Monday, May 26, 2003

The care and nurture of rowdy young people

St. Philip attracted groups of young men, who came to see him at all hours. When other priests in Philip's house griped about the noise and general ruckus, he replied: They can chop wood on my back if they want to, as long as they do not sin.

Philip believed, seemed to know instictively, that it wasn't good enough to tell young people what not to do; in addition, you had to give them something to do in its place. So at Carnival time, when the worst excesses went on, Philip organized a pilgrimage to the Seven Churches with a plentious picnic lunch and musicians. After walking twelve miles during the day, they were too tired to carouse at night.
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