Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Schola Amoris

One of the clearest memories of growing up was the fact that each September signs would appear on utility poles and bumper stickers on cars that proclaimed, “School’s open. Drive carefully.” These public service messages were, of course, aimed at getting drivers to be more attentive to the swarms of youngsters who would be crossing the streets and filing into and out of busses as they traveled to and from school.As teachers and students at a Catholic school, it might be appropriate to expand that public service message to “School’s open. Drive carefully. Love recklessly!”
As we head back into the classroom for another year, it is good to remember that we are called to love our students and classmates with the same kind of selfless love that Jesus showed to those He taught and interacted with. We must expand the circle of our love and concern to include even those we might not naturally be drawn to and those who we might think are not interested.
When functioning right, the classroom, like the religious community, becomes a “schola amoris” or school of love. The classroom is a School of Love, for young people and adults - a school in which all learn to love God, to love our brothers and sisters with whom we interact everyday, and to love humanity, which is in great need of God's mercy and of fraternal solidarity. When a classroom is a Schola Amoris, which helps one grow in love for God and for one's brothers and sisters, it is a place for human growth.