Attaining our Ideals
We have been
considering how best to try to bring up our children in accordance with
Christian teaching, what lines we should try to follow in training them
how to think about and deal with reality. For this purpose, we have
been trying to apply the great principle that God Himself uses in
teaching us His truth and giving us His life in the Church, the
sacramental principle that reality on every level is planned by God to
raise our minds and hearts to Himself, and, if rightly used in Christ
and for Christ, is meant to be a means whereby we can take our part in
building up God's kingdom in love. We have been trying to see how this
principle may be applied to the actual facts of daily family life, and
to do so in the light of Christian teaching, particularly as shown in
the liturgy of the Church and in recent Papal encyclicals.
We have observed that, for most of us at least, the process of trying
to give our children a thoroughly Christian education implies, first of
all, that we revise and rectify our own ways of thinking and acting. A
proverb attributed to the Jesuits says that nobody really knows a
subject until he has taught it; so we parents find that the necessity
for teaching our children the art of Christian living almost forces us
to try more earnestly to master it ourselves. As parents, we begin to
realize how much we need to think about our faith and its implications,
how much we need to pray for grace and to try to live fully Christian
lives, so that it may be a whole integrated way of life and thought, at
least in germ, that we hand on to our children.
In essentials, then, this sacramental way of living and thinking
implies that we think of everything dynamically, in terms of the growth
and perfecting of Christ's mystical Body, the building up and the
victory of His kingdom. We see all history at once as a battle and as a
work of construction, the battle of the City of God with the city of
the devil, the perfecting of the City of God taking place somehow in
and through the battle.
We see also that the life, Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord
is, so to speak, the main plot or story-line or pattern of this battle
as it should be waged in each life, as it is being fought out in the
whole history of mankind; that this redemptive work of His is also the
pattern for building up His City.
We are preparing our children, then, to become Christ's soldiers and
fellow workers, to share in the fellowship of His sufferings with all
their work, with all their sufferings, in the joy of His companionship
and of the victory that He has already won. We are preparing our
children to find and to take whatever special part God made and endowed
them to take in this great work.
This purpose implies that the children learn to think about themselves
and other people as Christ's members and to treat them accordingly. It
implies that they learn to think about all created things as signs of
God's truth, as means to His praise and service, as means to serve Him
in the loving service of others. This purpose implies that the children
learn to see heaven and earth as full of God's glory, that they learn
to see their churches as God's special meeting-places with mankind, the
gates of heaven, images of the heavenly City.
This purpose implies that the children learn that all human work and
human suffering is meant to be a share in Christ's work of building up
His kingdom, that Christian play is meant to be a reflection of the
effortless activity of Him who is Pure Act, in whose image and likeness
we are made. This purpose means that we try so to live that the pattern
and framework of our days and weeks and years is, again, the pattern of
our Lord's life, Death and Resurrection as the Church shows us how to
translate it into daily living.
And this purpose means that we try so to live and act in ordinary
family life that--as a shadow exists because of the thing that casts
it, as a picture exists to represent some reality, as means exist for
the sake of ends--so all our eating and drinking is ordered toward the
holy Eucharist and the eternal Feast of heaven; all our building and
decorating is ordered to the building-up of God's eternal Temple; all
our cleaning and clothing to the preservation and adornment of our Bap-
tismal robes of grace; all our care and training of the children to the
shaping of the living stones of the heavenly Jerusalem; all our
sleeping and waking to our Lord's Death and Resurrection, to our final
awakening with Him to the glory of everlasting life when all things
shall have been made new.
Now there are two obvious difficulties to such an application of the
principle of sacramental living to ordinary family life today. The
first is, how in the world can we parents find time and energy under
modern conditions even to begin to carry out such a program, to work
and play with the children, or even to be with them long enough
seriously to train them or to try to influence their outlook and
This difficulty is a very real one, as every parent knows. On the other
hand, all authorities agree on the fact that, even under modern
conditions, the basic assumptions and tastes and prejudices of a
child's own family are still the chief influence in his formation.
Willy-nilly, then, we shall hand on to our children to a great extent
our own ways of treating people, of acting about possessions and work
and the use of time, as well as our standards of taste in home
decoration, in food, in literature and so on. And since we cannot help
transmitting our standards in some degree, is it not our plain duty to
make as sure as we can that these are thoroughly Christian?
But it is also true that most of us could make some time to be with our
children, to work and play with them, if we really tried to do so.
Here, it would seem, is part of the necessary asceticism of married
life: to conserve one's time and strength so as to be able to work at
being a parent. Perhaps, for instance, if we went to bed earlier than
we have been doing several nights a week, Father would not come home
from the office too tired to discuss scouting with big Jimmie or to
play with small Peter or read to young Jane; and Mother would not be so
completely exhausted by the day's work that she only begins to come
alive again after the children are in bed...
At least we must always find the time and energy for the greatest
necessity of all, that of keeping open the channels of communication
with each child during all the years of his growth, by seeming to have
time at his disposal, time to listen, time to sympathize, time simply
to be with him. For otherwise he will resent whatever preoccupation
stands between him and us (and if this be religion, so much the worse
The second difficulty is, perhaps, even greater: Would not children
brought up along these lines feel queer, especially with their own
contemporaries; would they not grow up maladjusted, misfits for life in
today's world; might they not so resent their difference from other
people that they would come to hate us and their religion and even,
perhaps, leave the Church?
In answer to this difficulty, it must first be acknowledged that if we
hope to have our children grow up even as the most minimal sort of
Christians, obeying the commandments of God and the Church and keeping
out of serious sin, they will have to be and to feel "different" to
some extent at least. For we shall have to bring them up to think about
and believe many truths that other people do not think about or
believe, and we shall have to bring them up to standards of conduct
other than those of the majority of their contemporaries.
Since this is so, would it not be better to try to bring them up by one
integrated standard of positive Christianity? Would it not be an even
greater cause of neurosis or maladjustment to give them, even
implicitly, two different standards at once, that of Christ in
absolutely vital matters of faith and morals, that of the world in
everything else? Perhaps the restlessness, unhappiness, neuroticism of
so many Christians today (it is a fact, for example, that an undue
proportion of alcoholics are Catholics) is the result of trying to live
by such a double standard and to be as much like everybody else as
possible, short of actual sin.
In any case, our Lord knew that His followers would have to be
different from other people, "If you had been of the world, the world
would love its own, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore
the world hates you." If we do everything in our power, then, to help
our children to adjust vitally and healthfully to this inevitable
difference, rather than trying to minimize it, our Lord will surely
help them to grow up without being harmed by it.
How then, can we help our children to make such an adjustment? First of
all, let us try to make sure that we ourselves are deeply, habitually
convinced of the truth and value and joyfulness of whatever we are
consciously trying to influence the children to think or do.
Secondly, let us never insist on more than the Church herself does in
the way of Mass attendance, confession, holy Communion, prayers. And
let us never use the weapons of ridicule, displeasure, indirect
criticism and so on to persuade them towards more than the minimum, but
only the positive means of example, peaceful teaching, reasons suited
to their understanding. For instance, we ourselves may be most deeply
convinced of the desirability of daily Communion, but a child must
learn by God's grace to desire It himself; we cannot safely try to
impose daily holy Communion on an unwilling child.
Thirdly, let us try as soon as possible to show the children the
reasons for what we command, recommend and do, especially when our
practice varies from that of our neighbors and contemporaries. And let
us never insist on our own whims or strictly personal tastes.
For example, we must insist that our children do not read immoral or
realistically violent comics. But we have no right to forbid them to
read truly harmless comics on the grounds of poor art or bad taste. We
can only try to give the children a taste for real reading, and to show
them that much looking at comics is a childish and rather silly way to
spend one's time. Let us, in other words, try to enlist their own
reason and sense of humor on the side of Christian living from as early
an age as possible, but never try to enforce by our authority more than
is really necessary.
Again, let us try so to talk and live and act that the children will
never have real reason to think that being old-fashioned, dowdy, behind
the times, etc., are synonyms for being Christian. We should rather try
to show them that to be fully Christian means to be more truly
sophisticated, more "hep" than other people can be. To this end, we can
try to make sure that all the outward signs of our Christian living,
pictures, statues, cards, etc., are as technically good as we can get.
No teenager or grown-up is embarrassed, for example, by the presence of
a Fra Angelico reproduction in his home (and it is quite possible to
obtain such reproductions of masterpieces cheaply) or by a really
first-class example of modern religious art; it is the sticky-sweet
so-called "popular" and the inane-looking "modern" crucifix or statue
whose presence in the family living room makes the sensitive teenager
Again, let us try not to confuse the qualities of Christian
child-likeness with childishness, ineptness, or lack of due maturity.
We want our children to remain child-like and not to fall victims to
the false sophistication of the age. But this cannot be accomplished
alone or mainly by negative means. We must rather see to it that our
children dress themselves, for example, in accordance with real norms
of suitability and taste, modified by current and local fashion. And
where, for instance, modesty demands a great variation from the current
fashion, let us try to teach them to see for themselves that immodesty
is not becoming to anyone and that an immodest dress does not, in
actual fact, serve one of a dress' chief purposes, that of helping them
to look their best.
Along the same lines, let us try to ensure that the children acquire a
reasonable proficiency in whatever sports are played in their
neighborhood by children of their age, that they learn as they grow up
all the normal social skills, and are not kept away from all means of
keeping up on information about ball teams, popular songs, etc. We
should try to see to it, for example, that the children acquire a real
knowledge of what good swing is, and how to distinguish it from poor
jazz; that they know how to dance modern as well as classic and folk
To sum all this up, let us not be in any way afraid of any of the
manifestations of modern American culture, simply because they are new,
different from what we were accustomed to, etc. But let us try, with
the help of the Holy Spirit to find whatever is of value in them, and
to show the children what this is and how to use it, while rejecting
what is wrong and meretricious. Thus they will be on the way to
becoming truly sophisticated, men and women of creative Christian
taste, ready, if God wills, to help in the formation of a true American
But more than this, let us try to show the children that, as Catholics,
God has given them special privileges and responsibilities toward the
rest of the world. For no merits of ours or theirs, God has told them
more about reality than other people are aware of; God has given them
means of dealing with it that other people do not have; God has given
them a source of joy and vitality and strength not granted to everyone.
And He has done all this so that they will be able to share His truth,
His life, His joy with others not so highly privileged.
It may not be at all clear how they can go about such a task when many
of their friends and acquaintances seem to know so much more than they
do, to be so much more grownup and sure of themselves perhaps than
they. But if they work to appreciate their own great treasures of the
Christian faith, and to appreciate the needs of other people rather
than thinking about their own deficiencies, God will show them how to
be His leaven, His messengers, His co-workers in sharing that treasure
with all their neighbors.
Far greater, of course, than the difficulty caused by feeling different
from non-Catholics is that caused by feeling different from the good
Catholics among whom we may live, who, for one reason or another, have
not as yet become aware of the necessity for trying to think out and
carry out Christian principles in every field of human life. For if we
try to give the children any holier-than-thou feeling of superiority to
their fellow-Catholics, we shall only turn them into nasty little
prigs, not into apostolic Christians. The solution here would seem to
lie in the early enlistment of their own awakening faith, reason,
taste, common sense and humor in the battle against being just like
everybody else. Would our children really think it better to do exactly
what other children are doing? Do they think they would really enjoy it
for long? And if so, what other children, since every family differs
somewhat both in what is allowed and what is forbidden.
Obviously, whatever we do, the children will rebel often and again
against our authority and against any standards we may set. After all,
the children would be subject to the effects of original sin even if
all the parents around us had exactly the same standards as we. No
parent, however lax, seems to be always in good favor with his
children! And besides their natural rebellion against our authority,
the children will blame us for the struggle in themselves between all
kinds of temptations and the habits and standards which we have helped
to give them.
This again seems to be an inevitable part of growing up. Do we not
remember such rebellion in ourselves? Here, surely, is the place for
prayer and great love and sympathy to tide over the complete transfer
of authority from us to the children themselves, until they realize
fully that the task of becoming Christ's co-workers has become their
own responsibility, between them and God, and that we are not going to
Above all, therefore, we need to remember all during the children's
years of training that it is the formation of Christ in each child, the
special image of Him that each is meant to become, that is of supreme
importance. To have what looks like a "Christian home," to lead an
outwardly well-ordered Christian home-life, these are means to the end
that the children and ourselves may grow up in all things in Christ.
The value of all external practices, ceremonies, family customs, then,
must be judged by the norm of whether or not they really are helping to
achieve this purpose. (Here, perhaps, is also an answer to the question
of how to introduce older children to the more full, more externally
manifested Christian life which their parents have just discovered or
are in the process of discovering.) All externals are meant at once to
express and foster the reality of Christian living. But any Christian
who is old enough to reason and to choose must see the connection
between the reality and the external expression we are giving it;
otherwise it will neither express that reality for him nor foster it in
him. Younger children perceive such connections intuitively; but older
children usually need the same kind of patient, rational explanation as
do their parents.
For example, small children do not need much talk to grasp the general
purpose of an Advent wreath; they like the smell of pine, the special
ceremony, and the flame of the candles (especially if they are allowed
to take turns at blowing the candles out). And the growing light of
each week fits in beautifully with their mounting excitement at the
approach of Christmas.
But a teenager might well be desperately embarrassed at the whole idea,
especially if it was suddenly introduced into his home. Suppose his
friends found him going through all that some evening! An Advent wreath
is certainly not an essential part of faith or morals; if an
explanation of why we ourselves have come to think that its use is a
good way to prepare for our Lord's coming really does not register with
a child, it might well be better to give him ungrudging leave to stay
away from the whole ceremony. It would be still better, of course, if
he and his friends could be made interested in all that such a practice
implies, by methods similar to those which awoke our own interest. But
if this is not possible, let us try to adhere to the main purpose to
which such practices are, after all, only secondary; and look for some
other way, more suited to this child, of preparing him for Christ's
Yet, when all is said and done, the task of bringing up our children as
Christians is clearly beyond our own powers. We are only ordinary men
and women, not the marvels of sanctity, wisdom, prudence, discretion,
charity, and skill that parents obviously ought to be in order to carry
out their vocation. Even to bring our children up to be decent human
beings usually seems more than we can hope to accomplish! Our strength
and comfort, surely, is to realize that the task of training our
children is primarily not ours, but God's, and that He is far more
interested in the outcome than we. It is He who is in charge of our
children's up-bringing; we are only His instruments and deputies.
But, for His own mysterious purposes, He has given us these particular
children to bring up for Him. He must, therefore, in some way beyond
our understanding, have suited us to them, our special abilities,
circumstances, virtues, faults, and defects to their special make-up
and their special needs. If we try, then, to serve Him in them with all
that we have of intelligence and strength and skill, little as this may
seem or may be, we can trust Him to do the rest, to perfect His own
Work, so that "doing the truth in charity" we and our children may
"grow up in all things in Him who is the Head, that is, Christ."
1. List suggestions for getting children to participate in religious
practices over and above the minimum. Should children be promised
secular rewards (going to a movie) for performing a religious act?
Should they be threatened with the loss of a secular value (going to a
party) unless they perform certain religious counsels (going to daily
Mass for the week)?
2. Conduct an experiment in drawing up imaginary schedules in which
each family would review the past week and try to see if it would have
been possible to increase its religious participation simply by
organizing the schedule better. Would it be possible for most families
to cut down on the present activities of its various members? Do
teenage children today have too many extra-curricular activities? In
what way might religious participation help to strengthen the "family
3. Will the family which follows a pattern of sacramental living
necessarily seem "old fashioned" and "behind the times"? Discuss.
4. Discuss the relationship of children to their parents. In the
Christian concept of the home will the attitude of the children toward
their mother be somewhat different than toward their father? Is it
normal that parents should always be in "good favor" and "popular" with
their children? Can parents expect to discipline their children and to
hold up ideas and standards without the children sometimes resenting or
5. Read aloud the final two paragraphs of the chapter. Discuss the role
of Divine Providence in our efforts to establish
1. What are the two most serious difficulties to the application of
principles of sacramental living to ordinary family life?
2. Did Christ expect His followers to be "different"? Explain.
3. Should parents insist that their children do more in way of
religious observance than the Church herself commands?
4. Do the obstacles to sacramental living come only from non-Catholics?
5. Should parents expect that their children will be uniformly
submissive and agreeable to their plan for sacramental living?
perhaps, to say, the ideal of fully Christened family life is not that
of monastic life. St. Benedict modeled the monastic family on the
Christian family, but that does not mean that the Christian family
should try to pattern its life on that of a monastery. For the
monastery is designed to lead its members to Christian perfection, to
"run in the road of God's commandments," but the family has to start
its members on the road to Christian perfection and teach them to walk.
The ideal family meal, for instance (I speak as one less wise), should
normally include conversation, for part of the children's training in
Christian eating is to learn how courteously and happily to share
experiences and ideas while courteously sharing physical food. By such
complete human "sharing" we fashion our kind of sign and reflection of
the Eucharistic feast. The monastic meal, on the other hand, is
conducted in silence or with spiritual reading, so as to unite the
monks' minds on the highest possible level, leading them through the
"sign" of the meal to thoughts of the reality. But the monastic meal
presupposes many years of training in family meals, otherwise it would
seem (at least to the mother of small boys) that the participants would
distract each other from God, rather than lead one another to Him in
their common act of dining!
2. We are made to need food, drink, etc., in limited amounts and kinds.
Beyond this, nobody can try to obtain extra satisfaction by eating more
than so much food, or drinking more than so much drink without finally
suffering the immediate and/or long-range effects of over-indulgence,
which themselves take away the original appetite and of themselves
limit temporarily or perpetually the possibility of continued
indulgence--in extreme cases, by causing death. This holds good for all
physical satisfactions and also for all true cultural needs, namely,
for books, music, the fine arts and, even, for companionship. We cannot
really enjoy more than so much reading, music, etc. and over-indulgence
in such pleasure results in a form of mental indigestion which itself,
temporarily at least, presents further enjoyment. But the appetite for
"thrills," for more and better gadgets, for being ahead of other people
for "security," "success," etc., can never be satisfied, nor does it
bring the obvious punishments of these other forms of over-indulgence,
for it exists in imagination only, not in the realities of human nature
and human needs.
3. If this statement seems harsh, just go and wander around a depart-
ment store, especially its basement.
4. This is not to say, of course, that people do not practice these
virtues today, only that the whole spirit of the times is against our
doing so, and is rendering it more and more difficult.
Nor is this to say that "the machine" is essentially un-Christian.
There is no such thing as "the machine," only various kinds of
machines, each of which needs to be judged on its own merits and its
effect on human living. To quote a vital distinction made by John
Julian Ryan in a forthcoming book called "Practical Wisdom," a machine
which is a powered tool may certainly be an aid to human and Christian
living; a powered tool is one in which the machine provides the power
but not the control: the work remains always under the direct control
of a man's skill: e.g., a power saw, a dentist's drill, a steam-shovel,
a tug-boat. Again, a machine which really saves human drudgery (that
is, work that requires no intelligence), even though such a machine
performs several successive operations automatically, could also
obviously, be a means to human and Christian living, e.g., a washing
machine, machines for generating power preparing crude material. Of
course, even with regard to such machines the question would remain to
be investigated, whether or not they actually do or do not lessen the
total amount of human drudgery or distribute it more equally,
considering the work involved in procuring raw materials, making the
machines that make the machines, the actual manufacture, distribution,
sales, etc. And also whether or not such machines use up an undue
amount of irreplaceable raw materials.
Again, there is no intrinsic reason why the evils of mass production
could not be avoided and better results obtained if, in the production
of things which must be exactly alike (parts, small objects like pins,
screws, etc., and especially raw materials), the process of manufacture
were re-thought out and redistributed to allow a man or team of men to
work on whole tasks of producing at least whole parts, using their
human brains and skill and powers of cooperation instead of simply
minding machines. If the amount of ingenuity that is now spent on
"making the system work" were spent on thinking and planning to put
true human welfare as planned by God before the "efficiency" of
machines, perhaps a truly Christian civilization that used machines
properly might, with the help of God. begin to be built. Nobody wants
to "put the clock back" in the name of Christ: we want, rather, with
all human brains and intelligence and skill, to prepare for the coming
of "Him who is to come."
5. See "Rich and Poor in Christian Tradition"--Writings of many
centuries chosen, translated and introduced by Walter Shewring (Burns
Oates, London, 1948).
6. Inexpensive booklets containing translations of some of the commoner
blessings are: "Family Blessings," by Bernard Strasser, O.S.B. (NCWC,
Washington); "Family Sacramentals," by Walter Sullivan, O.S.B. (Grail,
St. Meinrad, Ind.): "With the Blessing of the Church," by Bishop
Schlarman (NCRLC Des Moines); "Lord Bless Us," by Rev. Harvey Egan
(Grail, St. Meinrad, Ind.).
7. An almost indispensable family tool here is Fr. Weller's translation
of the Blessings of the Roman Ritual (Vol. III, Bruce).
8. It is our own experience of such a thrill, for instance, which makes
us able to appreciate the wonder of the pilgrims at the glorious sight
of Jerusalem: "Thou city built into one perfect whole!" (Psalm 121),
and so to appreciate what our spiritual emotions should be at the
vision of the Church on earth and in heaven.
9. See "My Book About God" by Julie Bedier (MacMillan) for a wonderful
presentation for children of different kinds of work as God sees them.
10. If one may say so in all reverence, the common notion of the value
of making the Morning Offering is that it turns our work into a kind of
heavenly boondoggling (work which, people think, has no eternal value
in itself; whether it be well or badly done, if we 'offer' it to God,
He will pay us eternal wages for it in consideration of the merits of
11. Here is the truth about work which, largely forgotten by
Christians, has been re-discovered by Communism, and warped and
perverted to make only the perfection of the City of Man its end and
12. To make this truth real and vital to ourselves, study-clubs,
sodalities, etc., could follow the example of a group in Louisiana who
have made a study of how each man's work in fact aids his
fellow-members of the mystical Body; the men concerned with oil, for
instance, help everyone all over the country who uses the oil in
furnaces, cars, etc. Those concerned with natural gas help families
they will only meet in heaven to cook and heat their houses. So a man
cannot always have the obvious advantages of direct person-to-person
service in his work, but he can take such means as this to make its
quality of loving service of Christ in others a vivid reality both to
himself and to his children.
13. It is ultimately, of course, the task of professional associations
and of experts in each field to get together with moral theologians,
determine the Christian norms for each occupation and profession, and
decide on general lines of procedure best adapted to begin the
transformation of what is into what should and could be. And, as yet,
our Catholic professional schools and professional associations have
only here and there begun to go about this task. But unless everyone
who is aware of the necessity for restoring all kinds of work in
Christ, according to the directives of the Popes, begins to look at his
own work and kind of work in the light of Christian principles, to
discuss it with others, to judge what could and should be done and to
begin to do it, the experts will never go to work on the real problems
and no action would result from their conclusions if they did.
14. In this connection, priests and religious might consider the
effects of the "clergy discount" especially on the price of Catholic
books. Since they are the most numerous purchasers of such books, this
discount means in effect that the lay reader must pay extra. Is this
practice, then, calculated to increase the spread of Catholic books
among the laity? Or to help the Catholic bookstores who are trying to
make these books available?
15. Such a policy does not mean, of course, that we are ordinarily
under any obligation to patronize a workman on any level who, however
good his motives, simply does not or cannot produce good work. It is no
part of reestablishing all things in Christ to foster the already too
prevalent Catholic vice of technical and artistic carelessness, the
vice that follows on the idea that it doesn't matter what you do or how
you do it so long as you "mean well" and "offer it up. However
"apostolic" a work may be, the apostle is obviously under the
obligation is a Christian to strive for perfection in his daily work as
well as in his life.
16. Here, of course, is the value of games, both for children and
adults. Our responsibility here is to see that our children learn to
play, rather than to look on, learn to handle themselves adequately in
the legitimate games and sports common to their age and neighborhood,
and how to choose their games wisely to suit their own needs and
17. What follows is not meant to be a complete theological description
of each vocation, but a working or practical one in terms of
18. A very good form of morning offering for children, and for morning
prayers, is to be found in that excellent child's prayerbook, "Glory to
God," by Dorothy Coddington (W. H. Sadlier & Co.).
19. The "Manual of Prayers" prepared by the Precious Blood Sisters of
O'Fallon, Mo., is an inexpensive booklet containing a good variety of
psalms and other prayers arranged for seasonal use.
20. It is well worthwhile to ponder the implications of the fact that
Sunday is considered by some Fathers of the Church not to be merely the
first in a series of weekdays, but rather the eighth day, outside of
the seven days of ordinary time, partaking in the perfection and
time-less-ness of eternity.
21. For this purpose, see particularly Therese Mueller's booklets,
"Family Life in Christ" (Liturgical Press) and "Our Children's Year of
Grace" (Pio Decimo Press); Msgr. Hellriegel's article in "The Family in
Christ" (Proceedings of the 1946 Liturgical Week, Elsberry, Mo.); and
Mrs. Florence Berger's "Cooking For Christ" (National Catholic Rural
Life Conference. Des Moines, Ia.).
22. On this topic, and many others sketched in this book, see the
excellent and more detailed treatment in "Ourselves and Our Children"
by Mary Reed Newland (Kennedy).
23. These prayers are contained in "A Manual of Prayers" for the use of
the Catholic laity. Prepared by order of the Third Plenary Council of
Baltimore (Kenedy & Sons, N.Y.); it is a book which no family
should be without, since it contains the ceremonies for administering
the sacraments, the essentials of what Christians should believe and
do, and much more besides.
24. "O God, who by Thy mighty power hast made all things where before
there was nothing; who, having framed and put in order the first kinds
of all creatures, didst constitute woman as a helpmate for man made to
Thine image, a helpmate, therefore, who should never be separated from
him fashioning her in such a way that woman's body took its origin from
man's flesh, and teaching thereby that since it pleased Thee to
construct her body from his, it is never right that their union be
sundered... "O God, who hast consecrated the marriage union by a hidden
and sacred design so exceedingly great that in the marriage covenant
Thou dost foreshow the Mystery of Christ and the Church... "O God, who
dost join woman to man, and give to that primal society the blessing
which alone was not taken away in punishment for original sin nor by
the doom of the Flood..." (From the blessing given during the Nuptial
25. For excellent suggestions as to specific ways of telling children
the facts of sex, see "Christopher's Talks to Catholic Parents," by
David Greenstock. (Templegate, Springfield. Ill.).
The Christian Pattern
"...You Did It Unto Me"
Training for Life's Work and
Redeeming the Times
Attaining Our Ideals