Author: Mrs ktc

Morning Routines

I just realized, it’s the baby’s sleep schedule that makes or breaks the morning routine. I know that seems obvious, but I didn’t realize it until the baby finally slept through the night at 18 months.  Her four molars popped through and – boom! Like magic, she slept ALL night long. And then BOOM!  I had my mornings back. I just didn’t notice how tired I was.

Nice article if you’re too tired for an early morning routine: https://www.thissimplebalance.com/morning-routine-moms-cant-wake-early/

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To Obey

    rings 

I wish I took the vow of obedience more seriously in the first year of marriage. If I had seen obedience as an opportunity to deny myself and to express my love and devotion to my husband, our marriage would have become stronger and happier faster.

I didn’t think that being obedient was outdated exactly, I just thought it only applied to situations where he finally, “put his foot down.” Otherwise it was alright to ignore his opinions, fight or manipulate to get my way.

I view obedience very differently now. When I am undecided about things or troubled, I go to my husband and take great comfort and joy in his console and headship. When  we disagree, I remember that wives are not the only one’s living under obedience,  that priests and nuns must also obey their superiors,  that the Church must obey Christ’s teachings, that my husband is my superior (He may not be intrinsically better than me but he is the head of the house.) I remind myself that obedience can actually strengthen my love for my husband and  keeps me under his spiritual protection. When I remember  these truths obedience is easier sometimes even a joy.

If you want to grow in virtue, let obedience be your foundation. You will not get far without it and with it you will excel.

Obedience is a short cut to perfection. They who are living under obedience, if they really wish to advance in the ways of God, must give themselves up always and in all things into the hands of their superiors. . . Nothing gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person’s will, rather than our own, in doing good.——– St. Philip

A single instant passed under simple obedience is immeasurably more valuable in the sight of God than an entire day spent in the most sublime contemplation.——– St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

He who follows his own ideas in opposition to the direction of his superiors needs no devil to tempt him, for he is a devil to himself. ——– St. John Climacus

There are three sorts of obedience; the first, obedience when a strict obligation is imposed upon us, and this is good; the second when the simple word of the superior, without any strict command, suffices for us, and this is better; the third, when a thing is done without waiting for an express command, from a knowledge that it will be pleasing to the superior, and this is the best of all. ——– St. Ignatius

The Bostonians

A Book Review I originally posted on my book blog but it seems to fit here as well:

The Bostonians

“I wish to write a very American tale, a tale very characteristics of our social conditions, and I asked myself what was the most salient and peculiar point in our social life, The answer was: the situation of women, the decline of the sentiment of sex, the agitation on their behalf.” –  from the Notebooks of Henry James

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“Do you really take the ground that your sex has been without influence? Influence? Why you have led us all by the nose to where we are now! Wherever we are, it’s all you. You are at the bottom of everything . . . She is the universal cause”

“ [Olive] would reform the solar system if she could get a hold of it”

“Oh, the position of women!” Basil Ransom exclaimed [to Olive]. “The position of women, is to make fools of men. I would change my position for yours any day,”

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I finished reading The Bostonians, the first book on my back to the Classics list, and love Henry James all the more for it. This book has been described as a satire and I agree it is funny filled with a good-natured irony, but it is more than a satire. It has a tragic touch and yet at its core it is a love story, the stuff of fairy tales.

It also deals with many themes I have struggled with and have been preoccupied with for years: the postbellum era, feminism, traditionalism, women in the domestic and political spheres, revolutions, reforms, reforms of the reforms, sympathy, true charity, and Mr. James addresses them all with a fierce and comic pen.

I read a few scathing reviews  and a few thoughtful ones that had me wondering if  we even read the same book! It appears that feminism is  controversial and this I think is what made me reread  it (I had abandoned this book once before) – I wanted His take on the movement.

Perhaps we have forgotten, so used to the movement, the advancement, the emancipation of women, that women were powerful and have always been powerful in a feminine way (have we forgotten Helen of Troy?)  Mr. James reminds us of this, that the domestic sphere has a power of its own,  (have we forgotten Penelope?)  There is something “divinely different” from the public life and that is the private life, hidden away for love of the other. The cloistered nun has great power, so does the housewife, both are a Joan of Arc in spirit setting the world on fire in little ways. A flame is just as bright in the home as it is outdoors, perhaps even brighter to those closest to it. What do we have if we sacrifice the private life? If we proclaim equality the absolute?

I found the book strikingly prophetic but not despairing. The characters themselves were believable and I loved reading about them even if I despised their views. I found them all to be well developed and the dialogue brilliant. Mr. James has a genius for it. Its juxtaposition to the characters actions, their surroundings, at moments  reminded me of Flaubert. The last three chapters were my favorite as Mr. James tied up the loose ends and set his fairy tale alive with a quietly dramatic and satisfying ending.

A brilliant novel but not an easy read, and of course, Mr. James leaves room for dispute as I have yet to find a review I completely agree with, which I suppose is part of the intrigue. As, Horace Elisha Scudder points out in his own review, “It is when we stop and take the book as a whole that we forget how fine the web is spun, and remember only the strong conception which underlies the book; the freshness of the material used; the amazing cleverness of separate passages;” We want to pin Mr. James down, and his book but it is too fine drawn for that, you dear reader, must read it for yourself.