Sunday, March 12, 2017

Spiritual Reading for Young Women

A wildflower I found in a garden one summer day

Hey y'all,

Lent is going by fast!

In the spirit of last week's Lady Day, I wanted to share some spiritual reading books that really deal with the feminine vocation or at the very least deal with more feminine issues.

The Valiant Woman
This book actually started as a retreat for women made by the Archbishop of Rheims in the 1800s. It was initially aimed more at married women and concentrated on the domestic sphere. It was based off of the book of Proverbs...specifically picking out verses that spoke directly about the feminine domestic duties. Monseigneur Landroit is a very thorough writer/speaker, and his words of wisdom are still very relevant today. This book is definitely one of my favorite spiritual reading books.

Dressing With Dignity
This book introduced me to concept of dressing modestly (as I'm sure it was for a lot of other girls). Colleen Hammond doesn't just discuss dress though, but also fashion and some femininity topics. While the clothes don't make the man (or woman in this case), certainly modesty in dress is a great start towards femininity!

Immodesty : Satan's Virtue
As the title suggests, this book focuses much more on the virtue of modesty, especially in dress. I like this book better than Dressing With Dignity because Rita Davidson is more comprehensive and (I think) a little more hard-core than Colleen Hammond. I would definitely recommend this book in addition to Dressing With Dignity

Catholic Girl's Guide
While this is more aimed for teenage girls, I cannot stress the greatness of this book enough. This book goes through several applications of virtues that young girls can take to heart​. Some of the language is antiquated, but timeless wisdom nonetheless. Think of this one like the Valiant Woman: a long retreat in a book form.

Courtesy Calls Again
This book concentrates on family and cultural relationships and how to make them more like the Catholic relationships of the past. It especially goes into the women's role of teaching her children.

When I first read this book, I wasn't sure I liked it. I certainly liked the idea behind a lot of what the authors suggested, but saw most of the precepts as being from a by-gone era.

Now as I reread it, I'm beginning to see some additional  problems. While the writers have the principle right, the applications of the principles that they suggest are mainly aristocratic. For example, in debunking the myth of the pioneer woman (which to them seems to be a Calamity Jane figure) they suggested that she educate her children in a noblewoman's style (art, languages, etc). In reality, a lot of pioneer women were simple, hard-working women who tried to give their children as much education as they could, but prepared them for their particular station in life. They seem to assume that rustic​ is a synonym for uncultured, which is just not true.

That being said, there are some really good principles in the book. So, I would only recommend this book to educate yourself on the theories of etiquette and common courtesy.

What spiritual reading have you been reading lately? Feel free to tell me in the comments!

Old-fashionably yours,

Farm Lassie

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