ELEISON COMMENTS CL (May 29, 2010) : EMBATTLED BOYS.
EC 146 told of the difficulty that teaching Sisters have with today's girls. EC 147 traced the problem back to the home. Now, some of you ask, what about the boys ? Catholics know that boys and girls, as to the saving of their souls for the next life, are equal, so both must be prepared alike, first and foremost, to get to Heaven. But about there the likeness ends. God has appointed man and woman for quite different roles in this life, which is why the Church has always condemned co-education. Then what do boys specifically need ?
As woman has gifts of heart to look after home and children, so man has gifts of reason to lead them and provide for them by, ever since original sin, "the sweat of his brow" (Gen. III, 19). Therefore while a girl's formation must centre around what will serve husband and children inside the home, a boy's formation should train him for (1) work and (2) responsibility outside the home, which will usually mean, in the big bad world. There he is going to need (3) judgment, (4) self-discipline and (5) manliness. We already have quite a programme !
In this programme, the example given to a boy by his father is all-important ! Parents of today, you must have been yourselves formed 20 to 30 years ago, well after the revolutionary 1960's. Do all of you realize what that means ? Do have the humility to recognize that your own formation, in school and/or home, most likely ill prepared you to raise children so to live as to get to Heaven. Fathers, set about correcting your own indolence, irresponsibility, silliness, self-indulgence and unmanliness, and you will be doing the very best you can for your boys !
WORK outside in nature is the best. Let a boy swing an axe, cut down a tree, plant a garden, ride a horse, build a shed. Sport at best is manly recreation, but it is not meant to be any more than recreation. A genuine need of the family best teaches RESPONSIBILITY, also taught by a boy's suffering from the consequences of his own mistakes, instead of being protected from them. JUDGMENT he will learn by being encouraged to use his mind, by discussions at the family table, by the company and instruction of his father whom he naturally hero-worships and follows, but who must take time to listen to his boy and counsel him, especially in adolescence. DISCIPLINE he will learn by getting up early in the morning, by a daily routine to which he sticks, by getting early to bed, and by not dating until, more or less, he is looking to marry. The less he gives to girls he will not marry, the more he will have to give to the girl he will marry. MANLINESS will be the reward for following out such a programme.
Finally, parents, notice how electronics as a rule make a boy 1 idle, 2 irresponsible, 3 silly, 4 soft and 5 frustrated.
Cast out of the home electronics' spell,
If your boys are not to drop into Hell !