Friday, June 29, 2012

The Mother of All Parenting Books

Catholic Mothers of the world, drop whatever book you are reading and read this one:

Here are some of the 7 quick things I’ve learned from Blessed Zelie Martin:

1. She encouraged her children to perform acts of self-denial for heaven and had them slide rosary beads or fill a drawer with nuts for each good deed.  I was so inspired that I sprinted off to Hobby Lobby with a project.  My flower-picking girls placed these baskets on our altar and decorated it with a flower for each good deed/self-denial.  The bouquets will be offered up when we renew our consecration to Our Lady.
As you can tell, Team Blue is not as aggressive as Team Pink.
2. Bl. Zelie “was constantly busy with lace-making, housekeeping, working for her children and correspondence.”  I note the ‘correspondence’ with glee because what remains of her letters have been used as evidence for her canonization and gives me justified permission for the time I spend online. It’s certainly possible that if Bl. Zelie were living today, she’d be e-mailing, blogging or face-booking to keep her friends and family inspired.

3. She was vigilant at correcting her children’s faults: from poutiness, to selfishness, to vanity. But did her children call her a nag?  No!  Pauline, her oldest praised her:  “My parents always seemed to me to be saints.  We were filled with respect and admiration for them. I sometimes asked myself if it were possible to find their equals on earth.”

4.   Bl. Zelie’s financial philosophy was this:  “Money is nothing when there is a question of one’s sanctification or the perfection of a soul.”  And good news, homeschoolers:  “she spared nothing for the education and spiritual welfare of her children.”

5.  Bl. Zelie desired to have many children to present them to Heaven and some part of her hoped…knew that one of her children was destined for the greatness of a saint.  Her prayer after childbirth was this:   “Lord, grant me the grace that this child may be consecrated to you, and that nothing may touch the purity of its soul.   If it would be lost, I prefer that you should take it without delay.”

6. She did get angry… at Freemasons who tired to de-Christianize others and was not spared grief at the loss of four children.  But when sued by a neighbor, Bl. Zelie reacted charitably saying, “we shall bless M.M. in the next world, for having us undergo purgatory in this life.”   (See lawyers are good for something--we put people in purgatory.)

7.  Bl. Zelie had a special devotion to Our Lady and “took a great interest in the historical interventions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”   She journeyed to Lourdes to obtain a cure but resigned herself to God’s will, saying:  “Really, I depend now only on the help of our Blessed Mother.  I am not, however, convinced that she will cure me, for it is quite possible that such is not the will of God.  Thus, we must be resigned and I assure you that I am.”

 I’m tempted to, but I won’t give all the spoilers away.  It’s a short, fascinating book. I guarantee you it won’t be one of those five on your shelf that you are trying to read all at the same time and convincing yourself you will someday finish it.   

Blessed Zelie Martin, pray for us. 


Robert said...

I think my wife read this book, and having read your comments, I think I shall have to put it on my intend-to-read list. I especially like the lawyers part, and the resignation to God's will in all things, a big item for Saint Alphonsus too. thank you!

Anabelle Hazard said...

Robert, I think you should read the Father of the Little Flower and write a summary. My husband reads internet articles and can certainly direct him to your blog. God bless.

Robert said...

I will do that. I added The Mother... to my goodreads books, and noticed The Father... and added it too. Thanks again.

mary333 said...

This book sounds great, Anabelle! I never even knew it existed!

Lol on the lawyer comment ;)

timeritus said...

Thought you might love this homily on Blesseds Louie & Zelie Martin! It is beautiful!

Anabelle Hazard said...

Thank you timeritus. This is the best part about commments, learning more about my faith.

8 kids and a business said...

I like how you justify lawyers :) When I found out about the cause for canonization of St. Therese's parents, I thought I should find out more about them. Unfortunately, I haven't gone any further than thinking about it but this book may be the push that I need.