Thomas a Kempis’s, The Imitation of Mary

These two short meditations are taken from the book, one of them is especially for the ladies:

The character is formed as any habit of virtue is formed.  To have a good character is to be on the road of perfection.

A good character is first of all, character, that is to say, firm and stable and not changeable and variable.  It is in the second place, good, which means, pleasing to others.

Only the people who breathe joy have a good character.  The people who are glum in everything, as is said in current language, are never of an agreeable character.  They are a burden to others and to themselves.

Form your character so that it may be stable.  Refine it, so that it may be gentle.  Conquer it so that it may be usable.  You will then be, like to Mary, exultant with joy and glorifying God in your life every day.

Practice:  To form character, it is often necessary to know how to break it, by doing that which pleases the least.

Thought:  Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria.  Rejoice and be glad, O Mary!


A calm woman is a queenly woman, says an old proverb.  Gentleness and calmness, a smile and graciousness are, truly, the force and strength of a woman.  Too often they are represented as faults and perverted attractions.  This is an error and a falsehood.

To know how to make use of these attractions and of these graces can also be and ought to be for a woman, a virtue and a practice of Christian life.  The man who has once encountered such attractions is captivated forever.  The prayer that the Church offers in nuptial Masses asks for the woman these virtues of grace and beauty.

Practice:  To smile and to be gracious in all the circumstances of life.

Thought:  You are, Mary, the most beautiful of women:  Speciosa et decora inter filias Jerusalem.

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