John Baptiste de la Salle could beat up Ignatius of Loyola, if heaven weren't a sea of profound peace and happiness in Christ. I know he could.
See, my man John Baptiste de la Salle--saint, patron of educators, and Founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools--had his Feast celebrated this Monday. And yet the sound of crickets echoing throughout the Catholic blogosphere indicate that...
a. There are no Lasallian bloggers, as they are no doubt too busy helping the poor and marginalized achieve their educational goals.
b. People are afroth with the Pope's impending visit to the USA.
c. People are still blissed-out by Easter Vigil.
d. Those Jesuits clearly rule the blogosphere with the iron fist of death.
Hmmm. Regardless, the lack of attention is spiritually good for us Lasallian educators. But I have to go with answer D. I like the Jesuits. All I'm asking for in this op-ed is a little respect for John Baptiste and his continuing work. We may not have basketball teams, the Spiritual Exercises, huge mega-universities, or whopping magazines like America. But we've got apostolic zeal, baby. We're the prophets against a culture of death, because we are called as teachers to be signs of the God of life to those who are told--in direct and indirect ways--that their lives are less than relative squat. This world needs all this counter-cultural life-honoring zeal that we can get.
So: if you can read this, thank your teachers. If your teachers taught in classrooms that were graded, took all comers, spoke your native language, and treated you as a human being with dignity and a future, thank St. John Baptiste de la Salle. The statue pictured at right shows St. John Baptiste bending down to offer a reading to you. When you walk up and read the book, you will see it inscribed with Lasallian prayer: "Let us remember we are in the Holy Presence of God." Whether the teacher is in ancient Galilee, a makeshift classroom in Enlightenment-era France, or (gulp) in Minnesota: we teach and learn in God's presence.
St. John Baptiste de la Salle, pray for us. Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!
(Nice tribute and picture by Lawrence, OP on Flickr here.)
p.s. and Lasallian bloggers, come out! Adoro, that means you!