The Formation of Our Young Children

At what age does a person define their mentality and decide the course of their life? Opinions are divided and the answer is not easy to give. There are so many factors that come into play. However, the generalized opinion is that these deliberations are made in youth, sometimes, on the way to adulthood, during university studies. It is at this time that young people come in contact with new ideas and tendencies, will confront the current way of life, and either adhere to these ideas or reject them.

Despite the general opinion on this subject, Dr. Plinio’s view was diametrically opposed. He shows us that the great resolutions people make in life: the choice between good and evil, their vocation and their main preferences are made at a very early age, almost imperceptibly. It is in the tendencies manifested in early childhood that the future inclinations of a child can be discerned. And as the saying goes – the direction the tree leans is the direction where it will fall. Also, when a person reaches adolescence and youth, except for a few exceptions to the rule, they will make decisions in the same manner that their tendencies have already indicated before. At each age they will take a few more steps and will define with greater clarity their position in the face of the reality before them, of their own conscience and before God. (Excerpt from the Presentation of the Autobiographical Notes of Plinio Correa de Oliveira)

If the decisions with regard to their vocation, their preferences, their choice between being good and evil and their great resolutions of life are already taken at such an early age, as Dr. Plinio has expressed, is it necessary to say that it is in this early age that we should be more concerned about the early education of children? The decisions that they will make will absolutely mark their entire life, the path of their salvation.

Children have a natural attraction to everything that is marvelous and beautiful, their soul being in such a pure and innocent state they only want the good, beautiful and true, they only want perfection, which is God. Is it not our responsibility to take care that these desires are not corrupted?

It is the children that will make the actual decisions, but those decisions will be based on what we put before them: by the example we provide; although it may seem at times superficial, by their toys; by the books that we read to them; and through the “television programs” that we allow them to watch. I think it’s safe to say that, in this world completely taken by the revolution, by the horrendous, by decadence, in short, taken by the devil, there are no television programs that will help bring our children to make a decision for the path of good, for the path of holiness, for the path of fully fulfilling their vocation.

Well then, this is an invitation, to from now on be more aware that the formation of these little ones, the direction of their lives, the degree of sanctity that they will reach, depends in large part on what we are willing to give them.

Let us ask Dona Lucilia to always guide our souls and our decisions, that she help us to choose the right toys, the right books, the most beautiful stories, that will lead our children to choose the path of good. May she help to strengthen us, above all, to face the struggles that we will have to live through in wanting our children to be completely different from what the world wants them to be, by desiring that our children maintain their innocence, by desiring our children to be Saints.

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