Ask almost any Catholic you meet what the season of Advent is all about and you’re likely to get the response, “preparing for Christmas,” or “preparing for the birth of Christ.” Advent ends with the Feast of the Nativity or our Lord, after all, which is the first feast of the Christmas season. But, in fact, the primary purpose of Advent is to prepare for Christ’s “second coming” or Parousia. Does Advent have anything to
Often those of us who have benefited from a classical education bemoan the decline of the liberal arts in education, but fail to provide a clear rational for its value. Worse still, sometimes we seek to justify the liberal arts in pragmatic, capitalist, or utilitarian terms, which actually fosters an attitude that is inimical to the real value of the liberal arts. To be sure, the liberal arts are useful, but they are not merely
Education is neither science nor magic. It is not a machine because man, the subject of education, is not a machine; it is not magic because man is not reducible to a material mechanism that may be manipulated by natural or “magical” processes. The essential problem with almost any modern educational program is that it assumes a reductionist model of human nature or denies the existence of human nature altogether. When it really comes down
Controversy arose recently, when Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, S.J., the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, declared that the devil is only a symbol of evil, not an actual personal entity. This reading of Fr. Sosa’s comments isn’t a matter of interpretation. He was explicit: “He [that is, the devil,] exists as the personification of evil in different structures, but not in persons, because he is not a person; he is a manner of
EDUCATION IS NOT A SCIENCE Education is not a science and despite what the education industry promotes there is no magic formula for making everyone brilliant and successful. Taken together these theses constitute a heresy that offends the deepest held beliefs of professional educators. The belief that education is something like an empirical science, along with the Utopian dream that every man is a potential genius; we just need to apply the right educational method.
In our time, most Catholic Schools in the United States, from the lowest to the highest levels of education, seek accreditation from secular, regional accrediting agencies. These agencies require schools to undertake extensive self-studies in which they examine virtually everything they do. Basically, they have to think about and be ready to explain, everything they possess, everything they spend, every course they teach, and every major and minor in which students can study. In virtually