School exercises have no other serious purpose than the formation of attention. Attention is the only faculty of the soul that grants access to God. School exercises use an inferior, discursive form of attention, the one that reasons; but, drawn on by a suitable method, it can prepare for the appearance in the soul of another type of attention, that which is the highest, intuitive attention. Intuitive attention in its purity is the unique source of perfectly beautiful art, of scientific discoveries that are truly luminous and new, of philosophy that truly moves towards wisdom, of love of the neighbor that is truly helpful; and when turned directly towards God, it constitutes true prayer.
In the same way as a symbol would allow one to dig and to mow while thinking about God, so a method that transforms school exercises in preparation for this superior type of attention would by itself permit an adolescent to think about God while he applied himself to a geometry problem or a Latin translation. Failing which, intellectual work, under a mask of liberty, is also for him a servile work.
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