Mass for Education
Again, the party central of all Christians is a time to get down to reflect on the work that brings us together. We try to take the pulse of the times we live in, and understand how we can recreate our spiritual experience, to respond accurately to the questions, anxieties and hopes of our time.
This effort is really essential. First, to start with the obvious, because we are in a situation where we see more and more clearly the consequences of the mistakes and reality demands that we demand of our people. We feel that Providence has given us a new opportunity to establish ourselves in a truly just and caring community where all people are respected in their dignity and their freedom promoted, in order to fulfill his destiny as sons and daughters of God.
That opportunity is also a challenge. We hold a huge responsibility, arising precisely from the requirement not to squander the chance given to us. It is obvious to note that you, dear teachers, they play a very important part of this task. A task full of difficulties, which require development surely generate dialogue practices and even, why not move arduous discussions aimed to contribute to the common good from an open and truly democratic, overcoming the tendency-as-to our mutual exclusions and debunking (or condemnation) of thinking or acting differently.
I still dare to insist: the Argentines took a long history of mutual intolerance. Until school education we received was articulated around bloodshed among compatriots, in any version-by turn “official” – of XIX century history. With that background, the school story to the National Organization considered as overcoming those antinomies, we as a people in the twentieth century, but to continue excluding us, forbidding, asesinándonos, bombarding, fusilándonos, repressing and mutually desapareciéndonos. Those who know we can remember that the use of these verbs I just choose not just metaphorical.
Are we now able to learn? Can we grow as a community, to finally stop having unwanted currently painful the Martín Fierro prophecy about the brothers who are devoured by outsiders or, worse, devouring each other?
Other views have shown us, thank God, who among us fructify also all kinds of wills and initiatives that promote life and solidarity, calling for justice, trying to seek the truth. It will be in these personal and social energies that we have to dig to respond to God’s call to build, once and for all and with his grace, a country of brothers.
In addition, the effort to read the signs of the times to understand what God wants of us in every historical situation is also required by the very structure of the Christian faith. I dare say that without this ongoing exercise, our Christian vocation of Christian teachers, pastors, witnesses of the Resurrection in the multiple dimensions of human life-resents to lose its true value transformer. Unable to heed the word of salvation outside the place where we encounter it, ie in concrete human history in which the Lord became incarnate and which founded his Church to preach the Gospel “to the end of the world “(Mt 28:20),
A mature community prioritizes LIFE
From our ecclesial communities, we are aware that we are moving Argentines times change and today more than ever is needed prayer and reflection, in order to serious spiritual discernment and pastoral.
In particular, I would draw the attention of all those who are now charged with the task of accompanying the children and youth in their maturation process. I think it is essential to try to approach the reality that children living in our society, and ask ourselves what role we fulfill it.
If we start from reality, we can not put in the middle of the scene two painful events that have shaken the society as a whole, but especially the young and those who are close to them. I mean the tragedy of El Carmen and the terrible December 30 in the neighborhood of Once. Two facts very different from each other, but have a common message for our community, what is happening to our boys? What is it, rather, with us, we can not take care of the situation of abandonment and loneliness that our kids are? How is it that we have reached the point of realizing the problems of teenagers when one of them suffers a crisis that led him to kill his comrades with a gun stolen his father? How do we repair the neglect of those who are tasked with taking care of our kids only when nearly two hundred people, mostly children and young people are sacrificed in the name of the business, carelessness and irresponsibility? It’s up to us, obviously, determine responsibilities, although we know that it is imperative that those responsibilities are revealed and everyone has to take care of his own. Not good dilute human actions and omissions have had such terrible consequences in a kind of collective guilt. As we prayed at Mass a month after the tragedy, “we ask (God) justice. We ask that your humble people do not be fooled by any human cunning, that his mighty hand put things in place and justice. The wound is incurable. Nobody has the right to experiment with children and youth. They are the hope of a people and we must take care with responsible decision. “
Even so, and while we hope that beyond political opportunism prime responsibility and seriousness in what should long have sought (the common good in its most basic expression, the very life of citizens), we need to open eyes and revisit our own ideas, feelings, actions and omissions in the care field, promotion and education of children and adolescents. For other risks that can be run is to limit the problem to a question of control in leisure centers, the same way a few months ago, the discussion of violent situations that are reflected in the school could have slipped to a mere indication of psychodiagnostic and “dial melee” for guys from a medical-type look, psicopatologizante. And I’m not minimizing the importance of ensuring the security of the premises, or the indispensable contributions of health professionals. Simply, I am inviting us to be well aware that things are never isolated from each other, and all of us (parents, teachers, pastors …) we have in our hands the responsibility and the opportunity to make this world a much more space for our kids.
At this point, I would like to reiterate some ideas I shared with many of you at the Forum for Teachers, last October.
We are all aware of the increasing difficulties that arise when we accompany our kids from our schools. As I said in the forum, market pressure, with your consumer proposal and ruthless competition, the lack of economic resources, social, psychological and moral gravity increasing risks to be avoided … All this means that families are made uphill fulfill its function, and that the school is becoming increasingly go alone in the task of containing, sustaining and promoting human development of their students.
This loneliness viviéndose ends, inevitably, as overuse. I know you, dear teachers, are having to carry on their backs not only that for which they were prepared, but with a multitude of explicit or tacit demands that deplete. Added to this are the media, which is not over whether they help or confuse matters further, most delicate issues dealing with the same ease with which aired the intimacies of the characters of the show, in the same block of the newscast, in the same page of the newspaper, interspersed with advertisements most unlikely objects. And all this while we’re looking more and more to control a society in which everyone is suspicious of everyone, and at the same time, a fairly new attention given to many forms of abuse and neglect, are attached both the bad habit of airing complaints without checking sources such as sufficiently unscrupulous characters who only see the institutions an opportunity to profit at any cost.
So what? What you have to do and are overburdened and tired of? Is he right that says “my job is to teach a particular discipline, I’m not going to put the body to hit me, the others take care of himself”? And, yes, I wish everyone did his due. But, as I said a few months ago, the teacher may not be limited to the “second mother” that was in the past, if there was formerly a “first”. I’m sure we all remember how the guys like we could play on the sidewalk, adequately fed and loved, in families where the welfare, care and affection were the everyday. I also know that more than once tried to discuss when things stopped being so, who started it all, who degraded education, who dismantled the relationship between education and work, who weakened the family, who undermined the authority, who sprayed the State , who led the institutional anomie, who corrupted the ideals, utopias who deflated … We can analyze all this ad nauseum, discuss, review … But what is indisputable is that you face daily to boys and girls of flesh and blood, with possibilities, desires, fears and real shortcomings. Guys who are there, body and soul, as they are and as they come, with an adult, calling, waiting, criticizing, begging his way, infinitely lonely, needy, frightened, confident persistently but sometimes you do with face indifference, contempt or anger, watching to see if someone offers them something else … or closes another door in his face.
Immense responsibility that requires us not only an ethical decision, not just a conscious commitment and hard, but also, and more basically, an appropriate degree of personal maturity.
Maturity that sometimes seems to be a rare commodity in our society Argentina, always wanting to start from scratch, like those before us had not existed, always finding the back to highlight what divides us but what unites us is in sight, always oppose in case, throwing the rock and hiding her hand, softly whistling and looking the other way when push comes to shove, spouting patriotism and passion for justice while passing the envelope under the table or get a friend to help us “sneak” in line …
Looks like a meditation on the maturity we will all come good. Not only because we will mature meditating, but that we see ourselves with more open eyes (perhaps as we see our teens?) And therefore even begin to change behaviors and attitudes that are closest to us.
MATURITY IS MORE TO GROWTH
It is not easy to define what constitutes maturity. Especially since more than a concept, “maturity” seems to be a metaphor. Taken from the fruit?? I do not know. If so, we should point out immediately that there is a fundamental difference between apples and peaches and humans. While the full development (because that’s the point) of the fruit is a process that depends directly on certain plant genetic programming and appropriate environmental conditions (climate, the action of insects, birds and wind for pollination flowers, moisture, soil nutrients …), in the case of the “maturity” is not just about human genetics and nutrition. Unless you consider man as a living being no different from the other (amoebas, cactus …).
Sometimes when you read some disclosures “scientific” is left with the impression that genes determine almost at the same level that you have straight or curly hair, the first tooth to fall out after five years, he do poorly in school, to be poor, to be sociable, that one day kill his mother and eventually die of a heart attack at forties.
But if the maturity were only precontained developing something in the genetic code, it really would not be much to do. The dictionary of the Real Academia gives a second meaning of “maturity”, “good judgment or prudence, wisdom.” And here we are in a world very different from biology. For prudence, good judgment and wisdom depend not merely quantitative growth factors, but a whole chain of elements are synthesized inside the person. More precisely, in the center of their freedom.
Then, maturity, from this point of view (which is presented as much more interesting and rich for our reflection), could be understood as the ability to use our freedom in a “sensible”, “prudent”. Note that with this, we run not only the biological reduction, but in the same psychological perspective, to access an ethical consideration. Attention: this is not a choice between two approaches. Without a specific genetic program can not be human, and without the development of the powers that are the subject of psychology can not speak of a maturity in the ethical sense. But precisely because the human dimension implies that multiplicity want to emphasize the difference: I do not compete, as a pastor, “teach” in psychology, but to propose a number of considerations that make the orientation of our work freely.
If we speak of wisdom and prudence, the word, dialogue, including teaching, have a lot to do with maturity. Because to get to work that way, “sane”, one must have accumulated many experiences, many choices made, rehearsed many responses to the challenges of life. Obviously there is no “sense” out of time. At first, then, still very close to the psychological and even biological maturity takes time.
But let us return to the mature person as someone who makes use of his freedom in a certain way. What, we wonder then, that? Because here opens another problem: is there a “court of maturity”? Who determines when something is “wise and prudent”? ? “The Others” (whoever they are)? Or everyone from his experience and guidance? If in the first instance we have to relate maturity with time, then we place ourselves in the conflict between the individual and others. Time freedom, freedom in society.
This is, then, the way I propose. A journey that, as we shall see, will allow us to understand human maturity in an open perspective. Because in the end we find a final dimension of maturity: the divine invitation to transcend the horizon of the intersubjective and social open to the religious, ie ethical maturity to holiness.
But do not get ahead of ourselves: the reflection is still “green”.
MATURITY REQUIRED EXPERIENCE IN TIME
For something ceases to be “green” and get to be “mature” seriously, it is essential not to rush. How many times have we disappointed with very good fruit appearance and little flavor! And we say: “Refrigerator is” … That is, he was not given the time required to reach the point of perfection.
Bridging the gap, human growth, in its ethical dimension, also takes time. Psychologists agree diverse schools, beyond their differences, in which the moral conscience is developed through a process involving several steps and movements, passing necessarily in time.
Thus: to reach a point of maturity, that is, to be able to truly free and responsible decisions, it is necessary that we have given you (and we have given) time.
At the time there are some operations required for the release form. For example, the ability to wait. We know that “I want it now” is the slogan of young children and those who believe that have not matured properly. Probably one of the most important things we have to learn. If nothing else, because the passage of instant gratification waiting, symbolization and mediation of reasoned action is one of the factors that define us as human. Between us, the stimulus does not necessarily awaken an immediate and automatic. It is in the space between stimulus and response that we have built throughout the culture.
That means a long road of learning, based on maturing capacities ranging from the biological and psychological. Sometimes we tend to imagine the figure of the “wise old man” as someone who has reached a certain “impasibildad”. Beyond some accents of the Eastern worldview present in these images, it is true that this takes away from things and pressures is one of the aspects highlighted in all those characters that can be linked to the “reasonableness” and “prudence”. At least in regard to the capability of not guided by the first pulse. The wise man, mature, “think” before acting. “It takes time.”
Is it obvious to note that all this involves a series of operations that are very difficult in the current “digital culture”? The time for reflection is not in any way time perception and immediate response from computer games, communications “on line” operations in which all the important thing is to “stay connected” and ” act quickly. ” It is not to ban the kids to play with electronic machines, but to find ways to generate in them the ability to differentiate the various logical and uniquely apply digital speed all walks of life.
Also try to be aware of our own tendencies “immediate stimulus-response”. For instance: the rise of home-media-the “opinion”: everyone thinks of everything, knows or does not know, whether or not the evidence. How to give rise to “think”, to talk, to exchange views in order to build strong and responsible positions, when daily mamamos thinking style that gun on the provisional, leaving him and disregard for consistency? Obviously we can not be part of the “information society” in which we live, but what we can do is “take time” to analyze, display options, see consequences, exchange views, other voices .. . arming and go, that way, the discursive framework on which decisions will be possible to produce “conservative”.
Taking time to wait is also taking time to build. The really important things take time: to learn a trade or profession, to know a person and establish a lasting relationship of love or friendship, to know how to distinguish the important from the expendable …
You know very well that there are things that you can not rush into the classroom. Each kid has their time, each group has its own rhythm … Last year I talked about the difference between “bear fruit” and “produce results.” Well, one of the differences is just the quality of time involving both purposes. In the production of results, one can provide for more efficient and to rationalize-time, in the result pending, no. You just wait: not in our hands the time, pace. It implies humility, patience, attention and listen.
The Gospel gives us the beautiful picture of the Holy Family “taking his time”, leaving Jesus was maturing, “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Lk 23, 52). The same time God made the main focus of his plan of salvation. Waiting for your town and symbolizes concentrated in the hopes of Mary and Joseph with the child who “takes time” to mature their identity and mission, and later, and man, makes waiting for “their time” an essential aspect of his public life.
Now, is there any difference at this point, among the fruits that ripen in a certain time and people need time to mature their freedom? What is it that makes us time to have an important role?
Time is essential, but not only in both magnitude “chronological” quantitative. “Time is experience,” yes, but only if one was given the opportunity to “experience the experience”. That is, it is not just that “things happen”, but to appropriate the meaning and message of the things that happen. Weather makes sense within an activity of the spirit, in which memory play, fantasy, intuition, the ability to judge … Few have delved so deeply for and as beautiful as St. Augustine:
“What then is time? If no one asks me, I know if I want to explain to me who you ask, I do not know. (…) The past and the future, how are because the past is no longer, and the future is not yet? There are three tenses: present to past, present of the present and the future present. There are, indeed, in the soul, in a way, these three modes of time and do not see elsewhere: the present of the past, memory, the present of the present, is the vision and the present of the future, is waiting. “(Confessions, Book XI. Emphasis mine).
Maturation in time is, in man, much more than the passing of a biological program objective. Is “distension of the soul”, St. Augustine said, that is, the experience of time is in the soul, in their movements and in their activity. In effect, “grow” over time is to play the “memory”, “vision” and “expected”. For the forgetful, for it does not keep track of what has happened and their own internal events, time is a mere meaningless flow. Without memory, we live a mere present without density, a mind that is always beginning, empty. Being “immature” is, at this point, just always “just landed”, not having the support of remembered experiences and weighted to the need to respond to the challenges of reality.
Sometimes we tell ourselves that we are a people immature. But that will not be because we have a brief history yet, but we have failed to ruminate that story. Little is what we learned, and we tend to stumble over and over again in the same stone. As we learn, as we do not we cut on the back of previous experiences have much to teach us, we only have one this gap, the present “any longer”, this consumerism, wastefulness, the desire for easy money, the irresponsibility (total, who will remember?) or, in an attempt to protect the immediate present of mutual distrust and skepticism.
To remember, to keep alive the memory of the triumphs and failures, moments of happiness and suffering, is the only way not to be as “children” in the worst sense of the word: immature, inexperienced, extremely vulnerable victims of any lure that comes our coated colored lights. Or as “old” in the sense also sadder: disbelievers, armored bitterness. The “selective memory” also breaks the data they mature, the heart moments, episodes of disfiguring the whole life. It creates a kind of mythological creature: half lived reality, part fantasy (call forward, ideology, desire). Furthermore it should be noted that the handling of memory is never innocent, rather it is dishonest.
So wait, the future present in the soul, according to St. Augustine? How can there experience and wisdom if we know where we want to go, where to look to choose from the possibilities that arise, in which direction and bet planting and building? The temporal dimension of maturity also means having the “relaxation” of waiting: turn desire into hope. This, as a moment of decision, as currently only the freedom to choose, diluted without the ability to see what we want in the tiniest movement and now have tiny seeds in his hands. Seeds that rule out, moves that would leave lost if we could feed the expectation that from them, and mediating time and new decisions, can grow well we want and we have learned to actively wait. And so, we still says St. Augustine, this is “vision” of what was, what is and, above all, of what can be. Custom field of freedom of spirit proper field. In this aspect of vision lies the contemplatividad dimension, a necessary element of maturity.
Without this combination of past, present and future, is given in conjunction activity of the human soul, no project possible. Only improvisation. Delete what happened before to rewrite what someone without handles erase morning. Is not it time to learn to project, wait and sustain the effort and the wait? Returning to the starting point of our reflection: is not there something about this in the terrible vulnerability that our children and teens live? Are not they looking out to life without a “story” that allows them to build their identity and outline your options? And it is not advertised and worn back to topic of “end of story”, it was not simply the violent introduction of a single story, a “story”, yes, “timeless”, based on blind trust in laws relating to wealth, to oblivion and the illusion that the avalanche of consumer goods was really the promised land. “Tale” that no one had ever confirmed, a collective illusion that only burying degrading memory and hope could be believed. This happens when ideology focuses all human activity and imposes a dogmatism that knows no memory or reality or vision. The current “progresismos teens” block all real human progress and, for the sake of a supposed progress but without the force of memory, reality and vision, set of different style totalitarianism but as cruel as the twentieth century totalitarianism driven by the “democratic” gurus thought. They confuse the maturation process of individuals and peoples with a canned cannery.
Today we have the opportunity to realize one of the most horrific consequences of the disorientation of adults: the death of children. If there is no past, not learned, if there is no future, no bet neither is prepared. We were all hanging out of nothing, that liar timelessness of the screens. Everything today, especially now, what else matters? And could not the slap stick today, lost. He missed. It has no place, no time. Wander through the streets and no one will see it, like children who ask galore hit a coin or a payphone to squeeze pennies today. Children out of time, children who have not been given the time they needed. Or as teens who do not know what to expect and have no where to learn, with absent fathers or empty, with a society that excludes or expels them and puts them in the place of victims or victimizers (deciding the side, often, by the color of their skin) instead of recognizing them as full subjects of future … community as long as they supply what they need to do.
That same immediacy that has teenagers today, just today, believe that can be satisfied with any products that are offered today, because you have to sell today, whether the boy lives tomorrow or not, whether growing or not, if you learn or not. Teenagers, in exasperation this only horizon, are often victims / perpetrators of compulsion to have a weight today for whatever and in any manner whatsoever, even the worst, raffling his life and that of others because anyway, who cares about tomorrow? Today, just today, reaching a kill to make money, just as larger ones have left to die (or killed) to be an infinitely more money.
It is the law of life … when no “relaxation of the soul”. When the past is no “memory” and the future is not “expect”, this is not “vision” but mortal blindness.
But allow me one last precision: “take time” is not the same as “letting be.” Monitoring is an essential aspect of waiting. Jesus himself, aware of his “hour”, not save images to plant in his disciples the parable of the servants waiting for their master, of virgins awaiting the bridegroom wisely and prudently and not. This is where we see very clearly the virtuality of the present time: not only vision, but a gift. This is what we get for not letting past becomes uselessly, but to become future … acting.
To conclude this section: freedom is fully met, “maturely”, when responsible freedom. That’s when it becomes a meeting point between the three dimensions of time. A freedom that recognizes what he did and what he did (from present to past), appropriates their decisions on the corresponding moment (the present) and is responsible for the consequences (from present to future). That’s a mature freedom.
MATURITY implies freedom
A second dimension of maturity was related to the tension between individual and community. Tension, we can point out from the outset, is at least inevitable, in the sense that definitely can not exist without each other, and vice versa.
But salteémonos basic issues implicit in this topic (moreover, sufficiently articulated in the biblical and the vision of the man, unique person and be social at the same time) to ask hard by the relationship between “being a mature “(ie, according to the second meaning of the Dictionary, possessing” good judgment or prudence, good sense “) and be somebody” adapted to society. “
In a first and rapid approach, seem to have the maturity to do with that “adaptation”. At least once commonly linked to “immature” with “misfit”. Sometimes (even in our institutions), the concept of “immaturity” serves to stigmatize not morally condemn you exit “expected”, which acts in a surprising or inappropriate for the common criteria. “Not a bad person, just a little immature.” Is not that a very effective way to talk with us?
With this, the problem is twofold. First, it is not appropriate to speak of an immature person, but immature behavior. And yet, not so easy to define where is the criterion that discriminates one and other behaviors. Who defines what is “mature”, ie, to what to “adapt”? Will the “authority”? Does the “majority”? Do you “created”?
The criterion that assimilates maturity adaptation becomes particularly complicated if we take as examples some situations. Not so long ago, the authority in our country say that “silence is health” and made him feel. However, there were those who raised their voice for human rights and against outrages, the poor and those who did not agree with the dominant ideology. Another example is probably “most” deems “adapted to the world we live in” do a little “gift” to the traffic officer or inspector to pay a hefty fine in the appropriate office. Is it a matter of “immature” refusal to enter into this web of corruption, not “accepted” less pernicious? But then, here is the figure of “instituted”, in this case, the traffic law or regulation enabling businesses or clubs. Spite of them many Argentines, the “adapted” (and “mature”) and would not side but widespread corrupt practices, but what the law requires, though little is accomplished. And yet, the thing becomes complicated when subjects are forced to act against the laws on behalf of what they consider fair. It is the history of the labor movement worldwide: how much struggle, how much suffering, how many deaths even took the recognition of the legitimacy of protection to workers and their families, for the regulation of child labor, etc., against the rapacity of capitalism of the time, which had generated its own legality? Can be said that those pioneers in the struggle for the dignity of human labor were people “immature”?
Christians should be the first (and not always are!) Hasty in rejecting the identification between “mature” and “adaptation”. Jesus, no less, could have made for many in his time in the paradigm of misfit and, therefore, the immature. This is demonstrated by the Gospels themselves, to record the reactions to their practices (“He is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners”, Mt 11, 19) and before his break with the institutional (“When his relatives heard , came to take him, they said, “is an exalted ‘” Mk 3, 21 and Jesus’ answer about his “real family”, 33-35). The same is implied in his controversy with the Pharisees and the chief priests concerning the Law and the Temple. We could read the Gospels complete, and particularly that of John, as an attempt to answer this question to the Lord: “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you authority to do them? “(Mk 11, 28). At that time, in which there was a scientific mentality and not even humanist in the modern sense, was not considered “immature” to somehow defying the authority, instituted or most, but “demonized” (Jn 8 , 48. 52) or “blasphemer” (Jn 10, 33). Thus, the reaction to the attitude of Jesus culminating in accusations of blasphemy fatal first (Mt 26, 65-66) and then in rebellion against Caesar (Jn19, 12-15).
What about St. Paul, undesirable for many situations the establishment to the point of imprisonment, stoning and finally execution? And by so many martyrs and confessors, confronting the criteria and values of his time, and bring upon themselves the wrath of power? All things considered, the Saints have always been a thorn in the side of his contemporaries. And it can not be otherwise, given the source of Jesus’ authority, which transcends all “good judgment” possible in this world.
If maturity was plainly adaptation, the purpose of our educational work would “adapt” the guys, these “creatures anarchic”, good standards of society, whatever. To what cost? At the cost of a gagging and submission of subjectivity. Or worse at the cost of depriving himself of the most sacred and the person: their freedom. Tremendous challenge, then, education and freedom, as it will in all of us, teachers and trainers, pastors and teachers, a devoted relativizing way we look and feel to prepare us to the humble and sincere search for truth .
In an indirect way, then, we see that maturity entails more than the “adaptation” to a prevailing model, the ability to make himself into position from the particular situation in which one finds oneself. That is, the possession of freedom to choose and decide according to their own experience and desire, in line with the values they adhere.
Maturity is full sway IN LOVE
Now, does this mean that all automatic canonization subjectivism, all eccentricity, of any claim of the individual as such?
No way. The question that contemporaries did Jesus was itself invalid. His words and deeds could not be presented as pure break: must have a referral from Truth. The moment “negative” criticism, of rebellion, of subjectivity as refusal of submission, can rely only upon “positive” transcendence, the trend towards greater universality, to fuller truth. It is not power that have rejected the martyrs was the power that benefited only a few. Law is not what Jesus fought: it was the law that was put over the recognition of others. Not most of the witness denies the truth: it is most deprived while visibility and word to everything else, the other presences and the other voices.
Put another way: freedom is not an end in itself, a black hole behind which there is nothing. It orders the fuller life of man, the whole man and all men. It is governed by love as unconditional affirmation of life and the value of each and every one. In that sense, we may still another step in our reflection: maturity involves not only the ability to decide freely, to be subject to their own choices among the many historical situations and settings in which we meet including, but includes the full affirmation of love as a link between humans. In the various ways in which this link is made: interpersonal, intimate, social, political, intellectual …
It is nothing but the idea that we have presented a “responsible freedom”. To whom will we be responsible, but to the other and to ourselves as members of the human family? Stop!, Say. Are we not responsible, first of all, before God? Yes, of course. The truth is that we see God as through a mirror dimly … And the most definitive test of the accuracy and truth of our responsibility to the test remains the love of neighbor (1 Jn 4, 20) lived from the inmost truth of our consciousness (1 Jn 3, 21-24) to the more specific and effective works that show our faith (James 2: 18). A mature personality and is one that has managed to insert his one-off community of peers. The difference is not enough: you must also recognize the similarity.
What does this mean for our vocation and task of Christian teaching?
It implies the need to build and rebuild social ties and community broken rampant individualism. A society, a people, a community, not just a collection of individuals who do not bother each other. The negative definition of freedom, which claims that it ends when it touches the edge of the other, it is halfway. Why do I want a freedom that locks me in the cell of my individuality, leaving others out, which prevents me from opening the doors and sharing with the neighbor? What kind of desirable society is one where everyone enjoys their property only, and for which the other is a potential enemy until I prove that cares anything about me?
I wish I understood: Christians who are not going to fall into a romantic and naive conception of human nature. Beyond the historical formulations, the belief in original sin wants to realize that every man or woman in a huge capacity nests well … and also bad. No one is immune, in each such can nest also the worst enemy, even to himself.
But this consideration, realistic or theological, as desired, is only the starting point. Because from there will have to think what the task of man in history, the company of human communities, the aim of civilization: the danger of simply punishing each other limiting the potential for conflict, or rather promote higher human capacities in order to a growth of communion, love and mutual recognition point to building a positive relationship and not merely as negative?
Much has been advanced, and much remains to be advancing in the task of bringing to light the many situations of violations to the dignity of people and especially of the most vulnerable and subjected punished. Particularly important has been the progress in the awareness of children’s rights, equal rights of man and woman, the rights of minorities. But we must go a step further: not through the enthronement of individualism that will place the rights of the person. The top right of a person not only prevent you from anyone achieve their purposes, but actually do them. Not enough to prevent injustice, if not promote justice. Not enough to protect children from neglect, abuse and mistreatment, if you educate young people for a full and comprehensive love to future children. If no offers families resources all they need to fulfill their vital mission. If society is favored in all a welcoming attitude and love of life of each and every one of its members, through the various means by which the State must contribute.
A mature person, a mature society, then, is one whose freedom is fully responsible from love. And that grows only in the shoulders of the roads. Means investing a lot of work, patience, great sincerity, humility, great magnanimity.
WALKING TO MATURITY
How can we turn these ideas into concrete leads to Christian educators we launch the postponed tasks that we require?
a) Strengthen the Church community
First, I think it is essential to strengthen the sense of Church among ourselves. There is no other place to get to listen to what God tells us in the current reality within the believing community. The humble church community real and concrete, not desired or dreamed. With its flaws and sins, in the midst of a never-ending process of penance and conversion, seeking new and better ways to communicate with each other, fraternal correction, solidarity, loyalty and growth in wisdom … Perhaps many Christians, to the painful divisions and sins being experienced by the church body, become discouraged and look outside the community conducting pathways commitment on the other. But maybe that way is deprived of the wealth that only in the believing community will find. Not all think alike, and sometimes the differences seem irreconcilable. Not all act as we should, and we all fully practice the Word through us. But that should not be a barrier to keep praying, talking, working to make that Word become incarnate and shine for all. Perhaps the first bet, the first search, is that of realizing a more ecclesial community repetuosa other, less judgmental and more mature in faith, love and service.
b) Test new forms of dialogue in pluralistic society
Second, create a sense of responsible freedom in love in the relationship between different groups in our society. This task is particularly important for us, as a social and cultural changes that are occurring in our country, as they have in other parts of the world, we face the need to find new forms of dialogue and coexistence in a pluralistic society, through which come to accept and respect differences and enhance the spaces and meeting topics and coincidence. Many Christians work side by side with brothers of other denominations or religious groups, or political and social movements in human advocacy and service to the needy! Perhaps there is brewing a new way of relating, to help rebuild the social bond between the Argentines and expand our consciousness of solidarity beyond all boundaries religious, ideological and political.
c) Revitalizing specifically theological dimension of our motivation
Thirdly, I would like to point briefly to the highest dimension of maturity, which is holiness. If all this reflection does not move us Christians to return again and again the ultimate motivation of our existence, will have stopped half way. For the Christian, the performance of free time is fulfilled by model Eucharist: proclamation of salvation made “today” in Christ and by faith each (in word and deed), that “fulfills” the past of the history of salvation and “anticipate” the definitive future. Hope in its fullest theological sense thus becomes key to the Christian experience of time, focusing on adherence to the person of the Risen.
It is relevant to bear in mind at this point what the Holy Father points us in Mane nobiscum Domine: “Indeed, the Eucharist is a mode of being which passes from Jesus into each Christian, through whose testimony tends to spread throughout society and in culture. To achieve this, it is necessary that the faithful must assimilate, through personal and communal meditation, the values which the Eucharist expresses, the attitudes it inspires, the resolutions to which it gives rise. Why not look at this special setpoint could emerge the Year of the Eucharist “(n.25).
And all this within the community that shares the faith rooted in love. For overcoming the contradiction between the individual and society is not exhausted, from our point of view, a mere search for consensus, but has to go back to the source of all truth. Deepening dialogue fuller access to the truth, deepening our truths in a dialogue that started us but God, and that has its own time and its own pedagogy. A dialogue is a “road to truth together”
d) Establish specific goals in education for maturity
In conclusion, and as placing us in the specific task of the educator, we should try to put in the center of all our activities the integral formation of the person, that is, the contribution to the full development of free men and women and responsible. In this sense, we should be able to ask specific and measurable goals, not to stay in a narcissistic rhetoric. If I may, I can not end this post without suggest some issues arising from the previous reflection, that could vehiculizarse some trainees, other targets, including other transversal content. There are six suggestions:
1) Raise herein to “experience the experience”
The absence of historical memory is a serious flaw in our society. It is also a hallmark of culture by some called “postmodern” youth culture of the “already”. Any reference to history is seen as a purely academic, in the most sterile of the word “history.” I think it is essential to awaken in our children the ability to connect with the motivations, choices and actions of those who came before us, discovering the undeniable relationship between them and the present. Know and be able to take position on past events is the only way to build a meaningful future. And this should not be only the content of a specific subject, but must go through school life through various activities and in different spaces. In this regard it is essential to contact “classics” of literature, meetings metahistorical dimension of social life of the people.
2) Helping to live the present as a gift
If God comes to us in the concrete history, this is the point where we accept the gift and give you our answer. This means going beyond skepticism that pervades our culture today, and beyond a certain omnipotence typically Argentina. Live the present as a gift is receive with humility and make it produce. In the message that I dedicated two years ago I developed this theme of the relationship between continuity and novelty in historical creation. I invite you to pick up and find ways to encourage our young people with huge potential transformer is in your hands, not so much through speeches and speeches but summoning them to develop experiences and situations that allow them to discover their own capabilities.
3) To develop the capacity for critical judgment to exit the “dictatorship of opinion”
Let us not tire of asking again and again whether we simply transmitting information instead of educating for freedom, which requires the ability to understand and critique situations and speeches. If we live increasingly in an “information society” saturates us indiscriminate data, all at the same level, the school would have to SAFEGUARD role of “teaching thinking”, and think critically. To do this, teachers need to be able to show the reasons behind the different choices of reading the world, and to promote the practice of listening to all voices before making judgments. Also, we will help establish evaluative criteria and last step is not always taken into account, highlight how judgment is to leave room for further questions, avoiding the risk of losing vitality absolutize and quickly.
4) Accept and integrate the corporeal reality
Particularly urgent is an accompaniment in the acceptance and integration of corporeality. Paradoxically, today’s culture puts the body in the middle of his speech while he undergoes all sorts of constraints and requirements. An anthropology closer to the new conditions of subjectivity can not leave out a particular job at this point, from all areas that becomes problematic (health, image and identity, sexuality, sport, welfare and leisure, work), and always aiming for a comprehensive release for the love of self, neighbor and God.
5) Enhance social values.
We know that our young people have an enormous capacity to feel the suffering of others and “put the body” in solidarity actions. This social sensitivity, often only emotional, should be educated towards solidarity “background”, you can develop the relationship reflexively obviously painful and unfair situations and discourses and practices that give rise to them or reproduce them. It was from a permanent “back and forth” between genuine human encounter experiences and lighting from the Gospel that we reconstruct the values of solidarity and collective sense of consumerist individualism and competitive recently been mined in our people. Undoubtedly, this will require a deepening and renewal of the Social Doctrine in our context.
6) Insist with the preaching of the kerygma.
All of this will fall on deaf ears if we support our youth on a path of personal conversion to the person and message of Jesus as the ultimate motivation to articulate other aspects. This will require, in addition to personal coherence-no-witness possible without preaching, open and honest search of the ways that religious experience can take in this new century. The conversion, dear friends, is not something that happens once and forever. It is a sign of an authentic Christian life readiness to worship God “in spirit and in truth”, ie the Spirit blows wherever.
Argentina wakes …
Thus we come to the end of our meditation.
We are at a historic moment of pain and hope. We feel that we can not be distracted by the opportunity the Providence gives us to bring our bricks to build a different world.
We shared with the finding of suffering pain and neglect suffered by many of our kids, expressed in a few tragic events of the past year, and we recognized the need to respond to this situation, to take charge in some way, our poverty but also from our hope.
And in that context, we have reflected on the conditions of personal and collective maturity required for this commitment.
Maturity implies a capacity to live long as memory, as vision and as expected, going beyond the immediacy to be able to articulate the best of our memory and our desires in a thoughtful and effective action.
Maturity that unfolds in a freedom that is not subject to any exclusionary particularization, which is deaf to the half-truths and the horizons of cardboard not uncritically adapted to what is current or criticize only highlight their individuality, but aims at finding a universal love and effective underpinning and content to that freedom fully responsible.
And that opens, ultimately, in a renewed ecclesial life of faith and to society as a whole, well grounded in theological and Eucharistic experience.
From there, I proposed six goals for working with children: awaken the memory; help live the present as a gift, to develop the capacity for critical judgment; promote acceptance and integration of corporeal reality; deepen social values and insist with the preaching of the kerygma.
If the reality we are faced with challenges in us a generous and courageous spirit, the present moment has also seen a growing gift to us. It will be so personal and community maturity of our educational communities will transcended, by the grace of God, to an experience of encounter with Him in a life of holiness, response to a gift that precedes and surrounds, sign and anticipation in history fullness of hope.
I take leave of you taking up the words of the Apostle: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm and steadfast, steady progress in the work of the Lord, with the certainty that their efforts will not be futile for him” (1Cor 15, 58). And, please, I ask you to pray for me.
At Easter, AD 2005.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ
Archbishop of Buenos Aires