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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Educating Children in the Faith

I thought this quote from Dietrich von Hildebrand on teaching children the faith was totally on target. 
"Religion has often been taught to children in the same way as history or spelling. Instead of presenting the mysteries of Christian faith in a way proper to their unique and extraordinary character, teachers of religion have often taught them with a kind of neutral objectivity suitable to any purely academic matter. 
"The real teacher of religion, on the contrary, communicates the realization that religion is something completely different from any other topic. He appeals to the entire person. He creates a truly religious atmosphere which evokes feelings of wonder and awe in the child and at the same time corresponds to the longing for God that lives in every human soul. The real teacher of religion attempts to awaken and develop a sense of mystery and reverence in his pupil." (From Trojan Horse in the City of God)
When I was home schooling I used to like to start our religion class by looking at a beautiful work of religious art and asking my daughter what she thought the artist was trying to say about God in his picture. It was one of my favorite parts of our religion class. Beautiful objects are just a pale reflection of the beauty of God. When we are awestruck by a natural wonder, it is only a dim reflection of the wonderfulness of God. Teaching religion isn't about a subject, but about a person, Jesus Christ. What a wonderful gift to our children to help them know Him and approach him with a sense of wonder, awe, mystery, and reverence.

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