To begin, let us set aside the remarks about physical punishment; they are a stumbling block for our understanding. As Sr. Joan writes,
Beating people with the rod is considered neither good pedagogy nor good parenting now, and the notion of whipping full-grown adults is simply unthinkable. Times have changed; theories of behavior modification have changed; the very concept of adulthood has changed; this living of the rule has changed."
What has not changed, however, is the idea that human development demands that we grow through and grow beyond childish un-control to maturity and that we be willing to correct things in ourselves in order to do it, whatever the cost.