Blog Post - April 7th
S. John Baptist de la Salle| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. John Baptist de la Salle
Complete dedication to what he saw as God's will for him dominated the life of John Baptist de la Salle. In 1950, Pope Pius XII named him patron of schoolteachers for his efforts in upgrading school instruction. As a young 17th-century Frenchman, John had everything going for him: scholarly bent, good looks, noble family background, money, refined upbringing. At the early age of 11, he received the tonsure and started preparation for the priesthood, to which he was ordained at 27. He seemed assured then of a life of dignified ease and a high position in the Church.
But God had other plans for John, which were gradually revealed to him in the next several years. During a chance meeting with M. Nyel of Raven, he became interested in the creation of schools for poor boys in Raven, where he was stationed. Though the work was extremely distasteful to him at first, he became more involved in working with the deprived youths.
Once convinced that this was his divinely appointed mission, John threw himself wholeheartedly into the work, left home and family, abandoned his position as canon at Rheims, gave away his fortune and reduced himself to the level of the poor to whom he devoted his entire life.
The remainder of his life was closely entwined with the community of religious men he founded, the Brothers of the Christian School (Christian Brothers, or De La Salle Brothers). This community grew rapidly and was successful in educating boys of poor families, using methods designed by John. It prepare teachers in the first training college for teachers and also set up homes and schools for young delinquents of wealthy families. The motivating element in all these endeavors was the desire to become a good Christian.
Yet even in his success, John did not escape experiencing many trials: heartrending disappointment and defections among his disciples, bitter opposition from the secular schoolmasters who resented his new and fruitful methods, and persistent opposition from the Jansenists of his time, whose moral rigidity and pessimism abut the human condition John resisted vehemently all his life.
Afflicted with asthma and rheumatism in his last years, he died on Good Friday at 68 and was canonized in 1900.
Complete dedication to one's calling by God, whatever it may be, is a rare quality. Jesus asks us to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30b, emphasis added). Paul gives similar advice: "Whatever you do, do from the heart..." (Colossians 3:23).
"What is nobler than to mold the character of the young? I consider that he who knows how to form the youthful mind is truly greater than all painters, sculptors and all others of that sort" (St. John Chrysostom).
Patron Saint of:
We fall into sin when we are ignorant of the motives beneath the desires. Consider this way of understanding personal sin: We sin, not because we are in touch with our desires but precisely because we are NOT in touch with them!
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
I will be certain of your constant progress in the path of holiness to which God, by His Goodness alone, has called you... if you... take care never to quarrel with anyone, never contend with anyone whomsoever. If you act otherwise, it means good-bye to peace and charity.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
This first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction to this book, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.
In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.
The reflections in this first chapter, based on the first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.
Reflection 97: The “Excuse” of Our Weakness
If you were asked to build a rocket ship from scratch, you may object stating that you are not competent in this area and, therefore, cannot do what you are being asked to do. We often have the same response to God regarding His Will. We can easily feel as though we are being asked too much by our Lord, but this is foolish thinking since our Lord would never ask us to do that which He will not also provide the grace to accomplish (See Diary #435).
What is it that you feel unqualified to do? Perhaps it’s a matter within your family, or an activity you are called to assist with at church. Or perhaps our Lord has placed something on your heart that you avoid considering out of feelings of inadequacy. But if we trust Jesus, we must trust that we will be able to fulfill His perfect Will in our lives. We must trust that He would never call us to something beyond what we can accomplish through His grace.
Lord, I say “Yes” to you again this day. I, once again, renew my commitment to fulfill Your holy Will. May I never let worry or a lack of confidence keep me from fulfilling the holy mission You have given to me. Jesus, I trust in You.