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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 May 30, 2020

I would rather die than do a thing which I know to be a sin....

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May 30

 

I would rather die
than do a thing
which I know to be a sin.

St. Joan of Arc


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Joan of Arc

When Joan was thirteen she began to receive visions of St. M...

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St. Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc’s story is nothing but extraordinary. Born in Domremy, Champagne, in 1412, she was a peasant girl who received from on high the mission of leading France militarily against the invading English.

Joan’s father was Jacques D’Arc, a farmer of some means, and her mother a kind, caring woman. One of five children, Joan was a pious, prayerful and charitable girl.

In 1415, when Joan was three, the English king, Henry V, taking advantage of a civil war between the Dukes of Orleans and Burgundy, invaded Normandy and claimed several cities. Things were going from bad to worse for France when, in the village of Domremy, God began to put in motion a most unexpected solution.

At age thirteen, Joan began to receive visions of St. Michael and Sts. Catherine and Margaret who gently prepared her for her mission.

By 1428, when she was about sixteen, the saints insisted that Joan go to Charles VII, the ineffectual heir to the throne and offer him to lead an army with the objective of repelling the English, and crowning him king. The frightened girl resisted but finally took action on being assured that her extraordinary calling “was God’s will”.

Joan persuaded an uncle to take her to the nearby town of Vaucouleurs to the commander, Robert de Baudricourt. At first Baudricourt and his entourage laughed at the maiden, but when Joan announced that the city of Orleans had just fallen to the English, and the fact was later verified, hilarity turned to respect.

Accompanied by respectful soldiers, and dressed in a man’s clothing for her personal protection, Joan traveled to the court of Charles VII who, wishing to test the visionary maiden, hid himself among his courtiers. But Joan promptly picked him out, and set at rest for him an intimate doubt he had secretly prayed about as to his legitimacy as true son of the king of France, Charles VI.

Ultimately, after extensive debriefing and debate, Joan was outfitted with armor, sword and a white-gold standard bearing the names of Jesus and Mary, and an image of God the Father and angels offering Him a Fleur-des-Lys, the symbol of France.

In the company of the Duke of Orleans, other French nobles, and their armies she freed the besieged city of Orleans. To everyone’s amazement, Joan proved an effective general and strategist, though she never personally killed a man.

After other victories, she and her army accompanied the reluctant prince to Rheims where he was triumphantly crowned. But after his coronation the weak king began to haggle with Joan, and ultimately failed and abandoned her.

In a skirmish outside the city of Compiegne, she was taken prisoner and led to Rouen where she underwent an infamous “trial” conducted by a bishop, Pierre Cauchon, who courted English favor. She suffered a long, painful imprisonment, was finally branded a heretic and a sorceress and condemned to burned at the stake. She was nineteen years old.

To the very end she sustained that her “voices” had not deceived her. Her last gasping word was “Jesus!” Although the flames consumed her virginal body, her heart never burned.

What Joan had begun others picked up and France was ultimately freed.

Twenty-three years after her death, Joan’s mother and brothers appealed to Pope Callistus III for a re-trial. This new trial completely vindicated the “Maid of Orleans”on July 7, 1456.

Joan was canonized on May 16, 1920.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion t...

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Mary and the Simple Country Wife

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.

One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.

On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.

As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.

When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”

“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”

And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”

She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.

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

 

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There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier.

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