The 10th Meditation
How a Brother of the Christian Schools ought to show zeal in his work
194.1 First Point
How is it the zeal of a Lasallian is present? How can we see it exists. This meditation by De La Salle makes it clear. It happens because the Lasallian shares in the same purpose of Jesus coming to earth: to destroy sin. And yet, what does this mean in the day-to-day life of an educator?
This is particular in the desire of the Lasallian to destroy to inspire them “with a horror for impurity, lack of reverence in church and at prayer, stealing, lying, disobedience, lack of respect for their parents, and other faults in regard to their companions. Help them understand that those who fall into these kinds of sins will not possess the kingdom of heaven.”
194.2 The Second Point
But for De La Salle, it is not simply about avoiding sin, but also about doing good. The zeal of the brothers must become visible in the ways in which they help their students to embrace the grace that enables them to do good.
And doing good is not simply being nice. De La Salle writes, “Help them put into practice what our Lord says when he commands us to love our enemies, to do good to those who do evil to us and who persecute us and speak unjustly against us. Help them completely avoid rendering evil for evil, injury for injury, and taking revenge.”
It is the interior conversion of the heart that enables these things to occur. And this interior zeal is developed to the degree that it is the case that we pray, and seek that relationship with our source, the one who could never be outdone in generosity.
194.3 The Third Point
Of course, this meditation makes clear that the most important aspect of the ministry is not simply to instruct the faith, but more importantly to live the faith. If the children do not see the lived example of faith in the persons that teach them, then it rings hollow.
This is not a unique insight simply for Saint John Baptist de la Salle. Saint James makes this claim about the interconnection between faith and works. Jesus tells the disciples to listen to the Pharisees, but not to follow their example. And personal experience tells us that when there is no connection between what is said and what is lived, people are not able to want to follow the example.
Questions to Ponder
What ways do you help the people you work with to avoid sin?
How do you encourage those around you to live a life of virtue?
What are the challenges of being consistent to your faith as a Lasallian educator?