HomeDLSU Dialogue: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Cultural Studiesvol. 25 no. 2 (1991)

De La Salle: The Mission and the Ministry of the Christian Teacher

Gregory Wright

Discipline: Christianity



Two topics frequently mentioned and discussed in all the writings of St. John Baptist de La Salle are the mission and the Christian teacher. However, one of the best if not the best presentations of his ideas on these two subjects is found in his Meditations pour Ie temps de /a Retraite [Meditations for the Time of Retreat or the Retreat Meditations as they are popularly called.] These Sixteen meditations were written during the last years of the Saint's life and first published in Rouen, France, around 1730. As regards their contents, even a quick glance at the table of contents will suggest that this relatively brief work treats essentially of eight different but related topics dealing with the work of the Christian teacher, with two meditations covering different aspects of the same topic. And as a rule, the first or odd-numbered meditation in each pair takes a more theoretical approach, while the second or even-numbered one deals with more practical aspects of the same topic. An exception to this general rule might be found in the last pair where there seems to be a reversal of the roles of the even-numbered and the odd-numbered meditations.