Compelled by state laws and Federal oversight of “education” by means of “No Child Left Behind” and the “Common Core,” which is just the logical outgrowth of Martin Luther’s revolution against the Divine Plan that Christ the King instituted to effect man’s return to Him through His Catholic Church, and of the panoply of social engineers, such as Horace Mann, Otto von Bismarck and John Dewey, whom the devil raised up in successive centuries thereafter, somewhere around fifty million children are sent every day by their parents or legal guardians to the prison camps known as public schools.
Many of these fifty million children have never known even the natural love and self-sacrifice of parents, having been shunted off to day-care shortly after their births before “graduating” to pre-Kindergarten programs, Somewhere around the age of five, of course, these children, many of whom are the products of broken homes and are the children of single parents living in situations of real material privation, are admitted inside the prison walls of this country’s program of intellectual deformation, indoctrination and programming whose goal from the very beginning has been to replace Holy Mother Church as the principal influence upon the minds and hearts of the young. Unbeknownst to these children, of course, the thirteen years of programmatic indoctrination in moral and legal relativism, environmentalism, feminism, Communism, atheism, evolutionism and nihilism are designed to rob them of any capacity of human reason and self-control, especially as pertains to the binding precepts of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments.
A substantial number of other children who are shunted off to America’s concentration camps every day come from affluent families, although even many of them may have spent their tenderest years in the care of strangers in “day care” and after-school programs. These particular students have been given every gadget imaginable (video games, cellular phones, iPads, computers) and live their lives “connected” or “wired” to the portals of Hell itself. Some permit their bodies, which they do not realize are meant to be the temples of God the Holy Ghost, to mutilated by means of tattoos and pierced with veritable symbols of the adversary himself. Despite all of the sense pleasures in which they seek to take refuge from their responsibilities and crosses, these young people are morose and sullen as they become so engrossed in their alternative universes that they do not know, no less care, to greet other human beings whom they might encounter as to do so would interrupt their being connect to “music” and “games” that come from Hell itself and are meant to lead them there for all eternity.
It is inside those very prison walls that I ventured two days ago, Monday, February 10, 2014, in an effort to provide some sort of income for my family beyond that which we have normally each month. The location is not important as the experience I had two days ago is pretty universal. Suffice it to say for present purposes, however, that the high school into which I served as a substitute teacher for a series of classes dealing with a species of industrial arts (which was called “shop” back in my days fifty years ago now) was composed of students from both affluent and poor economic circumstances. Although the particular classes may have not been representative of the entire student body of the high school given the technical, career bent of the program some had decided and that others had been told was “best” for them, several walks around the campus revealed that some of what I experienced in six discrete classes two days ago was not unique to the culture extant at the school.
What was most shocking, though, was to find that the administration of the high school permitted students to walk around with “ear buds” inserted into their ears as they listened to the horror of rock “music” and to keep “connected” during class time when completing a written assignment that the teacher for whom I was substituting had left for them. Moreover, they were permitted to play video games or to sleep after the assignment had been completed.
Although it was very nice to be back in a classroom setting again as I am a teacher to the very core of my being, there was nothing substantive for me to teach these young people other than to explain to them such basics as they do not speak when the teacher is speaking and that they are to follow directions given to them with promptness. Some were aghast when I told them that they were not to work collaboratively with other students on their assignment. The students had never heard of the work “collaboratively” before Monday. Although some of these students were juniors and seniors, I had to explain to them that they were not to cheat on their assignments, an admonition that fell on the deaf ears of some of them who did attempt to cheat during the course of the individual class periods.
Yes, there were some students who were polite and courageous and who did their work with diligence. It was possible in a few of the class periods to engage the more serious students in a discussion of the necessity of structure and order in one’s daily routine as a preparation for all future activities, including college study. I was also careful to note, having done some research over the weekend, my awareness that their regular teacher had accomplished much in his chosen field and that I knew that their, the students’, daily routine had been upset by his absence.
It was all too obvious, however, that the behavior many of them exhibited two days ago was not simply the result of “ranking on a sub,” something that a lot of my peers at Oyster Bay High School did when I was there between September 8, 1965, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and June 22, 1969, the Feast of Saint Paulinus of Nola. It was all too obvious that even their regular teacher permitted them to play video games and to be “connected” with “music” during class time, especially when they were completing written assignments.
Several of the students came to the first class, which began at 7:40 a.m., about an hour after many of them had arrived on the campus (I got there around 6:45 a.m., having had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready to make the forty-five minute drive), simply wanted to sleep, promptly putting their heads on their desks after I had introduced myself and given them the assignment that their teacher had left for them. I had to prompt them to arose from their slumber in order to get to work. It was in that first class that I came to learn, after consulting a teacher in the same department who taught in the classroom next door, that students were permitted to listen to their “music” and to play their “games” or “chat” online when they had free time.
I told this to a friend of mine of nearly forty years, a man who had retired in June of 2013 from teacher music and chorus in a school district on the North Shore of Long Island. As bad as things had gotten in his district, especially as a result of the administrative paper work required of teachers to complete thanks to George Walker Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” program and the general pettiness of administrators who do not believe that some people simply have the ability to teach and teach well without constant “updating” programs of ideological indoctrination, he, a funny Long Islander, was as shocked as as I was to learn that students were permitted to carry their infernal” devices, which connect them to the very portals of Hell itself, with them and to use them during class time.
This was not the first time that I had taught in a high school setting as I had spent six months, from December of 1981 to June of 1982, teaching religion to ninth grade students in a private Catholic high school in New York after leaving Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary and before I could return to teach at Nassau Community College. That was a tough situation at first as the students had gone through a series of teachers during a tumultuous time in the school’s history. Over the course of time, though, I was able to win the respect of the students, enjoying my time with them, although I decided to return to my college teaching position the following year. I had also taught two American history classes for the C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University at Chaminade High School in Mineola, Long Island, New York, during the entirety of the 2002-2003 academic year. Chaminade had its problems on the doctrinal and liturgical levels. When it came to old-fashioned discipline, however, the Society of Mary enforced the strictest of standards. Some of the students I taught during that year were among the best I have ever instructed. Thus, you see, I am not a novice at the high school level.
Lost, however, on the administrators of both the school district and the school in question is the simple fact that the “connectedness” they afford their students helps to produce the very antisocial behavior responsible for the likes of Adam Lanza, the young man who shot and killed twenty students and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday, December 14, 2012. Several of the students I encountered, especially in the last class of day, which a local police officer who patrolled the grounds of the campus explained to me was the roughest of the bunch that I wound, to use Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s favorite phrase, “encounter,” even refused to speak to me when I attempted to greet them as they entered the classroom before class. They were too engrossed in their “music” to be “bothered” by acknowledging a fellow human being.
“Earth to human being,” I said to one poor, isolated, insulated, solitary soul as he passed in front of me and refused to speak to me as he entered the classroom. He turned to his side and scowled.
Yes, these young people could have been cadets fifty-nine years ago at the Captain Video Ranger Academy, reciting the following pledge with fellow cadet Edward Norton, the famous subterranean worker in the City of New York:
Norton: I, Edward Norton, Ranger Third Class in the Captain Video Ranger Academy, do solemnly pledge to obey my mommy and daddy, to be kind to dumb animals and old ladies in and out of space, not to tease my little brothers and sisters and to brush my teeth twice a day and drink milk after every meal.
Yes, I’d say ninety percent of the students two days ago could have qualified to have been admitted to Captain Video’s Ranger Academy. Although those who have heard m lectures in person and/or viewed those that are on You Tube know that I have much to teach, I also know when to shut up. It was very evident to me two days ago that the students whom God’s Holy Providence put in front of me that day were not ready to listen to anything I might say to them on any subject. They knew as well as I did that they would not be tested on anything that I taught them, and if it does not relate to the “bottom line,” of course, then there is simply no use paying any attention to something that is not “required” to learn. Thus we see the triumph of the pragmatism of John Dewey, which is so very much a part of the Americanist psyche.
I will be paid sixty-five dollars, minus deductions, for having babysat seven classes of students, including a study hall session during which most of the students slept or played with the iPads (one even moved his seat to recharge his device’s battery, something that the regular teacher permits him to do), who have been robbed of any concept of First and Last Things.
Much more seriously, however, was the overwhelming sense of sadness on the faces of these young people. So many were morose and sullen, uninterested in anything other than their “games” and “music.” Some spoke openly about purchasing and using crack cocaine. Indeed, at least two or three students asked to be excused to “blow their nose” during class time even though they did not show any signs of having a cold or influenza. Their lives are empty because they know not Christ the King or His Holy Church or the fact that they have a loving Mother, Our Lady, who wants them to fly unto her maternal patronage. They are looking for “love,” “meaning” and “fulfillment” in all of the wrong places. One must also believe that more than a handful of these students lead lives of immorality after having been programmed from even pre-school programs to believe that their lower passions must be gratified without delay. And while only a few only a few of the students were young women, some of them looked so sad and depressed as to lead one to believe that they could have killed their own babies at some point in the recent past.
Mind you, I am not in any way judging the subjective states of the souls of these young people, each of whom is a victim of the anti-Incarnational lies of Modernity that are nothing other than the rotten fruit of the revolution Father Martin Luther began on October 31, 1517, a revolution that Jorge Mario Bergolio’s counterfeit church of conciliarism celebrates now as much as the now retired Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI celebrated it during his visit to Erfurt, Germany, on September 23, 2011. (See Modernist At Work, part two.) These students are also the victims of their own parents’ immersion of them into every aspect of the popular culture, including making possible their “connectedness” with the devil himself.
Make no mistake about it, however, the prison walls in which most of America’s youth are confined for up to one hundred eighty days a year have been designed by the agents of the devil. Pope Leo XIII explained that one of the goals of Judeo-Masonry was to capture the souls of the young:
Wherefore we see that men are publicly tempted by the many allurements of pleasure; that there are journals and pamphlets with neither moderation nor shame; that stage-plays are remarkable for license; that designs for works of art are shamelessly sought in the laws of a so-called verism; that the contrivances of a soft and delicate life are most carefully devised; and that all the blandishments of pleasure are diligently sought out by which virtue may be lulled to sleep. Wickedly, also, but at the same time quite consistently, do those act who do away with the expectation of the joys of heaven, and bring down all happiness to the level of mortality, and, as it were, sink it in the earth. Of what We have said the following fact, astonishing not so much in itself as in its open expression, may serve as a confirmation. For, since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring. . . .
With the greatest unanimity the sect of the Freemasons also endeavors to take to itself the education of youth. They think that they can easily mold to their opinions that soft and pliant age, and bend it whither they will; and that nothing can be more fitted than this to enable them to bring up the youth of the State after their own plan. Therefore, in the education and instruction of children they allow no share, either of teaching or of discipline, to the ministers of the Church; and in many places they have procured that the education of youth shall be exclusively in the hands of laymen, and that nothing which treats of the most important and most holy duties of men to God shall be introduced into the instructions on morals. (Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884.)
Public schooling is in and of itself has usurped the Natural Law right of parents to be the principal educators of their children, who are considered to be the wards of the civil state and not of their parents. The government of one country after another, especially in formerly Catholic Europe, has sought to persecute home-schooling parents. The Federal Republic of Germany, the home of Martin Luther and Karl Marx and Otto von Bismarck and Adolf Hitler (yes, I know that Marx spent most of his life outside of Germany and that Hitler was born in Austria), has been particularly vicious in this regard. Readers of this site had better believe that so-called “professional educators” want to do everything imaginable to shut down home schooling once and for all as they want to indoctrinate every child without exception.
The late Father John A. Hardon, S.J., who said in one lecture in the 1990s that “To send your child to a school today is a Mortal Sin” (Father Hardon knew that the schools in conciliar captivity were the same as the public schools, having adopted the same agenda), wrote a very detailed essay to explain the role of John Dewey, one of the father of the American philosophical school called “pragmatism” (which is based upon a rejection of understanding root causes of problems in order to “solve” them in a “practical” manner), in helping to perfect the program of indoctrination that Horace Mann had initiated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1837:
However, it was not merely participation in social life in general which prompted Dewey to identify the aim of modern pedagogy with the good of society. It is social participation in a democratic society which demands a socialized form of education in modern times.
Correlative to the scientific and industrial revolutions in the fields of knowledge and economy, there has been a democratic revolution in the political structure of government. And the democratic revolution means nothing, in Dewey’s hypothesis, if not the destruction of barriers between different strata of the population. “It is fatal for a democracy to permit the formation of fixed classes,” social, cultural or religious. And since education is a participation in social life, it must correspond to and promote the society in which it shares. “For education,” also, therefore, “the distinction of classes must be definitely done away with. Such is the principle, the law, that dominates the whole social conception of education.”
An immediate corollary to this socialistic ideal is to give all the citizens of a democracy equal and unlimited educational opportunities. For this reason, “the devotion of democracy to education is a familiar fact.”
But Dewey is not satisfied with “the superficial explanation that a government resting upon popular suffrage cannot be successful unless those who elect and who obey their governors are educated.” The real reason why education in a democracy is of its very essence is that “a democratic society repudiates the principle of external authority [and] must find a substitute in voluntary disposition and interest; these can be created only by education.“
Summarily, therefore, the end of democratic education is to form a classless society, in which social stratification has disappeared.
A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience…. Obviously a society to which stratification into separate classes would be fatal, must see to it that intellectual opportunities are accessible to all on equable and easy terms. A society marked off into classes need be specially attentive only to the education of its ruling elements.
But, as the history of economics teaches us, in such a society “a small group . . . were free to devote themselves to higher things . . . because they lived upon the fruits of the labor of an industrially enslaved class.” Only in a classless society, promoted by socialized education, can we be spared “the confusion in which a few will appropriate to themselves the results of the blind and externally directed activities of others.”
OPPOSITION TO RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS
Consistent with his attitude toward religion, as seen in a previous article, we should not expect Dewey to favor religious instruction in American public schools. However, we might not be prepared for the violent opposition to such instruction which he steadily maintained from his earliest years in education.
Writing in 1908 in the London Hibbert Journal, under the title, “Religion and Our Schools,” Dewey observed:
“If one inquires why the American tradition is so strong against any connection of state and church, why it dreads even the rudiments of religious teaching in state-maintained schools, the immediate and superficial answer is not far to seek. The cause was not, mainly, religious indifference, much less hostility to Christianity, although the eighteenth century deism played an important role. The cause lay largely in the diversity and vitality of the various denominations, each fairly sure that, with a fair field and no favour, it could make its own way; and each animated by a jealous fear that, if any connection of state and church were permitted, some rival denomination would get an unfair advantage.”
But this, he said, is only a superficial answer to the question:
“…there was a deeper and by no means wholly unconscious influence at work. The United States became a nation late enough in the history of the world to profit by the growth of that modern (although Greek) thing — the state consciousness. This nation was born under conditions which enabled it to share in and to appropriate the idea that the state life, the vitality of the social whole, is of more importance than the flourishing of any segment or class. So far as church institutions were concerned, the doctrine of popular sovereignty was a reality, not a literary or legal fiction. Upon the economic side, the nation was born too soon to learn the full force of the state idea as against the class idea. Our fathers naively dreamed of the continuation of pioneer conditions and the free opportunity of every individual, and took none of the precautions to maintain the supremacy of the state over that of the class, which newer commonwealths are taking. For that lack of foresight we are paying dearly, and are likely to pay more dearly. But the lesson of the two and a half centuries lying between the Protestant revolt and the formation of the nation was well learned as respected the necessity of maintaining the integrity of the state against all divisive ecclesiastical divisions. Doubtless many of our ancestors would have been somewhat shocked to realize the full logic of their own attitude with respect to the subordination of churches to the state (falsely termed the separation of church and state); but the state idea was inherently of such vitality and constructive force as to carry the practical result, with or without conscious perception of its philosophy.
This analysis, it must be admitted, is penetrating. It gives a logical but unhistorical basis for the opposition to religious instruction in the American public schools. The decision of the U. S. Supreme Court in the McCollum case was not based on Dewey’s principles or his interpretation of American history. This decision outlawed the use of public school machinery and specifically of classrooms for religious instruction. In its majority opinion, the Court said that the practice of teaching religion in the public school fell “squarely under the ban of the First Amendment, as we interpreted it in Everson v. Board of Education (1947). There we said: `Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a Church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.’” If we begin by falsely assuming that the traditional doctrine of separation of church and state really means subordination of church to state, it is only logical that such a controversial subject as religion should be banned from public institutions of learning. The common good of the state as a political unit requires that anything which divides the citizens into hostile camps should be outlawed.
However, Dewey goes beyond this position. Not only does he oppose any kind of religious teaching in public schools, but he claims that only such schools — minus religion — are promoting the common good, which is the unity of the state. The one thing, he said, “which has done most to discredit the churches, and to discredit the cause . . . of organized religion [is] the multiplication of rival and competing religious bodies, each with its private interpretation and outlook.” Such division of peoples of different religions is fatal to political unity. And church-supported schools which teach their respective religions are fostering this discord. On the other hand, he maintained:
“Our [public] schools, in bringing together those of different nationalities, languages, traditions, and creeds, in assimilating them together upon the basis of what is common and public in endeavour and achievement, are performing an infinitely significant religious work. They are promoting the social unit out of which in the end genuine religious unit must grow. Shall we interfere with this work? shall we run the risk of undoing it by introducing into education a subject which can be taught only by segregating pupils . . . ? This would be deliberately to adopt a scheme which is predicated upon the maintenance of social divisions in just the matter, religion, which is empty and futile save as it expresses the basic unities of life.”
And finally, in line with his distinction between “religion” and “religious” already seen, he concludes that “schools are more religious in substance and in promise without any of the conventional badges and machinery of religious instruction, than they could be in cultivating these forms at the expense of a state-consciousness.“
When Paul Blanshard published in 1949 his attack on the Catholic Church under the title, American Freedom and Catholic Power, John Dewey praised the book, saying, “Mr. Blanshard has done a difficult and necessary piece of work with exemplary scholarship, good judgment, and tact.” This recommendation appears on the jacket of the book and is signed, “John Dewey, Dean of American Philosophers.” Dewey’s influence may be seen throughout Blanshard’s work. His two chapters against American Catholic schools conclude with the following quotation from Dewey, arguing against any government support for Catholic education: “`It is essential that this basic issue be seen for what it is — namely, as the encouragement of a powerful reactionary world organization in the most vital realm of democratic life, with the resulting promulgation of principles inimical to democracy.’” (Father John A. Hardon, S.J., JOHN DEWEY.)
John Dewey’s prescriptions for the indoctrination of American children in the ways of the “religion” of state consciousness have imprisoned minds and corrupted generations of young Americans into accepting whatever is taught to them while subjecting them to every temptation imaginable to walk along the the smooth road that leads to the wide gate of eternal perdition.
Pope Pius XI explained that the true education of children can be accomplished only in a Catholic school, which excludes, of course, the formerly Catholic schools that have been in conciliar captivity for over five decades now:
It is therefore as important to make no mistake in education, as it is to make no mistake in the pursuit of the last end, with which the whole work of education is intimately and necessarily connected. In fact, since education consists essentially in preparing man for what he must be and for what he must do here below, in order to attain the sublime end for which he was created, it is clear that there can be no true education which is not wholly directed to man’s last end, and that in the present order of Providence, since God has revealed Himself to us in the Person of His Only Begotten Son, who alone is “the way, the truth and the life,” there can be no ideally perfect education which is not Christian education. . . .
60. Hence every form of pedagogic naturalism which in any way excludes or weakens supernatural Christian formation in the teaching of youth, is false. Every method of education founded, wholly or in part, on the denial or forgetfulness of original sin and of grace, and relying on the sole powers of human nature, is unsound. Such, generally speaking, are those modern systems bearing various names which appeal to a pretended self-government and unrestrained freedom on the part of the child, and which diminish or even suppress the teacher’s authority and action, attributing to the child an exclusive primacy of initiative, and an activity independent of any higher law, natural or divine, in the work of his education.
61. If any of these terms are used, less properly, to denote the necessity of a gradually more active cooperation on the part of the pupil in his own education; if the intention is to banish from education despotism and violence, which, by the way, just punishment is not, this would be correct, but in no way new. It would mean only what has been taught and reduced to practice by the Church in traditional Christian education, in imitation of the method employed by God Himself towards His creatures, of whom He demands active cooperation according to the nature of each; for His Wisdom “reacheth from end to end mightily and ordereth all things sweetly.”
62. But alas! it is clear from the obvious meaning of the words and from experience, that what is intended by not a few, is the withdrawal of education from every sort of dependence on the divine law. So today we see, strange sight indeed, educators and philosophers who spend their lives in searching for a universal moral code of education, as if there existed no decalogue, no gospel law, no law even of nature stamped by God on the heart of man, promulgated by right reason, and codified in positive revelation by God Himself in the ten commandments. These innovators are wont to refer contemptuously to Christian education as “heteronomous,” “passive”,”obsolete,” because founded upon the authority of God and His holy law.
63. Such men are miserably deluded in their claim to emancipate, as they say, the child, while in reality they are making him the slave of his own blind pride and of his disorderly affections, which, as a logical consequence of this false system, come to be justified as legitimate demands of a so-called autonomous nature. (Pope Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1929.)
Public schools are dens of error, dens of relativism and positivism, dens of every falsehood imaginable dens of the devil himself. No one but no one can justify students being permitted to be “connected” during the middle of school days. No one can claim that “no harm” is done to students by means of explicit classroom instruction in matters pertaining to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments. Taxpayer monies are wasted on this indoctrination, to say nothing of the waste engendered by the “down time” that students spend on their “devices.”
Although I have been a vocal advocate of home-schooling for nearly thirty years now, I am even more convinced than ever before that home-schooling parents do more to educate their children in the sacred and secular subjects in four hours than these American prisons do eight hours a day, five days week, forty weeks out of the year, holidays not included.
Yes, public schools exist. They are matters of fact and state and Federal law. We live in what is called the “wired” or “connected” age in which the young today have spent their entire lives, accepting their “devices” as natural appendages, meaning that they are going to accept the “microchip” when our slave-drivers demand that they get it for their own “safety” and “good,” you understand. As noted before, the students I taught two days ago are the victims of a world that has not submitted itself to the Social Reign of Christ the King, thus inserting itself into the grip of the devil himself.
This does not mean, however, that we turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the harm that these institutions, subsidized by our own taxpayer dollars, do to the young, most of whom will grow up to be compliant servants of the monster civil state of Modernity. Almost no one seems to care that the “connectedness” permitted by so many public schools robs students of the capacity to reason clearly, to read complex material while taking notes and seeking to retain the knowledge acquired, to write and speak clearly and intelligibly and to have sustained attention-span that predisposes them to listen to lectures attentively, making the work of college professors that much harder.
Or, of course, is this the point of it all? I believe that it is.
Absent the Catholic Faith, all sense of personal self-discipline, no less the desire to pursue excellence as befits redeemed creatures, must be eroded over the course of time. No “election” can turn this around. Indeed, our future “voters” are being indoctrinated to make sure that those of us who still submit to Christ the King as He has revealed Himself to us through His true Church lose what little freedom we still have to do so without being threatened with arrest and/or psychiatric confinement.
Some would say that to recount stories such as those provided in this commentary is to do nothing but “curse the darkness.” Nonsense. We live in a world in which most people think that the darkness is light. It is thus essential to remind readers of the darkness that envelops us at this time. And while some might even say that one could “stay and fight” within the prison walls even on a substitute basis, this is impossible when administrators of so-called educational institutions want to “meet the students where they are” as they reaffirm them in empty lives that leave them filled with such sadness and loneliness, leaving many of them in states of hostility against everyone as they have learned to hate themselves.
Saint John Bosco, for example, did indeed “meet his students” where they were, but he took them from where he found them to lift them up in sanctity as he taught them to provide for themselves and to add to the greater glory and honor of the Most Blessed Trinity as they did so:
When the boys began to live permanently with Don Bosco the program he set up for them in the beginning was very simple.
They came down to the study hall at five-thirty. Later they attended Mass during which they said morning prayers, recited the rosary and listened to a short spiritual reading. To enable the greatest number to receive Communion he heard confessions either the night before or early in the morning, so that there were always daily communicants, while on Sunday nearly everyone received.
In the beginning Don Bosco gave the boys a few cents to buy breakfast on the way to work.
After a morning at work or school in the city they returned at noon for dinner. Each boy went up to the steaming pot and either Margaret, one of the older boys or Don Bosco ladled out a soup made from rice and potatoes, pasta and beans or chestnuts and cornflour. The last was a favorite with the boys. On special occasions cheese, dried codfish or sausage was served with the soup.
If the weather was good they ate in the yard, sitting on benches, stones, or tree-stumps; if bad, they sat in one of the rooms or on the stairs. Dinner over, each washed his bowl and spoon. Spoons were important items, each taking care of his own, since if he lost it, he had to buy another. One boy who let his spoon fall on the floor of the classroom was surprised when the others teased him about it.
“Do you think,” was his reaction, “I’d leave my spoon at the Oratory?”
As for Don Bosco’s meals- on Sunday his mother prepared a dish of vegetables, sometimes mixed with tiny pieces of meat or egg,which would be served, warmed up, for several days in a row. If this threatened to turn sour he would freshen it up with a drop of oil or vinegar. For the rest, he was so unconcerned about food that once he arrived too late for supper and, not wishing to disturb anyone, went to the kitchen and in the dark found what appeared to be a bowl of soup.
Next morning he learnt that he had eaten, not a bowl of soup, but a bowl of paste which had been left there to stiffen by the book-binders! (Peter Lappin, Stories of Don Bosco, Salesian Publishers, 1979, pp. 90-91.)
Saint John Bosco cared not for his own earthly comforts. He cared only for the true education of his students unto their eternal salvation as he taught them useful trades.
It was six centuries before the work with difficult youths of Saint John Bosco at his oratory that Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, learned from a master teacher, Saint Albert the Great, who held the attention of his students with his commanding knowledge and means of presenting it in his lectures:
There was a sudden hush as Father Albert scooted in and went to the desk on the platform at the front of the big room. Father Albert belonged to a noble German family. He has a commanding manner that made Thomas think of his mother. There, however, Albert’s resemblance to any other human being ended. He was unique.
He was perhaps forty years old – he himself did not know the exact year of his birth. He had the spare frame and wrinkled face of a far older man. Only his gray eyes were young, terribly young and piercing. He lectured in a thin, tart voice. But he was so wise, so learned, that even the minds of the dullest students caught fire as he talked.
He was famous as a theologian and as a scientist. All over Europe many people spoke of his as Albertus Magnus, meaning Albert the Great. He had devoted years to studying flowers and animals, and has recorded his observations in a series of books. A trained chemist, he was the first man to produce an important medicine – the poison called arsenic – in a free form.
His lecture this morning was on the subject of logic – on the subject, that is, of how to think. He talked steadily for two hours; and for two hours the young men, jamming the room, listened in fascinated silence. (Father Brendan Lauren, O.P., and Milton Lomask, St. Thomas Aquinas and the Preaching Friars, pp. 165-166.)
The methods used the likes of Saint Albert the Great and of his very student, the Angelic Doctor himself, can work today just as well they did over seven hundred fifty years ago now. It has only been the diabolical warfare waged against the eternal and temporal welfare man as a result of the Protestant Revolution and the rise of and then the triumph of the naturalist ideologies and “philosophies” that are part and parcel of Judeo-Masonry.
We need, therefore, to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for home-schooling parents and their children as this last remaining bastion against the “common core” of the ideologues in professional non-education is within the sights of the criminals in the educational bureaucracies of the Federal government and of the state governments.
Let us pledge ourselves anew with each beat of our hearts, which cease not even while we sleep, to be the consecrated slaves of Christ the King through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, to which the Founders of the Order of Servites, whose feast we celebrate today, dedicated their religious life and provided us with an example of a total oblation in honor of the Seven Swords of Sorrow she suffered because of our sins and those of the whole world.
Let us pledge ourselves anew each day to transform ourselves and the world by praying as many Rosaries as our state-in-life permits, accepting the penances of the present moment as nothing in comparison to the joys of eternal bliss in Heaven that awaits the souls of those who die in a state of Sanctifying Grace after first having lost everything in this world to serve Christ the King through His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
The Seven Holy Founders of the Order of Servites, pray for us.