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Holiness for Housewives: And Other Working Women Paperback – April 1, 1997

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Holiness for Housewives: And Other Working Women + A Mother's Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul + The Little Oratory: A Beginner's Guide to Praying in the Home
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Sophia Institute Press (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0918477476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0918477477
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Dr.Susan Muto
"Here’s a way to grow holy day by day through intimacy with the ordinary."

Homiletic and Pastoral Review
"Housewives and mothers of families will find much to help them in this author’s common sense."

The Midwest Book Review
"Inspiring reading for every housewife, and every spouse, father, brother, and son of a housewife!"

Ave Maria Magazine
"Van Zeller points out a sure way to combat fatigue and weariness of spirit. Written with charm and a fine sense of humor."

--Personal Endorsements

About the Author

Dom Hubert van Zeller (1905-1984) was a popular spiritual director and a prolific author. His books offer practical advice to all Christians seeking to know God and to serve Him with greater fidelity. He is the author of the bestselling book Spirit of Penance, Path to God.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
With a wave of the hand and a "pfft!"
Sarah F. Hodges
I highly recommend reading this book if you want to grow in your relationship with the Lord, but don't know how or where to start.
It has drastically changed the way I look at prayer.
J Ro

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on November 1, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I admit that this book wasn't what I was expecting when I first came across it. But it has turned out to be the richest and wisest book on the vocation of wife and mother that I have read. A mere 63 pages of text, it is not written in a light, chatty style with "dust jacket sound bites" but rather as an experienced spiritual director speaks to a soul, with directness, depth, and understanding. And it's not to be read in one sitting, but each section taken a little at a time to meditate upon and internalize.

It is divided into three sections:

1) Your special vocation as a housewife

2) How to pray amidst your daily duties

3) How to grow holier day by day

and each are further divided into subsections such as "Don't be misled by a false notion of holiness," "Learn the two ways to pray and work," and "Beware of the temptation to run away." Though there are no personal stories such as one might find in a woman's or parenting magazine to chuckle over and say "Oh, yeah I've been in that situation," each topic goes to the deepest parts of what marriage is - a vocation, one's personal way to holiness - and how to let this vocation be one's means of sanctification in a practical way (such as how to respond to the constant interruptions and ruined plans). It helps to give a picture of what holiness truly is instead of some false image of praying in a quiet chapel all day, and practically how to advance in this particular path of sanctification.

I think a some misunderstandings in a previous review do need a response briefly. First, when speaking of religion as consolation, he is warning not to let that be the sole substance of what religion is to a soul.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wow! Holiness for Housewives offers genuine, understandable, and practical guidance for mothers! This is a helpful--and hopeful-- book for women who wish to grow their spirituality within the context of their daily routine. Van Zeller truly edifies the day-to-day tasks of stay-at-home moms and offers very specific ways that these tasks can lead one to a deeper relationship with God. Rather than trying to deepen one's spirituality IN SPITE OF the daily chores and child-care duties, he discuses how one might offer the busyness of the day as a prayer in and of itself. He calls this "practicing the presence of God." This process places incredibe value on both one's personal realtionship with God and on mothering. I've often thought of these two endeavors as somewhat mutually exclusive--or at least as competitors. But Van Zeller provides a method in which they can fit together in a way which enriches them both.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Tim Drake VINE VOICE on August 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
What can a man offer about a book for women? Well, as a husband who does his fair share of cleaning and dishes and child-rearing I can tell you that not only has my wife benefitted from this book, but so have I.
I have benefitted in that not only is my wife a more content mother because of the advice offered, but I am a better father.
I'm better because she is more content, and I am better because the book's advice and prayers are beneficial to housewives and househusbands weary from the drudgery of daily housework.
The author demonstrates that housework and childcare can be a path to holiness. Finding the spiritual and the sacredness in our everyday tasks can make us Saints.
I highly recommend this book, for both housewives and their husbands. It is a short, easy read. The very practical and honest prayers at the end of the book are alone worth the price of the book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sarah F. Hodges on December 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always hated those guilt-tripping "holiness" books that are geared toward some imaginary type of person that the author thinks should exist but I've never encountered. You know, the kind of mom that has endless quiet hours for Scripture reading and daily prayer. If you don't read your Bible for 30 minutes a day and have daily formal devotions, you aren't living up to your calling. Even if your calling includes waking every three hours at night and changing endless diapers and making endless meals and cleaning endless messes. (Don't you know you're supposed to get up at 4:00 am to do it, if the kids are too noisy during the day?!) With a wave of the hand and a "pfft!" I have always dismissed these books or sermons as completely impractical and a burden on the faithful. "God knows what my calling is and I will not feel guilty for not having devotions every single day!"

Well, this book isn't anything like that. Dom Zeller writes as though he has lived in my brain at some point. Every excuse, every rationalization, every resolve, he somehow knows. And yet he writes with such understanding and love, with encouragement and practical advice, that rather than instill guilt, it inspires me to cultivate my interior life.

What he does is he explains the inherent dignity that is motherhood and housewifery, and shows practical ways that I can actually USE the "drudgery" and constant interruptions as occasions for submitting my will to God's. He goes against these false notions of theoretical "holiness" that require one to resemble a hermit, and teaches how to "pray without ceasing" in a way that is actually doable. Best of all he does not impose any one method on all, but gives principles to easily apply to my particular situation. Whereas other authors merely make you feel like giving up before you even start, this book makes you think "Hey, I can do that. I'll start now!"
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