We want children to be compassionate, to have an ethic of caring but we shouldn’t approach this in a merely mechanical and humanistic way. You can’t separate the ethics of caring from belief in God, the realm of the Church or life in the home or the studies in school. That is why the school has to support and find support from these other pillars of education.– the Church, the Home and the School, which are the three pillars of education. To separate these makes the job of education more difficult or impossible.
Doesteyevsky said through his famous Brother’s Karamazov, that Hell is the torment of not loving.God is love and we are created to also love.The ethics of caring is related to who we are as persons. Love of God and love of our neighbor is a fulfillment of our ontological reality. Otherwise, the ethics of caring is just a mask put on a hellish existential fact…nothing matters. When we don’t care…it is a sign of our disease.
Our childhood is the womb of our formation. There is a whole psychology of child raising based in spiritual life and the formation of the soul and character.
Caring is more than a sentiment and as we see in certain enigmatic occurrences in Scripture, there is a hierarchy of values and necessity for discernment in what we care for.
- Honor father and mother; but he who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me
- The man who was called but first wanted to go back and bury his father
- The poor you always have with you; As you do to the least of these my little ones you do to Me
- Martha who served the Lord: Martha, Martha you are troubled about many things but Mary has chosen the better part
- After St. Peter showed love and concern for the Lord, He said to him…Get thee behind Me satan because you value the things of men more than you value the things of God.
The right thing done at the wrong time or in the wrong way is NOT THE RIGHT THING! And something that isn’t right done for godly reasons can be the RIGHT THING, as for example a man going into a brothel to save someone from a destructive life.
The spiritual life otherwise called the life in Christ is not a cookie cutter way but one that requires discernment and the uttermost care. Care for others therefore requires that we take care to please Christ above all things which illumines the optical lens of discernment.