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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Of all the acts of piety which can honor God and merit His benefits, there is none more precious and meritorious than attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; all the Fathers of the spiritual life, even the least severe, recommend this practice with great earnestness, when the duties of one’s condition do not have to suffer. Here is an example of the advantages which Heaven rewards with devotion to the Holy Sacrifice of our altars.
Adele and Rose, daughters of honest and poor parents, had been childhood companions: they had attended the same school and made their first communion together, then they ceased to have occasion to see each other, being apprenticed, one to a florist, the other to a seamstress. Adèle, the florist, became skilled in her trade, and married a printer who earned a fairly good living. Rose, who could never rise above her ordinary talent, married only a poor carpenter, whose days were very modestly paid.
Faithful to the instructions of her youth, Rose had always kept in her heart the fear and love of God, and she had made her husband esteem her character enough to have acquired a lot of influence over him; she led him, by her advice and her example, to a laborious, honest and regulated conduct.
Early as the swallow, Rose anticipated every day the awakening of her children, to offer her homage to the Creator; she went to the church close to her residence, to hear Mass; then she returned agilely to take the reins of her small household, which she governed with admirable order. Her modest room was shining with cleanliness; her poverty did not exclude a certain abundance; the husband was usually in good spirits for he lacked nothing; the children were well cared for, healthy, raised to obedience, and the eldest were already assisting their mother in the care she had to provide. Her duties as a mother did not deprive her of earning some money; the father never went to the pub in search of a costly and disastrous distraction, for he was happy in the midst of his family. After many years of separation, Rose found Adele again, who had become her neighbor. But how changed she was! Pale, thin, unrecognizable at last, she held a stunted child in her arms; the other, pulling her by her apron, seemed the most unruly little rascal; their clothes indicated misery. Adèle was very sad; but relieved, however, by seeing her friend again, she did not delay in confiding to her all her sorrows.
“How happy you seem to me!” she said to her. “For me nothing succeeds; no matter how much I save, I cannot make ends meet; all in vain I want to earn something to make up for the insufficiency of my husband’s earnings; one of my children does not let me work, the other interferes with and disturbs everything I do. Forced to shout and scold all the time, I drive my husband out of the house, he goes away in the evening to spend what he has earned in the morning; the creditors are always at our door, and we lack everything.”
Her surprise was great when she learned how few resources Rose relied on to keep peace and abundance in her home.
“You must be very ingenious, she said to her, I would like to know your secret, your fate makes me envious. – Nothing could be simpler, replied Rose, I ask nothing better than to communicate my secret to you; for this, come and find me tomorrow at daybreak.”
Adele was exact in her appointment; Rose led her to Mass, and so for several days in succession, without otherwise satisfying the curiosity of her friend, until the latter, impatient, cried out at the end that she was bored with this maneuver, and that she had come to find her to receive confidence of her secret, and not to spend her time in church.
“What, you don’t guess, cried Rose, you don’t see that it is He whom I go to pray to every day who pours out His blessing on my humble household? That is my secret; I have no other.”