04 Mar

How to attain a happy home and a content family

The Angel of Small Sacrifices

Have you never seen her at work? Have you never, at least, felt her influence?

In every Christian family, and in all pious communities, God has placed the Angel of Small Sacrifices, in order to be the image of his Providence in the household. Her duty is to remove all thorns, to lighten all burdens, and to share all fatigues.

She has for her motto these gracious words: God makes no noise, because noise effects no good.

Thus she is like a ray of sunlight, lightning, warming, giving life to all, but inconveniencing no one.

We feel that she is near us, because we no longer experience those misunderstandings which we formerly met with, those rancorous thoughts, those deliberate coolnesses which make family life unhappy; because we no longer hear those harsh words which wound so deeply; because affectionate sentiments mount readily from the heart to the lips, and life becomes sweeter.

Who, then, has taken from us that self-love which would not yield; that egotism which had a place in the most sincere friendship; that self-indulgence, in short, which always sought for ease?

The Angel of Small Sacrifices has received from heaven the mission of those angels, of whom the prophet speaks, who removed the stones from the road, lest they might bruise the feet of travellers.

And that of the angels who, according to the simple legend of the early Christians, scattered rose-leaves beneath the feet of Jesus and Mary during their flight into Egypt…

But, like them, she is invisible; she does her work in secret.


The Angel of Small Sacrifices works in secret

If there is one place less commodious than another, she chooses it, saying, with a sweet smile, How comfortable I am here!

If there is some work to be done, she presents herself simply to perform it, with the joyous manner of one who finds her happiness in so doing.

If it is an object of trifling value, she deprives herself of it in order to give it to her who the evening before manifested a desire to possess a similar one.

How many oversights are repaired by this unknown hand!

How many neglected things are put in their places, without our ever seeing how they came there!

How many little joys are procured for others without their ever having mentioned to any one the happiness which they would give them!

Who has thus known how to do good in secret?

Who has thus known to divine the secrets of the heart?


Who has thus known to divine the secrets of the heart?

Should a dispute arise, she knows how to settle it by a pleasant word, which wounds no one, and falls upon the slight disturbance like a ray of sunlight upon a cloud.

Should she hear of two estranged hearts, she has always some means of reuniting them without their being able to show her any gratitude; she does everything sweetly, simply, and naturally.

But who can tell the thorns which have torn her hands, the pain which has racked her heart, the humiliations which her charity has borne?

And yet she is always smiling. Does sacrifice cause her joy?

Have you never seen the angel of small sacrifices at work? On earth she is called a mother, a friend, a sister, or a wife. In heaven she is called a saint.

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in Words of Wisdom


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