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De La Salle’s Meditations for the Time of Retreat and the Apostolic Imagination for the FSC Retreat in Sabah. Apostles, Prophets, Ambassadors and Angels. [adapted from key concepts in Br. Mike Valenzuela’s dissertation of the same title]. Session One Towards an Apostolic Spirituality.

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Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

De La Salle’s Meditations for the Time of Retreat and the Apostolic Imagination

for the FSC Retreat in Sabah

Apostles, Prophets,

Ambassadors and Angels

[adapted from key concepts in Br. Mike Valenzuela’s dissertation of the same title]


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Session One

Towards an Apostolic Spirituality


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Context:

  • The search for a spirituality particular to the ministry of religious educators.

  • A re-kindling of the original fire of our founding story.

  • A way of growing in faith, hope and love through the exercise of one’s professional commitment as an educator.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

SPIRITUAL LIFE

PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENT

What is needed is an apostolic spirituality that sees action and involvement in the world as constituting a path to holiness and union with God. Such a spirituality involves recognizing and participating in God’s creative-redemptive action in the District of Penang.

INTEGRATION

What is specifically needed is an apostolic spirituality particular to the educational context and realities of Malaysia.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

MEDITATIONS

FOR THE TIME

OF RETREAT

by

St. John Baptist de La Salle

(1730)

Message: The mysterion, the saving plan of God unfolds each day in our educational endeavors through the efforts of educators who are chosen and gifted by God to bring good news to neglected and abandoned youth, teaching them to live evangelical lives in keeping with their dignity as God’s children.

The MR describes the identity and role of educators in God’s plan as seen through faith’s eyes.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Educators are called to enter into this salvific mystery as co-workers with God and representatives of Jesus Christ, speaking and acting in the guidance and power of the Spirit to liberate children from human ignorance and sin and to help them live as true disciples of Christ in society.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

As thework of a saint who was simultaneously a pioneer in the field of education, the MR provides a privileged articulation of the way in which the quest for holiness intersects with the vocation of the professional educator.

MEDITATIONS

FOR THE TIME

OF RETREAT

by

St. John Baptist de La Salle

(1730)

The MR is the faith interpretation of the living history of the Brothers and their founder as they struggled to bring good news to poor, abandoned children through the work of Christian education.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

MEDITATIONS

FOR THE TIME

OF RETREAT

by

St. John Baptist de La Salle, Patron of Teachers

(1730)


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

It's a question of approach and method...

IMAGINATION

Imagination is an activity which involves all our human faculties in giving meaningful form to the data of sense, affectivity and cognition. It is a constructive, organizing, composing activity which enables human beings to objectify realities otherwise inaccessible to direct observation.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Imagination mediates between

objective reality and human understanding.

How we imagine the relationship between God, ourselves and the world in turn has profound effects on the way we think, feel and live.

Relevance for Faith:

God's revelation in human

experience is initially

grasped on the level of

imagination.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Luke 24:13-19

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

“What things?” he asked.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Reflection:

When you look at the realities

of the Lasallian mission in the District

and the lived experience

of the Brothers working here,

what sort of conversations emerge?

What things would you be discussing?

What tones of voice do you hear?

What hopes are dashed?

What plans might you be making?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Session Two

The Power of Imagination


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

PARADIGMATIC

IMAGINATION

An activity by which we take exemplary, constitutive patterns from more accessible realities to render complex or inaccessible realities to our powers of understanding. Paradigmatic imagination is the way in which we give form to our felt relationship to divine mystery.

Source of the classic paradigms Christians use to render their relationship to mystery.

SACRED

SCRIPTURE


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

De La Salle’s

CORRELATION

EYES OF FAITH

PARADIGMATIC

IMAGINATION

How do we appropriate the MR for the Brothers in the District of Penang today?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

De La Salle's

EYES OF FAITH

Classic paradigms of sacred scripture function as lenses enabling us to recognize and respond to the patterns of God’s activity in history.

Seeing with the eyes of faith can be regarded as a way of perceiving and interpreting reality under the guidance of the indwelling Spirit and through the paradigmatic lenses of a “scripture-formed” imagination.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

The meditations offer readers classic scriptural paradigmsthat enable them to: (1) discern the character of reality in its transcendent dimensions, and (2) recognize and respond to God’s creative and redemptive action in history.

Consequently, educators are invited to construe their work as God’s work and their vocation as essentially apostolic.

In this way, the MR helps shape a distinctive kind of imagination, one that is apostolic in that it supports and enables free and active participation in God’s redeeming activity as it unfolds through the medium of the the total educational process.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

PARADIGMATIC

IMAGINATION is for all

If people are clear about the purpose and true values of their organization—if they understand what their organization stands for and who it shows itself to be through its actions—their individual tinkering will result in systemwide coherence. In organizations that know who they are and mean what they announce, people are free to create and contribute. A plurality of effective solutions emerges, each expressing a deeper coherence, an understanding of what this organization is trying to become.

-Margaret Wheatley, “Goodbye, Command and Control” in Leader to Leader (July 1997)

not just for the designated leader


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

APOSTOLIC

IMAGINATION

  • To speak of an apostolic imagination is to speak of a particular constellation of paradigms that disposes persons to attend to events in a way that highlights apostolic vision, motives, attitudes and commitments. An apostolic imagination:

  • expresses an awareness of being called and sent by God for a mission;

  • disposes us to interpret reality in the light of God’s saving plan;

  • encourages sensitivity to suffering and responsiveness to human need; and,

  • remains firmly rooted in this world even as it seeks to transform it in the direction of God’s kingdom.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Through prayer, we indwell these paradigms and allow them to shape our imaginations.

The shape of our spirituality follows the shape of our imaginations. The material content of our imaginative processes matter because they allow us to perceive and interpret the relationship between God, ourselves and the world in distinctive ways.

Apostolic

Imagination

Apostolic

Spirituality


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Luke 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”

He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.

Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Reflection:

When you prayerfully consider

the realities of the Lasallian mission in the District

and your lived experience of association

with your Brothers and Lasallian colleagues,

what things do you fail to see?

About yourself and your Brothers?

About the Lasallian associates and partners?

About the young people in your care?

About the Reign of God here and now?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Session Three

Mystery in the Life of the Educator


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

GOD

reconcile

sends

children - poor

Christian Educators

to bring good news

The Master Paradigm:

The Mysterion Unfolding

in the School

The Imaginal

Content

of the

MR


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

By imagining God’s plan of salvation in Christ unfolding each day in the educational project, educators can . . . .

  • claim their identity as called, chosen and sent by God for a mission;

  • acquire apostolic motives and dispositions in keeping with the new vision of themselves, of God, and of the world;

  • regard educational realities as sacramental;

  • integrate spiritual life and ministry;

  • re-shape pedagogical practice;

  • maintain a preferential concern for the poor and the vulnerable.

M Y S T E R I O N


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Identity of the Educator

De La Salle employs a number of metaphors paradigmatically to suggest ways in which the educator can correspond to the saving action of God unfolding in the educational project.

  • Ambassador of Christ

  • Master Builder

  • Guardian Angel

  • Good Shepherd

  • Prophet

  • Branch on the Vine

  • Faithful Steward


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Luke 24:19-27

“What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Reflection:

When you look at your life and your engagement

with the Lasallian mission in the District,

where is your “Road to Emmaus”—

the place where Jesus surprised you recently?

What happened?

Who became instruments of that epiphany?

What feelings “burned” in your heart

during that time?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Session Four

Ambassadors and Master-Builders


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Ambassador of Christ

“. . .you must act as representing Jesus Christ himself. He wants your disciples to see him in you and to receive your instruction as if he were giving it to them.”M 195.2

Challenge: Becoming a living sacrament for your pupils.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Ambassador of Christ

“Since you are ambassadors and ministers of Jesus Christ in the work that you do, you must act as representing Jesus Christ himself. He wants your disciples to see him in you and receive your teaching as if he were teaching them. They must be convinced that the truth of Jesus Christ comes from your mouth, that it is only in his name that you teach, that he has given you authority over them.” MR 3.2


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Ambassador of Christ

“We are not like so many others, who handle God’s message as if it were cheap merchandise; but because God has sent us, we speak with sincerity in his presence, as servants of Christ...

2 Cor 2:17


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Luke 9:10-17

When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.

He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.”

But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Reflection:

When I look at my life the past year,

how effective have I been in representing Jesus Christ

to the young people entrusted to me? When they look at me, do they see Christ or someone else?

Have I taken seriously Jesus’ command to me: “YOU give them something to eat”?

To what extent have I exercised my leadership potentials in the District this past year to satisfy the “hungry” crowd?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Master Builder

“. . . they are like good architects who give all possible care and attention to lay the foundation of religion and Christian piety in the hearts of children, a great number of whom would be otherwise abandoned.” - MR 193.3

The Challenge: Build up the Church by building up your pupils in holiness. Bring conscience of craft to the laying of spiritual foundations.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Master Builder

“Using the gift that God gave me, I did the work of an expert builder and laid the foundation, and another man is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds. For God has already placed Jesus Christ as the one and only foundation... And the quality of each person’s work will be seen when the Day of Christ exposes it. For on that Day fire will reveal everyone’s work; the fire will test it and show its real quality.” 1 Cor 3:10-13


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

a wrong sense of playing master designer

Most of us were raised in a culture that told us that the way to manage for excellence was to tell people exactly what they had to do and then make sure they did it. We learned to play master designer, assuming we could engineer people into perfect performance. But you can’t direct people into perfection; you can only engage them enough so that they want to do perfect work...

For all the unscripted events...we depend on individual initiative. Ultimately, we have to rely...on people’s brains and their commitment to doing the right thing.

- M. Wheatley, “Goodbye, Command and Control” in Leader to Leader (July 1997)


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

1 Corinthians 3:9b-15

You are also God’s building. Using the gift that God gave me, I did the work of an expert builder and laid the foundation, and another man is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds. For God has already placed Jesus Christ as the one and only foundation, and no other foundation can be laid. Some will use gold or silver or precious stones in building on the foundation; others will use wood or grass or straw. And the quality of each person’s work will be seen when the Day of Christ exposes it. For on that Day fire will reveal everyone’s work; the fire will test it and show its real quality. If what was built on the foundation survives the fire, the builder will receive a reward.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Reflection:

When I look at my life the past year,

how effective have I been

in laying spiritual foundations

in the lives of the young people

entrusted to me?

What kinds of materials did I use? How strong are these? how lasting?

How generous have I been in using the gifts God gave me to build on the foundation of Christ?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Session Five

Guardian Angels and Good Shepherds


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

The Guardian Angel

“You share in the ministry of the Guardian Angels by making known to children the truths of the Gospel which you have been chosen by God to announce. You must teach them to put these into practice . . .” MR 198.2

The Challenge: Ascend to God in prayer to hear his word, descend to your pupils to help them enflesh it. Incarnate your teaching in real life.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Jacob left Beersheba and started towards Haran. At sunset he came to a holy place and camped there. He lay down to sleep, resting his head on a stone. He dreamt that he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven, with angels going up and coming down on it.

Gen 28:10-12


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

There was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife’s name was Elizabeth... They had no children because Elizabeth could not have any, and she and Zechariah were both very old.

One day Zechariah was doing his work as a priest in the Temple, taking his turn in daily service. According to the custom followed by the priests, he was chosen by lot to burn incense on the altar...

An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right of the altar where incense was burnt. When Zechariah saw him, he was alarmed and felt afraid. But the angel said to him, “Don’t be afraid...” Luke 1:5-12


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Luke 18:15-17

People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Reflection:

When I look at my life the past year,

how effective have I been

in ensuring that the young people in my care

truly understand and experience

God’s message and compassion?

How faithful have I been

in bringing up to God in prayer

the concerns of those under my care?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

The Good Shepherd

“Consider Jesus the Good Shepherd of the Gospel, who seeks the lost sheep places it on his shoulders and carries it back . . . Since you are taking his place, look upon yourselves as obliged to do the same thing.” - MR 196.1

The Challenge: Know your pupils in order to discern the best ways to guide them. Unite yourself to the mercy and compassion of God who seeks to guide, heal, and save those most at risk.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Leadership is a

Personality Trait

Insight: Effective leaders have personal qualities that contribute to their success in the role.

Limitation: While personality traits are important, research does not support the idea that there are distinct “leadership traits” that guarantee effectiveness.This view neglects the importance of the setting on the leader’s effectiveness.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Leadership is a

Relationship btw.

Leader & Follower

Insight: Effective leaders respond to the maturity of their followers. Leadership is situational.

Limitation: The relationships assumed to be important are the ones that go out from the designated leader like spokes from the hub at the center of a wheel. Leadership is seen exclusively as the set of relationships established by the person in charge.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Leadership is a

Relationship btw.

Leader & Group

Limitations: The leader is seen as someone “outside” or “above” others in the group, helping it to deal with its tasks. “Leader” and “group” seem like two separate, autonomous entities.

Insight: Effective leaders insure that groups deal with both internal (group maintenance) and external (performance) tasks. This is often spoken of as striking a balance between being “people oriented” and being “task oriented.”


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Leadership is a Process

of Group Interaction

Leading is an ongoing group process, unfolding in the give-and-take of relationships in the group. It may be initiated by designated leaders or undertaken by other members as well.

Insight: Leadership is a system of relationships through which a group acts effectively. Leading takes place when group members deal with one another in ways that meet the group’s needs and contribute to its goals. Effective leaders nurture the larger network of relationships through which the group cares for itself and pursues its goals.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

In De La Salle’s own life, we see him moving from a model of leadership that is “leader-centered”and paternalistic, to a model of leadership which empowers the community to act effectively to address its internal and external goals.

He began his ministerial journey as an “outsider”, as the teachers’ rich benefactor and father-figure, and ended up as their partner and brother.

Much of his struggle as a leader was spent trying to empower the group to take charge of its own destiny. This meant helping them to grow professionally and spiritually, to understand the full significance of their work, to recognize the Spirit as the source of true power, and to collaborate together for the mission entrusted to them by God.

POWER

VESTED IN

ONE PERSON

POWER

VESTED IN

THE GROUP


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Luke 15:3-7Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Reflection:

When I look at my life the past year,

how involved have I been

in the lives of those under my care?

Have I exercised my leadership over “my flock” with the “firmness of a father” and the “gentleness of a mother”?

Do I recognize the leadership role I play in the District and the gifts that God has given me to accomplish our District vision?

Have I especially sought out those

who are the last, the lost, and the least?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Session Six

Prophets and Branches on the Vine


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

The Prophet

The Branch

on the Vine


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

The Prophet

“. . . you must take on the spirit of the prophet Elijah when they fall into some fault . . . You must say to your disciples, ‘I am so zealous for the glory of my God that I cannot see you renounce the covenant you made withhim in baptism . . .’ - MR 202.1

The Challenge: Engage in a Gospel critique of contemporary youth culture.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Luke 18:18-25

A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”

“All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” In deed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Reflection:

When I look at my life the past year,

how truthful have I been

in challenging and confronting those

entrusted to my care?

Has my witnessing been counter-cultural or have I been the one influenced by the “people of the world”?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

The Branch

on the Vine

“All your care . . . Would be useless if Jesus Christ himself did not give the quality, the power, and the efficacy to make your care useful. As the branch of the vine cannot bear fruit by itself unless it remains attached to the stem, so neither can you bear fruit if you do not remain in me.” - MR 195.3

The Challenge: Communion with Christ, which leads to ministerial fruitfulness and evangelical joy.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

John 15:1-8

“I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful... Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Reflection:

When I look at my life the past year,

how connected have I been

with Christ as I engaged in my ministry?

Do I truly consider my work as God’s work?

What role has the daily practice of interior prayer played in this regard?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

the prophet who is also a branch on the vine

The Leader's 4 Basic Tasks :

1. Nurture commitment.

2. Enhance the group’s power.

3. Foster collaboration.

4. Face the group towards the future.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

  • Nurture CommitmentEffective leading helps group members to stay in touch with the deepest beliefs and values of the group and from these shared convictions, to draw the strength they need for effective action.

  • Enhance the Group’s PowerEffective leading enables members to recognize and develop their gifts and to offer these as contributions to the common mission.

  • Foster Collaboration Effective leading helps the group to move its commitment into collaborative action, inspired and sustained by the vision of what is possible with the help of God.

  • Enable the Group to Face the Future Leading involves enabling transformation by recruiting people to construct the future together. It involves going beyond the concern for stability and maintenance of the status quo to activating a vision adequate for the needs and challenges of the future.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

What did the Founder do?

nurturing commitment

  • He led his followers to immerse themselves in the Gospel and let it shape their vision and motivation.

  • He taught them to regard their work as collaboration with God in realizing God’s dream for young people.

  • He supported them in coming up with a name, a manner of dress and vows that reinforced communal identity, commitment and belonging.

  • He encouraged them to reflect and converse on matters of faith and ministry.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

What did the Founder do?

enhancing group power

  • He sought to make recruits competent and confident by prioritizing their spiritual and pedagogical formation.

  • He helped create structures to provide constant support and guidance for novices in the art of teaching.

  • He consulted the Brothers and encouraged them to discern directions for the group together.

  • He drew on their rich experiences and shared wisdom to innovate and standardize school practices.

  • He personally wrote each Brother every month, offering him accompaniment, support and guidance.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

What did the Founder do?

fostering collaboration

  • He encouraged the Brothers to discern directions for the group together without imposing his will beforehand.

  • He insisted that they be brothers to one another, united in charity and working together for the same goals.

  • He created structures for communal accountability, fraternal correction, conflict resolution and reconciliation.

  • He and 2 Brothers made a vow of association that became a support for collaborative ministry.

  • He invited them to regard the Institute as God’s work and therefore worthy of their best efforts.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

What did the Founder do?

getting members face the future

  • He used his meditations to articulate an inspiring faith-vision that resonated with the deepest convictions and values of the teachers.

  • He encouraged teachers to pay careful attention to the concrete teaching situation and to innovate in response to students’ actual needs.

  • He saw the educational project as a work-in-progress. He did not fix structures beforehand, but allowed them to evolve to optimum effectiveness.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

How do you assess the District and your role in the following?

  • nurturing commitment

  • enhancing group power

  • fostering collaboration

  • getting members to face the future

QUESTIONS

  • How do you realize these tasks in your school, community, District?

  • In what area do you feel you need to do more?


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

Session Seven

The Faithful Steward


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

The Faithful Steward

“On the day of judgment you will answer for them as much as you answer for yourself. You must be convinced of this: that God will begin by making you give an account of their souls before asking you to give an account of your own.”

– MR 205.2

The Challenge: Prepare to be held accountable for the your exercise of the ministry.


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

The Faithful Steward

“Since Jesus Christ has been appointed by God to be your judge, he will say to you... ‘Give me an account of your administration.’ He will examine to the very depths of your heart whether you have been faithful managers of the personal property he has entrusted to you and of the talents which he has given you for his service.” – MR 15.1

“On the day of judgment you will answer for them as much as you answer for yourself. You must be convinced of this: that God will begin by making you give an account of their souls before asking you to give an account of your own.” – MR 15.2


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

The Faithful Steward

“Oh, what joy a Brother of the Christian Schools will have when he sees a great number of his students in possession of eternal happiness! What a sharing of joy there will be between the teacher and his disciples! What a special reunion among them in the presence of God!”– MR 16.2

“On the day of judgment (the alumni will proclaim), ‘These men are the servants of the Most High; they have made known to us the way of salvation.’... All of them will join in asking Jesus Christ to grant you a favorable judgment, praying him not to delay putting you in possession of the happiness you procured for them by your work and your concern.”– MR 16.3


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Lasallian Education:

A Shared Mission


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Everyone actively committed to the Lasallian vision and mission.

Who comprise the

Lasallian Family today?

BROTHERS

Faculty &

Administrators

Support Staff

Students &

Alumni

Chaplains

PARENTS

Trustees

Friends & Benefactors


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CO - RESPONSIBLE

Colleagues

Brothers

ONE

MISSION


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* MISSION

* LASALLIAN

SPIRITUALITY

Brothers

Colleagues

Different degrees and levels of commitment and sharing.

RELATIONSHIP OF COLLEAGUES AND BROTHERS IN THE SHARED MISSION


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LASALLIAN CHARISM

BROTHERS

LAITY

Something new is being born . . .


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Lay partners enabled to exercise a more deliberative role in determining the directions and conduct of the Lasallian mission.

LAY

EMPOWERMENT

Increased opportunities for new and creative types of apostolates.

Evolve new structures and learn skills to facilitate lay-FSC collaboration.


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Q: Why share the mission ?

Because the Lasallian charism

belongs to the whole

Lasallian Family.

Because the needs of youth

and the poor are many.


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Luke 19:12-26

“A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back....’

“He was made king ...and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ Well done, my good servant! his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ Then another came servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow. His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant!...The he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away and give it to the one who has ten minas....I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given. But as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.’


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Reflection:

Spend the rest of the time of the retreat

before the Lord

as you account for the exercise of your ministry this past year.

Note down the issues burning in your heart

or the resolutions that you are inspired to make.


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Session Eight

Conclusion and Synthesis


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MEDITATIONS

FOR THE TIME

OF RETREAT

by

St. John Baptist de La Salle

The MR is not merely a text to be read, it is ultimately a text that needs to be performed.

In the light of this vision, what are we empowered to be and do today?

This attempt to approach the work from the perspective of imagination is intended to offer readers a way of actualizing the text in our own day.


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Conclusion:

In his spiritual teaching, De La Salle stresses the importance of “seeing all things with the eyes of faith.” Free and willing participation in God’s saving initiative in the world (which is what apostolic spirituality is all about) hinges on this ability to recognize and respond to God’s loving presence in history.


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Conclusion:

The MR is a spiritual classic intended to enable this faith-vision. This study suggests that taking “the eyes of faith” as a way of imagining reality in the light of scriptural paradigms is a fruitful way of enabling the MR to exercise this same function for religious educators today.


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From this perspective, the MR helps shape an apostolic imagination that allows readers to “see” something of what De La Salle saw: God present and active in the relationship between teacher and pupil for their mutual sanctification and salvation.

The eyes of faith as apostolic imagination.


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Furthermore, through its various paradigms, the MR illuminates ways of patterning one’s mode of correspondence to God’s saving action and encourages particular dispositions in keeping with this apostolic commitment.

The eyes of faith as apostolic imagination.


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In this manner, approaching the MR from the perspective of imagination releases the text’s transformative potential and allows educators to rediscover the dimension of the sacred in their work.

The eyes of faith as apostolic imagination.


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THEN

NOW

St. John Baptist de La Salle wanted to create ministerial communities that could face emerging educational challenges with competence, creativity and commitment.

Such communities had to be united in gospel vision and values yet flexible and self-directed enough to adapt and respond to changing needs and situations in a creative and effective manner.

How do we recreate that dynamic today?


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If between friends and partners

we were geese...

Ah!


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The next season,

when you see the geese migrating,

going to a warmer place,

to sort the winter...

Pay attention that they fly in a “V” formation

Maybe you will be interested in knowing

Why they do it this way...


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By flying in a “V” formation....


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The whole flock increases

the flight efficiency by 71%

Compared to just one bird flying alone


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Lesson 1:

Sharing the same direction

and working as a team, get us to the destination quicker and easier.

By helping ourselves, the

accomplishments are greater!.


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When a goose leaves the

formation..


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He feels the resistance of the air and the

difficulties of flying alone....


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Then, he quickly comes back to the formation

to take advantage of the the flock’s power

in front of him..


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Lesson 2:

By staying in tune and united beside those who

are going in the same direction,

the effort will be less.

It will be easier and pleasing to reach the goals,

Everyone will be inclined to accept and give help.


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When the leader goose gets tired of flying...


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... He goes to the end of the “V” formation.

While another goose takes the lead.


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Lesson 3:

To share the leadership,

There must be mutual respect between us

all the time...

Sharing the hardest problems

and tasks..

Gathering our abilities and

combining our faculties,

talents and resources….


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g

g

g

The geese flying on a “V” formation, they quack

to encourage to the ones in the front.

g

In that way, they keep the same speed.

g

g


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g

g

g

Lesson 4:

When there is courage and encouragement,

the progress is greater..

A timely word of encouragement,

always motivates, helps and strengthens..

It produces the best of benefits...

g

g

g


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When a goose gets sick, is injured

or gets tired,


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And he must leave

the formation...


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Othergeese leave the formation too,

and they fly with him to help him out

and protect him.

They remain with him

until he dies

or he is able to fly again.

They reach their bevy

or they just make another “V” formation.


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Lesson 5:

Let’s stay

beside each other

no matter what the differences.

Specially in times of difficulty

and great challenges..


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If we bond together and support each other..

If we make true the spirit of teamwork..

Regardless of our differences, we can rise to meet our challenge.

If we understand the real value of friendship..

If we are aware of the feeling of sharing..

LIFE WILL BE EASIER

AND THE PASSING OF YEARS

MORE FULFILLING ..


Final encouragement

Final Encouragement

Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB

“There comes a time, in other words, when criticism of the past is simply not enough. There comes a new moment in life when we must dedicate ourselves to creating the future. And that is hard, hard work.”


Final encouragement1

Final Encouragement

“‘Let us plant dates even though those who plant them will never eat them… we must live by the love of what we will never see… Such disciplined love is what has given prophets, revolutionaries, and saints the courage to die for the future they envisaged. They make their own bodies the seed of the highest hope.’ Even in the face of the impossible, we must act as if the miracle will come tomorrow. That’s what sowing is all about. It requires trying when hope is thin and faith is stretched and opposition is keen.”


Apostles prophets ambassadors and angels

The End.


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