Reading: From Christian Education by Bl. Basil Moreau
The Bible, in speaking of the way in which God governs the world, says that Providence guides everything with “strength” and with “gentleness.” That is the model that teachers must follow if they wish to succeed in educating young people.
Without gentleness, they will never truly get their students to have the love of work, application, and good behavior that are all essential conditions of success. On the other hand, if they lack firmness and steadfastness, they will not be able to maintain discipline in class. This virtue is needed to raise teachers above all the difficulties inherent in education, to help them remain unshakable in the course of their duties without becoming discouraged in a task that is troublesome and tiring.
Teachers always must keep an eye on their classes in order to stop any movement towards disorder, wherever it occurs. If students find too great a weakness in a teacher or a softness in demanding compliance, they will permit themselves disorders of all sorts. They will laugh at the threats of such teachers and not even perform the penances given, because they know that the teacher will not push them to the limit and will end by giving in. From the time you enter the school, then, hold to a firm and assured course, know how to make yourself obeyed, and communicate to students that you absolutely demand compliance with your regulations. §
MEDITATION — FR. FRANK BRAWNER, INSTITUTE CHAPLAIN
St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, describes firmness in his Summa Theologiae (2-2.123), in his discussion of fortitude, a virtue which finds itself located in battles to the death. This may seem initially to be an overestimation of the virtue, for there are many actions in our lives which do not seem to be mortal in nature. And yet, reminds St. Thomas, whether in great or small conflicts, everything we do affects both our earthly and immortal lives.
Have I been weak in my presentation of my faith? Have I failed to bear proper endurance in sufferings and jests? Do I treat the battles in my family, Church and school with the proper gravity belonging to each?
Teacher of teachers, You know that a teacher’s mission is difficult and requires hard work. You modeled the great devotion it takes to continue in the calling as a teacher. Help me to see with the eyes of faith the greatness of the mission and the wonderful amount of good that a teacher can accomplish, and to hope for the great reward You have promised to those who have taught the truth to others and have helped form them in justice: “They will shine eternally in the skies like the stars of the heavens.”
Please also offer one Mass and one Rosary some time this month for the intentions of the members of the Confraternity.