Spirituality of Our Education
The deepest values and meaning by which people live is called spirituality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to confer the essence of his/her life. Spirituality is a certain way of being. It involves a search for meaning in life. It is universal human experience that touches all. Personal well-being – moral, psychological, spiritual and physical is an important aspect of modern spirituality which develops inner peace and forms a foundation for happiness.
Ursuline Franciscan spirituality finds its source in the Bible and following of Christ. It is enriched by the spirituality of St Angela Merici and St Francis of Assisi who are the Patrons of the Ursuline Franciscan Congregation. Their intimate relationship with God, the neighbour and the cosmos was nourished by prayer and expressed in service to others. Therefore contemplation and action went hand in hand and became two aspects of the one reality called union with God, the other and the creation. Theirs was the spirituality of ‘Being’. God-centered spirituality led them to ‘be’ before ‘to do’.
Unless our bond is strengthened with God all our actions and words will be only a vanity. Our service is measured by the amount of love we pour into it. Hence those who are given to our care in the apostolate of education are to be loved and cared for while imparting them the intellectual knowledge. Empowering them in all levels of life alone will enable them to experience the fullness of life. The children who are in our educational institutions are not human machines to be watched and observed but they are God’s children bubbling with life, who are to be nurtured in order that they may open themselves up to the richness of life and become a source of life to others in due time. This is possible if we as educators keep ourselves attuned to the message of Christ that calls us to be in union with God and allow the spirit of our Patrons to guide us as we go about being what we are called to be and doing what we are entrusted with.
Based on the principle of the threefold relationship namely with God, the other and the cosmos which our Patrons, St Angela Merici and St Francis of Assisi exemplified in their life of contemplation and action we, the Ursuline Franciscan educators belonging to the Ursuline Franciscan Educational Society are called to foster, promote and celebrate life by learning to live the fullness as envisioned by Christ himself. Hence in our education system we encourage our educators and students to be open to the FULLNESS OF LIFE.
Therefore we uphold the following in our way of life:
- Compassionate systems of care.
- Relationship to God, self, family, others, community, society, and nature.
- Integral development of the person.
- Making gratitude a part of everyday life and learning to forgive.
- Ursuline Franciscan simplicity of life.
- Academic excellence.
- Commitment to service.
- Openness to change.
- Education of girl children and recognition of the dignity of women and their feminine potentials.
- God is the energy of selfless love and unassuming service. Hence we build up our personal faith and work to foster the same in others so that we begin to operate from the heart, the centre of our energy than from our mind alone which is the centre of our intellectual powers. This alone will empower and transform our students and make them responsible citizens of our society.