Newsletter Subscribe
Australian Catholics Subscribe

Reflection questions &activities for 'Saints for all seasons: St Simeon Stylites the Elder'

29 November 2017

Read the article, Saints for all seasons: St Simeon Stylites the Elder, and answer the following reflection questions. Then share your answers in pairs or groups.

Questions for reflection

1. How is spiritual freedom different to other forms of freedom? Why might confining yourself to live on a pillar – or as others do, within the walls of a monastery – lead a person to spiritual freedom? 

2. Why is Simeon’s humility – that is, his obedience to religious authorities - an important part of his holiness? How would it be different if he refused to come down, even as bishops were testing his obedience? 

3. What do you think of the idea that power is in fact about service, and to be exalted we need to become like children? Do you think this is true? Why/why not?

Activities

1. Stylites

Do some research on the Stylites movement. Explore the geographic and cultural environment that the Stylites like Simeon lived in. Why do you think living in such physically gruelling ways was so attractive to these Christians? How would their hardship bring them closer to God? Write a short reflection on the movement, or if you want to get a bit creative, write an imaginative interview with one of the Stylites, exploring why they have chosen to live this life. 

2. Taking a stand for God

Look up the #Lovemakesaway movement on the web, and see how some religious people today make a public stand in order to direct people towards God. How are their public actions like St Simeon’s? Brainstorm an activity that students in your school could do in order to take a stand for a good cause. For example, you could decide to refuse to do anything but sit silently during recess in order to raise money for Caritas or Vinnies. 

3. Monastic life

Do some research on people living monastic lives in Australia today. Find one Australian monastery and see what you can find out about it: How and when was it founded? What order do the people there belong to? What are their day-to-day lives like? Why do they do what they do? You might like to see if you can contact them directly to find out more. 

For younger students

1. Share with the students the story of St Simeon (a more child-friendly version can be found here: https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/saints/saints-stories-for-all-ages/saint-simeon-the-stylite). Why would St Simeon choose to give up everything to serve God? Get the students to think about what St Simeon might be doing all day on the pillar – praying to God, thinking about God, answering questions from pilgrims. Have them draw a picture or write a story about St Simeon on the pillar. 

 

 

 

Topic tags: saints, thecatholictradition, feastdays

Request permissions to reuse this article


Similar articles

Catholic Teacher blog: Welcome the children

Fr Andrew Hamilton | 15 Nov 2018

We see cruelty to children as monstrous, but find it tolerated in our society. As International Children's Day is marked this month, let us remember Jesus' command to 'welcome the children'.


Catholic Teacher blog: Movers and makers

Nathan Ahearne | 31 Oct 2018

If we have the strength to believe that God will be at our side we will be able to conquer every mountain that comes our way.


Musical gives voice to the voiceless

Michele Frankeni | 29 Oct 2018

Warren WillsAn historical and courageous protest by an Australian Indigenous man against discrimination of a people half a world away resonates today.

 


Catholic Teacher blog: Life's journeys

Brendan Nicholls | 24 Oct 2018

As senior students begin the next part of their life’s journey, St Francis Xavier offers much to contemplate and apply when change occurs.


Catholic Teacher blog: We, as teachers

Fr Andrew Hamilton | 11 Oct 2018

World Teachers’ Day has been held on 5 October since 1994 and its aim is to honour the instructors of the world.


This website uses cookies to give you the best, most relevant experience.

Using this website means you are okay with this.

You can change your cookies settings at any time and find out more about them by following this link