Keeping God at the Center – Cura Personalis from a Parent’s Perspective

Written by Erin Greene, Kindergarten Parent
Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
St. Augustine

 

Like many of us, I’m pulled in too many directions. My little ones tug at my heartstrings when they are disappointed or sad. I can’t always keep up with my email, and I’m often one step away from forgetting a water bottle, permission slip, or returning library books on time. Last week, I rolled up to school, proud of myself because I was a few minutes early for the 7:50 start time, only to realize there was no school that day! Yes, indeed. That really happened. Sometimes life is a blur. But no matter how consuming life can be, I know I need to carve out time for my prayer life, my creative life, my time with God. Cura Personalis, caring for the whole person, reminds me how essential it is to keep God at my center.

 

Cura Personalis guides me when I take care of my children. It nudges me to help them recognize the areas in their lives that bring them joy and feed their soul. Their lives are busy too. My children are blessed to be part of the Holy Trinity community and the larger Washington, DC neighborhood. They are cared for, they are challenged, and they are exposed to a broader world in the nation’s capital. But this life also comes with full days and very full schedules. Carving out time for them on the weekends to explore their passions in their own space, with less time constraints, helps them discover where their hearts are leading them. It brings them back to God and caring for the wholeness of their being.

 

My five year old loves to create inventions. We will spend hours immersed in his creative world. He leads and I support him. In these quiet moments, my message to him is, “Trust yourself. Dive into your passions. Follow your heart now and always.”

 

My two year old finds wonder in our our small backyard and nearby Rock Creek Park. When he’s out there, he’s finding God. Whether he’s gathering leaves, collecting rocks, or just digging in the dirt, his heart is happy. As we linger there a few extra moments, I hope he knows this is exactly where we should be. “Enjoy. Explore. Be you.”

 

As a family, we are all still learning how to keep Cura Personalis top of mind. Living in a way that honors Cura Personalis will be a lifelong pursuit of mine, and I hope for my children as well. But even when I stray, I know I can always come back to quiet moments with God. When God is at the center, I know I am well nourished and my family is too.

Cura Personalis from a Teacher’s Perspective

Written by Ms. Colleen Brady

On a Friday in early November, instead of quizzing my ELA students on their new vocabulary words, I walked them over to Georgetown University for a session of Christian meditation. During the 12 minutes of silence, some students delighted in the peace, others had a hard time with the stillness, and one even fell asleep in the quiet. When we walked back, all expressed gratitude and told me how much they needed that time to let stress melt away and pray. I know that vocabulary practice is very important for my students intellectually, but I also want to show them that caring for their spiritual, social, emotional, and physical well-being is equally important. This is one way I practice cura personalis as a teacher.

Cura Personalis is an Ignatian value that refers to caring for the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Jesuit schools seek to nurture and promote the best in everyone, and help each one to reach his or her greatest human potential. Cura Personalis is bringing snacks for my hungry eighth graders. It’s going to chapel mass and praying the examen at the beginning of 7th period. It’s collaborating with other teachers and communicating with parents. It’s being present and attentive to what students need most in the moment. Cura Personalis is not easy, and I am not perfect at living it out, but most of all, I hope my students know I deeply care about them, wholly.  

I aim to encourage my students every day and help them recognize that their value does not lie solely in their intellect, but also in their talents, personalities, desires, hearts, faith, and ability to be a good friend to others. Cura personalis also implies a commitment to inclusivity and caring for students of all background and experiences. In my teaching, I try to help students learn about each other’s different traditions, experiences, and cultures to help build a more inclusive community. Our library is full of diverse books that help students practice empathy and understanding. My hope is that through their Jesuit education, students will learn to live out cura personalis with one another.

Olivia’s Take on Cura Personalis

written by Olivia Maguire

 

Cura Personalis translates to, care for the whole person. Cura Personalis is one of the six Ignatian Values. As a Jesuit School, Cura Personalis is a big deal. The big question is, why is it such a big deal?  Holy Trinity talks a lot about service. Holy Trinity is dedicated to making the world a better place.  No matter big or small,  HTS encourages people to help out our community. Things as small as smiling at people or picking up trash, to service trips! This is one way we practice Cura Personalis as a school. We are caring for all those around us and the Earth.
When we are caring for the whole person, it means that we are appreciating other people’s talents, abilities,  personalities, desires, hearts, faith, and minds because they are all equally worthy of care and attention.  This all relates to our Christian faith and Catholic Education. When we learn we learn with our head, but Cura Personalis wants us to learn with our heart and respect the whole body. When we pray, learn and eat healthy we are practicing Cura Personalis. This is because we are caring for our faith by talking to God through prayer. We are caring for our minds by learning new information to help and find answers to our questions. Finally, when we are eating healthy, we are caring for our physical needs. These are some ways that you can practice Cura Personalis in your own life!

Celebrating Our Jesuit Identity

Over the next few months, the Holy Post will be taking a deeper dive into our Jesuit Identity by focusing on one of the key Jesuit values each month. Students, parents and teachers will be sharing their insights and perspectives on what it means to be Jesuit educated and how the Jesuit values can shape our lives. We will also highlight the ways in which these key values are being taught to our students. Join us as we discuss what it means to fully embrace:

 

Cura Personalis

Magis

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

People for Others

Unity of Heart and Mind

Contemplatives in Action

 

In February we will focus on Cura Personalis, or “Care of the whole person”. Follow along as we hear from teachers, parents and students and take a look at what is happening around our school. You may even brush up on your Latin in the process!