VIDEO MESSAGE FROM HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
ON THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD CYBER-MEETING
ORGANIZED BY THE SCHOLAS OCCURRENTES FOUNDATION
Friday, June 5, 2020
Dear Scholas brothers and sisters :
Today, after all these years sharing the question that sets us up, it is a great joy to be able to call them "community": Community of friends, community of brothers, sisters.
I still remember the origin: two teachers, two teachers, in the midst of a crisis, with a little madness and a little intuition. An unplanned thing, lived as he 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 —Mateo— and the Beauty.
The three stories are the story of a crisis. And in all three, therefore, human responsibility is at stake. Crisis originally means "rupture", "cut", "opening", "danger", but also "opportunity".
When the roots need space to continue growing, the pot ends up breaking.
It is that life is bigger than our own life and, therefore, it breaks. But that's life! It grows, it breaks.
Poor mankind without crisis! All perfect, all tidy, all starchy. 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 founds us by calling us open, 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: "never go into the crisis alone, be accompanied."
There, in the crisis, fear invades us, we close ourselves as individuals, or we begin to repeat what very few are good for, emptying ourselves of meaning, covering up our own calling, losing beauty. This is what happens when one goes through a crisis alone, without reservation. This beauty that, as Dostoevskij said, will save the world.
Scholas was born from a crisis, but he did not raise his fists to fight with the culture, nor did he lower his arms to resign himself, nor did he go out crying: What a calamity, what terrible times! He 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 his head— with his whole body, to see if another answer comes back from the open.
And that is educating. Education listens, or does not educate. If you don't listen, you don't educate. Education creates culture, or 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 so Scholas grew.
Not even these two madmen - the founding fathers, we can tell them laughing - 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. It is what you heard me several times: 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. It is impossible! I saw it. I saw the youth of Israel playing with those of Palestine. I saw it. To the students of Haiti thinking with those of Dubai. To the children of Mozambique painting with those of Portugal ... I saw, between East and West, an olive tree creating 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 that Scholas, as a community that educates, as an intuition that grows, opens the doors of the University of Sense. Because educating is looking for the meaning of things. It is teaching how to find the meaning of things.
Bringing together the dreams of children and young people with the experience of adults and old people. That meeting must always take place if there is no humanity, because there are no roots, there is no history, there is no promise, there is no growth, there are no dreams, there is no prophecy.
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 us and will always originate other worlds. Different, unique worlds, as we are also. In our deepest pains, joys, desires and nostalgias. Worlds of Gratitude, Meaning and Beauty. "The Idiot", the "call" by Caravaggio and the madman from "La strada".
Never forget these last three words, free, meaning and beauty. They may seem useless !, especially nowadays. Who starts to make a company looking for free, meaning and beauty? It does not produce, it does not produce. And yet, on this thing that seems useless depends the entire humanity, the future.
Go ahead, take that mystique that was given away, that no one invented it; 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 the smile, with the risk, but all together and always hand in hand to overcome any crisis.
God bless you. And please don't forget to pray for me. Thank you.
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Translation from Spanish
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Translation from Spanish