Holy Housewives I

  1. Specific Application of Brother Lawrence’s General Practice available to all men and women to Mothers

– Holiness for Housewives and Other Working Women[1]

  1. Brief Review of Bro. Lawrence[2],

Historical Setting 1614-1691 After Reformation before the French Revolution. This time is considered The Catholic Reformation[3]

Alan Schreck notes, “There had been other ecumenical councils concerned with the reform of the Catholic Church before the Council of Trent. Trent was different because most of the reforms were actually carried out and put into effect.”[4]

Catholic Mysticism flourished as well as. Theresa of Avila (1515-1582) and John of the Cross (1542-1591), Carmelite mystics and doctors of the Church.

Mysticism = direct apprehension of God by the mind.[5]

NB Dom Zeller mentions after Bro Lawrence and these Carmelite giants that mothers should read.[6]

Dom Zeller is talking ‘up to’ mothers with these suggestions, not ‘down to them’

Brother Lawrence’s Thesis Statement from the introduction by Hannah Whitall Smith, “His (Bro. Lawrence) one single aim was to bring about a conscious personal union between himself and God and he took the shortest cut he could find to accomplish it.”[7] (not quietism devoid of personal act)

The result can be described in his own words: “If I dare use the expression, I should choose to call this state the bosom of God, for the inexpressible sweetness which I taste and experience there.”[8]

Note the direct correlation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Margaret Mary Alacoque SHJ (1647-1690) mystic

Fr. Sciurba will express Brother Lawrence’s simple life as, “Centered on the Presence of God, infinitely admired, faithfully sought after, and sweetly experienced.”[9]

God write to us in a spiral. He revisits in words and prayers in union holy men & women for His glory and our own sanctification. Bro Lawrence in world external darkness living interior life constant union with God so necessary for peace of mind. Moms and children. Inordinate influence on peace and tranquility of next generation.

We see lack of peaceful mothers in the home add to anxiety and stress of current generation. Dom von Zeller read spiritual works of mysticism Teresa of Avila, etc… not condescending, mother is the heart of the home. Family writ large beat with her heart. When she is gone absent or not formed, spiritual maturity lack and transferred to Church at large.

Mental health past few years, a lot of people wounded.

Books like these are a good antidote, everything is not chemical. Spiritual hunger. Need for something, ‘lie health comes at end of the needle’ get away. Not just a body respond to chemicals. Embodied soul. Take care both of those human condition.

Dearth authentic of teaching how to pray, some though intuited by people, libertarian is great until run out of people’s morality )Margaret Thatcher)

Same about the Church, run out of someone’s else spirituality. Well is dry. Mothers rediscover, plumb wells, resources waiting to be tapped, mother’s heart full, then bring to her family, and then to the world.

[1] Hurbert Van Zeller, Holiness for Housewives and Other Working Women (Sophia Press: Manchester, NH 1951)

[2] Salvatore Sciuraba, OCD trans., The Practice of the Presence of God Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Critical Edition (ICS:  Washington D.C. 2015)

[3] Steve Weidenkopf & Alan Schreck, Epic A Journey Through Church History (Ascension Press: West Chester, PA 2009) 173 -181

[4] Alan Schreck, The Compact History of the Catholic Church (Servant Books: Cincinnati OH 2009) 82

[5] Schreck 83

[6] Zeller 90-91

[7] The Practice of the Presence of God: The Best Rule of a Holy Life, Brother Lawrence 1895 (Martino Publishing: Mansfield CT 2010) iii

[8] Martino iii

[9] Sciurba xxiii