After I finished the Lasallian Philosophy of Education, I have learned the life and time of St. John Baptist De La Salle, his major works and writings, what the responding of the 21 st century La Salle schools is, and the guiding principles of the Philippines Lasallian Family. De La Salle is a great person because he contributed his whole life to education, and he is the first one who opened the school to all. The most important thing for us is his experiences of faith because he believes that God provides everything for him.
Through the lasallian guiding principles and the writings of St. De La Salle, I want to share about three values which are fundamental to Lasallian: the spirit of faith, zeal for service, and communion in mission. The Spirit of Faith When we say the spirit of faith, the meaning is a relationship of communion with God who wills to save all people by bring them into a lifegiving communion with his and with one another in the Lasallian tradition (the website of De La Salle University).
According to the website of De La Salle University, the spirit of faith is a spirit that allows us to: (a) Discovering God’s active presence in his Word, in men and women, in the poor, in nature, in history, and in ourselves. Meaning to say, the presence of God is in everywhere. As educator, we need to find God by reading his words, serving the students and in different people, especially in the poor. Saint Lasalle is the one who used to discover the presence of God. Therefore, He loves to pray and serve the people around him because he believes that the almighty God present in everyone.
Through his life we can see De La Salle serves the people as serving the lord. As Jesus said, “whenever you did this to these little ones who are my brothers and sisters, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). (b) Judging and evaluating things in the light of the gospel. Jesus is the best teacher. He gave us the guidance in the gospel. As educator, the follower of Jesus, we should assess all the things by bible because Jesus told us how to become a teacher in the bible. (c) Searching for God’s will in order to carry out his saving plan. We are created by God.
We have a purpose which is to do the will of God. Jesus is our modal. Whenever he did, he used to say he would follow the will of God. For example, when he faced the impending death, he still followed the will of God. Such as Jesus said, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup away from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want” (Mt 26: 39). Our teacher, Jesus, did for us, so we have to follow him to do. (d) Unite one’s actions to the ongoing saving action of God in the world. Because of God, we are one family and living on the one world, and we have one dream that is we are going to God.
Therefore, we should call and gather everyone to imitate his way of doing things and continue his salvation. (e) Trust in God. Without God we could not do anything. As Saint De La Salle said, “that God in his providence has established the Christian Schools”. Meaning to say, God will be here whatever you do because Jesus said, “…your Father knows that you need them all. Set your heart first on the kingdom and justice of God and all these things will also be given to you”(Mt 6: 32-33). For teachers, we teach our students how to trust in God and tell them the truth, the way, and life.
Because of God, we can live in this world; we can have our life in today’s society. As we know, when Lasalle faced many challenges and difficulties, he believed that God would provide all for him. We are the educators, there are many challenges that we have to face in the future, but do not be afraid because God be with us. So, trusting in God is the only way to overcome the difficulties. Zeal Zeal is the expression of faith in service to human need. It is expressed through enthusiastic, creativity, fortitude, compassion, generosity, and commitment for a grater service.
It is oriented towards the integral salvation of persons, particularly the poor and the excluded. Meaning to say, the Lasallian teacher is dedicated and committed whether it be in class preparation, correcting work, encouraging effort, supervising or coaching. For teachers, we should cultivate with our students through the zeal and try to see our students with the eyes of God. Such as Ms. Kalaw, the officer in charge in Language Center of University of Santo Thomas, said, teachers should love for teaching.
I think that if teachers love teaching, they will have zeal with their students and others. It is very important to have full of passion to your subject and the students. As we know, in the 21 st century teachers have to face many different issues in side of class. Therefore, we need to have zeal this virtue to teach in our teaching life. The zeal that ought to inspire you is meant to give you these dispositions, recognizing that it is God who has called you, who has destined you for teaching, and who has sent you to work in his vineyard, teaching profession.
We should believe that teaching is a great gift of God, this grace he has given us to be entrusted with the instruction of children, to announce the Gospel to them and to bring them up in the spirit of religion. Communion in Mission Communion is a relationship with God, a way of accomplishing mission, a way of relating to others, and a goal of mission. I think first, teachers should have a good relationship with God. This is the most important for being an effective teacher because God has called us to be a teacher. This is a great gift. Without God’s calling how can we teach in the particular school?
Because of God, we can have ability to be a teacher. Second, teachers should have a good relationship with others. There is a say, a good relationship is the basis of success. Especially, we must have good relationship with the students and the faculties around you so that we can have good teaching environment. Third, the good relationship with God and others can help us to accomplish mission and achieve the goal of mission that is communion. Conclusion Through the life and times of Saint De Lasalle, and his works and writings, we can see that the spirit of faith, zeal, and communion is continuously evolving of his life.
The 21 st century La Salle Schools follow his steps and thought to respond the call of times to continue his heritages in today’s society. God blesses those who are doing His will. Saint John Baptist De La Salle is a model for us, he contributed his whole life to God and education. And now we are on the way to accomplish the will of God. The spirit of faith, zeal, and communion that Saint Lasalle gave are important for teachers. Let us try our best to prepare ourselves to responds the calling of God and to do the will of God.