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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 April 17, 2021

The heart of man is, so to speak, the paradise of God. Since...

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April 17

 

The heart of man is, so to speak,
the paradise of God.
Since His delights are to be with you,
let yours be found in Him.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Stephen Harding

God answered him dramatically when thirty noblemen knocked a...

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St. Stephen Harding

Stephen Harding was an Englishman of an honorable family, and heir to a large estate. Born in Dorset, he was educated at the monastery of Sherborne and spoke English, Norman, French and Latin.

Desirous of seeking a more perfect way of Christian perfection, he, with a devout companion, traveled into Scotland and afterwards to Paris and to Rome. On their return journey, the two travelers chanced upon a collection of huts in the forest of Molesme in Burgundy, where monks lived in great austerity. Struck by their way of life and finding kindred spirits in Robert the Abbot, and Alberic the Prior, he bid his friend goodbye and threw in his lot with the monks.

After some years, finding that religious fervor had waned considerably, Stephen, Robert, Alberic and others went to Lyons and with the support of Bishop Hugh struck a new foundation in the forest of Citeaux sponsored by Rainald, Lord of Beaune, and Odo, Duke of Burgundy.

Later Robert returned to his monks of Molesme who reclaimed him as their abbot, and upon the death of Alberic, in 1109, Stephen succeeded him as Abbot of Citeaux.

He immediately instituted such austere measures to keep the spirit of the world out that he alienated the support of many who had helped to establish the abbey. Novices ceased applying, and to make matters worse, a mysterious disease decimated his monks to the point that even Stephen’s stout heart began to quiver wondering if he were really doing God’s will.

God answered him dramatically when thirty noblemen knocked at the abbey’s door seeking admittance. They were headed by young St. Bernard who in his zeal had convinced his brothers, uncles and a number of his acquaintances to give up the world with him.

Increasing numbers called for additional foundations and the first two were made at Morimond and Clairvaux. To the general surprise, Stephen appointed twenty-four-year-old Bernard as Abbot of Clairvaux. When nine abbeys had sprung from Citeaux, Stephen drew up the statutes of his Charter of Charity which officially organized the Cistercians into an order.

Stephen Harding died in 1134, advanced in age and nearly blind, and having served as Abbot of Cîteaux for twenty-five years.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

I turned to God, but God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is...

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Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayer?

Question:  I pray and pray, but I feel as if God is not listening. We always had a good, peaceful family life, but these last years have been tough. We don’t seem to be getting along and our finances have taken a turn for the worse.

I am so anxious about this situation that, not having anyone to turn to, I turned to God.

But God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists, who laugh at prayer, saying it is nonsensical and only a figment of the imagination with no real value?

Answer:  God is faithful to His promises, and God promised to answer our prayers. “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9–10).

If God promises to answer our prayers, He will do so infallibly. But in prayer there are two sides: he who asks and He Who gives.

Our part is to ask. How must we ask?

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, teaches in his book Prayer, the Great Means of Salvation that prayer must be persevering and humble.

So many times we hear people saying: “Oh, I used to ask God for this and that and the other, but He never gave it to me. Now, ten years later, how glad I am that He didn’t!”

One thing is certain: God will not fail to answer a humble and perseverance prayer. Whether He chooses to grant what we ask immediately or make us wait, we must trust that He, regardless of appearances, is doing us good. What we think is good and what He thinks is good may be two different things: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways” (Isa. 55:8), but here is where we must abandon ourselves to His beneficent will. Our part is to be patient, calm and, above all, faithful, because this is the time for testing and later will come the time for full enjoyment.


Answering Atheists and Agnostics
As for atheists and agnostics, their skepticism proceeds from the fact that they, respectively, deny God’s existence or deny men’s capacity to know God.

In this case, we can only express our regret over their ignorance of this Supreme Being, our omnipotent Creator and loving Savior.

We may direct them to a few sources that may help in their search for the truth of His existence. Atheism and agnosticism can only be sustained in ignorance or ill will because the evidence of God’s existence is overwhelming.

Moreover, God will not hide Himself from those who seek Him sincerely and unconditionally.

Another consideration pertaining to non-believers is this: If God were to grant us absolutely everything we ask at a moment’s notice, such people might start believing purely out of self-interest.

They would look at God as a wand-wielding wizard. And God Our Lord is infinitely more than that. He wants us to know, love, and serve Him for Himself so that He can treat us as children and heirs and grant us unending happiness in Heaven.

"My impression is that the Rosary is of the greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady of Fatima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God."  Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima.

 

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I turned to God, but God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists,

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