“But gain a good name by well doing my duty”

Image result for painting of woman working in rose garden

My oldest daughter received the Sacrament of Confirmation last week.  She chose St. Therese of Lisieux as her Confirmation name so we got her a pink leather bound St. Therese Bible that has a quote by the saint and my daughter’s first and middle name (Rose) engraved on the front.  St. Therese said “When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens, I will spend my heaven by doing good on earth.”  My Grandmother introduced me to this saying when she advised that I should pray to The Little Flower, as she is affectionately referred to, and said that she has often received answers to her prayers accompanied by a rose from this saint’s intercession .

When I was pregnant with my oldest, my mother told me she knew I was going to have a girl because that morning she saw 1 pink rose blooming on her rose bush after all the other roses had died and the season was over.  I had already picked my girl name with Rose as the middle name since that is a family name on my husband’s side, so she took that late-blooming rose as a sign that surely she would have a granddaughter.

About ten years ago we had to travel out of state for the funeral of my cousin’s 12 year old daughter who passed away in an auto accident.  At the time, neither my cousin (Catholic) nor his wife (Christian, from I’m not sure what denomination) were practicing their faith.  I spent my time in the car on the way home praying the Rosary for their dear daughter and for them as well.  One of the things I requested was that they would find their way to practicing their faith again and that my cousin’s wife would convert to Catholicism so they could have a shared faith together along with their son.  I remember as I was praying that I smelled the overwhelming scent of fresh flowers.  So much so that I had to ask if anyone else in the car had brought some with them from the funeral.  The strong scent lasted about five minutes and then faded away.  It was then that I knew that my prayers had indeed been heard.  It was only a few years later that we received the news that my cousin’s wife had been received into the Church.

What I experienced was not a new phenomenon.  It’s actually pretty common.  Here’s a link to an interesting discussion of the topic by ordinary folks.    The Catholic Church calls it the odor of sanctity when the scent is associated with living or deceased saints.

I’m bringing all this up simply because I came across this lovely poem today that speaks of how doing our duty well will remain after we are gone like the scent of the rose remains after the flower has died.  It’s comforting to know  that our works can live on and “scent” the future of those touched by our faithfulness.  I think God has allowed us this occassional grace of these heavenly scents to remind us of the real beauty contained in all that is good even when it’s not immediately visible to us.

The Rose

How fair is the Rose!
what a beautiful flower!
The glory of April and May:
But the leaves are beginning to fade in an hour,
And they wither and die in a day.


Yet the Rose has one powerful virtue to boast,
Above all the flowers of the field!
When its leaves are all dead and fine colours are lost,
Still how sweet a perfume it will yield!


So frail is the youth and the beauty of man,
Though they bloom and look gay like the Rose;
But all our fond care to preserve them is vain,
Time kills them as fast as he goes.


Then I’ll not be proud of my youth and my beauty,
Since both of them wither and fade;
But gain a good name by well doing my duty:
This will scent like a Rose when I’m dead.


~ Isaac Watts

Arranging Roses

Where Would We Be Without Women?

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Pino Daeni

“Too much in our modern society encourages us to indulge the illusion of individual autonomy. This illusion is fostered by, among other things, modern “social contract” theories. A man can only assert something as foolish as an original “state of nature” where men come together to form themselves into a community if he forgets his own mother. But with all due respect to Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, we do not enter the world as fully formed, rational, self-interest maximizers.”

Image result for pino daeni old man and old woman
Pino Daeni

“We are dependent rational animals who become who we are because people cared for us. At least one person cared for us enough to carry us in her womb for nine months and go through the painful labor of giving us birth. No one — not even God incarnate — came into this world without a mother. We are beings who draw our existence from others, and so we are called upon to learn to exist for others. Such is the life of a mother. And such should be our life, whether we are mothers or not.”

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Pino Daeni

“We live in a world that values and valorizes strength, capability, and domination. That world, valuing the things it values, has often enough dismissed women as weak and worthless. And yet, the absurdity of this view is obvious: Where would we be without women — and not just women, but women with the strength to allow themselves to be more vulnerable for nine months, and sometimes for years afterward, so that we can be strong? We would not exist without them.”

Image result for pino daeni old man and old woman
Pino Daeni

“A society that resists the temptation to celebrate only strength and achievement, and that recognizes the need we have for those who work selflessly year after year to make possible so many of the things we take for granted — our life, our health, our ability to speak, our virtues, our knowledge of the faith — is helping to spread the leaven of Christ.”

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Pino Daeni

“Societies that preach the “state of nature” and think that we can depend upon some form of social contract often produce what they most fear: a society in which life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Begin with the wrong view of the human person, and you end up with an inhumane society of irrational self-interest maximizers and a dog-eat-dog world. A society that protects and values mothers, on the other hand, is sowing the seeds of charity. God help us if we forget mothers.

pino daeni paintings
Pino Daeni

Quotes taken from the article titled  Pictures of Two Women published at The Catholic Thing