20150608 Margaret showed motherly love

Venerable Margaret Bosco, the mother of St. John Bosco, was a deeply religious person. She constantly reminded her children of God. She would point to a beautiful starry sky and say, “God created the world and adorned it with all those stars. If the sky is so beautiful, what must heaven be like?”
When storm clouds gathered overhead and there were peals of thunder, Margaret would say, “How powerful is the Lord! Who can stand against Him? Let us keep free from sin!”
If a hailstorm destroyed the crops, she would say, “The Lord gave it to us, and the Lord took it away. He is the master of the harvest. He knows best, but remember that the wicked will be punished, and no one can mock God.”
When the harvest was good, she would say, “Let us give thanks to the Lord! How good He has been in giving us our daily bread.”
Anthony Bosco, her husband’s son by his first wife, was a difficult child. He was resentful that because of his two stepbrothers, Joseph and John, he was no longer the only child, and his inheritance would be reduced by two-thirds.
After the death of their father, Anthony made life difficult for the family. He would often hit his two little brothers. Margaret would intervene and shield them from him. However, faithful to a self-imposed rule, Margaret never laid a hand on Anthony.
St. John Bosco was like his mother. At the age of 60, after training thousands of boys, St. John Bosco could not remember that he had ever used direct punishment.
One time, Anthony was offended and would not forgive. During night prayers, while the Our Father was being recited, at the words “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” Margaret turned to Anthony and said, “You had better not say those words.”
“Do you have the nerve to say them when you yourself won’t forgive others, when you are still mad at your brothers after have almost broken their heads? Aren’t you afraid that the Lord will punish you for saying such words?
“Coming from you they would be a lie and an insult to God, since you do not want to forgive. How can you expect Our Lord to forgive you, when you so stubbornly refuse to forgive others?”
Anthony admitted his sin and said, “I was wrong, Mamma. Forgive me.”
Margaret made it a point to give Anthony preferential treatment to overcome his resentment. Many times she calmed Anthony’s anger with kind words and patience. However sometimes Anthony would lose control and would confront Margaret with clenched fists, calling her “stepmother.”
Margaret would kindly say, “Listen, Anthony. I have called you my son, and I mean what I say. You are my son because you are Francis’s son, because your father entrusted you to me, and because I love you as such.
“You know that if I wanted to, I could bring you to your knees, but I don’t want to. I’ve made it a point never to use physical force to assert my authority over my children. You are my son, and I don’t want to hit you. You may do as you wish, but you are doing wrong.”
Margaret would withdraw, and Anthony, embarrassed and confused, would walk away. Once his anger subsided, Anthony would apologize.
Margaret’s patience eventually bore fruit. Anthony mellowed so much that he had the reputation of being a man worthy of respect and easy to get along with. He was also known to be a friend who could be trusted, and he was eagerly sought for his cheerful company. As an adult he showed great love and respect for Margaret.?

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