Pupils in a Jesuit school are growing to be faith-filled in their beliefs and hopeful for the future.
Jesuit schools help their pupils grow by passing on the living and faith-filled tradition of Jesus Christ; by having persevering faith in the pupils, and by encouraging them, in turn, to have faith and hope in others.
|Understanding the Virtues: Faith-Filled & Hopeful
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.
And finally, God invites us to have faith in him and in his son, Jesus Christ. This faith grows if we work at a relationship with God in prayer, by trying to live out the gospel values, and by being part of a community of faith. Teachers in a Catholic school have the responsibility of passing on the living faith story of Christianity, handed down in the collective memory of God’s people.
To be faith-filled is crucial to human wellbeing – faith in myself, my emotions and judgements; faith in others and their faith in me; faith in my family and the communities to which I belong; and, ultimately, faith in God. Faith cannot be taken for granted; it has to be revisited constantly and built up day by day.
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.
Our challenge in schools is to notice when children drift into lack of faith and hope, when they begin to create prison bars for themselves; and then to step in with encouragement, opening new doors to a better way forward in freedom.
| Information on Scripture translations and versions
Faith, hope and love
1 Corinthians 13:13 (JB)
In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love.
Faith, hope, love Powerpoint animation (to follow)
Mary's act of faith
Luke 1:26-37 (NRSV)
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.
Faith moves trees
Luke 17:5-6 (NRSV)
The apostles said to Jesus, ‘Increase our faith!’ The Lord replied, ‘If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea', and it would obey you.'
Just do it! cartoon resource (AgnusDay)
Faith moves mountains
Mark 11:22-24 (RSV)
Jesus said, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
The leper who had faith
Luke 17:12-19 (NRSV)
As Jesus entered a village on the way to Jerusalem, ten lepersapproached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’
The Thankful Leper (Saddleback Kids) (1m 52s)
The Ten Lepers (artswork and powerpoint by Henry Martin)
Your faith has made you well
Matthew 9:20-22 (NRSV)
Suddenly a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.’ Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, ‘Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.
Activities (Growing Kids in Grace)
I believe, help my unbelief!
Mark 9:17-27 (NRSV)
Someone from the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.’ He answered them, ‘You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’ And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. Jesusasked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you are able!—All things can be done for the one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You spirit that keep this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!’ After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand.
The boy with an evil spirit (1m 35s)
Matthew 14:22-33 (NRSV)
Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind,he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’
Boat scene from The Shack (6m 21s)
Peter Walking on Water ( artwork and powerpoint by Henry Martin)
By faith . . .
cf. Hebrews 11:1-40 (RSV)
Without faith it is impossible to please God. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
By faith Noah, being warned by God, took heed and constructed an ark for the saving of his household.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go.
By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son.
By faith Moses left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king.
By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as if on dry land.
John 20:24-29 (GNB)
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”
Doubting Thomas (artwork and powerpoint by Henry Martin)
Trust and he will show you the way
Proverbs 3:1-6 (GNB)
My child, don't forget what I teach you. Always remember what I tell you to do. My teaching will give you a long and prosperous life. Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them around your neck; write them on your heart. If you do this, both God and people will be pleased with you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.
Be not afraid - have faith!
cf. Isaiah 43:1-21 (JB)
But now, thus says the Lord God, who created you, Jacob, who formed you, Israel: Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine. Should you pass through the sea, I will be with you; or through rivers, they will not swallow you up. Should you walk through fire, you will not be scorched and the flames will not burn you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your saviour. You are precious in my eyes, because you are honoured and I love you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I, I am the Lord, there is no other saviour but me. The people I have formed for myself will sing my praises.
Song: You shall cross the barren desert (Be not afraid) by Bob Dufford (St Louis Jesuits recording here)
This then is what I pray
Ephesians 3:14-21 (JB)
This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name: Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God. Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.
Those who hope in God
Isaiah 40:28-31 (JB)
Did you not know? Had you not heard? The Lord is an everlasting God, he created the boundaries of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary, his understanding is beyond fathoming. He gives strength to the wearied, he strengthens the powerless. Young men may grow tired and weary, youths may stumble, but those who hope in the Lord renew their strength, they put out wings like eagles. They run and do not grow weary, walk and never tire.
Song: On eagle's wings (performance)
Song: You raise me up (performance)
A future full of hope
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (JB)
For the Lord says this: I know the plans I have in mind for you (it is the Lord who speaks), plans for peace, not disaster, reserving a future full of hope for you. Then when you call to me and come to plead with me, I will listen to you. When you seek me, you shall find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me.
"Today perhaps more than in other times, it has been made clear to us that faith is not something acquired once and for all times, but that it can weaken and even be lost; that it needs to be constantly renewed, sustained, and strngthened. So our faith and hope live, as it were, outdoors 'exposed to the challenge of unbelief and injustice', requiring of us now, more than ever, a prayer that begs for the faith that must be given at every moment. Prayer helps us to develop our proper spiritual stance, frees us from reliance on purely human means and from doctrinal extremes, and prepares us so that, in humility and simplicity, we may be open to receive that revelation which is only given to little ones."
Pedro Arrupe SJ
Genuine Intergration of the Spiritual Life and the Aposolate
A letter to the whole Society of Jesus (1976)
|JPP Resources for Faith-filled & Hopeful
JPP tagcloud image
The JPP tagcloud/tree greyed-out with faith-filled and hopeful highlighted in purple.
Tagcloud/tree faith-filled and hopeful (png)
The purple used for the words Faith-filled & Hopeful is the colour: R105,
Staff briefing paper
This briefing paper aims to be a quick introduction to the virtues and the thinking and theology behind them. It designed to be distributed at the start of the half-term or left in people's mailboxes.
Faith-filled & Hopeful briefing paper (pdf)
A PowerPoint animation in which the JPP tree/tagcloud reduces to the virtue pair Faith-filled & Hopeful. This resouce could be the first slide in an assembly. If these animations are used regualrly, pupils get used to focusing on a pair of virtues.
Faith-filled & Hopeful animation (ppt)
These posters are intended to draw attention to the JPP focus this half-term.
All of these posters could be put up around the school for the half-term or posters could be changed each week.
These posters can be printed at A3 or A4 size.
Faith-filled & Hopeful focus 1
Faith-filled 1: Faith is . . .
Faith-filled 2: I have kept the faith
Faith-filled 3: Have faith in people
Faith-filled 4: Do not lose faith in humanity
Faith-filled 5: A legacy of faith
Faith-filled 6: See what you believe
Faith-filled 7: Trust yourself to the water
Faith-filled 8: But God's first
Faith-filled 9: Emerge into the light
Faith-filled 10: Step out into the unknown
Hopeful 1: Hope is . . .
Hopeful 2: Patience with the lamp lit
Hopeful 3: Nothing can be done without hope
Hopeful 4: See that there is light
Hopeful 5: A tiny ripple
Hopeful 6: Hope will make you cheerful
Hopeful 7: Enlarge the horizons of hope
You have called me by name (faithfulness)
Joseph Tetlow SJ
O Lord, my God,
you called me from the sleep of nothingness
merely because, in your tremendous love,
you want to make good and beautiful beings.
You have called me by my name
in my mother's womb.
You have given me breath, and light, and movement,
and walked with me every moment of my existence.
I am amazed, Lord God of the universe,
that you attend to me and, more, cherish me.
Create in me the faithfulness that moves you
and I will trust you
and yearn for you all my days.
A Prayer for Faith
Adrian Porter SJ
I pray today for your gift of faith:
Faith in myself,
because you created me with great love;
Faith in my family,
because in their care I grow day by day;
faith in my friends and community,
because each one is your daily gift to me;
faith in you,
because you are my Lord and my God.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for Hope
Heavenly father, I am your humble servant,
I come before you today in need of hope.
There are times when I fell helpless.
There are times when I feel weak.
I pray for hope.
I need hope for a better future.
I need hope for a better life.
I need hope for love and kindness.
Some say that the sky is at it's
darkest just before the light.
I pray that this is true, for all seems dark.
I need your light, Lord, in every way.
I pray to be filled with your light
from head to toe.
To bask in your glory.
To know that all is right in the world,
as you have planned,
and as you want it to be.
Help me to walk in your light,
and live my life in faith and glory.
In your name I pray, Amen.
Powerpoint version of this prayer (catholic.org) (1m 46s)
Prayer of Hope
help us to share the hope of our hearts
with one another.
Enable us to give hope to others
through your work amongst us.
Use us to transform our nation
and to spread your hope to every corner of this nation.
May our land flourish
by the preaching of your word
and the praising of your name.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
A Short Prayer of Hope
Hope is your gift to the world.
Some faith-filled & hopeful hymns:
All my hope on God is founded
Amazing grace (performance)
Gather us in (Marty Haughan)
Great is thy faithfulness (performance)
He who would valiant be
Lord of all hopefulness
My hope is built on nothing less (performance)
O Lord, you are the centre of my life
first the kingdom of God
Take my hands
You shall cross the barren desert (Be not afraid)
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen.
There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”
Patrick Overton, The Learning Tree (1975)
"Hope is patience with the lamp lit."
"Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness."
The stories of the martyrs can be excellent illustrations of faith and hope.
St John Ogilvie (+1615)
The story of Charles Blondin (1824-97) asking someone to cross the Niagra Falls on a tightrope in a wheelbarrow is a great story about faith.
The Charles Blodin Wheelbarrow Story (2m 54s)
We walk by faith
"So we are always confident: for we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:6-7)
Trust walk activity (with powerpoint) (Creative Sermon Ideas)
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