"If, in fact, tradition is the gift of the hypothesis of truth in the very person of the educator, this educator cannot but be a witness."
“The most important thing in education is not an ‘issue’ of education, much less of teaching.”1 Thus Jacques Maritain, going to the heart of the question of education, singles out the unsettling yet thrilling paradox of which every true educator is well aware. And, immediately after this statement, he suggests the reason for this paradox: “experience is an incommunicable fruit of suffering and memory through which the human person is formed. It therefore cannot be
taught in any school or in any course.”2
In his book The Risk of Education3—a brilliant synthetic statement of the method of Christian life—Msgr. Luigi Giussani reveals a profound awareness of this paradox and offers a key to interpreting it in the statement that concludes the book. When he is asked, “Do you consider yourself an educator?” Giussani replies, “I wish to be one with all my strength, because I don’t think that any human relationship is worthwhile if it isn’t a communication of however much truth has already become experience in one’s life.”4
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