Friday, June 5, 2020

Video Message sent to Scholas Occurrentes

The Holy Father has sent a video message at the conclusion of a virtual meeting with young people, parents and teachers from all corners of the world which was organized by the Scholas Occurrentes Foundation to mark World Environment Day.

Video Message of His Holiness, Pope Francis
addressed to members of the
Scholas Occurrentes Foundation

Dear brothers and sisters from Scholas,

Today, after all these years of sharing the question that sets us up, it is a great joy to be able to call you a community: A community of friends, a community of brothers and sisters.

I still remember the origins of Scholas: two teachers, two teachers, in the midst of a crisis, with a little madness and a little intuition. An unplanned thing, lived as they walked.

When the crisis back then left a land of violence, that education brought young people together, generating meaning and therefore, generating beauty.

Three images of this path come to my heart, which were three images that guided three years of reflection and encounter: the madman of La strada by Fellini, The call of Matthew by Caravaggio and The idiot by Dostoevskij.

The Sense —the madman—, the Call —Matthew— and Beauty.

The three stories are the stories of a crisis. And in all three, therefore, human responsibility is at stake. Crisis originally means break, cut, opening, danger, but also opportunity.

When the roots need space to continue growing, the pot ends up breaking.

The fact is that this life is bigger than our own life and, therefore, it breaks. But that's life! It grows, it breaks.

Poor mankind without any crisis! All perfect, all tidy, all starched. Poor. It would be, let's think about it, such a humanity would be a sick humanity, very sick. Thank God it doesn't happen. It would be a sleeping humanity.

On the other hand, just as the crisis finds us by calling us to open ourselves, the danger happens when we are not taught to relate to that openness. So crises if they are not well accompanied are dangerous, because one can be disoriented. And the advice of the wise, even for small personal, marital, and social crises is this: never go into the crisis alone, be sure to be accompanied by someone else.

There, in the crisis, fear invades us, we close ourselves off as individuals, or we start repeating what very few things we are good for, emptying ourselves of meaning, covering up our own calling, losing our beauty. This is what happens when you go through a crisis alone, without reservation. This beauty that, as Dostoevskij said, will save the world.

Scholas was born out of a crisis, but we did not raise our fists to fight with the culture, nor did we lower our arms to resign ourselves, nor did we go out crying: What a calamity, what terrible times! We went out to listen to the hearts of young people, to cultivate the new reality. This is not working? Let's go look there.

Scholas peeks through the fissures of the world —not with its head— with its whole body, to see if another answer comes back from the open.

And that is the process of educating. Education listens, or it does not educate. If you don't listen, you don't educate. Education creates culture, or it does not educate. Education teaches us to celebrate, or it does not educate.

Can anyone tell me. But how is educating not knowing things? No. That is knowing. But educating is listening, creating culture, celebrating.

And Scholas grew from there.

Not even these two madmen - the founding fathers, we can tell them by their laughter - imagined that that educational experience in the diocese of Buenos Aires, after twenty years, would grow as a new culture, poetically inhabiting this land, as Hölderlin taught us. Listening, creating and celebrating life. That new culture poetically inhabiting this earth.

Harmonizing the language of thought with feelings and actions. You have heard me speak about this several times: the language of the head, heart and hands, synchronized. Head, heart and hands growing harmoniously.

I saw in Scholas, Japanese teachers and students dancing with Colombians. That is impossible! But I saw it. I saw the youth of Israel playing with the youth of Palestine. I saw it. The students of Haiti thinking with those of Dubai. The children of Mozambique painting with those of Portugal ... I saw, between East and West, an olive tree creating a culture of encounter.

For this reason, in this new crisis that humanity is facing today, where culture has shown that it has lost its vitality, I want to celebrate Scholas, as a community that educates, as an intuition that grows, opens the doors of the University of Sense ... because educating is about looking for the meaning of things. It is about teaching others how to find the meaning of things.

Bringing together the dreams of children and young people with the experience of adults and older people. That meeting must always take place if humanity is to continue, because if there are no roots, if there is no history, there is no promise, there is no growth, there are no dreams, there is no prophecy.

You msut be students of all realities, languages and beliefs, because nobody is left out when what is taught is not a thing, but Life. The same life that originates in us and which will always bring about other worlds. Different, unique worlds, as we are also different and unique. In our deepest pains, joys, desires and nostalgias. Worlds of Gratitude, Meaning and Beauty. The idiot, the call of Caravaggio and the madman of La strada.

Never forget these last three words, free, meaning and beauty. They may seem useless!, especially nowadays. Who starts creating a company looking for something that is free, looking for meaning and looking for beauty? These traits are not productive, they do not produce anything. And yet, all of humanity, our entire future depends on these things that seem so useless.

Go ahead, take away that mystique that was given, that no one invented; and the first to be surprised were these two madmen who founded it. And that's why they deliver it, they give it, because it's not theirs. It is something that came as a gift. Keep on planting and harvesting, with a smile, with risk, but all together and always hand in hand in order to overcome any crisis.

May God bless you.  And, please, don't forget to pray for me.  Thank you very much.
Texto original en español

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