Faith-filled & Hopeful
Pupils at SSPP are growing to be faith-filled in their beliefs and hopeful for the future.
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love,
and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
Faith, hope and love are known to the Christian tradition as the three theological virtues. They underpin our whole understanding of what it is to be human and the nature of our relationship with God.
We have faith in those who are closest to us – our family and friends. This faith grows and deepens over time and as our relationships are tested, sometimes knocked and rebuilt with forgiveness, so they become stronger and more resilient.
We need to have faith in ourselves – that appropriate self-confidence and modest self-esteem which reflect a realistic self-knowledge of the good and not-so-good in us. Faith in ourselves is about integrity.
We should also have faith in the communities to which we belong – our neighbourhood, parish, school, wider society, our country and the international family of all humanity. This faith grows only to the extent to which we engage in and contribute to the common good. It is about having a wider perspective than the just the narrow concerns of our daily lives.
Hope is perhaps the most elusive of virtues. It grows out of faith and love – the stronger faith and love are, the stronger our hope will be. When we have strong faith and love today, we have hope for tomorrow. Hope enables us to trust ourselves and those around us with the decisions that will shape our future. Without hope we become insular, lacking in love, and ultimately despairing. Christianity teaches that God is a God of hope: his Christ walks before us, giving us the gifts (the graces) and courage we need to follow.
Children learn to hope by seeing and hearing hope-filled adults. They learn not to be frightened to step out into the darkness of the unknown but to draw on their own character strengths, and of those around them, to face challenges with courage and resolve.
The second half of the autumn term always feels like a shift in the seasons; summer seems long gone and now that the clocks have changed, we head into a period of much darker days and nights. It is also at this time though, that we work towards Advent, a time of great preparation and hope, it is a time where everyone's faith develops like the light of a candle in a darkened room, growing and sending out its lights to all corners.
Autumn 2 is where Diwali is celebrated, along with Anti-Bullying Week - further times where we continue to widen our perspective so that we think about the lives of others. We often use this time of year to help ourselves be faith-filled and also continue our initial virtue of generosity through elements such as our shoe-box appeal.
Questions for reflection:
Does our school give hope by persistently building up the faith of our pupils in themselves and in others? How do we build community?
Does our school faithfully pass on the living Christian tradition? Does we really put Christ at the centre of everything it does?
How do you notice when someone lacks faith and hope? And what could we do about it?