Faith is something that we must exercise every day in our lives
Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service is the theme for this year’s Catholic Schools Week. Across the country, Catholic schools will be participating in special activities to highlight the event. But what about the rest of the year, and how do we, as teachers, express these attributes to our students?
“Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we too believe and therefore speak,” (2 Corinthians 4:13). As catechists in Catholic Schools, we are mandated to teach our faith. But is it done out of obligation as a subject, or, as Saint Paul aptly put it; do we pass on our faith, our beliefs, our love of God not only in our teaching, but also in our actions? Faith, in fact, is something that we must exercise every day in our lives. Do we show our students that we are people of Faith by being examples of trusting in God in our lives? Student faith is increased not only by reading but witnessing examples of faith in the people they trust.
“Let the wise listen and learn yet more, and a person of discernment will acquire the art of guidance.” (Proverbs 1:5). Teachers have had many years of education to become educators. How is that education used; is it stuck in the past or has it evolved with new insight? An educated person knows how to learn. An educated person has the ability to see connections among disciplines, ideas and cultures. An educator takes advantage of the opportunities presented in workshops, on-line courses, and summer classes to become innovative for the betterment of the students. An educator is capable of doing new things; of having the ability to generate ideas and turn them into reality in the classroom.
“For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (Galatians 5:13) Is religion a subject or is it alive in your life? It is easy to teach that Catholics love one another, we help one another, etc., and to give examples that are in the textbook, but as a teacher do you exemplify those attributes? To be a Christian, means to be a follower of Christ, to imitate the attributes he expounded. As teachers, certain characteristics of Christ are necessary in the classroom, namely, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control. It is not easy to practice these in a classroom all the time, but Catholic teachers, as imitators of Christ, are called upon to work these into our daily interactions with our students, fellow staff members and others. To paraphrase Saint Paul, you can teach religion but unless you practice it, “you are only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1)
Happy Catholic Schools Week and New Year!
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