Miguel Campos, FSC, STD
One of the greatest obstacles to reflecting on the meaning of discernment in the Lasallian family resides in the way in which many have ordinarily been introduced to the topic. Many Brothers and lay people have been initiated into the life of the Church and a style of spirituality that has placed “a strong emphasis” on the practice of the virtues, and negatively, on a struggle against all that is contrary to that practice. Introduction to discernment typically also emphasizes the quest for Christian perfection, often sustained by a theology of the religious life that places the accent on perfection as an ideal. For Lasallians, convictions about the ascetical spirituality put all the stress on the practice of virtues, especially at the end of the eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth. Thus, for example, the beatification and canonization of the Founder lent themselves to the publication in 1900 of a book called Spiritual Doctrine which attributed to him every virtue, from A (abandonment) to Z (zeal), backed up by examples from the life of the Founder and corroborated by his writings. This work attempts to recognize what is of worth in the traditionally accepted emphases, offers a critique of their limitations, and proposes new accents which will permit new understanding and a more authentic and Gospel-based praxis.
De La Salle; Lasallian; Lasallian spirituality
About the Author
Rabenalisoa Ravalitera, Jean
Jean Rabenalisoa Ravalitera, who is a lecturer-researcher at the University of Antananarivo, is a full member of the Malagasy Academy. He received his doctor of humane letters degree from Université d’Antananarivo in Madagascar.
Brother Hilaire Raharilalao, who is the vice-postulator of the cause of Brother Raphaël-Louis Rafiringa, is a full member of the Malagasy Academy. He received his doctor of biblical theology degree from Université de l’Afrique de l’Ouest in the Ivory Coast.