Our Novices have been travelling to the Framland Deanery each Tuesday to work alongside members of the local clergy in Primary Schools. We have been delivering lessons and assemblies about ‘what it looks like to live like a monk in the 21st century?’
We have focused on the role of prayer in the monastic life. We have been sharing our own rhythms and experiences of prayer with the children and running activities that explore creative ways of praying. We have been praying in silence, using Scripture and sculpture and through a very simplified version of Bruce Stanley’s ‘Sensio Divina’.
Literally ‘Divine sensing’, a contemplative meditation to connect and dialogue with Divine presence in a place, object or natural phenomenon (Jer 23:24) and come to a deeper understanding of God through nature (Rom 1:20)
We took the children out of the classroom and into the playground. We invited them to take a few moments on their own, in quiet, to explore their natural surroundings. We asked them to find a natural object that captured their attention or imagination.
We took these objects back in to the classroom and chatted about why they had chosen them? Was it because of their shape or colour or size or something else? We asked the Children how their object may reflect God in some way?
After our discussion we read Psalm 148 together.
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his host!
3 Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
We then asked each child to write their own ‘Praise Him, you…’ line to make up a class psalm inspired by seeing God through nature…
Praise the Lord!
Praise him, you duck-billed platypus
Praise him, you donkeys
Praise him, you leaves on a stick
Praise him, you shark teeth, dinosaur bones and fossils
Praise him, you helicopter branches
Praise him, you sloths
Praise him, you unicorns
Praise him, you tiny smooth stones
Praise the Lord!
See more of the Children’s Psalms in the images below…