Combining the best of modern Lasallian scholarship with the genius and insights of De La Salle into what he called “the first and principal exercise of the Brothers,” this book is for everyone, religious or lay, intending to develop a systematic prayer life while serving in the ministry of Christian education.
An entirely new translation of all the known correspondence of De La Salle. Some 150 letters, including 40 never before available in English addressed to Brothers, members of his family, religious of other communities, and lay persons illuminate the character of the man who has been praised as an innovative educator, an eminent spiritual writer, and a saint.
This volume contains all of De La Salle’s meditations. Written at various times in his life, these concise meditations were intended to serve as points for the Brothers to consider in their daily interior prayer. Though reflecting the ideals and practices of the French School of spirituality, they offer interesting insights into the beliefs and values of the Founder and serve as an inspiring guidepost to anyone in the ministry of education.
More than anywhere else, it is in this volume that the educational genius and pragmatism of De La Salle and the first Brothers shine forth. The book has served for three centuries as the basis for administering the Brothers’ schools, and it is universally held to be a milestone in the field of primary education.
The first edition of this book was published anonymously in 1703 as a reading textbook. Considering the nature and background of the urchins with whom it was intended to be used, we can only admire the idealism and objectives of the first Brothers. Some of the rules will amuse, and some will surprise, but De La Salle’s premise for Christian decorum and civility is simple: we are all children of God, worthy of the respect we give and receive.