Meditation for Christians – Laurence Freeman

The wonderful thing about meditation for Christians is that you don’t have to try to be good anymore.
If you see yourself holding grudges or being mean-spirited then I think maybe you do have to try to control yourself, but that’s one of the fruits of meditation.
You don’t have to try to be good.
You simply grow in the consciousness that you are good because God is good and everything around you is good.
Anything that is not good is the result of unconsciousness, and those results can be terrible, but they are the results of unconsciousness.

Eternity is with us – Evelyn Underhill

Eternity is with us, inviting our contemplation perpetually, but we are too frightened, lazy, and suspicious to respond; too arrogant to still our thought, and let divine sensation have its way.
It needs industry and goodwill if we would make that transition; for the process involves a veritable spring-cleaning of the soul, a turning-out and rearrangement of our mental furniture, a wide opening of closed windows, that the notes of the wild birds beyond our garden may come to us fully charged with wonder and freshness, and drown with their music the noise of the gramophone within.
Those who do this, discover that they have lived in a stuffy world, whilst their inheritance was a world of morning-glory: where every tit-mouse is a celestial messenger, and every thrusting bud is charged with the full significance of life.

Those whom God has set beside us today – Jean Vanier

We shouldn’t seek the ideal community.
It is a question of loving those whom God has set beside us today.
They are signs of God.
We might have chosen different people, people who were more cheerful and intelligent.
But these are the ones God has given us, the ones he has chosen for us.
It is with them that we are called to create unity and live a covenant

Prophets climb mountains – Paulo Coelho

The Lord often has his prophets climb mountains to converse with Him.
I always wondered why
He did that, and now I know the answer: when we are on high, we can see everything else as small
. Our glory and sadness lose their importance.
Whatever we conquered or lost remains there below.
From the heights of the mountain, you see how large the world is, and how wide its horizons.

God has created me to do Him some definite service – John Henry Newman

God has created me to do Him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission – I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
Yet I have a part in this great work: I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught.
I shall do good,
I shall do His work;
I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.

Prayer in the 21st Century, Laurence Freeman OSB


Silence is not only the absence of noise, physical noise, as there will always be some noise around you even if it is just your tummy rumbling.
The real essence of silence is attention, paying attention.
What do we pay attention to?
Most of the time we are paying attention, more or less, to what is going on in our heads.
To a stream of thoughts, imagination, fantasy, anxiety, that is just flowing through our minds in a constant stream of consciousness.
Because we are so deeply in the habit of paying attention just to that stream of mental activity it seems to us that that is what prayer is all about – paying attention to nice thoughts, good thoughts, thoughts about God, or nice words.
What the contemplative tradition tells us is that there are perfectly valid forms and good forms of prayer that we can do at that level of consciousness, with our minds – thinking, reading, and speaking – but they point to something deeper, the prayer of the heart in which we lay aside thoughts, words, and images.

A man planting a tree – The Jewish Midrash

 

A wise rabbi was walking along a road when he saw a man planting a tree.
The rabbi asked him, “How many years will it take for this tree to bear fruit?”
The man answered that it would take seventy years.
The rabbi asked, “Are you so fit and strong that you expect to live that long and eat its fruit?”
The man answered, “I found a fruitful world because my forefathers planted for me.
So I will do the same for my children.”

Sessione al parlamento italiano: Una nuova metodologia contro l’abbandono scolastico

Una delle piaghe più gravi della scuola italiana è l’alto tasso di abbandono. Su tutto il territorio nazionale, ma in particolare in quelle aree urbane e rurali più disagiate, il fenomeno acquista dimensioni drammatiche ben al di sopra della media europea. Si tratta di un immenso capitale umano che va disperso, di una risorsa strategica, come è quella immateriale della mente, che il nostro Paese non utilizza al meglio per produrre benessere, ricchezza, occupazione, come pure per assicurare a questi ragazzi le precondizioni che garantiscano una cittadinanza piena e consapevole.

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A fronte di questa situazione, la scuola non può non cercare di individuare metodi e strategie per ridurne le dimensioni. Lo chiede l’Europa, ma prima ancora la giustizia, l’equità sociale. È quanto hanno deciso di fare la FIDAE (la federazione delle scuole cattoliche primarie e secondarie italiane), INTESA SANPAOLO FORMAZIONE, ASSEDIL (Association Européenne des Directeurs d’Institution Lasallien), le Università di Ingegneria La Salle e Llul di Barcellona, il Consorzio interuniversitario FORTUNE di Roma a beneficio di un consistente numero di scuole superiori cattoliche e statali italiane, francesi, belghe, spagnole, nelle quali hanno attivato la sperimentazione di un originale metodo didattico, conosciuto con la sigla QPA (Questionario sui Processi di Apprendimento), messo a punto dal prof. Klement Polacek, docente emerito della Pontificia Università Salesiana.

I risultati riscontrati sono stati lusinghieri. Nonostante i differenti contesti nazionali e i sistemi scolastici sono migliorati notevolmente i processi di apprendimento ed insegnamento, la motivazione allo studio, i livelli di qualità a conferma della bontà e l’efficacia di questo metodo QPA.

L’iniziativa, sviluppatasi nell’arco di un anno e mezzo e finanziata dal Programma Leonardo da Vinci dell’Unione europea, si è conclusa con la pubblicazione di un volume in lingua italiana ed inglese con il titolo QPA – NUOVE METODOLOGIE CONTRO L’ABBANDONO SCOLASTICO – NEW METHODOLOGIES AGAINST EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING, consultabile on line sulla piattaforma qpaproject.eu, www.facebook.com/qpaproject.

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