Last week, I found myself digesting Church and Salesian documents below:
To the Youth of the World (Apostolic Letter) by Pope John Paul II, 1985
Educating Young People to the Faith (Capitular Documents, GC23), 1990
Evangelization in the Modern World (Apostolic Exhortation) by Pope Paul VI, 1975
Novo Millennio Inuente (Apostolic letter) by Pope John Paul II, 2001
Tertio Millennio Adveniente (Apostolic Letter) by Pope John Paul II, 1994
Deus Caritas Est (Encyclical) by Pope Benedict XVI, 2006
Spe Salvi (Encyclical) by Pope Benedict XVI, 2007
Acts of the General Council, N. 373, 2000
Undertaking this activity, being a teacher of reading has never been this advantageous. The reading strategies I was teaching to my students have been much helpful. It was an enriching experience nibbling one document to another. After all, reading is always an enriching activity.
These documents above (except for the two encyclicals by Pope Benedict) are all found in the novitiate library.
My reason in transforming myself into the academic type was both academic and personal.
Fr. Ronel, our Salesianity professor gave us the belated exams and we're all surprised with the test he gave us. He presented to us four questions. We're only to choose one we wish to answer. He explained that we needed three days to accomplish it. I thought he was exaggerating.
But I was wrong. He was not.
Boni said it rightly, it was like a thesis writing experience. And true enough, I found myself rushing to the library right after he gave us the signal to start working. I chose the item "Develop a talk on Salesian Holiness to be given to the youth."
In answering the "test," we ought to refer to materials that would help us develop the topic. He required us to indicate the bibliographical details of the materials we would cite, even the page numbers. And what is worst is that it needed to be handwritten.
My right hand complained vigorously until it got numbed. I finally accomplished seven pages.
My background in teaching research challenged me to explore uncharted horizons.
After consuming the seven volumes of Harry Potter series and all the works of Dan Brown (Digital Fortress, Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons…the last one, I cannot recall) I wanted to try something different. I don't only wish to develop my imaginative side, but I needed something that would stimulate me intellectually.
Hence, I had to set aside three hagiographical materials I was reading [The Confessions (St. Augustine), The Pilgrim (Ignatius) and General Mickey (Magone)].
I'm glad that I did. Reading these documents made me listen more to Fr. Ronel and it made me appreciate more his wisdom. No, I'm not writing this entry to please him. It has allowed me to widen my horizon and hear the message straight from the Church and Salesian think tanks.
But all these amount only to the cognitive aspect. I am aware that the true measure of education (or formation) is a change manifested in behavior.