In a letter that St. Joseph Calasanz writes to Fr. Vicente Berro in 1643 (EP 4120), he records this beautiful principle of spiritual life. The Saint enters into his personal participation in the paschal mystery of Jesus, from which he accompanies and guides one of the religious whom Calasanz esteemed most dearly.
“It is necessary to collect first as a shell in order to pour out to others as canals”. This is part of the integrating dynamic to which Calasanz was particularly sensitive in his life and work: letters and piety, active and contemplative life…
The Piarists, in our experience of prayer, so often hidden and silent, we collect, as in a shell, with grateful attitude, compassion and tenderness, the mercy and forgiveness that God offers us. Likewise, we pour them out abundantly in the activities and meetings that we carry out in our day-to-day educational work, so that the seed of the Gospel may germinate in the heart of each child.
To live prayer (to collect) and to educate it in our pupils (to pour it out) responds to Calasanz’s wish: “Make the youngest pupils individually pray, so that our houses may be maintained in their holy ministry” (1646).
Children love to sit quietly, close their eyes, and call on the name of Jesus, focusing their attention on Him, with the conviction that God will visit their heart and fill it with His presence and affection, as if it were a small shell. All that is required is to stay close to Him, call out to Him and let Him fill them. With this collecting, they will pour into the heart of each person, with their innocence and spontaneity, the goodness, truth and beauty that are born from the heart of God.
In some of our schools, the summer holidays will soon begin. It is a wonderful opportunity to visit and spend days in nature, where the imprint and presence of the Creator is so easily perceived. And there, together with the children, we can remain in silence, watching the water of the rivers or the sea, and remember that God’s love is like water that we can collect in our hearts and then pour out on each person who comes to meet us. And there we can call out slowly to Jesus.
And to conclude this brief prayer meeting, we offer you this simple song, composed by Geña Benítez, a nun of Villa Teresita, a faithful collaborator of our Continuous Prayer, which, listened to and prayed repeatedly, will awaken in our hearts the desire to receive the water that flows from the pierced heart of Jesus.