There is a new video that introduces the Meditations for the Time of Retreat. It is the first of a series of planned videos that introduce the major Lasallian texts, so that others may be given a quick overview of their contents, context, and relevance for today’s Lasallian world.
This presence video is a short overview of the 16 meditations that De La Salle wrote for the Brothers during their annual retreat. These meditations provide a concise synthesis of De La Salle’s spirituality – the priorities, themes, approaches, and perspectives that characterize the Lasallian educational context. They are meant to be read and considered in a retreat-like setting and are worth careful reading and ongoing reflection.
St. John Baptist de La Salle’s 16 meditations for the time of retreat are a collection of reflections written for the Brothers on their annual 8-day retreat, so that they might look at their way of life, get a better grasp on its meaning and orientation before God, and reconnect with their spiritual identity in the very roots of their calling. They are 16 of a total of 208 meditations that De La Salle developed and put to paper in his later years,[i] many based on the spiritual talks he had regularly given to those in his community, especially to the novices. The Sunday Gospel or the life of a saint would be the basis for developing a topic on the spirituality, the professional work, or the community life of the Brothers. In the style of the time, each meditation consisted of three parts and ended with very direct questions that applied the content to a person’s own life. Of all the meditations, it is these 16 that especially stand out because of their profound character and content.
[i] De La Salle, John Baptist. Meditations. Translated by Richard Arnandez, FSC, and Augustine Loes, FSC. Edited by Augustin Loes, FSC, and Francis Huether, FSC. Landover: MD. Christian Brothers Conference. 1994. Pg. 413. “They are the work of a mature person speaking of what he has lived thought ‘after long experience’ as expressly stated in the Foreword of the first edition.” (Br. Timothy, 1731)