Saturday, January 8, 2011

"An Ordered Plan of Love"

Karin Larsson, by Carl Larsson, 1909

The genesis of this blog was a search on the Internet to investigate the effects on children of a physically and emotionally chaotic home, which led to Homeliving Helper and eventually to Under the Gables.

However, none of the explanations I read about the importance of maintaining a loving and clean and orderly home for children was satisfying. But at last, in Lift Up Your Hearts to Mary, Peace, Prayer, Love, by Caryll Houselander, I have found an explanation that makes complete and perfect sense to me. Here is what this most poetic writer says in her essay, "The House on the Rock," in this book:
To a young child home stands for God. In it he learns to see and touch the gifts of God. If his mother is wise she will make his home beautiful. She will copy the world's creator and make a tiny new Eden. She will bring in flowers and give the child animals and feed the birds. The food on the table will be clean and simple and good. It will not only taste nice, it will look nice....

It is in his home that the child should assimilate the Sermon on the Mount, not as if it were being drilled in his brain by words, but as if he were breathing it in his whole being like the air....

The ordering of time, which seems so simple, really requires great skill and energy from the mother. It has tremendous importance, above all if it is related (as it obviously should be) to the rhythm of day and night and is interwoven with prayer.

The child should wake to the singing of the birds (and they sing in the cities as well as in the woods). Give his heart to God, when light is young, play for long hours when the world is awake and lively. He should form habits of regular hunger and thirst, so that food and hunger come together, and his grace is a real thanking. With twilight there should come stillness in the house and he should be lit to bed by the stars.

From such ordering of time he will learn unconsciously, though it may be years before he thinks this out, that he is not part of that chaos that man has made of this world, with its fearful abuse of time, but part of an ordered plan of love.



Illustration for her book Bright April by Marguerite di Angeli.

6 comments:

Nancy said...

I couldn't agree more. A thoughtful quote, a picture by Larson, another by DeAngeli with a side of Goudge. So glad I happened upon your blog.
Godspeed,
Nancy

Christina said...

Thank you for your wonderful quote from Houselander, which will certainly boost the spirits of homemakers at work to accomplish the beautiful mission that it describes.

bookssnob said...

What a beautiful, and inspirational quote. In these days of career obsession, it's easy to forget what talent, dedication and passion goes into building a welcoming, loving home. If there were more homes and mothers like in Houselander's description, I am perfectly convinced there would be much less strife and suffering in the world. Your blog is such a haven, and so intelligent and thoughtful. Thank you for your insightful posts - I take great delight in reading them.:)

emilyatheart said...

I inherited the book Bright April from our church and read it to my daughter constantly. It appealed to me for the wonderful domestic illustrations. Great idea to use this one for your marvelous post.

emilyatheart said...

Also, your post reminded me to read the wonderful essay, "The Womanly Art of Raising Daughters". That essay kept me going when I was raising my daughter all alone. I wanted her to experience "home" as God meant it to be. She is a lovely special education teacher now and thanks me for giving her such a nice home.

Keep writing...I love your blog.

Joanne said...

I just wanted to leave a comment on your blog to say that it is just lovely! Thank you for all that you share including art, poetry, quotes and more...
blessings!
Joanne at Seasonal Hearth