That The Mission Of The Christian Teacher Begins In The Unity Of His Life.”
In “Teacher and Christian, a vocation”, Professor Xavier Dufour enlightens and encourages the beautiful mission of the Christian educator. He answers Aleteia’s questions.
Xavier Dufour teaches mathematics, philosophy and religious culture with the Marists in Lyon. He runs summer sessions for teachers and has just published Teacher and Christian: The Mission Of The Christian Teacher Begins In The Unity Of His Life.” a Vocation (Éditions de Emmanuel, 2021), a book aimed at all teachers who want to unify their faith and professional practice. For him, “the Christian teacher has real freedom if he is willing to assume it”.The Mission Of The Christian Teacher Begins In The Unity Of His Life.”
Aleteia: Why did you write this book?
Xavier Dufour: As an extension of my commitments with the Marists and in the Communion of Christian Educators movement, I wanted to gather my reflections to encourage new vocations of Christian teachers. My book offers the main anthropological and spiritual benchmarks to shed light on this mission, through the issues of education, the relationship of authority, the pedagogical concern, the spiritual meaning of studies, religious culture, the virtue of hope thus than the particular situations of the Christian in public and the denominational private. But this book also aims to sensitize priests, bishops and community leaders to this essential and underestimated mission field that is the school.
How can the teacher unify Christian life and professional duty?
So, Above all, by realizing the immense dignity of her profession, which, according to Edith Stein, consists of a “participation in the work of creation”. It is a question of leading each student to the threshold of his interior life, this source place from which he can grow in freedom, find the meaning of his life and perhaps meet God. The challenge is to tie together the three modalities of this mission in a single commitment: to teach, educate, and evangelize. This interpenetration is only possible if it is experienced teacher himself, in the unity of his spiritual, intellectual and moral life. Each discipline raises questions about the world and man. Teaching physics is nothing if it does not proceed from wonder in front of a nature steeped in intelligibility and in front of the human mind capable of deciphering its secrets.
Each discipline bears in one way or another an interrogation on the world and man. A physics teaching is nothing if it does not proceed from wonder in front of a nature steeped in intelligibility and in front of the human mind capable of deciphering its secrets. The Christian teacher thus suggests that there is an order of things and that this order is good. He lays the foundations for a higher questioning on the meaning of creation and human destiny, even in a secular context.
Why do you speak of a vocation of ordinary holiness?
Because the Christian teacher is lucky to be able to embody his vocation to holiness in the ordinary of the conditions of his profession, this ordinary, it is first of all in a particular place: for that, it is necessary to live this place resolutely, to spend time there, to listen to its pupils and colleagues, to be a force of proposals, etc. It is then in a duration: what is played out in teaching does not relate to the immediacy or the spectacular. We must stand firm, take root in hope, for education is a matter of slow germination, of fertility and not of efficiency. Finally, it is through the concrete personality of the teacher, his resources and his limits
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The specific character of Catholic education
Many young Christians have a terrible image of National Education and sometimes of Catholic schools under contract. He fears that they will not be able to teach with enough freedom. What to answer them?
Many constraints indeed seem to bind the teacher. However, true freedom is born from inner life. A cohesive and enthusiastic adult can be a class awakener, regardless of the setting. The teacher has absolute freedom if he is willing to assume it. In my book, three public teachers testify to their commitment as Christians. As for the Catholic schools to lament their lack of missionary ardour: you have to roll up your sleeves and go to the front. Young Christian teachers are expected there!
Christians know that man is made for life
The culture that imposes itself on them is fundamentally nihilistic, hedonistic on the surface, desperate in depth. can we love? Why the evil? Where does the world come from? What is the purpose of life? We Christians know that man is made for life in fullness.
Prepare your heart for the coming of Jesus
This year, Advent begins on November 28 and the opening of the first box of the calendar. Aleteia has made a selection of the prettiest Advent calendars for you.
Four weeks to get started and prepare your heart for the coming of Jesus. Sometimes a long time for the little ones. An Advent calendar, therefore, allows everyone, and especially children, to walk during these four weeks also.
The Messiah on Christmas night
Advent is par excellence, the liturgical time of waiting. So, That From the fourth Sunday before Christmas, the faithful prepare for the “coming” of the Messiah on Christmas night. The wait during Advent is a call to watch.
It the difficult for children to grasp
This notion of passing the time is often difficult for children to grasp. The Advent calendar makes it concrete; it serves to punctuate the days and materialize the passing time. An educational and spiritual dimension!
The tear from your cheek has become a scar.”The Mission Of The Christian Teacher Begins In The Unity Of His Life.”
How exacting this gaze of a cherub of profaned purity is!
Child!The Son of man, a promise of the future, beaming with joy since your birth,
in an instant, you went from smiling to tears.
The tear from your cheek has become a scar.
All carelessness has disappeared.
Maturity of one who has suffered the worst atrocities.
Your smile has left your face, and your lips now express disgust.