Listening to the child with respect and humility was the foundation of educator Maria Montessori’s work. We invite you to read through these posts from our collection of art, theological comments and prayers of children, and share your own reflections. Considering these responses together may help us deepen our understanding of the mysteries of the child and God.
Listening to the Child
From Dan Teller's atrium:
In the 3-6 atrium, a foundation for living the moral life is prepared as the child enters into a personal and loving relationship with Jesus, our Guide and our Shepherd. In the 6-9 atrium, this indirect preparation for moral formation leads to a more explicit emphasis on behavior in light of our call to follow Jesus.
One way that we offer this to the children is through meditation on the “Maxims.” The maxims are brief Scripture passages, mostly from the Gospels and particularly the Sermon on the Mount, that exhort us to live the life that Jesus calls us to live.
Recently, we were discussing two of the more difficult maxims: “Love your enemies,” and “Pray for your persecutors.” Two children's revealed their interior response with their comments:
Bradley (age 7) remarked on praying for our persecutors: “We need to pray for our persecutors, because if they are persecuting us, then they won't be ready to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Elizabeth's (age 12) written reflection on the Maxims:
What is life all about?
The sun comes up, the sun goes down.
The tide comes in, the tide goes down.
You wake up, you go to sleep.
Is life just a routine?
Our purpose in life is not to see who becomes the richest.
It is not to see who is the most beautiful.
But it is to serve the Lord and learn to love Him.
So don't waste your time trying to become rich or beautiful,
spend it on learning to love the Lord and serve him.