Reading: From Christian Education by Bl. Basil Moreau
A Call to Be a Teacher
Since God alone provides the means for the successful accomplishment of any task, it seems evident that a person needs to be called by God to be an effective teacher. Without this call to teaching, how will anyone be able to put up with everything that teachers face daily? From the time the school year begins, teachers do not have a moment’s rest or a moment free. Every good teacher is preoccupied with the care and the progress of students, with their schoolwork, and with the small and bothersome difficulties that inevitably arise in dealing with young people. Teachers will find it difficult to care seriously for their own spiritual needs and their own interests.
Relationships with young people are always difficult. Sometimes those who deal with young people attach themselves too closely to the young and end up giving themselves over strictly to human affections. Finding among their students young people who are frank and open, who are moving towards accomplishing good things, who respond well to the care they are providing, some teachers forget the place of God in the relationship between teacher and student. Learning this often surprises teachers, since it is easily hidden by enthusiasm, kindness, and even duty. Teachers who experience close relationships with their students become totally occupied with them: every place they go the students come to mind; no matter what they do, they think of the students. Teachers like these often enter into unhealthy relationships of all kinds with their students, often without realizing what is happening.
Christian educators really need a call from God in order to deal with all that they face in working with young people. How else can teachers possibly work towards building Christian values in the young as well as towards giving them the knowledge they need? For the religious, this call to education comes in obedience.
MEDITATION — FR. FRANK BRAWNER, INSTITUTE CHAPLAIN
With great reverence and admiration I consider the work of an artist. I am awestruck by their capacity to transform rudimentary materials: whether rock, pigment, reed, or string into something transcendent. Something which speaks not of its own humble origins, but is transmogrified into an object resplendent in truth, beauty, and goodness. The cool, apathetic density of marble is a medium through which, in the hands of Michaelangelo, is manifested the soft yet resolute grief of a mother cradling the corpse of her Son and her Lord. Yet even more amazing than the sculpture, more honed than the sculptor, is the teacher. Educators could be called the artist of artists, insofar as they fashion from the medium of our wounded human nature the greatest work of art- the Christian saint.
How easily I can lose that passion, in the day to day work of educating. The most dignified of callings can be demeaned by my own failings, lost in the hum-drum distractions of the mundane. Religion as a word, I am told, comes most likely from the Latin word re-ligere, meaning to bind again, or perhaps re-legere, to read again. So even etymologically, education must be religious. I must re-read and joyfully re-bind myself to true education each day, lest I become unmoored from her, or forget her as she really is.
Lord Jesus, who elected to be called teacher before being revealed as Christ, remind us of the nobility of the Christian educator. Grant us every virtue that we might imitate you more fully, who instruct and form the whole of creation with special attention to the salvation of man. May we merit by your grace to cooperate in this art of arts, so as to be transformed by its effect, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Please also offer one Mass and one Rosary some time this month for the intentions of the members of the Confraternity.