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“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

 

1)  Always show your family a joyful you. Nothing is so depressing as a father or mother out of sorts.

2)  Never weary in cheering your family with your smile. One smile from you will brighten them up and let their spirits expand. Give them the gift of a smile, hard though it be at times.

3)  Amiably show the greatest interest in the smallest things. Everything that concerns those we love most in this world should be worthy of interest: the baby’s first tooth, the honor ribbon won at school, the 99th picture your daughter drew of a flower. It is in acknowledging the small things that you encourage them to go out and do bigger things.

4)  Do not be overly severe or stark in the name of “religion.” If your home is Christian and each member of the family is learning to carry his cross, then it is essential to avoid making others suffer by too much austerity. Better to devote oneself to procuring joy for others.

5)  Be sure to treat all alike. Nothing is so disrupting to home life as favoritism for one child over another. The same measure for all!

6)  Do whatever it takes to propagate a joyous spirit in the home. Henry the Fourth of France used to crawl around on all fours, with his children on his back, to enliven the family get-together. The son of a famous French playwright relates, “My father was never so happy as when he was free to spend a few days with us. Even in the presence of strangers, he dared to be a father; he belonged to all our games.”

7)  Never begin an argument. Open discussion is a good thing, until it develops into bickering. A free exchange of ideas is always profitable; the children should even be encouraged to join in. It will develop in them a wise and discriminating mind and a habit of suspended judgment.

8)  Be discerning in your choice of topics. What can be shared, speak of it openly. If something must not be told, then don’t tell it. Do not spoil their innocence with the discussion of unsavory and disturbing subjects.

9)  Always act patiently and answer graciously. This is no small task. That it takes the “patience of an angel” to rule vigilantly over the little world of the family is beyond question. A kind and gracious spirit is essential.

10)  Loving much is the key to gain all. By good will, you will gain the hearts and souls of the members of your family without exception.

These 10 secrets to joyful parenting are not easy steps, by any means. But with frequent recourse to the sacraments – especially confession and Holy Communion – you will achieve what so many others only hope for.


Adapted from Father Raoul Plus, S.J.

 

 

DAILY QUOTE for January 16, 2019

If you really want to love Jesus, first learn to suffer...

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January 16

 

If you really want to love Jesus, first
learn to suffer, because
suffering teaches you to love.

St. Gemma Galgani


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SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Honoratus of Arles

Although their father objected and placed obstacles before t...

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St. Honoratus of Arles

Honoratus was born into a patrician Roman family that had settled in Gaul, present-day France. As a young man, he renounced paganism and won his elder brother Venantius over to Christ.

Although their father objected and placed obstacles before them, the two brothers decided to leave the world. Under the tutelage of the hermit St. Caprasius they sailed from Marseilles with the intention of leading a secluded life in a Grecian desert.

In Greece, illness struck and Venantius died in peace. Also ill, Honoratus was obliged to return to Gaul with his instructor. At first, he lived as a hermit in the mountains near Fréjus.  Later, he settled on the island of Lérins off the southern coast of France. Followed by others, he founded a monastery on the island about the year 400. The monastic community is active to this day. St. Patrick, the great apostle of Ireland is said to have studied at Lérins.

In 426 Honoratus was pressed upon to accept the bishopric of Arles, where he reestablished Catholic orthodoxy, challenged by the Arian heresy. He died three years later exhausted from his apostolic labors.
The island of Lérins, today the island of Saint Honorat just south of Cannes, is home to Cistercian monks who live in a majestic monastery and produce fine wines and liqueurs which are well-known throughout the world.

WEEKLY STORY

Mary and the Muslim

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him h...

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Mary and the Muslim

Don Octavio del Monaco was a wealthy citizen of 17th century Naples. Like many of his class, Don Octavius had several Muslim slaves in his household. These children of Islam were amazed at the kindness of their “master.” He fed and clothed them better than they received in their native land. In return, his slaves attended to their tasks with diligence, as Don Octavius did not over work them, but assigned them duties in keeping with their dignity as children of God.

If these Muslim slaves had any reason for complaint, it was the gentle persistence with which their master and his wife exhorted them to give up their false religion and become Catholics. Don Octavius even went so far as to invite the slaves to join his family in the chapel to worship the one true God with them!

Our story today is about one young slave in particular. His name was Abel, like the slain son of Adam and Eve. He felt drawn in a peculiar way to a lamp that burned in front of a shrine to Holy Mary. Abel would purchase the oil needed to keep the lamp lit from his own meager stipend. As he continued to practice this humble devotion, he would say, “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.”

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. At first the Turk resisted. But she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel, but be baptized and called Joseph,” conferring on him a name that was very dear to her Immaculate Heart indeed.

On August the 10th, 1648, there was much rejoicing in Heaven, for on that day “Joseph” and eleven other Muslims converted to the Christian faith and were baptized. Their conversion was brought about by the kindness shown by Don Octavius and the special intercession of the Mother of God.

Our story does not end here. Even once this son of hers was safely baptized, Mother Mary delighted in visiting him. Once, after having appeared to him, she was about to depart. But the Moor seized her mantle, saying, “Oh, Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let me see you.” In fact, she one day promised him this and when Joseph found himself afflicted he invoked her, and Mary appeared to him again saying, “Have patience", and he was consoled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.

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