In the Voice of Moreau: Anyone who has ever lived knows the dangers of a codependent relationship. As human beings we find such consolation and comfort in the presence of the other – a boyfriend or girlfriend, a best friend, a spouse, a religious superior, a parent, a boss – but how easy it is to become emotionally and spiritually lost in that person at the expense of our first and truest identity as children of God. The moment we choose to lean on the other is the moment that, albeit inadvertently, we reject the Lord. Look therefore to the Cross. Notice how our Mother and the Beloved Disciple stand specifically at the foot of the crucified Christ as the icon of authentic human relationships. Yes they are together, and yes they have become partners, but only because the Cross serves as the principle of their shared life! They offer themselves together with Jesus to our Father who art in heaven. Let us therefore put an end to these fear-based, codependent behaviors and tendencies that society has normalized. Let us instead cultivate relationships that actually endure the test of time. Let us finally meet our beloved at the foot of the Beloved. Ave Crux Spes Unica!
Holy Cross Educator’s Response: Blessed Moreau is very clear about detailing the pitfalls when teachers build codependent relationships with students. “Relationships with young people are always difficult. Sometimes those who deal with young people attach themselves too closely to the young and end up giving themselves over strictly to human affections. Finding among their students young people who are frank and open, who are moving towards accomplishing good things, who respond well to the care they are providing, some teachers forget the place of God in the relationship between teacher and student. Learning this often surprises teachers, since it is easily hidden by enthusiasm, kindness, and even duty. Teachers who experience close relationships with their students become totally occupied with them: every place they go the students come to mind; no matter what they do, they think of the students. Teachers like these often enter into unhealthy relationships of all kinds with their students, often without realizing what is happening. Christian educators really need a call from God in order to deal with what they face in working with young people” (Christian Education). CSC educators need to pray for and cultivate the virtue of vigilance. Moreau writes that “[v]igilant teachers forget nothing of what they ought to do and do not become distracted from what they ought to be thinking about, seeing, hearing, or doing. Let your watchfulness and attention be calm, without over-concern, without agitation or trouble, without greater constraint or affectation. But also avoid the opposite, which involves carelessness, distraction, unwillingness to act, and tardiness….” (Christian Education). Ave Crux Spes Unica!