DON BOSCO DAY BY DAY
THE HARVEST IS GREAT (3)
Another important thing is to uproot all scandalous talk. This kind of thing can happen quite often without the superiors becoming aware of it and therefore making a move to stop it. It is of utmost necessity that you tell them of it, because while your superiors are not in touch with such mischief-makers, you are.
One way of uprooting this cockle is fraternal correction. Here and at home friends may inadvertently slip into unbecoming talk or use in their letter phrases which are un-Christian, words which may excite angry or evil thoughts in us.
In such a case one might reply “Look at the kind of talk you are using. Remember that such words are unseemly on Christian lips. I know you are my friend and used them without thinking, but just because you are my friend trust you will not feel offended if I call this to your attention.” Or else you might say, “I’m sorry, but I cannot take your suggestions. They are out of keeping with the life a Christian youth is expected to live.”
Many times such friendly correction to one’s companions or brothers will be more effective than many sermons and may even prompt them to a better awareness of God and make them more religious-minded merely because of the kindly courtesy shown them by someone who they knew was living up to his faith.
Regretfully, one has to exercise such charity with parents sometimes, instructing and correcting them while disapproving of their ways. One is to be firm, unembarrassed, but all the while loving, kind and meek, as was St. Francis of Sales in similar situations.
These and a thousand other ways are open to all workers in the Lord’s vineyard, be they priests, clerics or laymen, regardless of age and position. Everyone, you see, can help gather in the Gospel harvest as long as he is motivated by zeal for God’s honor and the salvation of souls. (BM XII, 460- 462)
1. How do I practice fraternal correction?
2. One must be firm, yet loving, kind and meek.
3. Many souls await my care and concern.