In order that life may be good and pleasant, occupation should surround and enter into it, as the air surrounds and penetrates the body.
To be without some useful occupation, which in addition to our great duties will fill all those little moments when we are alone, is to slowly plant within ourselves the seeds of a discontent which will end by destroying our cheerfulness, weakening our virtue, and embittering our character.
It would seem that a person who has noble thoughts, who says nothing ungracious, who is assiduous in her hours of work, and faithful to the demands on her position, needs nothing more to make her life good and useful. But no; her life, with all this, is not sufficiently useful, nor consequently meritorious, if, outside these duties, when she is alone, she permits her mind and heart to drift aimlessly on, because then her life is filled with little voids.
And through these moments of dreamy idleness there will come and go “troubles about nothing, dark clouds, little suspicions, sudden silences, cutting words, prolonged weariness, and sullenness without cause.”
Mothers, friends, you who wish to be always loved, find constantly some new and interesting occupation for those to whom you devote yourselves.
And you who wish to remain always joyous, pure, and loving, impose on yourselves each day some task: something definite, in order that you may not have the trouble of seeking it; something simple, which you can leave and resume without trouble; something interesting, which will attract you when your serious occupations are ended, retain you by its charm, and fill the voids in your day; “for instance, a collection to complete, a book to examine, something to learn, a work of art to perfect…”
God has given to occupation the mission of the north wind – that of purifying the miasma of the heart, as the wind purifies the miasma of the atmosphere.
The saints have all been very busy, even overburdened.
– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, M. H. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889