Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow--
Grown on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky--
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

William Ross Wallace

This poem beautiful in both its simplicity and its message. It so perfectly expresses what motherhood means and all that we are charged with when we become a mother. Wallace eloquently describes what I've always seen to be the most important aspect of motherhood, teaching children about the Lord. What a great charge God has placed us with, the souls of our children, teaching them to keep their souls in a state of grace. Protecting their purity. Illustrating custody of the eyes, the mouth, the ears. Modeling modesty in our demeanor, manner of dress, tone of voice, through patience.

We are the first teachers of our children, Wallace points that out once again for us when he says, Mother's first guide to the streamlets. Mothers hold the power to guide their children to good or evil. I do not think that anyone deliberately leads their children to sin. But I do see a disturbing trend in society. Mothers who are leading their children astray because they are ignorant. They do not realize they are teaching their children wrongly because they have accepted immorality as a societal norm.

"There is nothing more fearful than ignorance in action." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832, Criticisms, Reflections and Maxims)

Admittedly, this sounds a bit harsh. How did society get to the point where immorality is the rule rather than the exception? Modesty is one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. When mothers sport fashions that are too tight, bare too much skin, or draw the eye to linger over private areas of the body (and here I'm including pants which are too tight) she is moving further from God and is teaching her children to tolerate this manner of dress in others. Worse still, is when she dresses her children in similar fashions. Mothers are called to a higher standard of life. Wallace illustrates my point here, in his poem.

Grown on for the good or evil, Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;

How does fashion influence good or evil? Men and boys are visually stimulated. That is one reason why the video industry is so popular with the male gender. By dressing in a provocative way, women are bringing the men in society to a near occasion of sin. Once the mind starts to wander in such an immoral way, the downward spiral begins. There is so much evil which stems from the desensitization to sex that prevails in society today. When people are no longer shocked by a plus sized woman sporting a tank top hanging on for dear life by two tiny spaghetti straps, her midriff exposing her pierced belly button, hanging over the top of her too tight shorts, and her thong strap hanging out the back, society is in trouble. We are not surprised by the inappropriateness of the full figured woman, or even the tight body sporting the same outfit. Really there is no difference in the lack of propriety exhibited by either. From this point it is only a very short hop to cohabiting instead of vows.

We need to keep Satan at bay and defeat him. Right now it feels as though Satan is winning. The fashions are leading to a loosening of morals. Just look at commercials on the television. We do not have one in our home for this reason.

Satan is fully aware of the claim that Wallace makes in his poem. That is why Satan is tempting women. When you destroy the faith and morals of women, you can collapse society faster than through any other method. By tempting women with the desire to compete with and outdo men, Satan has begun to destroy families. Men do not want to compete with their wives and when they are put in the position of feeling inadequate in any way (income, athleticism, etc.) it becomes unbearable to them. Women can effectively destroy the love of their husband by being too masculine in appearance, mannerisms, and abilities. Now women dress like men, are aggressive like men, compete in business and sometimes they are the executives who direct men at work. The divorce rate is soaring, even among Catholics.

Working outside of the home, once they become mothers, is how Satan is tempting women. They want the money and the 'stuff' it will buy, they want the recognition of a job well done. But, children are coming home to empty houses with television, video games and the Internet to entertain themselves. When your moral compass is an electronic device instead of a nurturing mother, society goes astray, and we can see the results. Teens acting out the behaviors practiced by 'role models' on television. Life today is more dramatic than the soap operas. The local kindergarten class of 17 students has 11 children whose parents have split up. Four of the eleven live with their grandparents because the parents aren't mature enough to raise their own children. These five and six year old children are moved around from one household to the next, witnessing the drama in their parent's lives. Job drama, romantic drama, financial drama, housing dramas. We owe it to our children to give them a safe and secure start in this world. We owe it to them to love and nurture them, creating a happy environment for them to grow up in, setting limits, making rules and modeling virtue.

Keep, oh, keep the young heart open /Always to the breath of God!

This is the key, forming our children to love and worship God. Modeling a prayer life, making God a central part of family. Living a virtuous life, trying to eliminate your vices and faults so your children can witness victory over vice is an important lesson for children to learn. When you improve yourself, they will notice your efforts. When you keep children actively engaged in healthy, moral activities, always turning their eyes to the Lord, they will thrive and flourish. We need to look to the ultimate role model for motherhood. The mother who was presented to us by our Lord, when he was dying on the cross for our sins, His mother, our Blessed Mother, Mary, Ever Virgin. She will lead us back to Him, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Women have the power to lead the charge against Satan because women can and will define society through the children. When mothers are looking for rewards in their work, the daily grind of the job is thankless, but the greatest reward any mother can receive is through leading her children to God and improving society through the caliber of the children she sends into the world.

Satan is fully aware that the hand that rocks the cradle is, in fact, the hand that rules the world.


Katherine T. Lauer said...

Excellent essay structured around a beautiful poem. I am reminded of my importance and how Satan lurks, trying to keep me from raising saints!

Joy said...

I love this poem :) We truly have a divine mission to guide our children and keep our homes. It is good to "meet" others who are responding to this call as well.



Lily said...

Thank you, Joy. I enjoy meeting other women on this mission to raise saints as well. Thanks for coming by, do come again :-)

God bless

Lu said...

Thanks for posting this old poem...the title has been used so extensively and most don't realize there is a poem connected to the phrase...Lu

Anonymous said...

I love the poem and the meaning behind it, yet the author of this piece has horribly construed the insinuations in Wallace's work. How horrible of you to say that the reason for the rise of immortality in our society is due to mothers going to work! As far as I can tell, working mothers are some of the most attentive and caring parents. They provide a good example to their children that life requires hard work and diligence and that everyone needs to pay their dues. It isn't just to buy "stuff." I'm a working mother and I do it to put food on the table and keep the lights on! How dare you insult working mothers, and that was not the intent of this poem.