Posted by Br George Van Grieken
on 19 June 2019
I do not like to make the first move in any endeavor. I leave it to Divine Providence to make the first move and then I am satisfied. When it is clear that I am acting only under the direction of Providence, I have nothing to reproach myself with. When I make the first move, it is only I myself who am active, so I don't expect to see much good result; neither does God usually give the action his special blessing. - St. John Baptist de La Salle 1
De La Salle's life sparkled with a radical adherence to Divine Providence the conviction that God speaks to us through people, circumstances, events, and requests that arise in the course of our daily affairs; not fate, luck, happenstance, or coincidence, but God's invitations to move in a certain direction, do a certain thing, respond in a certain way. It's like the gaze of a young child towards its parent, acutely conscious of the many ways concern, direction, interest, and care are communicated non-verbally. It is the language of loving attention, of contemplation.
Yet there is another piece that might be easily overlooked; i.e., he knew that you actually have to do something in order to learn something; you actually have to act in order to move forward. One of the striking things about De La Salle is that he acted, he responded. He did not just think "Oh, boy. I better do something about this sometime." Instead, he listened carefully, prayed deeply, thought fervently, consulted widely, concluded courageously, and acted confidently.