The word 'spirituality' itself was coined in French only in the course of the early 17th century to distinguish some of the very divergent paths followed by devout Christian men and women as they lived out the Gospel. When expressions such as 'Jesuit spirituality', 'Carmelite spirituality' or 'Franciscan spirituality' are employed, the adjective gives a certain individuality to the noun 'spirituality', yet there seems to be nevertheless a broadly common understanding of the word 'spirituality' itself.
What, then, does the adjective 'Lasallian' add to the common understanding of the word 'spirituality'? This article written by Br. Gerard Rummery suggests that it brings a particular 'flavour' or indeed emphasis, because it is inseparably linked to the life-story of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and the world-wide educational movement of which he founded. He notes that if the original enterprise of some three hundred years ago attracted persons who were primarily teachers in a formal sense, the living heritage today is shared by a wide range of people, principally teachers but including also social workers, front-office people, all those who can be included within the broad category of Lasallian educators.
In this article, he speaks of Lasallian spirituality in terms of:
1. The spirit of community.
2. The spirit of faith
3. The spirit of zeal
4. A 'practical' spirituality
5. Some sustaining metaphors of Lasallian spirituality
6. Towards a conclusion
As much as possible throughout the text, we have included links to the writings of John Baptist de La Salle that Br. Gerard quotes. We hope this investigation into Lasallian spirituality helps you to broaden your knowledge of what we believe is an essential part of our lives as Brothers: our Lasallian spirituality.
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view Br. Gerard's article. If you do not have a copy, you can download a free copy from Adobe.