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Hit me again…

Do you wish your son to be obedient? From the first, “but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4). Never deem it unnecessary that he should listen diligently to the divine Scriptures. For there the first thing he hears will be this: “Honor your father and your mother” (Ex 20:12), so you will win your reward

Never say that the reading of Scripture is the business of monks. Am I making a monk of him? No. There is no need for him to become a monk. Why be so afraid of a thing so replete with so much advantage? Make him a Christian. For it is altogether necessary for laymen to be acquainted with the lessons derived from this source – but especially for children. For theirs is an age full of folly; and to this folly are added the bad examples derived from the pagan myths, where they are made acquainted with heroes so admired, who are slaves of their passions, and cowards with regard to death…

…I do not say this to prevent you teaching him these things [politics and worldly knowledge], but to prevent your attending to them exclusively. Do not imagine that the monk alone stands in need of these lessons from Scripture. Of all others, the children just about to enter the world specially need them. — St. John Chrysostom, homily to the Ephesians

As if doing this properly was not already enough of a concern for me, this is like being hit over the head about it. There’s nothing like a Father of the Church leering at you and thundering, “attend to your duties!” to get your attention. I only wish there were more books out there like Mike Aquilina’s The Fathers of the Church to continue to push forward, to keep me from settling in to the comfortable. Okay, so there are many out there which I simply need to find, but this one is a masterful work. I’m probably not done referencing this book, nor will I be likely to any time soon.

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