Lasallian Thought for the Day

Lasallian Spirituality: Spirit of Community

The religious and the school communities were at the heart of St. La Salle's work.

Members of his Institute are to be called "Brothers" to indicate close friendship and communion among each other as well as the relationship of older brothers to their pupils. An atmosphere of brotherhood and sisterhood, rooted in mutual respect and freedom, is to be a hallmark of our schools and educational institutions. Teachers and students should really feel this atmosphere and contribute to it.

La Salle knew well the importance of a community spirit and regarded it as "a precious gem," something to be preserved at all costs.

He also knew well what would bring division and disharmony. This included intolerant attitudes, building up hatred, bitterness or resentment, scolding, murmuring, complaining and quarrelling. La Salle also pleaded for a non-judgmental attitude, not seeing big faults in others and being unable to see our own.

Rather, in order to build up a community spirit we are to

"   speak to everyone with kindness
"   speak gently
"   bear with the faults of others
"   develop an engaging, friendly manner
"   be mutually forgiving
"   touch the hearts of our students

Of course La Salle also realised that children need correction and that they should not be allowed to do as they wish. However, correction or punishment should be reasonable and in proportion so that the students will accept it. In this area teachers are to be kind but firm.

St. La Salle had a vision of communities of joy and happiness continuing in the next life, in the presence of our loving Father. He can therefore say that it is "impossible to please God unless we live amicably with others."

Be a community builder.

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