Creating with God through Education
God is the Creator of the universe, the ground of all being. By virtue of His life-giving love, God formed this reality to share the abundance of His goodness with other living beings. Due to the Fall, we have inherited a broken world, but it is still inherently good and in the process of being redeemed by Christ.
Through our creative natures, we participate in the salvific work of God, restoring His creation to what it was meant to be. God created a universe based on logic and natural laws, which we are able to discern through our intellects. When we live in harmony with these laws written on our hearts (Romans 2:15), we are more likely to flourish as human beings in community with one another.
Teachers have the weighty responsibility of forming young minds to comprehend and navigate the world they live in. Throughout a teacher’s life, generations of students will receive that teacher’s way of looking at the world and relating to it. A good teacher points to the truth, goodness and beauty of his branches of knowledge, inspiring his pupils to greater heights. Italian poet Giovanni Ruffini observed, “The teacher is like the candle which lights others in consuming itself.”
In music, the discipline of committing the rules to muscle memory enables you to innovate and compose new songs. So it is in other areas of life, like cooking, writing and computing – once you have absorbed the basics, you can be more creative than ever, instead of creating an inedible or illegible mess. A teacher lays the groundwork for the student to make masterpieces.
This is also true in the spiritual life. There are rudimentary principles to follow: to think, speak and act with charity; to cultivate a discipline of prayer; to accept God’s self-revelation to mankind and how He has chosen to work throughout human history to draw us to Himself. Once you have those principles in place, you are able to receive the graces to become the singular saint you are meant to be.
“How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been; how gloriously different are the saints,” said C.S. Lewis. A cursory glance at the Bible and Church history shows how God selects men, women and children of all backgrounds, temperaments and talents to bring glory to His kingdom of love. From ex-brigands like St Moses the Black to innocent, illiterate teenagers like St Bernadette, from erudite lecturers like St Thomas Aquinas to simple-minded men like St Joseph of Cupertino, God has worked wonders of redemption through them all.
The word “create” comes from the Latin crescere, “to grow”. Cultivating creativity allows us to grow as humans, made in the image and likeness of God, Whose principal nature is Love. Moreover, as creative beings, we become more attuned to God’s creative presence in our lives, appearing in the most unexpected ways. Also, like the founders of various Catholic educational institutions, we are challenged to find creative ways to reach younger generations and nourish them in every facet of their growth as contributing members of society. How are you being called to contribute to God’s new creation today?