Thursday, January 31, 2008

My mothering and unschooling "mentor"

St John Bosco Feast day January 31.

More here.

Enjoy yourself as much as you like - if only you keep from sin.

- Saint John Bosco

My kind of saint.

St John Bosco's patience with the boys in his care was phenomonal ~ something to which I aspire but often do not achieve, being surrounded and outnumbered by males .

My sons, in my long experience very often I had to be convinced of this great truth. It is easier to become angry than to restrain oneself, and to threaten a boy than to persuade him. Yes, indeed, it is more fitting to be persistent in punishing our own impatience and pride than to correct the boys. We must be firm but kind, and be patient with them.

See that no one finds you motivated by impetuosity or willfulness. It is difficult to keep calm when administering punishment, but this must be done if we are to keep ourselves from showing off our authority or spilling out our anger.

Let us regard those boys over whom we have some authority as our own sons. Let us place ourselves in their service. Let us be ashamed to assume an attitude of superiority. Let us not rule over them except for the purpose of serving them better.

This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles. He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity. He treated sinners with a kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalized and still others to hope for God's mercy. And so he bade us to be gentle and humble of heart.


Rebecca said...

He is by far my favorite saint. Thanks for posting the quote.

Gaye said...

I like his idea of being a servant. Here is another quote I thought really good - "The chief thing is to take the burden on one’s shoulders. As you press forward, it soon shakes down and the load is evenly distributed." - not on parenting - but inspiring all the same.
You have been a mentor to me in both mothering and homeschooling - so its nice to know where you get your inspiration from.

Leonie said...

That's a great quote - and could even be applied to parenting!

Amy R said...

I linked to your blog so that my FB friends could read a bit of St. John Bosco's words. Thank you for bringing his message to my attention today.

Leonie said...

Thanks for the link!