Read Mark 13:33-37
What if every moment were one in which we might meet our God? What might we notice? How might we act?
Jean Pierre de Caussade invites us into what he calls “the sacramentality of the present moment.” What other bits of wisdom can you discern from his book Abandonment; OR, Absolute Surrender to Divine Providence. What does he mean by the term Abandonment?
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Skim these Scripture passages. Pick one that appeals to you and
- summarize its main point,
- tell how it relates to the theme “Understanding Epistemology”,
- list one or two thoughts that entered your mind when you read it.
The Wealth of Wisdom Proverbs 8:1-10
Nature and Gods Will Job 38:1-7
Solomon 1 Kings 3:6-14
Balaam Numbers 22:22-35
God’s Will Everywhere Acts 17:22-28
Most likely you’ve been in an argument with your parents – or with somebody – when suddenly it all became clear: They’re right.
But you keep arguing. When that happens, you’re not honestly looking for the truth. What are you looking for? Why?
“Truth is to be sought in a manner proper to the dignity of the human person and our social nature. The inquiry is to be free, carried on with the aid of teaching … and a dialogue. In the course of these, we explain to one another the truth we have discovered, or think we have discovered, in order thus to assist one another in the quest for truth.” Vatican Council II, Declaration on Religious Freedom, 3
Bring to class some object whose purpose you are betting no one else in the class can guess. Whoever in the class stumps everybody else, including the teacher, wins a prize.
The real subjects in Catholic education are the learners in the sense that wisdom requires that the learners be the primary agents of their own learning. Learners are invited to see for themselves: to be active agents of their learning rather than passive recipients of knowledge.
Learners are encouraged to use their whole minds in the pursuit of learning – their reason, memory, and imagination. And because learning proceeds from what is known to the unknown, learner’s own lefe experiences become the building blocks to new learning. An attitude of openess to the truth requires that practices of exclusion – such as racism and sexism – be absent from the learning environment. Wisdom is the antithesis of injustice. Such openness also welcomes everyone into the learning process. Everyone’s voice can be heard in the learning environment just as everyone has the opportunity to learn.
Strategies to engage Reason and Rationality in Catholic Schools:
- Encourage social analysis: the context of learnings gives meaning to the content; cultural contexts and worldviews are open to question; other perspectives can be viewed
- Promote responsibility and commitment: take learners beyond their own knowledge; discover how knowledge can be life-giving
- Sensitize learning: investigate whose interests are served by what we learn; relate learning to the Reign of God
- Encourage relational learning: allow for different styles of learning; collaborative; cooperative learning
- Foster the professional development of teachers in the study of theology and religious education
- Assess student learning in the religious dimension based on the cognitive understanding of faith integration into all subject areas
- Celebrate academic achievement
How can Catholic educators educate for wisdom?
The fundamental source of human knowledge is encounter with the world and its history through experience. The guiding intent for the curriculum is to educate people to become fully alive and free human beings. In a Catholic context this source and this guiding intent both point to the experience of the community, an experience where Jesus Christ is encountered and the values of the Reign of God direct human action and being. Simply put, we learn through life.
Catholic education brings a focus to learning to discover, evaluate, interpret the human experience, which is always in transition, in ways that enhance and deepen appreciation for the gift of creation and provide insight into how learning can lead to fullness and freedom for all people.
Strategies to develop a respect for the life-giving dimensions of tradition:
- Provide access to the tradition of human culture–works of art, literature, etc.–as a way of engaging learners in conversation with the past
- Invite learners to bring the symbols and artifacts of tradition into their own lives with a questioning and interpreting attitude
- Invite learners to come to know for themselves the wisdom, knowledge, or beauty, of the tradition
- Allow for the occasion for moral discourse and provide access to models of responding to the moral questions raised by the study of the past
- Invite learners into a critical assessment of experience so they may discern what is life-giving and life-enhancing
- Celebrate the hope that comes with recognizing God’s continuing action in the life of the community
How can tradition be life-giving in Catholic education?
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed … nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
- Who or what is a source of Wisdom in my life and why?
- What could I, with the help of God, transform in my life?
- How do I turn to God for help?
- What area in my life do I see great potential?
“We need the discipline of the scales, in order to improvise.” – Timothy Radcliffe
Focus on a public policy issue that requires wise judgement, In writing, express your opinion about the wisdom or lack of wisdom of government and corporate decisions on the issue.
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva struggles to achieve ten perfections. Only when these have been achieved can the bodhisattva become a Buddha.
The ten perfections are charity, right conduct, dispassionateness, wisdom, steadfastness, forbearance, truthfulness, determination, loving compassion, nonattachability.
Think about the ten perfections. How do you think they can be achieved? Choose one perfection. Describe how a person could achieve it.
Statues and paintings of the Hindu gods are found in homes and temples throughout India. The different images of a particular god often have things in common. For example, Ganesha is usually shown with an elephant’s head, and Shiva is often shown with three eyes. These images use symbolism to express the divine nature of the gods. Thus Ganesha’s elephant head stands for wisdom. Shiva’s left and right eyes indicate his activity in the physical world; the third eye symbolizes spiritual knowledge and power. For viewers familiar with the symbolism, each image conveys a great deal of information.
Symbols are used in many ways in different cultures. Think about how symbols are used in your daily life. Describe these symbols and what they stand for.