Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saint John Bosco

Saint John Bosco was born in Italy in the year of 1815. He grew up in a poor family and his father died when he was just two years old. His early years were very difficult, and so when he became a priest he dedicated himself to the education of the young. His focus was on how the young could be formed for a good, holy Christian life. His teaching style was one of love as opposed to severity. He helped many young, troubled boys and girls and his popularity grew. He is known as the founder of the Salesian Society.

As I think about several of our public schools today, I wonder how much better off our society would be if we taught our children as John Bosco did - with an emphasis on forming our kids to grow in Christian faith and love. In addition to teaching children, John Bosco also wrote pamphlets for the support and defense of religion. All too often today, our public schools do everything they can to eliminate religion from school. This has had left a terrible impression and influence on our young people. We should instill in our children the importance of growing in our faith and we should help teach them this by growing in faith ourselves each and every day.

I think John Bosco's teaching style would work beautifully today just as it did a couple centuries ago. We must teach our children at a young age about the importance of faith in our daily lives, not just on Sunday mornings. I am encouraged at the large numbers of young people who turned out for the recent marches for life. While some of these kids may be too young to fully understand the severity of the issues they march in support of, their presence gives me hope that several parents and teachers are doing their job. We must encourage our young people to embrace their faith and live their faith in their daily lives. We must not let society brain wash our young children into thinking that faith begins and ends in one's own church service. Faith is our life. We must not make faith a private matter. Faith is the basis of everything we do. It is imperative for the proper growth of a child that they grow in Christian faith. As parents, we are responsible for our children. If our schools neglect to provide our children with the necessary lessons of Chrisian faith, we are obliged to teach the faith to our children ourselves. We should be doing that anyway. I am already fearful about sending my baby Julie to public school... I know that sending my children to a Catholic school is preferencial, but I don't know if I'll have the financial means to do so... I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there. In the mean time I'll pray and I ask you to pray for and with me. I'm already thinking of ways to love, nurture, protect and teach my baby girl. I pray that God will guide me and help me be a good father.

I have lots of thoughts about the education of our children, but it's getting late and I can't seem to find the right words for my feelings right now. In summary though, we all must be like John Bosco. Even if we don't have children of our own, we all encounter children if not on a daily basis often and we can have a significant impact on their lives. Children are the future. Many children just need love. Many children don't have a parent or teacher that will talk to them about Jesus and about his great love. Many children are trouble and come from troubled families. Without proper guidance, these children will often head down troubled paths, but if we show these children love and teach them of the love of Jesus they might be saved. We can do this. We must do this, because not every parent or teacher will. Children seek truth. In their innocence and eagerness, they often teach us adults a good lesson. I fear that sometimes we try to transform our children into adults when instead we should be becoming more like them.

"Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, says the Lord; to such belongs the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:14)

REMINDER: This Sunday, parishes around the country will be passing out cards to fill out and send to our local politicians. These cards are a petition to stop FOCA. Please be sure to sign one of these cards. You may also choose to write a hand written letter or email to your political leaders. This is a great way to send a message to our politicians and let them know that we will NOT support abortion and we will NOT turn a blind eye at this holocaust.

Jesus, I trust in You.

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