Years ago, a professor of art history and I were talking about the magnificent and famous work of Caravaggio. The vocation of St. Matthew, that we had been able to contemplate serenely on the occasion of an end-of-year trip. Then, this good friend told me half jokingly, half seriously: "Who would have thought that I, who a few years ago was considered an unbeliever, would be explaining to my students what a vocation is, who the apostles were or what a publican was."
As a result of this conversation and the Letter to artists I realized that in my work as a religion teacher in the center where I work, I should not limit myself to offering the students the knowledge of Christian doctrine. I also had to help them discover the beauty of the faith through art and the different subjects that, in one way or another, by speaking to them about man, about history, speak to them about an essential element in the configuration of their lives, the religious fact.
The religious fact
According to teachers of other subjects, showing the religious fact from different aspects helps students to understand that the novel of their lives takes place in a cultural universe that can only be understood from Christian roots. From the beautiful churches that populate their landscapes, the festivals celebrated in their towns and cities, to the names that dress their streets.
Recognizing oneself as part of a culture helps to want to know more about its origins and even to propose to those new members of other societies with different cultures that in a frank and close dialogue they express their doubts, fears, or concerns. Dialogue that, of course, works in both directions.
Making students of religion understand that the Christian faith is a faith that through the centuries has become a culture, can help them discover with new eyes that face so often hidden from their eyes and that appears in their longing for fullness.
Teacher at Aitana School (Torrellano, Elche)