"Ten Commandments" for the Education of Children - Part IV
Here is the “Fourth Commandment for the Education of Children” from a homily by Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, with an excerpt from Msgr. João’s biography of Dona Lucilia that highlights an example of this commandment taken to its plenitude. For the first three commandments visit the blog index:
Children must be educated in respect to Our Lord’s teachings on love and fear.
To love what is good: it is necessary to know how to attract the child — to know how to attract the boy or girl to the path of virtues — to the path of holiness. Tell many stories of the Saints. The ideal would be for the parents to know 500 stories of the Saints, that would be the ideal, and that as the boy and the girl grew up, the parents would tell them about the attitude of this or that Saint faced with certain circumstances and encourage this example of holiness for their children.
Fear is also important: it is important to learn that if we do not act correctly, it angers God. Teach the child, “Do not do this, because God is a father and He will be kind as long as we walk on the good path… if we go this way, everything will work out for the good.”
Imparting horror of evil by speaking almost exclusively of the Good
As observed in the previous chapter, one of the most salient features of the upbringing provided by Dona Lucilia was the ability to transmit moral lessons through anecdotes or stories. The God-Man Himself used this wise method in His preaching, the parables being some of the richest and most beautiful pages of the Gospels, clothing divine teachings with incomparable poetry.
One of the key aims of Dona Lucilia’s narratives was to teach detachment. She made it clear that she stood ready to sacrifice social status, fortune, or even life itself, in order to fulfil her duty entirely.
Furthermore, she showed that this was the only reasonable attitude to take. Life is not made for pleasure, but for willingly shouldering the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Dona Lucilia loved this principle and practiced it in her daily life, through resignation, and, moreover, resoluteness in adversity. Whenever she recounted an incident involving other persons, she would become involved in their joy or sorrow. This heightened her penchant for describing small, real-life episodes.
She always encouraged her children to value honour and to earn respect through personal virtue, while shunning ambition and the thirst for money.
She spoke almost exclusively of the good, the true, and the beautiful; it could be said that she viewed life solely through these prisms. But no one was stauncher in fulfilling the obligation of censuring evil. Her sense of justice led her to praise the merits of others, while never failing to reproach wrongdoings.
She would sometimes tell anecdotes of people from the past with the intention of instilling a horror for vice in the children, stressing the sad consequences that stem from giving in to unchecked passion.
Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, Dona Lucilia, p. 233
See the video below to learn how to tell stories to your children!
Marvellous Tales: “Dona Lucilia – Teach us how to tell stories!”
To be continued…
Some of the above article was unofficially translated from: https://arautosfamilia.com/decalogo-educacao-filhos/
About the Article: Many Saints and also many Popes in the history of the Church have dedicated themselves to writing some points to help parents educate their children. The founder of the Heralds of the Gospel, Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, made a summary of some of these points in a homily, calling them a decalogue for the education of children, as they contain some of the principle points for the good education of children.