On Friday, September 25, 2015 we showcased on Your Morning Tradition excerpts from “A toast to our good wives who make us better men.”
This article was written and featured in an old addition of The Angelus. The following is what we highlighted from the article which was written by Dr. John Senior.
St. Thomas Aquinas says: “Husbands and wives must be friends together.” The greatest theologian in the Church puts it simply like a child, so clear it’s hard to see, like white on white. “Husbands and wives must be friends together.” The Holy Ghost has given us these twelve fruits of His love. St. Thomas Aquinas, in his commentary, enumerates them in theological order from charity to chastity.
Chastity is the virtue “by which we withdraw ourselves from all unlawful desire.”
By exercising the supernatural habit of chastity, we take the first real step immediately accessible to us, up the staircase to charity, the love of wife and husband as our closest neighbor and hence to God. Chastity, as St. Thomas defines it, is the resistance to all unlawful desire. For example, in a marriage women working when economy at home might do as well. According to the law of nature a woman’s place is in the home because by nature she is nurse and nurturer of children. Chastity is not just control of sexual desire, it is really the desire to be just what we really are and if we exercise this freedom from all unlawful desire then we shall be ready to mount the second step of continence which St. Thomas says is freedom from desire for even good and lawful, but unnecessary, things. This is the very difficult step St. John of the Cross describes in the first book of the Ascent of Mount Carmel ending with the famous poem “In order to arise at having pleasure in everything, desire to have pleasure in nothing; in order to arrive at possessing everything, desire to possess nothing.” “Philosophical happiness,” Edmund Burke said, “is to want less, not to have more.” St. Thomas says that theological happiness is “to want absolutely nothing but what God wants.”
Modesty which means doing things according to the mode like singing on pitch. Modesty is not only to dress according to certain specifications, but to dress with taste and tact, with a sense of the occasion. Not just dress, of course, but in every speech and action to say and do the right thing at the right time and the right tone of voice. Modesty means tact and tone towards self, demanding neither too much nor too little of yourself. Not to make your piety a burden to yourself and to your friend, but doing all with cheer, “cherishing fruits” of the Holy Ghost.
Husbands and wives, if everyday we would take a single one of these good habits and practice it the way you do a sport, think what progress we would make in the interior life!
A few months back Mike and I featured a story from the Treasury of Catechism stories on Your Morning Tradition and we blogged about it. I thought it was fitting to repeat it today. Here it is…..
Not long before his death, Pope Pius XI granted an interesting indulgence to the members of the Westminster diocese. An indulgence of one hundred days is granted to those married couples who daily kiss the wedding ring of their spouses and repeat the following prayer:
“Grant, Lord, to us, that loving You, we may love each other and live according to Your holy laws.”
Even though we don’t live in the Westminster diocese, I’m sure God would bless us for honoring our spouse in such a special way.