After School Reflection

The following is a reflection that you can use to unwind your spiritual work for the day as a teacher.  The main points were taken from De La Salle’s Collection of Various Treatises and the sub points were created to fit a Christian Teacher’s spiritual goals.  Feel free to copy, paste and change it to fit your needs.  I would recommend reading De La Salle’s piece to help guide you along the mystical journey that this reflection provides for those who use is consistently.

After School Reflection

Remember that you are in the Holy presence of God.

I. Consider what your state is and why you embraced it, and examine whether in so doing you had in view only the order and the will of God. De La Salle [1])

a. “Why am I in the state that I am?”

II. If you were influenced by a wrong motive, disown it. If your intention was imperfect, rectify it. (De La Salle [2])

a. “What must I do to rectify my state (if applicable) so that I can view God’s will?”

III. Make no distinction at all between the work of your state and the work of your salvation and perfection. You can be sure that you will never achieve your salvation more certainly and acquire greater perfection than by fulfilling well the duties of your state, provided that you do so in view of the will of God. (De La Salle [4])

a. “Both my salvation and that of my students is based on whether I have committed all of my actions for God’s love.”

i. “Have I received His graces to teach perfectly as I can today?”
ii. “Have my students worked perfectly as they can today?”
iii. “Are they aware of this expectation?”

IV. In performing the duties of your state or of your work, are you led by natural impulse and your own inclinations rather than by the Spirit of God? (De La Salle [11])

a. “Did I plan enough for my lessons today?
b. “Were my lessons effective today?”

i. “If so, did I give thanks to God for allowing me to use His teaching secrets successfully in order to help His children grow in knowledge and wisdom?
ii. If not, have I accepted it as God’s will and prayed for His graces to reteach the lesson successfully in the future?”

c. “Do I know where each one of my students is academically and spiritually?”

V. What is the weak point in the performance of your work? Does it consist in being too hastily and overeager or listless and negligent? (De La Salle [12])

VI. Do you ever begin work, move from one action to another, or enter or leave the exercise room or dormitory without saying a prayer? Do you allow considerable time, half an hour or an hour, to pass without saying a prayer, even if only to raise your heart to God? (De La Salle Regarding Divine Office and Vocal Prayers [6])

a. “Did I contemplate God’s blessings and His will before and after each class?”
b. “Did I recognize His face in my students often?”
c. “Did I recognize His work inside of me silently and profoundly?”

VII. Do you act with moderation between too much and too little, even in the presence of virtue? Do you perform your actions without overhaste and undue anxiety? Are you not, for instance, too hasty to finish what you have begun and troubled when commanded to do what you find disagreeable? (De La Salle Regarding the Practices and Activities of the Day: Meals Recreation and Conversations [8])

a. “Am I focused on God, my students, their growth in knowledge and wisdom, and my teaching/planning? Are my priorities in that order”
i. “Am I preoccupied by a personal goal instead of God’s salvific work?”

b. “Will today’s happenings affect my behavior when I go home?”
i. “Do I need to bring school into my house today?”

Listen to God here. Let Him give you your feedback.

Finish by reciting The Lord’s Prayer slowly and with great reverence from beginning to end.

“I will continue doing all of my actions for Your love”

*De La Salle, St. John Baptist Collection of Various Treatises, Reflections on Their State and Their Work that the Brothers Are to Make From Time to Time Especially During Retreat, Lasallian Publication 1993 Reprint 2007

Live Jesus in our hearts forever!

Lost Sheep, Smart Answers and Bad Jokes

I came across a book last year that was filed with knowledge and humor. It is called “Smart Answers and bad jokes, from a priest who proves God has a sense of humor, by Fr. Joe Krupp of the diocese of Lansing, Michigan. The book is a collection of apologetic responses to questions given to Fr. Joe by curious Catholics. They would write in to him and he would respond (with a unique touch of Christian humor, I might add) through his column in FAITH Magazine. This book is a collection of these columns that help explain the misconceptions of the Catholic faith and it is also the inspiration for today’s reflection. Click here to find the purchase details of the publication, I would highly recommend it.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to Himself as “The Good Shepherd” (John 10: 1-21). In making this metaphor, He eludes to the fact that we are His sheep that are more often than not lost. He guides us towards His glorious “pasture,” another metaphor that represents our constant communion with Him and with all of His creation.

In order for us to enter this pasture, however, there is a requirement on our part to be obedient to our Shepherd.

Take the following picture for example.

At first glance, we see Jesus leading His sheep along the pasture. We also notice the lamb that He is carrying on His shoulders. We could infer that this was one of the lost sheep that Jesus found wondering away from the flock (Matthew 18: 10-14). To this we might think “how great is our God to have found us so that we can follow him closer as opposed to being lost and away from Him and His flock.”
Although that might be our first impression, not a bit of it is true to reality. The truth is that the sheep that Jesus carries on His shoulders is wounded with a broken leg.
At this point, I will allow Fr. Joe Krupp to explain why this is so important:

“The lamb’s leg is broken because the shepherd broke it. …[I]f a shepherd has a sheep that will not stay with the group and tends to wonder around, he’ll break its leg and carry it around until the leg heals. This is for two reasons. First, because “a sheep that wanders is a sheep that is dead…” Second, once the lamb’s leg heals, it will not leave the shepherd’s side- ever.” (p.108)

Really makes our interpretation of this picture much different, doesn’t it?

So, how is your obedience to the Good Shepherd?
Live Jesus in our hearts forever!