Jesus says in the Gospel: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches” (Mt. 13, 31-32).
The child is capable of God. Every time we accompany a child before an image at home, or before the tabernacle in church, God, and his love, fills his heart. He can invoke Jesus, be silent, look attentively, express his love and trust… and live his particular encounter with the mystery of God. His relationship with Him is alive, authentic. He perceives himself as a son of God and therefore he loves God the Father with all his heart, with the same clean and kindly glance that also welcomes and appreciates his parents and educators.
In the heart of every child God can sow the seed of prayer. At the beginning, in a very simple, hidden and silent way; made up of looks and authentic gestures; with few words, but very revealing of their feelings. Over time, this seed will grow and produce the good fruit of a mature prayer, which is felt from the heart and formulated by one’s own intelligence.
The seed needs good soil, abundant water, bright sunshine and the generous care of the farmer. The seed of prayer in the souls of children also requires the care of parents and educators. We can spend time praying with the children, offer them our witness and good example: the care of those attitudes that accompany prayer, the welcome and tenderness in the care of the children themselves; but above all find time for our personal encounter with God… And so the child will progressively open his heart and intelligence to the words of the Gospel and to friendship with Jesus.
Educators at school and parents at home will accompany the children and learn from them to turn to God with a child’s heart.
Today, we present some testimonies from parents, educators, children and teenagers speaking about their experience of prayer in a Piarist school.
I like going to Jesus’ house, because there we pray, there we hear, there we sing, there we give thanks, there we ask for things to help us.
Hello, I’m Ester, I’m 17 years old. I ‘m in San José de Calasanz School, with the Piarists, since I was 5. I’m living these experiences since I joined the Calasanz Group. Over the years, Piarist prayer has helped me to see Jesus as a friend. It has taught me to have a relationship with Him, to connect with Him, closely. It was taught me to pray while singing, because to sing is to pray twice and that is nicer. It has taught me to enter into a moment of prayer, peace, calm from the daily routine, from how fast we go.
The Continuous Prayer is a moment in which both teachers and pupils stop the busyness of our daily lives, open our hearts and share some of the experiences that occur within our family. It’s very useful to know them better. There are many children who open up in prayer and share many things that they would not tell in class. We teach them to pray, we assume that many families know how to do it. It is a very enriching experience for us. We are silent, in a correct and relaxed posture. And they love going to the oratory, because they know it as Jesus’ house.
Hello, I’m Pilu Mena, mother of two students of the San José de Calasanz School of Valencia. I’d like to share my experience with praying. It has been a long way, but it has brought joy to my life. It has taught me to treat them with patience, love, affection and to be their mother, that your child is not your friend or your mate, it is your child. The prayer was taught me to live this mother-daughter relationship, to see others as persons who need you, to gain values to treat the ones around to you and to never see them as persons who are alien to you.
I’d like to point out that the prayer does not only help me but it helps the one to whom you dedicate that prayer. I’ve felt it in specific moments of my life. I’d like my daughters to see this in me and make it a way of life for them. Because prayer has made me happy, it has brought me peace. In times of pain and suffering, it has made me able to cope and be happy.