Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Birthday of Montessori's First School: An "Epiphany"

In the Atrium today we celebrate the Epiphany,
when the three wise men followed the star and found Jesus.
If you are a Montessorian, today is a special day:  on Epiphany 1907 Maria Montessori opened her first Casa dei Bambini (Children's House) in Rome.  About 50 to 60 children, between the ages of 2 to 7,  from low-income families were enrolled.

I was taught that Dr. Montessori, who was Catholic, read aloud the Epiphany's first reading, which began:

 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn."

What an exciting way to begin her work with children!  And if you work with children--whether your own or with students at your school or parish--you already know that in each child God's image is made manifest in a unique way.  And you already know that, somewhere along the way, you have learned so much more from the children than you've ever imparted.

I read about how the things we behold can change us and vice versa from Fr. Z's blog today:
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He is the Father’s Beauty. He is Truth and Beauty and Glory itself.

St. Hilary of Poitiers (d 367) conceived God’s divine attribute of glory as a transforming power which divinizes us by our contact with it.  After Moses talked with God in the tent of the Ark, he wore a veil over his face, which became too bright to look at.  We pray today, literally, to be brought “all the way to the beauty of glory (species celsitudinis)” of God “which is to be contemplated”.  His beauty will act on us, increase our knowledge of Him and, therefore, our love for Him … for all eternity.   We will be, all the more, the images He intended.

So Happy Solemnity of the Epiphany, Ya'll!

"O God, who on this day revealed your Only Begotten Son to the nations by the guidance of a star, grant in your mercy, that we, who know you already by faith, may be brought to behold the beauty of your sublime glory."

No comments:

Post a Comment