Message from the Archbishop of Buenos Aires to educators

Dear Educators:

It is not news that we live in difficult times. You know, I palpated daily in the classroom. Many times have felt that their little strength to face the anguish that families carry on their shoulders and expectations are focused on you. The message this year wants to settle there and want to invite you to discover once again the greatness of the vocation they have received. If we look to Jesus, Wisdom of God incarnate, we realize that the problems become challenges, challenges appeal to generate hope and the joy of being architects of something new. This certainly encourages us to continue giving the best of ourselves.

These are the things that I want to share with you today. Christians have a specific contribution to make in our country and you, educators must be protagonists of a change that may take. To this invite and for that I put my trust in you and I offer my service Pastor.

In the latter year became popular assertion that Argentines have “recovered hope.” Would have to see if it is genuine hope that it opens a qualitatively different future (even without a name explicitly religious), or if we are simply willing to return to delude again, with all the risks that entails. Anyway, let’s take that “change of mood” as a starting point to do some thinking. Sticking to what interests us here, that is the question of the values ​​that sustain and justify our task as educators, I propose to place ourselves in a scenario can lead to interesting options: the stage of the reconstruction of the community.

The landscape of our country in recent years has led us to recognize a problem, “background”, a crisis of values ​​and beliefs and, like all recognition, puts us challenged to find a solution. That’s where the idea of ​​”reconstruction” is far more than a metaphor. It is not “go back”, as if nothing had happened or as if nothing had been learned. Nor to “remove” a bad thing, a kind of tumor in our collective conscience, assuming that “before” the agency had “full health”. If we speak of “reconstruction” is because we are aware of the impossibility of saltearnos and exceed the historical. “Rebuild” means, in this case, again foregrounding the goals, desires and ideals and find new effective ways to guide our actions toward those goals, desires and ideals, coordinating and creating realities (exterior and interior , institutions and habits) that would sustain progress compartidamente coherent.

No one is aware that education is one of the main pillars for this sense of community reconstruction, although she can not be dissociated from other equally fundamental dimensions such as economic and political. If the diagnosis is certain that the crisis lies not only in the errors of a shortsighted macroeconomics (or with a distorted view of their place and role in a national community) but also on a political, cultural and more deeply-yet- moral, the task will be long and consist more of a “seed” in a series of rapid changes. Therefore not exaggerating when I say that I think any project that does not put education as a priority will be just “more of the same”.

Now, as Christian educators face the challenge of making our contribution to the reconstruction of the national community, we need to operate a number of insights on what, at least in our view, should be prioritized. The fruitfulness of our efforts depends not only on the subjective conditions, the degree of commitment, generosity and commitment we can achieve. Success also depends on the “target” of our decisions and actions.

Understand, interpret and discern are essential moments all act responsibly and consistent way all hope. Christians have a starting point, a reference given to us as a guiding light. We do not walk blindly groping no sense in our search for orienting only by a method of “trial and error”. Christian discernment is Christian precisely because it takes as an axis to Christ, the Wisdom of God (1 Cor 1: 24.30). If it’s “understanding” of “making sense”, to “know” where to go, Christians have a powerhouse that is divine wisdom made flesh, made man, made history. Here we return, again and again, in search of enlightenment, inspiration and strength.

I-Our foundation: Christ the Wisdom of God

a) The three sides of wisdom

What does it mean to speak of “wisdom”? First, it is clear that this is something on the order of knowledge. It is a first sense of “knowing”: knowing, understanding. Being wise, live wisely, involves many things but can never be neglected appearance “intellectual”. As educators, service to the wisdom of our people-largely a service-order cognitive growth. If now we consider the experiential aspects, emotional, relational, attitudinal … all that can not be at the expense of a strong commitment to the intellectual. That we must recognize its share of truth to the matrix, or perhaps illustrated encyclopedic, Argentina education “foundation”. A person who knows more, he has cultivated his ability to learn, evaluate and reflect, to incorporate new ideas and put them in relation to the above to produce new meanings, is holding an invaluable tool not only to thrive in making to work and the “success” in social life also has valuable elements to develop as a person, to grow in the sense of “being” better.

No wonder the Church has always seen the importance in education, intellectual activity besides strictly religious education. Knowing not only “no place”, as our grandmothers said, but “open space”, “multiplies place” for human development.

Here, still at the beginning of our meditation, we already have a specific point to review and discuss in our educational communities. With good reason we focus on community life, to amplify our ability to host and control in human relationships and create environments that allow joy and love to our children grow and bear fruit. And we do well: often these basic inputs are denied by a society increasingly hard, success-oriented, competitive, individualistic. But all this can not be at the expense of the essential task of feeding and intelligence training. Today fashion is the word “excellence”, sometimes with an ambiguous about which later return, but that we rescue the imperative fashion of serious work in terms of the transmission and creation of knowledge of all kinds. Paraphrasing the buzzword: seek an education “intelligence”.

But wisdom is not limited to knowledge. “Knowing” means also “like”. They “know” knowledge … and also “know” flavors. What brings this dimension to what we are saying? The aspect “emotional” and “aesthetic”: we know what we know and love. Education will then be much more to offer expertise: will help our children and young people to value them and look at them, to make them flesh. Work involves not only intelligence but also on the will. We are committed to personal liberty as the ultimate synthesis of human way of being in the world, but not an indeterminate freedom (nonexistent!) But paid by security experience, of joy, of love given and received.

I’m not talking about “the boys they like” going to learn in school. The search for wisdom as “taste” is not reduced to a question of “motivation”, but includes it. It is that they can “feel” the joy of the word, of giving and receiving, listening and sharing, to understand the world around them and the ties that bind him, to marvel at the mystery of creation and its climax: the man. Return to these questions. For now, let’s suggested that our educational task is to awaken a sense of the world and society as a home. Education “to dwell”: essential way to be human and to recognize God’s children.

I still want to draw attention to a third “side”, a third dimension of wisdom. Wise is the one who not only knows about things, contemplates and loves, but manages to integrate them through choosing a course and multiple choice concrete and fidelity to everyday demands. One side, then, “hands”, which are resolved in the previous two. This is consistent with the old sense of “Wisdom” present in the Bible: the ability to navigate in life, so a prudent and skillful work full fruition in existential and happiness. “Knowing” what “worth” and what is not: an ethical knowledge, far from constraining and inhibit human possibilities, the maximally unfolds and develops. A moral knowledge opposed both “immoral” and a “demoralized”. Also know “how to do”: a knowledge “practical” not only in relation to the purpose, but with no available means to stay in the good intentions. This third dimension of wisdom is calling King Solomon and grace to govern his people (cf. Wis. 9, 1-11)

We want a school of wisdom … as a kind of laboratory existential, ethical and social, where children and youth can experience what things allow them to develop fully and build the skills needed to pursue their life projects. A place where teachers “wise”, ie people whose everyday and projection embody a model of life “desirable” elements and provide resources that can save you, those who begin the road to do some of the suffering “from scratch” experiencing in the flesh or destructive wrong choices.

Promote wisdom involving knowledge, appreciation and practice, is a worthy ideal to chair any educational endeavor. Who can bring something to the community have contributed to the collective happiness in a incalculable. And, as mentioned, we have in Jesus Christ Christians first and a fullness of wisdom that we have no right to retain faith in our spaces. There is something else we evangelization urges the Lord: Sharing wisdom from the beginning was meant for all men and women of all time. Renewing boldly announced the burning of the proposal that we search deep fills, silenced by such turmoil, let’s do it every day and trying to reach everyone.

b) Build on rock

This is our belief, as Christians. But we still have to do a long discernment to understand the radical newness that we are custodians. At the end of the day, the historical failures and even more incredible horrors and aberrations that have lived as people have sometimes had as protagonists of our brothers who confess our faith and share our celebrations. Proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ does not exempt us or the error or evil. Since Jesus himself said: not enough to say “Lord, Lord!” if it is not the will of the Father (Mt 7, 21-23). Not just “malice” or “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” It’s very easy to say that “after all, really, in his heart, never were of us” preserve our security and merely nominal, driving out those elements that would make us wonder about the depth and solidity of our beliefs and practices.

Let us pay attention to the words of the Lord which have been recalled. In the verses that follow, Jesus continues his teaching with the parable of the man who builds his house on rock. “The rain came down, the streams were precipitated, and the winds blew and shook the house, but it did not collapse because it was built on rock” (Mt 7, 25). The images of “rain”, “rivers” and “winds” that construction can give a certain impression of passivity: simply “hold”. “Hold on” keeping his faith, his convictions, in the midst of adversity the world. But the immediate relationship with the previous parable of Jesus (“there are those who say Lord, Lord …”) put us in a completely different, more concern. It is “doing the will of the Father who is in heaven” (Mt 7, 21), or do what Jesus, the teacher tells us (Lk 6, 46). It is “to resist the attacks of the world,” and further, “put to work” on a task that is closely linked to the Kingdom that Jesus is present.

What, then, “build on the rock” to implement the will of the Lord? I think the idea of ​​”wisdom” we can begin to make our way in our quest. If the task, the specific task at hand, the task of education in the context of community recreation, requires a strong commitment subjective and also a serious and lucid discernment goal, then you must be chaired by an intellectual wisdom, affective practice full play to put the model of Jesus in these three planes. Confess Christ as Lord, to be his apostles in spreading the Gospel and the launch of his Kingdom, necessarily build on the rock of Wisdom incarnate the building of our Christian identity and our teaching and educational activities.

At this point, which no doubt we will all come to respond to our vocation, may cross some misunderstandings that lead to real temptations.

The first is to stay in a purely “pious” of Wisdom incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth. Make it an experience only “interior”, “opinion”, leaving out the side “goal”, the actual look of the world, the movement of the heart in the light of this understanding, the specific calculation that includes the creation of mediations effective approach to the ideal. It is the permanent temptation of trends “pseudomísticas” of Christian.

This perspective, while still being one of the aspects of the Christian mystery (and all religious mysticism), ends reduced to a kind of spiritual elitism, to an ecstatic experience of “chosen” that breaks with real concrete history. The “elites” illustrated by internal dynamism, strip us of the sense of belonging to a people, in this case the people of God is now the Church. The “elites” illustrated horizon closed down everything that causes us to keep going and reverse our action in, in a hopeless immanentism. On the basis of this spiritual elitism, despotenciador of all wisdom, is the denial of the fundamental truth of our faith: the Word is come in the flesh (1 John 4: 2)

We have in the New Testament is a concrete example of reductive stress: the first Christian community of Corinth, which motivated a strong letter of St. Paul. These Christians of Greek origin had developed a conception of faith type “charismatic” but dissociating experiences “in the Spirit” (gift of tongues, ecstasy …) of its correlative moral and social commitment. St. Paul will have to draw your attention to that sort of “spiritual Christianity” losing connection to everyday life in the concrete. This is a more apt to develop what we now call New Age religiosity that genuine faith in Jesus of Nazareth and his Good News. In times of orphans and meaninglessness, as we live in today, this one-sidedness of the “mystical” experience certainly is a comforting and beneficial. But the fact is that, after a time, the mystery of the sinfulness of man denies the claims of “rise above the mundane” implies that this poor spirituality, and forces him to reveal his hidden face of lies and delusion.

How does it affect our work in the classroom such an accentuation of Christian wisdom? Among other ways, through a magical conception of faith and sometimes of the sacraments. I have no intention at this point to analyze the sacramental life of our educational communities. I mention some situations that occur between the various possible: routine and absence.

Sometimes absolutizamos signs of encounter with God to the point of neglecting what those signs should mean, we do nothing to invalidate, make them lose consistency, machining them. In the same vein, we have relied on sometimes too emotional exaltation of catechetical coexistence, in the youth retreat, at the right time lived in the family day … Moments of free, yes, of celebration and joy, but at times so inconsistent … The praise and joy in the Lord are not “instruments” or “means” to express nothing but the glow of a truly evangelical life, rest on the road actually traveled, the advance of expected happiness.

Finally, another way to look like the Corinthians of Paul: the cult of spontaneity … translated into improvisation. The fair critique of the bureaucratic formality because, of attachment to the procedure and the rules of the priority of the “spirit” of the “letter”, also can lead to mediocrity and ineffectiveness, if not the mere cult personality and, ultimately, to the defection of the mission entrusted to us, making a pitiful wreck parody of lively and creative community that as a lie has short legs.

At the other end, Christian Wisdom becomes a predominantly made “objective”, a “flag” on the icon of the historical Christ did not remain in the grave but was exalted as Lord, shaping a new social and cultural observable, a number of certainties identified with any concrete historical realization. The “objectivity” of the Resurrection of Christ, according to this reductive conception, would result in the “objectivity” of his triumph in history, the way of an identification between the Kingdom of God and this world, and again reissued in the history of the Church and that, as in the early days of Christianity, deserved a major critical page of John’s Gospel in the dialogue between Jesus and Pilate (Jn 18, 33-37). Indeed, why give up Jesus to call his angels to defend his kingdom? Because that kingdom “not of this world”, it was not alternative political, social or cultural fatally tied to the expiration of all that is born, grows and dies in time.

And if Christianity “mystical” led to a kind of elitism or “celebration of narcissism”, its opposite, the end “historic” opens the door to a “spiritual authoritarianism” that, like the previous one ends invariably playing the “meat” of human beings. Because historical status as conflicting subjectivities as ambiguous field where things are never quite black or white (cf. the parable of the wheat and tares) always makes land fall orders “perfect” and “definitive” and forces them to show the ability of evil all their own. Finally, the will to power looms that man takes in, in this case camouflaged by the contemplation of Christ’s triumph over death.

This may also affect (and seriously distort) our service in the educational task. It is clear (though not lacking who can still argue otherwise) that a rigid model of historical identities, lacking room for dissent and even guidance options and diverse and plural, can no longer take place, at least in Western societies . The place of subjectivity in modern culture, recognizing deviations and devaríos, is already an achievement of humanity, in this development of the concept of human person as a subject of inviolable freedom has not been immune evangelical inspiration. In the same religious level, human dignity demands a kind of proposal and adherence to the belief that it is far from the imposition of a letter immanent undisputed that chains or amengüe the personal search for God, bringing into play the rich endowment it received the man for such an adventure.

No way our schools should aspire to form an army of Christians hegemonic know all the answers, but should be the place where all questions are welcomed, where, in the light of the Gospel, it just encourages personal research and not the seals with verbal walls, walls that are rather weak and falling hopelessly short time later. The challenge is greater: depth calls, calls attention to life, heal and release calls idol … and precision fit here: both conception “mystical” and the “historical-political” form a triumphalism, true caricature of the real triumph of Christ over sin and death.

c) Dimensions of Christian wisdom

But then, how can we move forward in a positive understanding of Christian wisdom? We can not be here more than a first glance, necessarily brief and limited. No one can pretend to exhaust the infinite riches of the Word made flesh in a collection of simple human words. It is, rather, to invite you to look, to pray, to delve into the scripture and the many expressions of the teaching and the living tradition of the Church, trying to figure reliefs own accents and a faith that is life for today’s world. I want to encourage them to take a closer look and vigilant of the signs of the times, to a further strengthening of communal prayer and reflection, to recreate the dialogue of salvation, at various times in history, gave fruits of holiness and opened instances unthinkable evangelization and renewal. This demands we make time for the ordinary, to be open with seriousness and enthusiasm to build alongside the other, putting the heart.

Here, let me share, as Pastor, some ideas that may be valuable to consider. Simply, some aspects in the person of Jesus and the word shape the ideal of wisdom outlined above.

First, as a true Christian wisdom. Jesus describes himself that way (John 14:6). We must move towards a true idea of ​​becoming more inclusive, less restrictive, at least, if we are thinking of the truth of God and not some human truth that we seem stronger. The truth of God is inexhaustible, is an ocean of which we hardly see the shore. It’s something we’re starting to find these days: not enslave an almost paranoid defense of “our truth” (if I “I have”, he did not “have” if he “can have it”, then I ” I have not “). The truth is a gift that is too big, and that’s exactly why we enlarges, amplifies us, lifts us. And this makes us don servers. This does not imply relativism, but truth compels us to a continuous way of deepening their understanding.

The Gospel of Jesus offers us truth about God, a God who is Father, a God who comes to meet his, of a free and liberating God chooses, calls and sends. Reread the parables and comparisons of the Kingdom: God speak. God comes to the ways that prepared a party and wants everyone to enjoy it, God is hidden in the small and growing, but we do not know him. God is infinitely generous, wait until the last minute and goes in search of those who went astray. Too much to pay workers in the last hour and not petty nor his love for the first and the brother of the prodigal son: by contrast, has always with him and invites transcend themselves and like him .

God … What can we say, which is not outweighed by the infinity of what He is! When we come to drink at the well of the Gospel, we instantly realize how pathetic they have been, throughout history, “representations” of God that men have manufactured, often in our image. But there’s more: we are talking about a God that was not installed on your “god”. All we can say he has had and has a “human way” to exist: it is Jesus of Nazareth. That infinitely merciful Father and Savior is not a figure unattainable: his work performed in the actions and words of the Master.

So Christian Wisdom is also true about man. About the God-man, and the man called to live the divine condition. This message is ever new and ever timely: even in times of technological globalization, where everything human seems reduced to bits and it seems that it was decided to leave out many of the “kingdom” is organized, there is a word of wisdom that we insists again and again, to the ear and the four winds, from the pulpits and the Areopagus and also from Golgothas and many hells of this world, about the unshakable faithfulness of a God who wanted to be a man to be like men God. And this is precisely the opposite direction to that suggested by the Serpent in Eden.

I wonder if today we have the mission of teaching we ponder the beauty and explosiveness of this truth about God and man that we have received. For more than a century (this year is the 110th anniversary of his death), a Christian vocation embodied his teacher, journalist and politician from these convictions, to play a full believer condition and man of his time, without dualisms or reticence . I mean, Jose Manuel Estrada and think it is important to rescue her figure not only in concrete struggles that vehiculizó their fidelity to the Church and his love of country, but from the fact that Christian truth understood as a huge potential elevation of mankind and not content with less: for him, it was not “hold” the wind and rain, but to enhance their skills in the service of building a new society.

Full time, shared the question about the meaning of human life and pointed accurately to the point where that sense becomes question and invitation to the pair search every person of good will:

“The science of observation, whether they belong to a material such as chemistry, whether they belong to the moral order as philosophy, classified facts, define phenomena, made perhaps their immediate and secondary laws, but are powerless to find the link that binds upper, within their metaphysical conditions of production, universal harmony, submissive to a law excelsa. (…) If the ignorance of man consisted only in the inability to appreciate the phenomena and their conditions, naturalism enough to dissipate gradually. But neither of the Christian’s mind, or the mind of the atheist logic, and spirit of one iota who rises above the level at which, by excess grading primitive, pure animality and barbarism almost inextricably confused, disappear never even used all the curiosities of the visible and hidden to why all circumstantial experimental facts, is another curiosity: what am I, nor this one: where did I come from?, or, finally, this distressing problem center of the sweetness of faith and the sharp pangs of disbelief or doubt: where do I go? … ”

But Christian wisdom, and Estrada also testified that, does not stay in discourse. The dimension of truth goes hand in hand with the Life and Way. The “three sides” to reach their resolution evangelical wisdom in Jesus and those who followed in his footsteps. The Truth about God and man is the beginning of another way of valuing the world, our neighbor’s life, personal mission, is the beginning of another love And, necessarily, is the principle of ethical guidelines and historical choices that shape a concrete embodiment of wisdom in time in which we live.

I invite you to go forward, thinking about some ways in which Christian wisdom could model our teaching vocation, background evaluations translated into concrete practices and revealed Truth.

II-Master Teacher

First, remember the starting point of our meditation: Christians involved in educational work we now have a major responsibility and at the same time, an opportunity to stake our contribution. Therefore, it is necessary to “hit” on the goals to prioritize, based on wisdom gained in the experience of the encounter with the Lord. For that it is worth re-done the fundamental question: what do we educate? Why is the Church, the Christian communities, investing time and energy assets in a task that is not directly “religious”? Why do we have schools, and hairdressers, veterinary or travel agencies? Is it for business? Some may think so, but the reality of many of our schools belies that claim. Is it because of influence in society, which then influence expect some profit? Some schools may offer this “product” to “clients”: contacts, environment, “excellence”. But neither is this the sense in which the ethical and evangelical us to provide this service. The only reason that we have something to do in the field of education is the hope for a new humanity in another possible world. It is the hope that comes from Christian wisdom, which in the Risen reveals the divine stature to which we are called.

With language and theology of his time, clearly raised this Estrada purpose of the educational task from the Christian perspective:

You see men struggling in this century by a yearning unending perfection? Also we love the progress and perfection, but perfection proper to man in all of his destiny and his moral nature. It is excellent science, and applaud and love, because it is law of man over nature, but also our aim to end law supersensible and immortal, and the purification of the soul and its union with God, requires the adoption of supernatural means as these purposes. The condition and supreme object of all progress is the restoration of the supernatural in men by the power of Christ. Napoleon guessed: educating is created.

If our schools are not the place where you are creating another humanity, where root other wisdom, which exploits another company, which hosts the hope and transcendence, we are delaying a unique contribution in this historical stage. If they do not favor the word and love about the mechanisms of domination and rivalry, we can not speak of Christian school. If they “excellence” is not understood as excellence of charity, which surpasses all other “virtues” (and skills) away is the Resurrection of our homes.

All this is not mere poetry. In fact many of the “values” force in our society lose sight of this truth that is inclusive and transcendent figure of man and the community. The school may be just the transmitter of these “values” or the cradle of new ones, but that is a community that believes and hopes, a loving community, a community that is truly united in the name of the Risen. Before schedules and curricula, rather than the specific mode codes and regulations that may take, we must know what we want to generate. I also know that this must involve the entire teaching community, strength in communion with one mind, devoting herself to the project of Jesus and all pulling in the same direction.

Many institutions promote the formation of wolves, rather than brothers; educate for competition and success at the expense of the other, with only a weak standards of “ethics” committees supported by paupers which seek to offset the corrosive destructiveness of certain practices that “necessarily” have to perform. In many classrooms is rewarded to fast and strong and despise a weak and slow. Many are encouraged to be the “number one” in results, not compassion .. Well, our contribution is a specifically Christian education that bear witness and make another way of being human. But that is not possible if we simply “hold” the “rainy”, “rivers” and “wind” if we were in the mere criticism and delight in being “outside” denounce those criteria. Another possible humanity … requires positive action, otherwise it will always be “another” merely invoked, as “it” remains in force and increasingly installed.

I believe that a more active stance inevitably requires that we overcome some antinomies rather than clarify our, paralyze us. Some end up taking extreme rigid antagonisms both shades that “give away” potential to those guidelines that consider more negative. A real commitment, determined and responsible invites us to take a further step in our discernment and overcome some clichés deeply rooted in our communities. This, then, I propose three challenges chained together: our task tend to bear fruit while attending; privileging criteria gratuity without losing efficiency, and create a space where excellence does not involve a loss of solidarity.

a) “Fruits” and “results”

Our task has a purpose: to provoke something in the students entrusted to us, to bring about change, growth in wisdom. We hope that, after going through our classrooms, children or young people have experienced a transformation, having more knowledge, new feelings, and yet achievable ideal. For the teacher who wants to be master of wisdom is not enough to “fulfill their obligations” with neatness and attention. The look goes beyond the necessary professional competence and integrity rather focuses on what she attracts learners who constitute the reason for his vocation.

This “transformation” we wish and hope, for which we put into play all our capacity, has many aspects that must be linked to imply something better. One way perhaps schematic, but useful to understand, we can place them in two dimensions that call each other “produce results” and “bear fruit”.

What imply both goals? “Bear fruit” is a metaphor that we in agriculture, is how new it is present in the world of the living. We may also use the image of “father” to give life to a new being. Anyway, vegetable or animal, the idea points to an internal process in the subjects. The fruit is formed from the very identity of the living, feeding on those forces which have already become part of his being, is enriched with multiple internal identifications and is unique, amazing, original. Nature does not give two fruits exactly alike. Similarly, an individual who “bears fruit” is someone who has matured their creativity in a free process, brewing something new from the truth received, accepted and assimilated.

How does this relate to our particular job? A teacher who sapiencialmente suggests that their task “bear fruit” never expect something default limited to settling the subject fits a mold considered desirable. Do not discard the different and that calls into question some of their practices. No compliance sobreadaptado deceive and without question by their students. Know that a student’s question is worth a thousand answers, and encourage search while still being aware of the risks they entail. Before the questioning and rebellion break and will not seek to impose, but will also promote accountability through an intelligent criticism from an open and flexible learning no doubt in teaching and learning to teach. And when you encounter failure or error, far from denying it or highlight it victorious or bitterly, patiently resume the process at the point it was hampered or diverted, promoting learning and learning the patient himself.

For its part, the metaphor of “producing results” belongs to the field of industry, efficiency and calculable serial. A result can anticipate, plan and measure. Implies control over the steps that are occurring. A certain set of actions that will perfectly predictable effect.

A society that tends to make man a puppet of the production and consumption always opt for the results. Need control, can not give rise to novelty without seriously compromising its goals without increasing the degree of existing conflict. Preferred that the other is completely predictable in order to acquire the maximum benefit with minimum expense.

But the wisdom not only involves aging in the order of the contents and values, but also the skills. Any real transformation in order to that other world to which we aspire also involves know-how, a competition that must incorporate instrumental understanding their logic. Our students have the right, above all, its own autonomy and uniqueness, but also develop skills socially recognized, tested, in order to be able to translate in the real world wants and contributions. The teacher who is rooted in Christian wisdom despises not necessary effectiveness to be achieved, with all the effort that entails for him and the students. He knows that to move from the “good intentions” to the embodiments must travel the difficult path of technique, discipline, economy of effort, incorporating experiences of others, and is able to persevere with their students in this way Although he and they sometimes prefer to take a shortcut or stay in a backwater.

The problem is that many times Christians have dissociated the “fruits” of the “results”. Thus, we neglect our training, loosen the level where students would be better for us to find the way to motivate and sustain the effort, we settle for achieving a good climate and establish good links, instead of building on that network dynamics creativity and productivity. Or, on the contrary, we take refuge in stereotyped behaviors, beliefs properly made, consistent with the standard expressions … all from a freedom more “tamed” it strengthened, we think that this “educated”!

Nothing worse than a Christian school that is conceived from the uniformity and the calculation mode that “sausage maker” so crudely caricatured by The Wall film several years ago. Our goal is not only to train “individuals useful to society”, but to educate people who can transform! This will not be achieved by sacrificing the maturation of skills, knowledge deepening, diversification of tastes, because, finally, the neglect of those “results” will not lead to “new men and women”, but the limp puppet consumer society.

This is solved by integrating both polarities together: “Educating for fruit” providing all the necessary tools for fruit that is realized at all times in an effective manner, “producing results”. From the objectivity of truth and open models propose ideals, inspiring, without printing the format that we have found to vehiculizar that dynamic, developing turn mediations necessary for kids to motorize their choices. Learners prefer free and responsible, able to question, decide, right or wrong and continue on their way, and not mere replicas of our own successes … or from our mistakes. And just for that, we are able to let them gain the confidence and security that comes from the experience of one’s creativity, one’s ability, one’s ability to implement successfully the way and their own guidelines.

This is seriously believe in all instances of dialogue, in the power of words. A word not idealized: a word that can encourage and urge, open doors and set limits, invite and forgive. All of which is also some extremely difficult virtues: humility to know relativize their own positions, waiting patiently to see other times and magnanimity to persevere and not falter in the effort to give the best.

b) Gratuity efficiently

With good reason, Christians seek to promote in our schools free criterion. First, for its intrinsic value: it is the ultimate sign of God’s love and the love between humans based model Christ’s unconditional. And second, because we know and suffer the consequences of the extension of economic criteria to all human activity.

If we mean by efficiency maximum results with minimum expenditure of energy and resources, it is obvious that education for the fruit, for the value and the freedom to tend to rethink all these relationships. Undoubtedly, the energy invested in our children and youth will be immense and the results are not always desired. Moreover, ultimately, the result will depend on each subject, which does not exempt us to evaluate our work.

An efficiency criterion left to itself would lead us to invest more where we have more assurance of success. Exactly what makes the existing model and privatizing exitista. Why spend on those who will never leave your prostration, asks the investor who seeks performance first. What sense is investing more and more for more “slow” or “conflict” can find their way?, Why the “less endowed” (and now also wants accounting genetics to determine “who did not”) ” squandered “community property, and that in any case will never reach the required level?

But this logic is turned upside educational humanism bad when you consider the core of our faith: the Son of God became man and died on the cross for the salvation of men. What is the ratio of the “investment” made by God and the purpose of this “cost”? We could say without being irreverent: no one else is “inefficient” God. Sacrifice his son for humanity, and humanity sinful and ungrateful until today … There is no doubt: the logic of salvation history is a logic of the free. It is measured by “should” and “have”, even for the “merits” that we enforce.

For we read in the Gospel that the mustard seed, so small seed, becomes a huge bush and grasp the disproportion between action and effect, then we know that we do not own the gift and try to be careful and efficient administrators. We must be efficient in our mission because it is the Lord’s work and not primarily from ours. The Word sown by his own virtuality fruits and according to the land where it falls. Not so the planter will make your work with stupidity and carelessness. The corollary of free divine worship and thanks of man and thanksgiving worship involving a great respect for the wisdom shared by the precious gift of the Word and words.

Make no mistake: the efficiency as a value in itself, as the ultimate criterion, does not hold at all. When today, in the field of business, the emphasis is on efficiency, it is clear that it is a means to maximize profit. Well, we must be efficient so that the “gain” can be free. Efficiency at an educational service that is truly free. I am not referring here to tariffs and contributions (if we could find the formula for the poor poorer citizens to exercise their rights to choose our schools because they are also free!), But rather a fundamental attitude as its president. Neither the meaning nor the effectiveness of our work are given mainly by the resources used and their calculation, but that’s why we put the best of us. Jesus also took into account that dimension: not in vain taught the parable of the talents …

This seriously compromises we, as Christian teachers, to give freely and thoughtfully and carefully what we have received for free, just as it also has to be part of the content of what we broadcast. The teacher who wants to make his debut Christian wisdom of life and the meaning and content of their vocation, will emphasize classroom climate and the whole institution, to assume the attitudes and promote, in the style of trade everyday, all looking to capture in an atmosphere of free, caring and generosity. Never atmosphere interactions calculated measures and interested, but sometimes tempted to mezquinar delivery. Nor an atmosphere of neglect and disregard for the property, the time and effort the sensitivity of each of the partners in their work: students, colleagues, partners, families. Although deeply unsupportive culture we live it daily boost shrugged saying “do not care”, will feel deeply responsible for what belongs not to squander all his knowledge, his school with all who participate, vocation teacher.

And that brings us to our third and final challenge.

c) solidarity Excellence

The approach that breaks with the logic of competitive individualism is, finally, that of solidarity. This is where the contribution of Christian educators can become more critical and relevant, because, beyond the speeches, the “ethics” of competition (which is nothing more than a reason instrumentation justify force) has full force in our society.

Educate for solidarity is not only taught to be “good” and “generous”, make collections, participate in works of public good, supporting foundations and NGOs. You must create a new mindset, to think in terms of community, priority for the life of each and every one over the ownership of property by some. A mentality born of that old teaching of the Social Doctrine of the Church about the social function of property and the universal destination of goods as the primary right, prior to private property, to the extent that it is subordinate to that. This mentality must become flesh and thought in our institutions, must cease to be a dead letter to be translated into realities that setting another culture and society. It is urgent to fight for the recovery of real people, sons and daughters of God, above all pretense of indiscriminate use of earthly goods.

Solidarity, then, rather than an attitude “affective” or individual, is a way of understanding and living activity and human society. Should be reflected in ideas, practices, feelings, structures and institutions globally implies a massed on the various dimensions of existence leads to a commitment to shape it in the real relations between groups and individuals; activity requires not only “private “or” public “that seeks to mitigate the consequences of social imbalances but also finding ways to prevent such imbalances occur, roads that will not be easy, much less celebrated by those who have chosen to build a model of selfish and he have benefited.

This essential solidarity becomes a “brand”, “certificate of authenticity” Christian style, that way of life and that way of carrying out the task of education. No need of any ideology critique of Christianity to raise our novelty. Or we are able to form men and women with this new mindset, or we will have failed in our mission. This will also involve reviewing the criteria that have guided our actions until today. It is worth questioning:

Where is between us, that solidarity made culture? We can not deny that there are multiple signs of generosity in our people, but why do not translate into a more just and fraternal? Where, then, the brand of the Risen in the country we have built?

Maybe it once again, of a dissociation between ends and means. But this statement deserves a little more detailed development. I mentioned that today is much talk of “excellence” sometimes from an unsupportive and elitist conception. Those who “can” claim “excellence” because “pay for it”. This, unfortunately, is a speech heard too much to ignore. The problem is they never seriously wonder what happens to those who “can not”, much less, what are the causes that make a “yes they can” and others “can not”. Like so many other things due to a long chain of human actions and decisions, the situation is considered a “fact”, as natural as rain or wind.

But what if we turned the proposition, and we were to achieve excellence of solidarity? The dictionary of the Real Academia defines “excellence” and “superior quality or goodness that makes it worth something unique appreciation and esteem.” Going further, we know that in ancient Greece excellence was a concept very close to virtue perfectly socially valued in some order. Not only the “appreciation”, but what it deserves: the higher capacity is evidenced in the quality of the action. Thus, talk of “solidarity excellence” mean, on one level, apply solidarity as a desirable, enhance the value of this provision and the practice. It involves above all do well and what concerns us from the spirit of the mission of every teacher, beginning, as Jesus pointed out to wash the feet of his disciples by a profound personal, affective and effective, which result in testimony: “If I, who am the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. example I have given you to do the same thing I have done to you” (Jn 13 14-15).

Second, improve this solidarity. There are times when we are asked to give more, move on to what we were working and providing for empire or claim thereof pressing reality. We could talk about solidarity “superficial” and solidarity “fruitful”. The first we know: mere statements, display of generosity, support hypocritically point that sometimes hide the real root of the problems … Or, without going so far, sentimentality, lack of vision, superficiality and naiveté. By contrast, the excellence of solidarity implies a whole way of thinking and living, as mentioned above, and more: a real concern to make our practices solidarity actions that actually deliver change.

Here we visualize a possible reason for what seems like an “impotence of solidarity”. Not enough to be “good” and “generous” have to be smart, capable, effective. Christians have put such emphasis on the rectitude and sincerity of our love, in the conversion of the heart, that at times we have paid less attention to hit our target in fraternal charity. As if all that mattered was the intention … and appropriate mediations are neglected. This is not enough, not enough for our brothers in need, victims of injustice and exclusion, those “inside our heart” does not help them in their need. Nor is it enough for ourselves: a solidarity useless only serves to alleviate some feelings of guilt. They require high end … and means.

We see, finally, that there is nothing to oppose solidarity and excellence, if we understand them in this way. A teacher sapiencialmente rooted in the model of Jesus of Nazareth will be able to discern in his own heart the reasons for his commitment and dedication, and find in their vocation, in their personal capacities and an active concern for training and personal reflection and community, how to generate a change in students in pursuit of an inclusive society and fraternal. And it will do with concrete initiatives spanning from the kind of treatment that maintains and promotes each of its students to their participation in the educational community in a more comprehensive, since its spirit of camaraderie and solidarity in work until firmness ethical and spiritual choices, always trying to discover, from a look that combines intelligence and love the best of each of their children to foster in them the “excellence” of virtue, vocation through which will be called to live and grow the Kingdom.

Thus we reach the end of our reflection. Thinking about what we can and must contribute today to put our country at the center of our consideration the size of Wisdom that the Gospel of Jesus reveals. A worthy ideal chair the best educational endeavors!

Christian Wisdom, Truth, Life and Way, enlightened us in discerning some ethical guidelines and historical options for our teaching.

No stay in words but build on the rock, mean take seriously the meaning of our mission in our schools if not otherwise exploits human being, another culture and society, we are wasting time. To advance this work, I proposed the challenge of overcoming some contradictions that keep us grow:

First, we propose result in our children and youth a transformation that bears fruit of freedom, self-determination and creativity and, at the same time-is displayed in results in terms of skills and knowledge actually operating. Our goal is not forming islands of peace in the midst of a disintegrated society but to educate people with the capacity to transform society. Then, “fruits” and “results”.

For that, unhesitatingly choose the logic of the Gospel: logic of gratuitousness, the unconditional gift, but trying to manage our resources with the greatest responsibility and seriousness. Only then can we distinguish free the indifferent and careless. Gratuity efficiently.

And finally, overcoming the ethical destructive competition “all against all”, to carry out a practice of solidarity point to the roots of selfishness in an effective manner, not staying in mere declamation and complaints, but putting our best service capabilities This ideal. High purposes and means: excellence of solidarity.

Teachers with Master: witnessing a new wisdom, new and eternal, for the kingdom that God has begun in our history calls us to always expect that all searches and attempts we can dream. In this new universal seed can be a better humanity, a sign of things to come.

Our mission is nothing less than that. Did we forget our frailty? Instead, it moves us to get carried away with little confidence, by force of who supports and encourages us, who makes all things new: the Holy Spirit. Spirit makes Jesus present in every Eucharistic celebration live, as a sign of the unfailing love of the Father, coming together and sending boldly forge together a country school.

Buenos Aires, at Easter, AD 2004


Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ

Archbishop of Buenos Aires

Posted in 2004

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