Heading to AMERICA Magazine

September 16, 2013 § 3 Comments

Dear Readers:

Exciting news. This blog is moving to America Magazine! Starting today, all of my future posts will be at the new blog on America‘s site. It’s the same name, same writer, same themes, but just a new virtual home.

I’m incredibly grateful to all of you who supported my writing and who signed up to follow my work when I opened up the little WordPress shop. I hope you will continue to read my reflections at America and offer your feedback and comments.

You can see my first post for America here.

I’ll leave this site up for the time being so America readers can access my old articles.

Thanks again. See you at America!



On being a ‘miracle worker’

September 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

A few weeks ago I spent the morning with a longtime Catholic educator and administrator who is now the President of a Catholic high school in San Diego. For me, he’s served as a mentor and source of wisdom for all matters in Jesuit education, and our recent encounter was typically enriching. At our breakfast, he told me something that I’ve thought about just about every day since.

Talking about our mission as Catholic educators, he said he tells his teachers to be “miracle workers.”

This was powerful. Powerful because it demonstrated a great optimism, a great hope, a sense of the sacredness and transcendence of education. I’ve thought, “Yes, I want to be a miracle worker. Yes, I want to do great things!”

At the same time, in the midst of these exhilarating thoughts, I remember that I am not a messiah. I am no one’s savior, and the moment I begin to conceive of myself or my lesson plans as bearing salvific powers, the moment I deny the truth of creation. God alone is God. God alone saves. God alone performs miracles.

If I am part of a miracle, it is not because I possess miraculous powers. Mary didn’t even possess miraculous powers. She herself didn’t bring about the Incarnation — it was her role to say “yes” to letting it happen. Likewise, I will participate in a miracle not when I become superhuman, but rather, when I let my very ordinary powers be transformed, when I give permission for my mundane acts to serve as channels for God’s grace.

Posted by Matt Emerson.

Back from the break…

September 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

Dear Readers,

Hello! After a very busy last month or so, I’m ready to resume regular writing at The Ignatian Educator. There are some changes in the works, but I will still be writing and posting on all things in Ignatian education. I appreciate your support and patience as I took a breather these last few weeks. Please continue to share and link as you see fit.

I wanted to post again a few pieces I wrote over the summer that I really like but which didn’t gain much attention, probably because it was summer.  They are linked (with an excerpt) below, and I think they are nice pieces for the beginning of the year.  Thanks for reading.

From “When the rock splits to pieces: What we learn from St. Peter”:

Not long after Peter is granted this authority, he demonstrates a complete unworthiness to be given it. Peter: the “rock” of the Church, the one who declares the truth about Jesus, disowns Jesus the night He is arrested and shortly before He is crucified. As Jesus had predicted, Peter denies knowing Him three times. The hardships of discipleship — which Jesus had warned about often — had suddenly become real, and when they did so, Peter collapsed. His knowledge didn’t create bravery. Peter could offer intellectual assent, but he wasn’t willing to risk his own bodily safety or reputation. Not yet.

Read more here.

From “Authenticity and the Catholic Educator”:

But Ignatian education, and Catholic education in general, brings in the fullness of life. We are teachers, coaches, and club moderators, and given our commitment to the voyage of faith, we are also spiritual leaders. We are asked to weigh the natural against the supernatural, the temporal against the timeless.

Read the rest here.

Posted by Matt Emerson.

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