A SINCERE AND THANKFUL TRIBUTE: “MOTHER AND WIFE, THE SUN OF THE FAMILY (Pius XII).”


“THE WIFE, THE  SUN OF THE FAMILY (Pius XII)”

The mother is the sun of the family. She is its sun by her spirit of generosity and sacrifice, by her constant readiness, vigilance, delicacy and tact in all that touches the happiness of her husband and her children; she radiates light and warmth. … 

The wife is the sun of the family by the light of her smile and the warmth of her word: a smile and words that inspire, mold and soften the soul, raise it above the tumult of passion, and bring to the husband the enjoyment of good and of family life at the end of a long day of continual and perhaps difficult work in his profession, either in the fields or in the taxing affairs of commerce and industry. One glance from her eyes throws a light with manifold reflections; one sound from her lips contains a thousand words of affection. Such light and sound spring from a mother’s heart, create and enliven the paradise of childhood, radiate goodness and gentleness everywhere even when they upbraid and reprove, so that young souls which feel more deeply, may understand more thoroughly and profoundly the laws of love. 

The wife is the sun of the family by her natural frankness, by her straightforward dignity, by her irreproachable Christian behavior. She is its sun in the recollection and rectitude of spirit, in the subtle harmony of her bearing and dress, in her elegance and in her deportment – at once both reserved and affectionate. Delicacy of sentiment, charm of countenance, ingenuous silences and smiles, a compliant nod … all give to her the grace of an exquisite, unspoiled flower, which opens its petals to receive and reflect the colors of the sun. If you only knew with what profound sentiments of love and appreciation such a picture of wife and mother fills and impresses the heart of husband and children! … 

What happens when the family is deprived of that sun? When the wife continuously – even in the most intimate circumstances – does not hesitate to make known what great sacrifices she makes for married life? What happens to her lovable sweetness when because of an excessively severe upbringing, unbridled irritability, and an angry coldness of countenance and speech suffocate in the children the hope of finding happiness and joyful solace in their mother? What happens when she sadly does nought else but disturb and embitter the loyal unity of the family circle with sharp tones, complaints and reprovals? 

What happens to the generous tact and tender love when instead of forming with natural and exquisite simplicity an atmosphere of pleasant peace in the home, she takes the attitude of a dissatisfied, nervous and demanding lady, according to the fashion? Is this to diffuse the warmth and life of the sun? Is it not rather to freeze with the chill wind of eventide the garden which is the family? 

Can anyone wonder that in such circumstances, the husband does not find at the fireside anything to attract, hold and comfort him? That the husband will escape from it as much as he can, thus provoking a similar desertion on the part of the wife – if indeed it is not her absence which provokes his? Both thus go to seek elsewhere – with grave danger to their souls and to the great harm of the family unity – the peace, rest, and pleasure denied them in their own home. In this state of affairs, the unfortunates who suffer most are undoubtedly the children. 

You see, o wives, to what an extent you are responsible for the harmony and happiness of the home. Just as it is the duty of your husband to work to provide the necessities for the home, it is your duty by your wisdom to ensure its proper well-being and to procure the undisturbed serenity of your common life. This is not only an office given you by nature, but a duty of Christian virtue, by the acts and merits of which you grow in the love and grace of God. 

Pius XII, Allocution to newly-weds of March 11, 1942 in The Woman in the Modern World, arranged by The Monks of Solesmes, Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1958, pp. 83-85

+++BELOW YOU HAVE PROVERBS 31:10-31+++

Praise of the steadfast wife 
  She is far beyond the price of pearls.
A perfect wife – who can find her?
Her husband’s heart has confidence in her,
  from her he will derive no little profit.
Advantage and not hurt she brings him
  all the days of her life.
She is always busy with wool and with flax,
  she does her work with eager hands.
She is like a merchant vessel
  bringing her food from far away.
She gets up while it is still dark
  giving her household their food,
  giving orders to her serving girls.
She sets her mind on a field, then she buys it;
  with what her hands have earned she plants a vineyard.
She puts her back into her work
  and shows how strong her arms can be.
She finds her labour well worth while;
  her lamp does not go out at night.
She sets her hands to the distaff,
  her fingers grasp the spindle.
She holds out her hand to the poor,
  she opens her arms to the needy.
Snow may come, she has no fears for her household,
  with all her servants warmly clothed.
She makes her own quilts,
  she is dressed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gates,
  taking his seat among the elders of the land.
She weaves linen sheets and sells them,
  she supplies the merchant with sashes.
She is clothed in strength and dignity,
  she can laugh at the days to come.
When she opens her mouth, she does so wisely;
  on her tongue is kindly instruction.
She keeps good watch on the conduct of her household,
  no bread of idleness for her.
Her sons stand up and proclaim her blessed,
  her husband, too, sings her praises:
‘Many women have done admirable things,
  but you surpass them all!’
Charm is deceitful, and beauty empty;
  the woman who is wise is the one to praise.
Give her a share in what her hands have worked for,
  and let her works tell her praises at the city gates.
+++
TO ALL OUR MOTHERS, TO THE MOTHERS AND WIVES, OUR SINCERE GRATITUDE TO YOU ALL. WE SALUTE YOU FOR BEING A WOMAN, FOR YOUR FEMININE GRACE, GENTLE AFFECTION AND CHARM, WHICH FILL OUR SOUL WITH JOY AND DELIGHT. WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY, SELFLESSNESS, NEVER-ENDING LOVE AND SACRIFICE IN BRINGING US TO THE WORLD AND REARING US TILL ADULTHOOD.  THOUGH WE COULD NOW LIVE ON OUR OWN, WE NEVER CEASE TO HAVE RECOURSE TO YOU AND YOU NEVER CEASE TO LOOK AFTER US.
WE THANK GOD FOR GIVING YOU TO US. WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH.
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
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