Continuous Prayer in the new evangelization
Our line of work concludes by indicating the purpose of our Continuous Prayer: “… as a singular Piarist contribution to the New Evangelization”. Generally, New Evangelization, based on different reflections, intends, in its broad sense, to renew the Church so that, with this apostolic impetus of the first evangelizers, it is able to offer an understandable and credible testimony to different cultural and social contexts.
Our Continuous Prayer understands itself as a “singular contribution”. We refer to “Singular” because it is something typical and peculiar of our Calasanctian school. And “Contribution” means our simple and modest participation in the great task of evangelization.
Pope Francis, in his speech delivered to the Plenary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization in 2013, indicated three aspects of the New Evangelization that are well considered in our Continuous Prayer:
1. Testimony: “We need credible witnesses, said the Pope, that with life and words make the Gospel visible, awaken the attraction for Jesus Christ, for the beauty of God.”
How important is the implication and the testimony of our teachers who manifest the presence of Jesus with love, joy, service in the classroom and the oratory / chapel, in the different moments of the school day; they explain the truths of faith and in prayer they sow a heartfelt adhesion to Jesus who is always present in our lives
2. Encounter. “Jesus left his divine condition and came to meet us, to dialogue with everyone, even those who do not think like us.”
In every prayer encounter, the teacher dialogues with his students, listens to their experiences and reflections, welcomes their contribution, helps them to feel that we all are the children of the same Father who has created us in his image and welcomes us with infinite mercy.
3. Be well focused on the essential: Jesus Christ. “It is not good,” says the Pope, “to disperse in many secondary or superfluous things, but to concentrate on the fundamental reality, which is the encounter with Christ, with his mercy, with his love, and in the way we love our brothers as he loved us. An encounter with Christ that is also adoration, a hardly used word: adore Christ “.
How beautiful is each prayer encounter in the oratory / chapel in which we empty ourselves of so many emotional and ideological adhesion, so that Jesus, his presence and love, becomes the center of our thoughts and hearts; so that with the humbleness of the little ones of the Gospel we learn to adore him as the shepherds and magicians did in Bethlehem!
Pope Francis ends his speech sharing an event that has impressed him in his ministry: “to find children who did not even know how to make themselves the sign of the cross”. Also in some or many places where we carry out our mission, it is easy to be impacted by this spiritual illiteracy. However, we trust in our Continuous Prayer, in its classroom and oratory / chapel dynamics. In its simplicity and modesty, it can offer a beautiful contribution to overcome the split between life, culture and gospel that so much harms the growth of our children in their divine filiation.
As a conclusion, I invite each one of you to spend some time to pray, to be with Him, with generosity, speaking of our Continuous Prayer, of all our children, who little by little find a fountain in Jesus that satisfies their longing for joy, trust, hope and love. Finally, you can let this song of Geña Benítez accompany us in the heart: Only You Lord my fountain …