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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 January 21, 2020

All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy-going...

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January 21

 

All the strength of Satan’s reign
is due to
the easy-going weakness of Catholics.


Pope St. Pius X


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Agnes

Even pagans were moved to tears at the sight of the radiant...

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St. Agnes

Agnes was born around 291 in a Christian, patrician family of Rome, and suffered martyrdom in the terrible persecution of Diocletian.

As a young maiden, she pledged herself to Christ and defended her virginity to the death.

Exceptionally beautiful, she turned down numerous suitors, but when she refused Procop, the Prefect’s own son, things became very complicated. Procop tried to win Agnes with gifts and promises but she answered: “I’m already promised to the Lord of the Universe. He is more splendid than the sun and the stars, and He has said He will never leave me!”

Angered, Procop  took  the maiden before his father, and accused her of being a Christian. The Prefect tried to turn her from her Faith first by cajolements, and then by placing her in chains, but she only rejoiced.

The pagan official, set on overcoming Agnes by any means, next had her taken to a house of prostitution but she was visibly protected by an angel.

Finally, Agnes was condemned to death, but she was happy as a bride about to meet her bridegroom. Even pagan bystanders were moved to tears at the sight of the radiant maiden going to her death, and begged her to relent, to which she retorted: “If I were to try to please you, I would offend my Spouse. He chose me first and He shall have me!” Then praying, she offered her neck for the death stroke.

St. Agnes is one of seven women besides the Blessed Virgin to be mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. She is the patron of chastity, young girls, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins. She is depicted holding a lamb as her name in Latin means “lamb”, “agnus”. But the name “Agnes” is actually taken from the Greek “hagne” meaning chaste, pure, sacred.

Agnes’ relics repose beneath the high altar of the Church of Sant’Agnese Fuori le mura, built upon the place she was originally buried. This church was built in her honor by the daughter of the Emperor Constantine, and is one of the oldest in Rome.  St. Agnes’ skull is in the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone at Piazza Navona.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

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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