than visit her girlfriends all afternoon and gossip with them. She flounced into the home a few minutes before her husband’s return from work.
Her preparation of dinner consisted of opening a can of beans, unwrapping some cold cuts, and placing on the table a loaf of chaff and straw dust commonly called bread by a generation unfamiliar with the joys of eating homemade bread.
Had this woman married another Okie it is possible that they could have been happy. Not many people can live in a pigsty like this and be contented.
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?”
A young man unconsciously looks for the qualities of his mother in his wife. Foolishly he may give expression to comparisons. We are all familiar with the refrain, “Mother made the best apple pie ever eaten.” It may be strange, but seldom do these encomiums paid to mother produce in the wife a warm glow of affection for her husband. On the other hand, the young wife is inclined to expect her husband to mirror her father, especially if he was a real man. Her father did things this or that way.
The ideal wife guards against this usual idealization of her father.
Her husband is another man There are other ways of doing things beside the way father did them. Father is a fine man. Yet it would be a dull world if all men were similar to him. The sensible wife does not try to mold her husband after him. She is not inspiring her husband to develop his own abilities and personality by so doing.
The eyes of a wife are a man’s mirror. When he looks into them and sees a veritable giant on wheels, it is like strong wine. He feels like a giant ready to take the world by the tail and swing it.
When he sees a little dwarf in her eyes, he begins to feel like one and to act like one. He may put on a big show with lots of bluster. Lacking conviction from her he may go to all extremes to convince himself that he is a “big shot.” He tries hard to magnify the puny vision of himself.
With all sorts of maneuvers, bragging, condemnation and belittling of others, and drinking he strives to grow in stature in her eyes. The more frantic become these efforts, the more he sees his image shrinking in the mirror of her eyes.
Of course, there are plenty of cases where the wife is only half to blame. Ideal wives have a way of going with ideal husbands. A man has no business marrying a woman unless he is in love with her, unless she had become the most beautiful thing in life to him.
If during the years of their marriage he continues to look into her eyes and tell her of this beauty to him she will grow more beautiful for him. Too many husbands do not know that a woman must be told that she is beautiful in order to be beautiful. A wife who is being told that she is most beautiful will glow with love for her husband.
He will see in her eyes this love for him. Then she will be looking back at him through rose colored glasses. She sees nothing but good in him. The mirror is highly polished and sparkling, and he fills it. He has everything she can give now, and the greatest of her gifts is the inspiration a man needs from his wife to be a husband and a man.
I have no recollection of a single broken marriage wherein the wife was primarily to blame and at the same time an inspiration to her husband. Failure and inspiration do not mix well. The ability to inspire her husband is the wife’s best guarantee of success in marriage. Only if she fails to inspire need she be fearful for their love and the future of their marriage.
Very few inspirational wives fail in marriage through their own fault. It is possible for a wife to give all desired in the way of inspiration and receive no response. Admittedly, no wife, be she so perfect in this respect, can inspire a cabbage. But be it known to all women that few mortal males can resist inspiration. They thrive on it.
Frequently single young ladies raise an objection: “How can I inspire, show appreciation, and make the young man with whom I am going think that he is the greatest man in the world to me? He already leans over backward in trying to make me think he is the answer to every maiden’s prayer. He is already so conceited I shudder to think of blowing him up any more. I often wonder if he never wears a hat because he can find none to fit his head.”
Married women seldom ask a question like this. Is it because of their experience they sense that inspiration does not make a husband conceited?
The answer to this objection already has been given to discerning readers, but, because it is commonly heard, an explicit reply should be made. Conceit is usually symptomatic of an inferiority complex.
All the manifold gyrations of a conceited man, his bragging, his puffing and huffing. his belittling of others, all his noise and bluster, are efforts to convince the world of something of which he himself is not convinced, namely, that he is a man. If he were sure of himself, he would not be worrying his head about whether or not the rest of men are sure of him.
The inspiration of a wife is the best tonic in the world against a husband’s conceit. He has confidence from her as well as from his own consciousness of himself. He is not selling himself short because he knows that the best there is in the world is long on him. Nor does the inspired husband sit back in self-satisfaction.
He is charged into action to measure up to the esteem of the one most precious to him. He feels unworthy of her but is not thereby depressed. He thrills to the excitement of planning to do big things for her. Nothing will be too good for his love. What obstacle could thwart him in keeping her lovely and happy?
Can a husband be conceited who loses himself so completely in such a consuming blaze of love for his wife? The conceited man is forever concerned with himself; the inspired man is forever concerned with the source of his inspiration.
So take it from me, ladies, inspiration is your love potion. It is so easy for you; just be as God made you, His loveliest of creatures.
“Mothers, as far as possible, be at home with your children. As you nourished your child before he was capable of eating solid food, so in the early formative years, nature has determined that you must nourish your child in virtue.”
-Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook
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This is a unique book of Catholic devotions for young children. There is nothing routine and formal about these stories. They are interesting, full of warmth and dipped right out of life. These anecdotes will help children know about God, as each one unfolds a truth about the saints, the Church, the virtues, etc. These are short faith-filled stories, with a few questions and a prayer following each one, enabling the moral of each story to sink into the minds of your little ones. The stories are only a page long so tired mothers, who still want to give that “tucking in” time a special touch, or pause a brief moment during their busy day to gather her children around her, can feel good about bringing the realities of our faith to the minds of her children in a childlike, (though not childish), way. There is a small poem and a picture at the end of each story. Your children will be straining their necks to see the sweet pictures! Through these small stories, parents will sow seeds of our Holy Catholic Faith that will enrich their families all the years to come!
This revised 1922 classic offers gentle guidance for preteen and teenage girls on how to become a godly woman. Full of charm and sentiment, it will help mother and daughter establish a comfortable rapport for discussions about building character, friendships, obedience, high ideals, a cheerful spirit, modest dress, a pure heart, and a consecrated life.
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Many people make an enjoyable hobby out of cooking. So it certainly is within the realm of possibility that the average wife can become sufficiently interested in one of her obligations to do a passable job.
If she can read, she can learn to cook. There are such things as cook books. The old saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach is still true for a number of reasons.
Anybody who knows a thing about human nature knows that the time to seek a favor from or to put over a deal with a fellow human being is immediately after a fine dinner. His sales resistance is then at lowest ebb. Literally he is eating out of her hand now.
The ideal wife does not miss these opportunities. She is not a heartless schemer but she is intelligent enough to accomplish things the easy way with less wear and tear on herself and her husband.
Moreover, the wife who does right by her family in the matter of cooking will learn the esteem of her husband. He will be proud of her and love her all the more for her interest in his behalf.
Concerning the ability of the wife to sew there comes to mind the beautiful picture of a young bride at whose marriage I recently assisted. I would never be able to remember her wedding gown except for the fact that her husband proudly told me at the reception that his wife made the gown herself.
Would that all young ladies looking ahead to marriage could have seen the stars in that young man’s eyes as he spoke of his bride’s accomplishment. As the years of marriage roll by, her knowledge of sewing will stand her in good stead.
It does for another young wife and mother of whom I am thinking. Finding herself in very moderate financial circumstances with three little children to care for, she easily could have resigned herself to a wardrobe growing more shabby and bleak with the years. Not Mary.
She is approaching thirty, and she knows how to wear clothes. Furthermore, she knows how to make them. Through her nimble fingers the best and latest creations of the designers come quickly into being.
To her comes the satisfaction only creation can bring. To her husband comes the delight only his smartly dressed wife can bring. Within her meager budget for clothes she is the envy of her circle of girlfriends.
Then there is the run of the mill sewing for the family–mending of the children’s clothes, stitching, patching, and refurbishing of hand-me-downs.
A tear in Bobbie’s breeches is like the sounding of a tocsin. Out comes the needle. The rip is mended in quick order, and Bobbie’s dignity is restored.
Life is made up of little things. In doing them well we live the good life. If we ignore or become bored with these little things and wait for something big to come along, our ship will never come in. Life will pass us by.
About eighty per cent of marriage is the daily task of cooking, dishes, laundry and shopping, and caring for the children. Unless these tasks, humdrum in themselves, be sublimated by love of husband and children, life becomes a lackluster affair.
The ironing of a shirt for her husband can be an act of love or merely a drab job to keep the wife from her own enjoyments of reading and friends.
To keep house well takes intelligence, initiative, and spirit. The ideal wife puts her mind and heart into her specialized work. However, she keeps clear in her mind that she is not her husband’s housekeeper: nor does she ever let him think so.
Within their financial means she should be ready and willing to get away from the house and the children and be alone with him.
A husband can be remiss in this respect more easily than the wife. He may fail to realize the monotony of her daily housework. He has been away all day. After dinner he is content to play with the children, put them to bed, and spend a quiet evening at home.
This will be the normal happy routine of life. But the wife needs an occasional release from her tight schedule. A certain wife seldom wears perfume. When she does, it is the signal for the man of the house to spring into action. She wants out.
Her husband sometimes has a severe cold in the head and cannot smell a thing, but, because she keeps her requests within reason, he generally rises to the occasion and waltzes her out of the house to dinner, to a movie, or to the home of friends.
There are many little tricks along with the use of common sense in the clever head of the ideal wife to prevent home life from becoming too monotonous for herself and her husband.
Situations will vary. Yet there are some old and tried bits of advice no wife seeking success will ignore. One is to “pretty up” before the husband comes home from work.
No one expects a wife to go about her housework looking like a fashion model; nor does she have to go to any silly extreme in the evening. However, if she is wise, she will stop working before he comes home. She will relax, freshen up, and slip into a fresh house dress. She will make herself attractive because her husband is going to sit down to dinner with his wife, not his housekeeper.
She may say that it is not necessary in her case; her husband does not work at an office with pretty secretaries about. There is no chance of his making any invidious, mental comparisons.
He is a plumber, or he does outside work of some sort. His occupation makes no difference. If she is wise, she will get out of her scrub clothes before he comes home.
In the second half of this chapter I shall consider a few of the most common dangers to companionship of man and wife. Since the husband can be at least as guilty, if not more so, of allowing attachments of one sort or another to come between himself and his wife, it is necessary once more to repeat that we are concerned only with the ideal wife.
“Keep a hobby and ride it with enthusiasm. It will keep you out of mischief, to say the least; it will keep you cheerful. Here as in all things you can apply the Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God).” – Fr. Lasance, My Prayer Book
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It has been said somewhat captiously that a person can choose her friends but not her relatives. Marriage brings with it a new group of relatives for better or for worse. A few thoughts may be beneficial on how these new found relatives can work out for “better.”
There is no question that the problem of in-laws has earned for itself a very high rating among the causes of broken marriages. One need not be occupied in the work of counseling to be aware of this fact. The problem will vary in magnitude for each marriage.
Fortunately, for many, the problem will be of such small consequence as to be of little concern. After all, it is expected that every human relationship will give rise on occasions to the need of patient understanding. Between the best of friends there will be times when one will have to exercise resignation to the whims of the other.
It is most important that the ideal wife develop by the time of her marriage the attitude that there need be no conflict with her in-laws. Too many women acquire a real in-law complex even before they are married. They are determined that they are going to have difficulties with their husband’s relations. You may be sure that these people realize their expectations.
Let us suppose that her husband has a very normal mother. The wife cannot expect the mother to drop dead because she married her son. His mother still loves him and wants him to be happy. She does not know her daughter-in-law too well. It is going to take time for the mother to learn to relax in her presence and give her confidence.
Unless the wife realizes this, she may misinterpret this initial uneasiness on the mother’s part as suspicion of her or latent antagonism.
In-laws can be a great asset to a young wife. It is normal for grandparents to love and dote on their grandchildren. Financial help can come from them indirectly in the form of toys, gifts, and clothes for the children.
As long as these things are given with no “riders” attached, and as long as they do not “move in” and try to take over, their help can be accepted graciously. They are often a great help in times of sickness and other crises. Besides, they are good, dependable baby-sitters.
More than a girl perhaps realizes, she gets out of life just what she expects. If she expects opposition from her mother-in-law, the chances are high that she will get it.
Why should she look for trouble? Let her cross bridges when she comes to them. Let her realize that her mother-in-law and her husband’s relations are fundamentally his concern and possible problem. If he is half the man she married, he will handle any possible situation arising from that quarter.
It should be apparent that courtship and its problems do not fall within the scope of this chapter. Yet I feel that I must warn any young woman not to marry a boy who is still tied to his mother’s apron strings.
No matter what are his assets–wealth social position, or good looks, she should flee from him as she would flee from a plague.
If a woman finds herself practically married to a possessive mother-in-law, then she must marshal all the forces of her soul for the conflict. She will need the character and heroism of the saints.
My hat is off to the young wife who has been successful in aiding her husband to mature. The experience gained will stand by her in the raising of her own children.
Some men are still little boys at the time of their marriage, in spite of all the outward bluster of manhood. Incidentally, all the “hoopla” in connection with Mother’s Day notwithstanding, many a son has been ruined for life by a possessive mother.
Recently I talked with a young husband who was deeply attached to his mother. She was at fault in almost wrecking her son’s marriage. In this case mother insisted on doing his laundry.
Like a dutiful little boy he marched over to mother every week with his little package. If someone could have slipped up behind him and elevated him from the sidewalk with a strong foot vigorously applied in the right spot, he might have come to his senses.
His wife was not capable of doing this, nor did she have a big brother noted for any football punting prowess. Her attack had to be more subtle.
Carefully she saw to it that no batch of laundry was carried over to mother without one or two nice big lipstick smears. It was not long until these smears began to annoy mother. Somebody else was kissing her own little boy. With all her petty soul she wanted him just for herself.
As the weeks wore into months, the wife continued her little game.
With a sparkle of triumph in her eyes this ideal wife told me how this nonsense with the laundry stopped one day. Of what happened she still was not certain. Supposedly mother pushed him too far one evening.
Apparently they had a fight. The little husband began to grow up. There was more to the story of how this wonderful wife helped her husband mature into manhood and thus save his marriage. It was not as easy as might appear from the story of the laundry.
This case of a wife dealing successfully with perhaps the most difficult problem of marriage is presented because very many wives give up in the face of possessive mothers-in-law. Admittedly it is primarily the husband’s problem. He should solve it. Indeed, he should have solved it long before marriage, but he did not.
What a wonderful tribute to her that she possessed the personality and character to bring success out of what generally leads to the divorce courts. Their companionship now can weather any storm the years might bring. Through her leadership in their victory, mutual esteem and appreciation of each other presaged many happy years of loving companionship.
While a good wife may be unable to deal successfully with an in-law problem, there is no excuse for failure to handle her own blood relations. With them she is on familiar ground. She knows the personalities with which she must deal occasionally.
The ideal wife remembers the words of Scripture that she and her husband are to cling together as one. If it is necessary, she will resist the inroads of her relatives.
First of all, she has enough sense to keep her husband’s confidences and never talk them over with her mother. There may be a great temptation to run to mother for comfort and advice if she has a spat with her husband. To mother she pours out the sorrows of her poor, wounded soul.
Mother, be she ever so good, will find it difficult not to give in to black thoughts of revenge against the beast who has hurt her own flesh and blood. At the very least it will be more difficult for her mother to be natural and easy in the presence of her daughter’s husband.
The small consolations she may receive from confiding in mother are more likely to be far outweighed by future grief so deservedly earned. There is entirely too much of this running to mother with petty problems.
Perhaps mother is a sensible person and wants to stay out of her daughter’s affairs. Then why keep tempting her to interfere? The immature wife who acts this way is asking for trouble. Generally she gets more than she ever expected.
Too many young couples have begun their marriage by living with relatives. Although few are crazy enough to want this arrangement, yet too many feel that it is necessary. A housing shortage and poor finances are the common reasons given.
It has almost never worked out and never to complete satisfaction. Two families cannot live happily and comfortably in the same house or apartment.
The first year or so is very important to marriage. It is most difficult to get off to a good start under this abnormal and awkward situation. Everybody steps on everybody’s else’s feet.
Irritations are bound to appear. Nerves become frayed. Words are said and feelings hurt. Moreover, it is rather difficult for the husband to make love to his wife with “Pop” grinning behind his newspaper and “Sis” giggling in the next room.
Whatever financial advantages may be had from doubling up with parents, it is not worth the price. This is not theory. I am sure that all married couples, who have survived a situation like this, will shout assent on reading this.
An over ambitious wife may fall into the mistake of coaxing her husband into living with her parents. She might think that they will save money more quickly. She should realize that she is doing the thing most likely to sap whatever “get up” her husband may have about him. There is danger that his ambition to get somewhere in the world will ebb away.
Others are calling the tune all the time. Let them worry about responsibility. All this rationalizing brings him little peace of mind. He knows that he is in a mess, and the only way that he can solve it is by getting out on his own. The wife who resists his effort to break away does not know where her happiness lies.
Furthermore, this living with the in-laws is not always very economical. To escape the scrutiny of all eyes the young couple find themselves going out more and more evenings. This can be expensive.
In closing the discussion on living with parents it should be sufficient to say that all counselors on marriage advise young couples to endure almost any hardship rather than submit to this false security. The wife desired will resist the temptation to think that her case will be exceptional.
“The difference between this child and that one is often largely a matter of what he saw in and heard from his parents. His religious response, his sense of honesty, his ability to play with other children and be unselfish toward them, his attitude toward books, his appreciation of the beautiful, his sense of what is right and what is wrong, his quick apprehending of the charming and noble, his ready reaction to music that is good, his approval of heroism and his rejection of evil and cheapness – all these things need to be established in the child’s mind by the parents, who alone can deeply and strong-rootedly establish them!” – Fr. Daniel A. Lord, 1950’s
Ladies and Gents…Don’t miss this one! You won’t regret it! Please say 3 Hail Marys for the priest.
Another erroneous idea ill-disposing a young wife for happiness in marriage is the concept that it is never proper for her to be the aggressor in any emotional display. She must never appear to be eager.
The husband is always supposed to be the Don Juan sweeping her off her feet with loving attentions. All the while she coolly and with great decorum maintains an affected, dispassionate front. With patronizing air she submits, for his sake only, to his caresses. Such women are fundamentally dishonest, not accepting the fact that they are human and in need of affection as well as their husbands.
I find it very discouraging to deal with these prim and prissy little wives so small that they could high jump under a dresser and possessing faces never once lit up with the ecstasy of love.
This matter of affection is not a one-way street. The normal husband would like to see some signs of response to his efforts at affection toward his wife. If he seldom or never gets it, how can he be blamed if he wonders about his wife’s love for him? Is he just her social security number?
The desired wife has a mischievous streak in her and can be even a little “naughty” with her husband. Some “dead pans” become so blasé about their marriages that they never flirt with their husbands. They miss a lot of fun in life, and little wonder it is that their husbands wear a “hang dog” look.
Another erroneous concept with a copious history of disharmony in married life is the assumption on the part of the wife that the emotional needs and capacities of her husband and herself are equal. Seldom is this true.
The difference of temperament, to say nothing of sex, often calls for sympathetic understanding on the part of the wife. The ideal wife is willing and able to adjust herself to the emotional needs and wants of her husband.
For example, if she is of an affectionate and warm nature, she should realize that perhaps her husband simply is unable to keep up with her, much as he might want to. He is more limited by his nervous system from frequent and prolonged display of emotion.
Some wives spend too much time reading over romantic and even erotic novels. These dubious heroes are generally Casanovas and gigolos with no counterpart in the everyday world of successful husbands.
The young wife who is disappointed because her husband does not measure up to these dreamworld standards of romantic endeavor must come down to earth. More often than not fails to realize how well off she is to have the type of husband who is a good, sound, responsible man.
Perhaps he is not the absolute ideal from the romantic viewpoint. The intelligent wife will see the favorable aspects in her husband’s nature, and the clever wife will patiently and lovingly work for the gradual development of her husband that he come to better meet her emotional and sexual needs.
It is not surprising that young ladies of pre-marriage age imagine that any future husband of theirs will be expert at love making. This misconception could easily come from the observation of the aggressiveness and “know it all” attitude of young men. Actually both wife and husband will have much to learn together.
In this connection there comes to my memory the painful recollection of a young wife estranged from her husband. She was of good, God-fearing parents. She lacked nothing in her environment from a religious and educational standpoint. Her girlhood was virtuous and exemplary. Friends and relatives reasonably assumed for her a successful marriage. Presently her whereabouts are unknown.
In shame she left all behind her after her infidelity. Although her husband was something of a knuckle head, fundamentally he was a “right guy.” His last mistake before her disappearance was in excoriating her in the vilest language. In his lonely bitterness he began to see that he overreached himself.
She was a vivacious young woman, strong in her feelings and in need of a real man for a husband. He was not very demonstrative, and I do not believe that he actually understood her hunger for affection. In any case he did not quite fill the bill.
The young wife experienced a growing sense of frustration for the first two years. Then during the last two years of their married lives she began to sulk. This later attitude put the finishing touches to their marriage. Instead of lovingly and patiently encouraging the development of her husband’s love-making potential to complement the needs of her warm nature, she withdrew within herself in disappointment and resentment.
Moreover there was little earnest effort on her part to adapt herself to her husband’s emotional nature. Perhaps he never could have risen to the heights of the greatest romantic lover of all time. Yet, if she had helped him and had given him a chance, he could have brought happiness and stability into her life.
Offhand I cannot think of a single successful marriage in which there has not been mature, intelligent adjustments on the part of both husband and wife. Very few wives will find marriage exactly as they had visualized it.
The actuality is always somewhat different from the story book picture or the girlhood dream. By this I do not mean that marriage is less than what was expected. It may turn out to be worlds more than what was looked for. In all cases it will be quite different.
Regarding the measure of happiness to be expected, a well-known ritual of marriage has this to say, “If true love and sacrifice guide your every action, you can expect the greatest measure of earthly happiness that may be allotted to man in this vale of tears.”
Except in matters of principle and questions of right and wrong, the ideal wife is not going to hang on to her preconceived concepts of marriage. She will not try to put her husband into a mold, which she has built up from romantic novels read during girlhood.
That plain, prosaic husband of hers is a much more real and interesting being than the fleshless, soulless figment of the imagination, to which she wants to cling. He has a spark of the divine waiting to be fanned into a flame of love.
The soul of a human being with all its potentialities is not developed in a vacuum. Only through love does the human soul begin to really live. And love requires at least two beings. Only through concourse with his fellow man will love come into being in the soul of a husband. Who can play the role of this second party in the life of her husband better than the wife?
The ideal wife is in love with her husband. Therefore her whole nature reaches out to him in an effort to bring him happiness. Her joy in life can come only through success in making him happy and content.
Because her first desire in life is for his well-being, all her emotional and physical attentions to him are aimed at satisfying his needs. No one can arrive at happiness through oneself, through self-seeking. Thus the wife’s display of emotion has as its object the comfort and the contentment of her husband.
If this is her way of acting, she need not fear for herself. Only those who seek themselves need fear for themselves.
Those who seek first their own pleasure out of marriage and make the happiness of their partners only a possible by-product, so to say, are doomed to misery. It is an inexorable law of our lives that only through making others happy can we expect happiness. So many wives seem to want to learn this lesson the hard, bitter way.
“There is more danger of our not hoping enough than of our hoping too much. Don’t put your standard so low. Breathe the air of God’s promises, and raise your hearts high. God wants a great deal of us. Difficulties will vanish at once if we can only bring ourselves to believe that God loves us so. Unconquerable hope in spite of apparent difficulty. Don’t let your heart sink with the false feeling that ‘somehow God doesn’t care specially for me.’ The saints combined humility with the unshaken belief in God’s great love for them.” – Rev. Daniel Considine, S.J., 1950’s
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Hands Free Mama is the digital society’s answer to finding balance in a media-saturated, perfection-obsessed world. It doesn’t mean giving up all technology forever. It doesn’t mean forgoing our jobs and responsibilities. What it does mean is seizing the little moments that life offers us to engage in real and meaningful interaction. It means looking our loved ones in the eye and giving them the gift of our undivided attention, living a present, authentic, and intentional life despite a world full of distractions.
With his facile pen and from the wealth of his nation-wide experience, the well-known author treats anything and everything that might be included under the heading of home education: the pre-marriage training of prospective parents, the problems of the pre-school days down through the years of adolescence. No topic is neglected. “What is most praiseworthy is Fr. Lord’s insistence throughout that no educational agency can supplant the work that must be done by parents.” – Felix M. Kirsch, O.F.M. https://amzn.to/2T06u28 (afflink)
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With marriage a few mental adjustments must be made concerning the virtue of purity. To project virginal ideals of purity into married life is unfair to both her husband and to herself as well as harmful for a girl.
Marriage is an institution of God, in which two people cooperate with Him in the creation of the human race. God could have created all of us as He created Adam and Eve. He chose a more wondrous and mysterious way. Male and female were created and so constituted by God with faculties and propensities as to be able and want to reproduce themselves.
Thus the function of sex is just as important as the continuation of the human race. God has placed an attraction for each other in the male and female. It is natural for this attraction to lead to love and marriage. The manifest purpose of marriage is, therefore, the begetting and rearing of children.
The obligations incumbent upon and the problems arising from marriage are limitless. To compensate for them God has attracted pleasure to sex, psychological as well as physical. The pleasure of sex is consequently no more an end in itself than is the pleasure of eating. God did not gives us stomachs and appetites for the sake of pleasure, although He did join pleasure to this function of self-preservation.
Sex pleasure is God given and, therefore, to be gratefully accepted in the normal and natural relations of man and wife. Because so much of the sensuous world has gone mad in its misuse of sex, there is no reason for the Christian to be in the least ashamed of what God has graciously given.
In this regard it is worth mentioning that in the early centuries of Christianity the Church had to condemn the heretical teaching that sex pleasure in itself was sinful and, therefore marriage was to be avoided.
Concerning the subject of sexual relations it should be indicated at the outset that it is utterly silly to imagine that the newly-weds should have a romantic and amorous technique at their fingertips.
That will come only with time, with living together and having children, raising them and making a home. Their tender solicitude for each other through the years brings a maturity to their love that has nothing of staleness in it and everything of the refreshing newness of eternal things to come.
Thus, any girl who is well disposed toward marriage should have confidence that she will sufficiently adjust herself to meet the requirements of the ideal wife, as far as sexual relations are concerned.
The ideal wife is a happy wife. She enjoys marriage. It is almost a maxim that in order to be successful at anything a person must be contented and happy in what she is doing. It is difficult to imagine a successful and ideal doctor who is miserable in the practice of medicine. No wife will be happy unless she is properly disposed toward marriage.
Two glasses of the same size are equally well disposed toward receiving the same amount of water if placed under a water faucet.
If one glass is half filled with cement, then it will be only half disposed toward holding the same amount of water. Suppose a water tight cover of some type is fastened to the top of the glass. In this case the glass would not be disposed at all for fulfilling its purpose.
From all outward appearances two girls may approach marriage with equal chances of being successful wives. Both have average intelligence. Both are attractive physically and personality-wise.
Yet, one may be poorly disposed. She may have some mental quirks or phobias about marriage which constitute a real obstacle to prevent the normal excitement and happiness of married life from flowing into her being.
The wife who is not receiving the normal, natural enjoyment and satisfaction from her husband through her own fault will drift into some form of neurosis that will threaten the very stability of the union. At best she scarcely will be an ideal mate.
All too frequently wives bemoan the fact that they do not get any satisfaction out of marriage. Their husbands have all the enjoyment, they think. Husbands with this type of wife are not beside themselves in the enjoyment of marriage. Soon these women begin to feel that it is a man’s world. They have all the joy.
This is a dangerous attitude. Besides the judgment is not true. These wives will devise ways and means to even up the score. Most often an unhappy marriage, if not a broken one, is the result.
In dealing with failures in marriage I often find that many never did enjoy relations with their husbands. Very few knew of any physical reason. The great majority were laboring under some erroneous concept or vexed themselves and their husbands with some phobia or other, fear of conception and children, for example.
The ideal wife has enough common sense to realize that marriage relations are normal, God-designed expressions of love between man and wife. To experience a sense of shame or to imagine that the marital act is unlady-like is utterly ridiculous. The deep sense of purity and modesty of girlhood days must be adjusted to a new mode of life. She will have many opportunities to practice the virtue of purity in her married life.
Since marriage relations are holy acts in the sight of God, all activity of love making and caressing between husband and wife in preparation for the marital act is good, if the act is completed. Efforts at birth control are the only unnatural and sinful acts in connection with marriage relations.
The husband and wife who are motivated by love for each other and thus strive through their sexual relations to bring to the other happiness, pleasure, and contentment will receive as reward for their unselfishness the greatest measure of joy God gives to man and woman on this earth.
The ideal wife thanks God that He gives her a capacity for sexual enjoyment. If she has a husband intelligent and good enough to promote during their married lives this capacity, she has additional reason to be grateful.
What will our children learn from us? We want our children to live life fully, realizing their great potential. We want them to be thankful for what they have and to flourish in any situation they find themselves. Our job, as a parent, is one of the most important jobs on earth. We must pray for the wisdom and the courage to impart all that is needed, though imperfect it may be, to help our children to live a life of faith and joy! -Painting by Greg Olsen
To be a “Child of the Church” is the most glorious title for a Christian and second only to that of “Child of God.” These two titles can never be separated – one depends upon the other; for, as St. Cyprian has said, “He who does not have the Church for a Mother, cannot have God for a Father.”
Jesus wishes to save and sanctify us, but He wishes to do it by means of the Church. He gave His life and shed His Blood for us; He put His most precious merits at our disposal; He gave us the Holy Eucharist and left us the heritage of His doctrine, but He wished the Church to be the sole depository and dispenser of these inestimable benefits, so that all who wish to enjoy them must have recourse to her.
Here is a marriage blueprint that every woman can follow. Happy marriages do not just happen, they are made. It takes three parties to make a good marriage; the husband, the wife, and the Lord. This book is concerned with helping the woman to become the wife desired and therefore loved that every man worth having wishes to find and keep.<P> This book sold over a quarter of a million copies shortly after its publication in 1951, and it was read by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. It is a practical manual. It should be read by every woman considering entering the matrimonial state and also by those women who are already married. It can also be read by men who may wish to see what a real challenge it is for a woman to live up to their expectations and how grateful they should be if they are blessed to find the woman of their desires…
Armed with Barbeau s wisdom, you’ll grow closer to your wife and to your children, while deepening your love for God. You’ll be able to lead your family to holiness amidst the troubles and temptations that threaten even the best of families today: infidelity, divorce, materialism, loneliness, and despair.
The Father of the Family makes good fathers and good fathers are the secret to happy homes….
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