The Education of Catholic Girls eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 210 pages of information about The Education of Catholic Girls.
fine of the plans or expound a law of the construction, or set a stone in its place, yet the whole of it is theirs and for them, and their reverent awe, even if they have no further understanding, adds a spiritual grace and a fuller dignity to the whole.  The child, the beggar, the pilgrim, the penitent, the lowly servants and custodians of the temple, the clergy, the venerable choir, the highest authorities from whom come the order and regulation of the ceremonies, all have their parts, all stand in their special relations harmoniously sharing in different degrees in what is for all.  Even those long since departed, architects and builders and donors, are not cut off from it, their works follow them, and their memory lives in the beauty which stands as a memorial to their great ideals.  It is all theirs, it is all ours, it is all God’s.  And so of the great basilica of theology, built up and ever in course of building; it is for all—­but for each according to his needs—–­for their use, for their instruction, to surround and direct their worship, to be a security and defence to their souls, a great Church in which the spirit is raised heavenwards in proportion to the faith and submission with which it bows down in adoration before the throne of God.

CHAPTER II.

Character I.

“La vertu maitresse d’aujourd’hui est la spontaneite resolue, reglee par les principes interieurs et les disciplines volontairement acceptees.”—­Y.  Le QUERDEC.

The value set on character, even if the appreciation goes no further than words, has increased very markedly within the last few years, and in reaction against an exclusively mental training we hear louder and louder the plea for the formation and training of character.

Primarily the word character signifies a distinctive mark, cut, engraved, or stamped upon a substance, and by analogy, this is likewise character in the sense in which it concerns education.  A “man of character” is one in whom acquired qualities, orderly and consistent, stand out on the background of natural temperament, as the result of training and especially of self-discipline, and therefore stamped or engraved upon something receptive which was prepared for them.  This something receptive is the natural temperament, a basis more or less apt to receive what training and habit may bring to bear upon it.  The sum of acquired habits tells upon the temperament, and together with it produce or establish character, as the arms engraved upon the stone constitute the seal.

If habits are not acquired by training, and instead of them temperament alone has been allowed to have its way in the years of growth, the seal bears no arms engraven on it, and the result is want of character, or a weak character, without distinctive mark, showing itself in the various situations of life inconsistent, variable, unequal to strain, acting on the impulse, good or bad, of the moment; its fitful strength in moods of obstinacy or self-will showing that it lacks the higher qualities of rational discernment and self-control.

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The Education of Catholic Girls from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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