A Lesson to Parents from St. Pio of Pietrelcina

I’ve always argued that one of the reasons for homeschooling is that, no matter how good a school is, school’s can’t control what the kids say to each other, so when it comes to issues like bullying and bad influences, a school impedes parents’ ability to protect their children from unnecessary persecution and/or bad examples. Similarly, going by the MPAA’s meaningless “ratings” system as a standard, schools will show programs and movies that may not meet the standards of some parents. By the way, if you reading this are a parent, teacher or administrator, advise your school that copyrighted material can *only* be shown if it’s in an academic context. Schools can’t just show movies for “fun”; they have to at least have discussions of the film or assign a paper or something.

Having our kids in brick & mortar school for the first time, we’ve come to see the reality of these issues. Thankfully, Gianna for one is holding fast in the tide of evil and secularism she’s facing at school, but how can a 7 year old be expected to really stand up against such filth?

When we were homeschooling, our kids only associated with children whom we also knew–I take that back, they were in virtual charter schools, and Allie was picking some stuff up in discussions with her online classmates that was less than wholesome. If there was a bullying issue or fight, parent could talk to parent and get it resolved. Even in activities, we still generally chose Catholic activities, and the kids at those events were kids of parents who are also committed Catholics.

Anyway, all of this has me thinking of the famous statement by Padre Pio that is often misquoted, regarding permissive parents. I looked it up, and here are two statements he had towards permissive parents, with another one to a husband who was being overly permissive with himself, from http://www.christianfamilyoutreach.com/pamphlets/saint_padre_pio.pdf:

One day a priest brought a husband and wife to Padre Pio so that he could bless them. Three of their sons were in prison for burglary. Padre Pio said to them, “I absolutely refuse to bless you! You didn’t pull in the reins when your children were growing up, so don’t come along now when they are in jail and ask for my blessing.”
A woman came to Padre Pio whose daughter had just died in the process of giving birth. The woman couldn’t think of anything else but the loss of her daughter. Padre Pio said to her, “And why are you weeping so much for her when she is already in Paradise? You would do much better to devote more attention to the activities of your seventeen-year-old daughter who comes home late at night from dances and entertainments.”  . . .

A man who was being unfaithful to his wife confessed that he was having “a spiritual crisis.” Padre Pio stood up and yelled, “What spiritual crisis? You’re a vile pig and God is angry with you. Go away!”

In the family of Bl. Louis and Zelie Martin, SFO (interestingly, while the Martins are honored by Carmelites b/c of their Carmelite daughters, they themselves were Third Order Franciscans, and their daughter Leonie became a Franciscan). Since “little flower” Therese, the youngest, was already in the convent, Celine stayed at home to care for their father. Celine had at one point made a private vow of perpetual virginity, and Therese was very concerned that she might change her mind if she stayed out of the convent too long. Other family members hoped that Celine would choose to marry, and encouraged her to socialize. She attended several dances and turned down several marriage proposals. During that time, Therese repeatedly begged her not to endanger her soul by going to dances. Of course, Celine ultimately did join her sisters at the convent of Lisieux, outliving them helping to not only contribute to her sister’s hagiography and legacy, but also to promote devotion to the Shroud of Turin.

Then there’s what Our Lord Himself said to St. Faustina about attending a dance–and I’m sure dances in early 20th Century Poland were nothing near so spiritually filthy as the “dances” today:

Once I was at a dance with one of my sisters and while everybody was having a good time, my soul was experiencing deep torments. As I began to dance, I suddenly saw Jesus at my side, Jesus racked with pain, stripped of his clothing, all covered with wounds, who spoke these words to me, “How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting Me off?” At that moment the charming music stopped, and the company I was with vanished from my sight; there remained Jesus and I. I took a seat by my dear sister, pretending to have a headache in order to cover up what took place in my soul. After a while I slipped out unnoticed, leaving my sister and all my companions behind and made my way to the Cathedral of Saint Stanislaus Kostka (Lodz). It was almost twilight; there were only a few people in the cathedral. Paying no attention to what was happening around me, I fell prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament and begged the Lord to be good enough to give me to understand what I should do next.

(Diary 9-10, qtd. in http://www.faustina-message.com/saint-faustina-biography.htm).

Apparently, WordPress no longer permits video embedding, but here’s a link to a Protestant song on the same topic, Casting Crowns’ “Slow Fade”

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