By: Sr Mary Louise, O.C.D.

It’s that time of year, again. Beaches and theme parks are a little less crowded. Haircuts and buying new shoes are on a lot of peoples’ “To Do” lists. And every store has its sales for the season. That’s right – we’re headed back to school!

We should always be mindful of why we are doing what we are doing and nothing should be done solely by habit, if you will excuse the pun. The sisters preparing their bulletin boards and lesson plans ask that very question: Why do we teach? Because we enjoy it? Because we’re good at it? Because it is the assignment we’ve been given? Well, those are all true, but none of them is really our motivation for all the time and effort we invest in teaching students. There is only one driving force for us. In the words of St. Paul, “the love of Christ impels us.”

Let’s break that down a bit more. Acrostics are a favorite mnemonic device in the classroom. Here’s one that spells out the L.O.V.E. that propels us into, and carries us through, our service to thousands of children each year:

  • Life– God’s life in us is called grace. It is a powerful force that inspires us to strive to fulfill His awesome plan for all of us and gives us the strength to do so. Teaching is definitely a grace, a share in God’s life.
  • Opportunity– Love for God and our neighbor causes us to see the potential in everyone. Our classrooms are places where we strive to maximize the opportunities God gives to all of us.
  • Vocation– Teaching is not just an assignment. We recognize that we have been called by God to lead our students in God’s path of truth, goodness, and beauty.
  • Evangelical– We have received the Good News of Jesus Christ (evangelium in Latin) and our hearts are overflowing with the joy of the Gospel. We hand on what we have received to those we teach so that our joy (theirs and ours) may be complete.

Lots of people don’t like school. But after reading this I’m sure you’ll recognize we L.O.V.E. it!!!