Education for Choosing Life is a series of messages given by Cardinal Bergoglio to educators in Argentina. One can clearly see this in the personal message he has for them about the recent “suffering, confusion, and indignation,” they had suffered. However, just because the talk is geared towards a certain group of people doesn’t make the message any less valid for a wider audience, particularly educators worldwide.
There are three main messages in this book. The first message is that teaching is an act of hope. In this first message, he proposes four things to teachers:
1. Speak the truth,
2. Align with the Christian value of fraternal solidarity,
3. Look for the best in schools, and
4. Propose models of life to the students.
The second message is to be a country that educates students. By this he doesn’t mean just making them useful citizens, cogs in the big machine of industry. No, he wants teachers to educate students who will transform the country and the world!
The third and final message focuses on raising mature people. By doing this past mistakes can hopefully be avoided and a better society can be built.
Apart from these three main messages, one can see a clear unifying theme of life and what it means to be human in this book. Cardinal Bergoglio wants to raise a generation of Catholic youth who will love the world and change the world for the better.
This is an excellent book for principals, teachers, catechists, parents, or anyone involved with educating the next generation. As I said earlier, the message may have been delivered to a specific set of people, but it is timeless and rings true no matter where you are in the world.
What I found most helpful was that each chapter ended with prayers, reflections, and questions to spur us to action. The reader can reflect on these solo or in a group, so if you choose to buy this book, buy two – one for you and another for a colleague. It might just be the spark that helps set the world on fire for Christ. May we all strive to instill in ourselves and the youth the love of Christ that alone can transform the world!
Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.
Copyright 2014, Stuart Dunn