For the past two weeks, I’ve been at training to be a Catechist for an amazing program called Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. GS is a Montessori based catechesis program used throughout the world for over forty years. Blessed Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity even use it in their missions.
The CGS approach is to present Scripture and Liturgy to children in a way that encourages them to prayerfully ponder and wonder the mysteries of our faith. There’s much more to it than so I encourage you to look into it if you’re curious.
One of the things that stood out to me during the training was the emphasis on quiet in a child’s learning environment. With less and less emphasis placed on quiet classrooms in traditional education settings these days, I was surprised that this program that could be considered innovative and new (even though it’s been around for decades) would focus on something so “old-fashioned” as a quiet environment.
After eight days of training, I can see now why the quiet environment is so important. You see, an atrium (i.e.: a CGS classroom) is a place of prayer where the children pray with their words, their hearts, and even their hands through their “work.” (Very Benedictine, don’t you think?) If the environment is quiet, they’re more able to hear God’s voice.
In the atrium, the children are told that a prophet is someone who listens to God with their heart. How can we do that if we’re surrounded by noise? Heck, I can’t even hear my own thoughts sometimes much less God’s voice!
Now that I’m back home and in a “normal” routine, I find myself noticing how loud my environment is both at home, at work, and everywhere else I go. I find myself seeking out silence and looking for ways to incorporate it in my day. Not only is the silence calming and helpful to my focus, it help me to hear God’s voice better even though my hearing and listening skills need improvement. I figure at the very least, I’m on the right track.
Have you found ways to incorporate silence into your life or even to reduce the noise level a bit? I’d love to hear how. I promise that I’ll listen.
Copyright 2015 Laura Nelson.
Art by foulline (2014) via Pixabay, PD.