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Educating to Purity: Thoughts on Sexual Teaching and Education Proposed to Clergymen, Parents and Other Educators

Educating to Purity: Thoughts on Sexual Teaching and Education Proposed to Clergymen, Parents and Other Educators

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  • ISBN-13: 9781514194621
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Jun 03, 2015
  • Pages: 318 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.72 x 9.0 x 6.0 inches


WHAT stand does this book take with regard to the vexed problem of sexual enlightenment - we would fain avoid this catchword, "Sexual Enlightenment" - implying, as it does, senseless and harmful exaggerations which earnest educators abhor. Still we must not fall into the opposite extreme: so paramount and extensive a subject, as the sexual question is, clamors for treatment; for it is a matter which concerns the deepest interests of young and old, which wields the greatest influence on man's heart and on his whole character, on which depends the temporal and eternal happiness of the bulk of mankind (According to St. Alphonsus impurity is either wholly or partly to blame for most people's damnation.) as well as the weal or woe of the coming generations, and which permanently affects all standards of morality; to ignore or dismiss with a few empty sentences a question so vital to plastic youths would be leaving them without instruction and guidance in one of the most dangerous provinces of life; depriving them to some extent of the light of Christian instruction, which should nowhere fail, especially not in this slippery field where it alone is a safe guide. To keep silence here would be to abandon the young to the teaching of sensualists, who speak to them with a thousand tongues by word and deed, as well as through the press, on the street, in many a school, and even in their very homes. Do not the Bible, the Apostles, and the Holy Fathers, those masters of Christian education, speak on sexual matters with a most remarkable freedom, straightforwardness, and directness? Witness the passage we shall quote from a homily of St. John Chrysostom (pp. 17, 18). We must perforce instruct, definitely warn, and prudently direct youth with regard to sexual matters. To fail to educate youth along this line would be just as fatal a blunder as to leave it in ignorance concerning other questions of vital moment and pitfalls that beset its path. Still this view, however reasonable it must appear to a 'wise educator, meets with contradiction. Why? Chiefly, as it appears to us, because of the difficulties encountered in carrying it out. It is precisely these obstacles our booklet will assist in brushing aside. The essential though difficult requisites which educators must have, successfully to impart this instruction, are chiefly the proper expressions and the right spirit. In default of these, explanations of sexual matters might prove a stumbling-block. Most educators find it almost impossible to clothe this necessary sexual teaching in a garb suitable to children. In fact, daily experience shows how helpless language is even for adults when, e.g., medical advice about such matters becomes imperative. Therefore, we shall endeavor to supply the terms which may safely be used before young folk. This alone however is not sufficient. A wholesome effect cannot be looked for unless they who teach be animated by the RIGHT SPIRIT. An instruction couched in the fittest language will fail to uplift if it betray a frivolous mental attitude. But the same information coming from a father or a mother, who is convinced of the importance of sexual enlightennlent, and filled both with yearning for the child's happiness and with the fear of God, will be altogether salutfiry. Ingenuousness and simplicity nlust underlie the instruction, but something more is necessary. Above all, there nlust be a holy earnestness and a kind of consecration which springs from the high, moral-religious conception of things sexual. In default of these qualities the enlightenment of the young frequently fails of the wished-for effect, and it provokes the hostility of intelligent and solicitous educators. They either lack the right and lofty views of sexual matters, or the great Christian conception thereof has not penetrated their flesh and blood.

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