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Letter: Jan. 13, 1853

your-temper-webIt is yet another great piece of advice from our dear Mother Theodore! This quote can be found in a letter that Mother Theodore wrote to Sister Maria of Madison, Indiana on Jan. 13, 1853.

In case you haven’t caught on yet, Mother Theodore was very wise and enjoyed pitching advice to those around her. It seems that Sister Maria had done something that might have been frowned upon at the time. The short letter consists of mostly advice and metaphors. Some metaphors might even make you laugh out loud, such as “The more we stir up a dung-hill the more it exhales bad odors.”

Mother Theodore never names the thing that Sister Maria might be at fault for, but doesn’t spend much time scolding her for it. Instead, she encourages her with rewarding advice, such as “Be careful not to give way to your temper, which makes you unsupportable. You would be a thousand times happier in resisting it.”

This is probably one of my (many) favorite quotes from Mother Theodore for several reasons, but I will name two. The first reason is because I respect Mother Theodore for not ridiculing others for their mistakes. Instead, she uses a positive reinforcement method, which I am a huge fan of. She simply acknowledges faults (including her own), and then encourages others to move on with life. The second reason is because this is a piece of advice that can be used for all of eternity! If you’re anything like me, when you get into a heated conflict you might say some things that you will deeply regret later. If you’ve ever tried the “keep calm” method, you might have noticed that your blood pressure stayed at a healthy level, you were happier, people didn’t think you were crazy, etc.

Moral to this blog? Keep calm! It’s good for you. Mother Theodore even said so.





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Jena Thralls

Jena Thralls

Jena graduated from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in 2012 with a degree in journalism. She worked for the Sisters of Providence as a Marketing Manager.

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  1. Avatar Nell Trainor on November 10, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Jenna- Thank you for another insightful interpretation of our dear Mother Theodore’s wise words. You have a great gift of revealing new insights into her writings, with the added bonus of your family’s providential connection with her from the start in 1840. I look forward to your next post!

  2. Jena Thralls Jena Thralls on November 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Nell, thank you for the nice comment! It’s always nice to hear some feedback. I truly appreciate the compliments and I couldn’t possibly write the way I do if it wasn’t for my love for Mother Theodore!

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