June 16, 2021
Josephine Lombardi, Ph.D. (c) 2021 All rights reserved.
In 1985, Pope St. John Paul II said, we need faith leaders who are “experts in humanity, who know the depths of the human heart, who can share the joys and hopes, agonies, and distress of people today,…” To become an expert in humanity, certain basic life skills–the inner work, or internal curriculum of life must be mastered. To reach full emotional and spiritual maturity, our spiritual cataracts need to be removed so that we can see ourselves and others with empathy, love, and clarity. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12).
This process involves discipline, deep humility, self-knowledge, courage, self-regulation, and understanding of the factors that influence human behaviour, including family of origin issues. Following a multi-disciplinary approach, this journey of self-discovery is supported by the wisdom of our faith tradition. This knowledge, coupled with the internal curriculum, leads to growth and deep understanding of the human condition.
Self-mastery prepares us to investigate influences that hinder or help the quest for authentic freedom: that is, the ability to reason without fear and the ability to love without fear. Fear, the greatest obstacle, prevents us from becoming an expert in humanity. Only “perfect love” can remove fear (1 Jn. 4:18). An expert in humanity is a lover of humanity, open to growing in self-awareness and humility.
Interested in learning more about the internal curriculum? Consider reading my book, Experts in Humanity: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Healing, awarded first place in the category of Family Life by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada (2017) and watch this video, Empowering Parents to Be Experts in Humanity, from the 2021 annual conference of the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education (OAPCE).