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agement of those whom they love and reverence will be a healthful incentive. By degrees they will grow to love study for the mental pleasure it produces. They will open their eyes and hearts to the beautiful lessons God has written on all nature; they will notice the song of the birds, the verdure of the fields, the foliage of the trees, the multiform and many-colored blossoms, the brooklet as it winds its way to the river, the blue of the sky by day and the myriad stars scattered over the firmament by night. Being encompassed by all these delights and awake to their charms, evil will find no entrance into their pure souls and the angels of God will be ravished at beholding His image undefiled in the hearts of the many thousand little ones attending our elementary schools.



Our Divine Savior, when giving His command, "Go, teach all nations," looked out over the universe through time and space and beheld the army of devoted workers who would continue the labors of that noble band of twelve, and He rejoiced. He saw the Christian home and the Christian school rise up beside the Church to help in the great work, thus securing a sure protection for His cherished little ones.

That Christ's idea may be carried to completion this trinity of institutions must form a unity having for its object the salvation of souls. The links in the chain that connects the school with the home and both with the Church were forged in the furnace of God's love when He thought of creating the world and making man its master. To break this chain is to frustrate God's design; thus we see how important it is for parents in the home and teachers in the school to work in harmony with the pastor to whom Christ especially confided the mission of instructing. As in our Church the Holy Sacrifice is continually offered, sq

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from the altars of home and school should rise the incense of love and labor and prayer.

It is no easy task to obtain and preserve this close union between home and school. It implies obligations on the part of both parents and teachers. Our object is not to dwell upon these duties. We shall only say in passing that much is obtained from the sympathy a teacher shows on certain occasions. A kind message or a visit in time of sickness, with the assurance of the prayers of the pupils; an interest manifested when told of the joys that come to the family; a quiet, straightforward talk with mother or father whose little ones are falling below the desired mark, either in conduct or in lessons; a consoling spiritual bouquet offered by the class when the Angel of Death summons either pupil or parent-often a suggestion only is needed to have each scholar in the grade contribute towards a Mass for the repose of the dear departed. The memory of such favors wins. respect, while inspiring gratitude.

What part does the religious teacher take in the God-given work of instructing? What are the means at her disposal for this task? These questions have been asked and pondered by every religious teacher since the beginning, and we are now to consider this old yet ever new problem of how, while teaching even the profane branches, we shall give to the mind, strength; to the will, power; to the conscience, steadfastness; to the soul, purity of intention. Taking Christ as our model, let us imagine ourselves in His school, the hill slopes of Judea. We find a motley assemblage-the Scribe and Pharisee, the Publican and sinner -those who admired and loved, those who despised and hated Him. He first instructed and exhorted, but never interfered with liberty of action and never seemed the least disturbed about the results. How much patience is needed to follow Him in this, even from afar!

To impart knowledge the religious educator must first have learned it from the Divine Model, who one day whispered to her soul, "I am the way which thou must follow." Holiness is absolutely necessary to all who are engaged in teaching. Founders of religious communities, realizing this truth, have placed the personal sanctification and perfection of each member above the

duty of imparting instruction. The Christian teacher, whose· hopes for success are centered neither in book nor method, but on God alone, may step confidently into the classroom and when she opens the door she must at the same time open her heart to receive her pupils; for she can do good to souls only in proportion as she loves them. Soon the natural virtues and talents of her scholars will become apparent to her consciousness, for the most part, unexpectedly. These happy qualities must, it is true, struggle for existence with the budding passions, yet under firm, gentle, sympathetic, loving care they will live and grow preeminent.

To teach the children so to think and to will that their lives may be less unlovely, less material, their little world better because they have lived; to cultivate their imagination; to awaken confidence in their God-given abilities and to instill a desire for self-improvement after leaving school-this is our aim. We must begin by making the child know that he is a twofold being: the natural, a union of body and soul, that lasts for a time; the supernatural and eternal, a union of the soul with God. The only real possession, therefore, is the soul with its powers of memory, understanding and will; its supernatural dowry of Faith, hope and love, that makes it reach out and feel its relationship with its Father in Heaven. This soul must be nourished and strengthened by means of prayer and the sacraments. "To pray well is to live well," says St. Augustine. Bring the children into personal contact with Christ by a constant revealing of His human life as an ideal of perfection, never to be reached absolutely, but relatively within the attainment of even the least gifted, the most recalcitrant. Show how His life was prayerful, how He looked up to Heaven before every work, how He prayed during the day and at night, in the Garden and on the Cross. If He made prayer a divine precept, He set the example. Has He not said, "Ask and you shall receive?" His promises are unfailing.

Children are encouraged by a zealous teacher to assist daily at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or at least during special seasons-Lent, the months of May and June-so that they may hold to the practice in after life. This attendance should not be made a task, or a perfunctory fulfillment of duty, but a privilege. An

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ecdotes and stories of favors obtained and virtue made firm by such attendance never lose power to persuade. The first act on entering the class will be to make the sign of the cross with holy water; the first official word spoken, the offering to the Sacred Heart, renewed before and after recreations and at change of study, with "O my God, we are about to perform this action for Thy sake, please give us Thy holy benediction." This conduces to a habit of prayer. Pupils see how simple it is to have pleasure and duty, joy and sorrow, find an echo in Heaven. Every opportunity is seized upon to convey the fact that a pure heart goes out unburdened to its Creator and is ever united with Him. By example and precept, obedience, truthfulness, honesty and charity are taught, and by contrasting these virtues with their opposing vices the teacher will strengthen the feeble hold on the former and lead towards fear of the latter. Soon, very soon, the child understands that sin alone deprives the soul of interior joy and severs the bond of friendship with God.

Of course the teacher's greatest aid in rooting out the evil inclinations of young hearts and sowing the seeds of virtue is the catechism lesson. So important is this subject that its treatment is a feature of every Catholic teachers' institute, and we shall not infringe on the territory so favorably preempted by abler pens.

Sodalities for boys and girls are active aids for good in our schools. The candidates, after due discipline of preparation, kneel before the altar, publicly declare their wish to join a society, and promise with God's help to obey the rules. Though these rules are few and their obligations light, they inculcate the idea of the sacredness of a promise. The faithful accomplishment of self-imposed duties is ennobling. A demand for boys and girls, men and women, of their word is universal. Frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, with the teacher's help in preparation, the offering of the Mass as often as society funds will permit, the apostleship of work and study, the prayers in common, the encouragement of example and the fear of giving a bad impression tend to strengthen the soul in habits of well-doing; while the director, by his instructions, spurs on the members to excel in holiness. Visiting sick or dying members, attending the funeral in a body, having the Holy Sac


rifice offered for the repose of the departed, or the annual Mass for all deceased sodalists-do not these practices foster fraternal charity? Sodalities also render the fifth precept of the Church practical to youth; either by allowing them to help in the care of sanctuary and altars, to assist the choir, or in time of need, with some help from their guides, to become earnest workers in raising funds for church purposes. Young people so trained become parishioners on whom a pastor can depend, and contribute to that apostleship of the laity so appreciated by priests throughout the land.

Our pupils come from various homes. Blessed, thrice blessed, is the child who learns at mother's knee the chief duties of a Christian. But how often is the careless or worried or overworked parent only too glad to divide the responsibility, or to shift it entirely upon the instructor. These less favored children must obtain more assiduous culture. The environment of the school must be made to tell upon them far more than on their favored companions. Cleanliness and neatness are first exacted. Bright, cheerful classrooms, beautified by the crucifix, statues of the Sacred Heart, our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph or the Guardian Angel, flowers, potted plants, pictures that speak to the soul, mottoes that raise the heart to higher levels-all are calculated to leave a lasting impress on the child's mind. True, he may return to the poor or neglected home, but an ideal has been set before him to which he can revert and which he can, when circumstances favor, attain or surpass.

Every child in a city finds in the streets, the cheap shows, the newspapers and pleasure grounds attractive enemies, that quickly teach irreverence and disobedience. Home and school should unite to make reverence and obedience regal in the child's life. As from the manger to the cross Christ willingly obeyed His Father, so should every pupil be incited to obey. The will should be trained to fulfillment of duty as made known by conscience. Children readily perceive that nature follows a supreme law. hence they can be led to understand that when man disobeys God. he is submitting to a power far less worthy, either his own. natural baseness or the arch-enemy.

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