In the Voice of Moreau: You have heard it said that zeal is the burning flame of desire to make God known, loved and served. I tell you that the Cross is that burning flame of desire. In a moment of sheer grace, the Cross descends into our souls from on high. It is the glorious and mystical theophany that Moses encountered while tending his flock, “Oh how you burn, but are not consumed!” (Ex 3:2). As disciples of Jesus, we too are called to interiorize the burning bush, the tree of life, the resurrectional Cross of Christ, into our hearts and minds. See how Moses, now beaming with desire for God’s will, traded his safe and peaceful lifestyle in the countryside for a showdown with the pharaoh, the most powerful man in the world. When we have given our consent to this raging fire, our souls become animated by powerful waves of zeal and the world around us is set ablaze with divine love. Our Lord exhorts us: Do not be afraid! Indeed, let us take up his Cross and make the one true God known, loved and served by the dazzling and glorious light of our spiritual conversions. Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Holy Cross Educator’s Response: “True zeal must be fostered and constantly refined in humble, faithful imitation of Christ crucified, seeking to second the design of divine providence, and striving for greater union in the Body of Christ” (Grove and Gawrych. Basil Moreau: Essential Writings, 2014: 53). For CSC educators it is the virtue of zeal that powers the ardent desire to impart the knowledge of salvation to students. This desire drives the design of every component of the school’s curriculum and each class syllabus. Blessed Moreau emphasizes that “Teachers animated by such a spirit [by zeal] do not simply follow what is generally accepted in the profession but have a thousand little ways to encourage progress in even the weakest and least-talented students and challenge all students to their highest performance” (Christian Education). For many years Moreau scholars have stressed that the founder was an insightful and progressive early 19th century educational thinker. If the above quote is read in the light of current educational thinking, Moreau is promoting differentiated instruction. This mode of instruction has been gaining more and more devotees since the early 1950s. Zealous teachers embrace it because of the skills-diversity that exists within a classroom of 25 students. Educators who either deny or cannot see that such a learning community exists within the individual classroom, do this to the detriment of their students and their families. Parents who pay tuition and taxes for a Catholic education that guarantees differentiated instruction are not receiving the services paid for if educators are not zealous. Blessed Moreau clearly and in strong terms asserts what can happen in a school when teachers do not possess the insight nor the courage to zealously address skills-diversity. “Without this virtue of zeal among teachers in a school, everything changes. Everything falls apart. There is ignorance, disorder, bad conduct, and the true corruption of young people—these are what families experience through faint-heartedness and indifference of teachers without zeal. They [teachers] are put in the midst of young people and cause the ruin of a great number of them. Thus, the virtue of zeal is necessary for a Christian teacher” (Christian Education). Ave Crux Spes Unica!