Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesdays with Words :: Gentle and Patient

Taking inspiration in my parenting from Mother Mary Loyola's First Communion this week:
Our Lord's training of the Twelve was very gentle and patient.  We might have thought rebukes would have been incessant, so that it would be hard to live in His company. But it was not so. He bore with them, and though He reproved them, they were at their ease with Him.  They felt He reproved them because He loved them.  And His reproofs were sweetened by a Divine compassion and a wonderful patience.  He was among them as one of themselves.
Those who have lived with Saints have been afraid to appear before them with sin on their souls, because God has often shown to His Saints the secrets of hearts.  But our Lord's Apostles were not afraid of Him.  Though they knew he could read their hearts, they were not uncomfortable in His Presence.  They knew Him and loved Him as the best of Masters and the truest of Friends.  After three years in His School, hearing His instructions, living in His company, seeing His example, they were far from perfect.  Yet He did not lose patience with them.  He forgave them again and again, helped them in their efforts to do better and encouraged them to try and try again when they failed. 
And see how they repaid His teaching.  Except that poor Judas, for whom He could do nothing, who would not be taught or helped, all the rest came in the end to be what He wanted them to be, and one and all laid down their lives for Him at last. (174, emphasis mine)
The teaching style of Our Lord that Mother Loyola describes here sounds so similar to Charlotte Mason's suggestions on habit training with young children in Volume 1.  I'll share a small bit of her famous "shutting the door" example:
But the little fellow has really not much power to recollect, and the mother will have to adopt various little devices to remind him; but of two things she will be careful––that he never slips off without shutting the door, and that she never lets the matter be a cause of friction between herself and the child, taking the line of his friendly ally to help him against that bad memory of his
Habit training as a "friendly ally," "without friction," yet without letting one bad habit slip by.  Providing correction "sweetened by a Divine compassion and a wonderful patience" while still making children feel they can be "at their ease."  Sounds like just the kind of atmosphere I want to cultivate for habit training in our home.


  1. Loved this, Celeste! It's now in my virtual commonplace on Evernote, soon to be copied into my paper one!

    1. Hahaha! Yeah, I have to admit, I haven't copied it out by hand yet... ;)

  2. My own mom is gentle and patient like this. I wish that I were able to be more like this as well. I really struggle with not letting friction result! Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Habit training "without friction" and "at their ease" sounds lovely.