We only get so many minutes in a young person’s life to make a difference.
When you think of how many other influences young people have on a daily basis, it gives rise to what an important role an educator brings to their lives. As it is stated in Luke (12:48), “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” If we don’t take those precious minutes into an accountable way to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives, we know the full potential of what will – and we know it is not always good. If we only take the time to fill them full with key terms and “will it be on the test” knowledge, we lose an incredible opportunity to fulfill the potential they possess to be the best version of themselves.
The formation of the whole person is necessary, now more than ever.
Engaging in a conversation with students regarding the need for having a closer relationship with Jesus, which comes from a better understanding of our faith, is essential for a full and just life. It is important to instill in these young minds that it is important to have a healthy fear of God. As Alexandre Havard notes, “in this way we grow in a deeper reverence to His righteous ways” and we are not as easily influenced by the ways of the flesh. Only in this manner can we truly enjoy, as St. Paul states, “the fruits of the spirit”. Only in this way can we assist students in truly understanding how to listen for a calling with the ear of the heart; to be transformed by the Holy Spirit to do what is best for us, as well as the others around us.
As Pope Francis expressed in his December 2017 message for the 2018 World Day of Vocations, “The Lord’s call – let it be said at the outset – is not as clear-cut as any of those things we can hear, see or touch in our daily experience. God comes silently and discreetly, without imposing on our freedom. Thus it can happen that his voice is drowned out by the many worries and concerns that fill our minds and hearts. We need, then, to learn how to listen carefully to his word and the story of his life, but also to be attentive to the details of our own daily lives, in order to learn how to view things with the eyes of faith, and to keep ourselves open to the surprises of the Spirit.”
Just as the “silence in between notes” in a song gives rise to a greater appreciation for music, so is the pause in our conversations with others in the message about the love of our God and the meaning to each on their own lives. As Cardinal Sarah writes in The Power of Silence, “Silence is not an absence. On the contrary, it is the manifestation of a presence, the most intense of all presences.” We have to help others learn to live within the silence, so we can assist them in drowning out the negative influences. Transferring information, while necessary in some cases, makes us fall short in our mission to Christ. As Allan Hunt notes in his book, Dreams for your Grandchild, “The more time you spend in the classroom of silence, the more clearly you will hear the voice of God in your life.”