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Header - Family Tip 5 - Make your bed 

“Order assigns each thing its place. If you keep order, it will keep you.
If you disturb order, it will disturb you. If you destroy order, it will destroy you.
All that disturbs order disturbs peace. ”
St. Francis de Sales

 

Today’s family tip has to do with the underestimated but essential virtue of order. I also like to refer to it as “the sense of order.” One way to instill orderliness in children, is to teach them to make their bed, properly and promptly. As we all know, it is important to start the day out right, for as the great Saint Francis de Sales teaches us, “The beginning of everything is very important.”

Msgr. Romano Guadini writes in his excellent book, Learning the Virtues That Lead You to God: “There’s more to goodness than keeping the Commandments: you’ve got to cultivate virtue too, so that you please God in what you do—and not merely in what you don’t do.”

And the first of the virtues he tackles in his book is the Virtue of Orderliness.

He explains, “[Orderliness]…underlines a sense of rule, a sense for what is necessary, so that a certain condition or an arrangement may endure.”

Indeed, one who acquires the virtue of orderliness is thus able to order, organize and prioritize their lives which, in turn, bestows the capacity and self- discipline to meet the obligations, priorities and commitments that we all have. Once this is achieved, the result is: PAX–peace.

 

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Making that bed

At home, Mom was a stickler for orderliness–though she was patient. She knew neatness and a sense of orderliness is not something normally included in the Stork’s satchel. For this reason she taught us the importance of neatness and orderliness throughout our childhood years.

Mom believed that each day was determined by its start! An early rising, with a positive, snappy, cheerful and disciplined beginning helped to energize our sluggish wills, flex our spiritual muscles, and set the tone for the day.

In our home that something positive, snappy and disciplined was making our bed.

Make Your BedOnce in a while Mom would remind us that in monasteries, convents, the military etc..., making your bed is paramount as it helps to build strength of will, depth of character and promote order in our lives and in our surroundings.

I still remember the story she would tell us about how to test a “well made” bed, with sheets pulled tight.

This was done by tossing a coin on the coverlet. If the coin bounced, you passed.

We listened wide-eyed, impressed and envisioning a “drum” for a bed. We got the idea. In this way, she taught us how to make our beds properly.

Although I don’t remember any coin tossing, I do remember my Mother's vigilant and patient gaze until we formed this habit.

Her patience in this regard, was especially beneficial as it impressed upon each of us how much she actually understood us as individuals. She knew the formation of a virtuous habit varies with each child.

Through the years, in the natural flux of home life, she enforced but also flexed the rules; virtue for her was a “living” thing and not just a “rigid” rule.

So there was many a time when I ran out the door, late for something and came back to an unmade bed at the end of the day. But the important thing was that, at the sight of my messy covers, there was that feeling of “let down” as I renewed the resolution, I will make my bed tomorrow. It bothered me to walk into an un-neat room.

And right there, Mom and Orderliness had won.

I can say for sure, that the simple habit of making my bed every morning along with all the other good habits Mom instilled in us, have gone a long way not only to help me live, love and trust the Lord’s Commandments, but to live as happy and productive a life as this earth awards.

 


By M. Taylor
Illustrations by A.F.Phillips

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 18, 2019

Better a few staunch and sincere Catholics, than many compli...

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November 18

 

Better a few staunch and sincere Catholics,
than many compliant with the enemies of the Church
and conformed to the foes of our Faith.

St. Peter Canisius


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

During the French Revolution, the Sisters of the Visitation...

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St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

Born on August 29, 1769 in the French city of Grenoble, Rose Philippine was baptized in the Church of St. Louis. She was educated at the Convent of the Visitation of Ste. Marie d'en Haut and, against her father’s wishes, became a novice there when she was eighteen years old. However, the French Revolution caused much disruption for the nuns, and when the Sisters of the Visitation were expelled from their convents, Rose returned home.

She cared for the sick and the poor, helped fugitive priests, visited prisons, and taught children. Some time after the Revolution ended, she unsuccessfully tried to reestablish the Visitation community, and ultimately gave the convent to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and joined the Order. When the Bishop of New Orleans, William Du Bourg, requested nuns for his thriving diocese in Louisiana, Rose and four other nuns made the trip to America in 1818.

Rose and the nuns were sent to Missouri, pioneers of the New World. There, as well in neighboring states, they established multiple schools, built a convent, an orphanage, a mission school for Indian girls, a boarding academy and a novitiate for her Order. However, the strenuous and difficult regime of work for her apostolate took its toll on her body. She died in St. Charles, Missouri in 1852 after spending more than 30 years as a pioneer in the evangelization of the New World. She was canonized in 1988. Rose was truly devoted to God, and prayed in her every spare moment. Because of this, the Indians began to call her “Quah-kah-ka-num-ad,” or "Woman-Who-Prays-Always."

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared stan...

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The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. In 1827, Alphonse’s older brother, Thèodore, converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood, thus breaking with his anti-Catholic family whose hopes now lay in the young Alphonse. At 27, Alphonse was intelligent and well mannered. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. However, God had other plans for him.

While in Rome, Alphonse visited works of art, and strictly out of cultural curiosity, a few Catholic churches. These visits hardened his anti-Catholic stance, and nourished his profound hatred for the Church. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières.

Gustave was a Protestant and several times had tried, in vain, to win Alphonse over to his religious convictions. Alphonse was introduced to Gustave’s brother, Baron de Bussières, who had recently converted to Catholicism and become a close friend of Father Thèodore Ratisbonne. Because of the Baron’s Catholicism and closeness with his turncoat brother, Alphonse greatly disliked him.

On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture.

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Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the house. The Baron greeted the young Jew warmly, and before long, had persuaded him to remain a few more days in Rome. Inspired by grace, the Baron insisted Alphonse accept a Miraculous Medal and copy down a beautiful prayer: the Memorare. Alphonse could hardly contain his anger at his host’s boldness of proposing these things to him, but decided to take everything good-heartedly, planning to later describe the Baron as an eccentric.

During Alphonse’s stay, the Baron’s close friend, Count de La Ferronays, former French ambassador to the Holy See and a man of great virtue and piety, died quite suddenly. On the eve of his death, the Baron had asked the Count to pray the Memorare one hundred times for Alphonse’s conversion. It is possible that he offered his life to God for the conversion of the young Jewish banker.

A few days later, the Baron went to the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte to arrange for his friend’s funeral. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church.

When the Baron returned just a few minutes later, the young man was gone. He searched the church, and soon discovered his young friend kneeling close to an altar, weeping.  Alphonse himself tells us what happened in those few minutes he waited for the Baron: “I had only been in the church a short while when, all of a sudden, I felt totally uneasy for no apparent reason. I raised my eyes and saw that the whole building had disappeared. Only one side chapel had, so to say, gathered all the light. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. The Virgin made a gesture with her hand indicating I was to kneel.”

When de Bussières talked to Alphonse, he no longer found a Jew, but a convert who ardently desired baptism. The news of such an unexpected conversion immediately spread and caused a great commotion throughout Europe, and Pope Gregory XVI received the young convert, paternally. He ordered a detailed investigation with the rigor required by canon law, and concluded that the occurrence was a truly authentic miracle. 

Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. After some time, and at the suggestion of Pope Pius IX, he left the Jesuits and joined his brother Thèodore in founding the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. Father Theodore spread his congregation throughout France and England, while Father Maria Alphonse went to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, he established a house of the congregation on the plot of land where the praetorium of Pilate had formerly stood.

The two brothers died in 1884, both famed and well-loved for their exceptional virtues.  

By Armando Santos  

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In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar"

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