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At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.

Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. Yes, please put up with me! I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. Because I do not love you? God knows I do! Their end will be what their actions deserve.

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But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. So am I. Are they Israelites? I am out of my mind to talk like this. I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.

Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

1. Growth in Discernment

Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Forgive me this wrong! After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

Follow in His Footsteps

If I love you more, will you love me less? Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery! Titus did not exploit you, did he? Did we not walk in the same footsteps by the same Spirit? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

Choosing Him

He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you —unless, of course, you fail the test?

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Learn more. Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. You can cancel anytime during the trial period. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below. To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings. Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. He was certainly no wallflower. The small community was by now operating a good number of successful parish-based schools for the poor in and around Reims.

De La Salle realized that in order to survive, the community had to govern itself from within, rather than from the outside, whether such outside influence came from a bishop, a parish priest, or even himself. De La Salle was the first to show strict obedience to him. Once it became known outside of the house that a priest had become subject to a layman, however, there was considerable upset in church circles.

The idea of a cleric obeying a layman as his superior was scandalous, and the archbishop quickly ordered De La Salle to resume the headship of the group. However, within a short time — and much to the surprise and sadness of all — Brother Henri became ill and died. De La Salle was quite shaken by the event. This would be a non-clerical religious group of men, dedicated entirely and wholly to education and the schools.

Establishing the first of his schools in Paris was a major triumph in the Institute. In , he and two Brothers traveled to Paris, where in short order they revitalized a school for the poor in the parish of Saint Sulpice. The pastor, M. This man of great qualities had very strained relations with De La Salle, whom he first supported and then opposed. He had a strong tendency to meddle in the internal affairs of the Institute.

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As the work in Paris proceeded — first at one school and then at several more — a new challenge appeared. Schools for the poor such as the Brothers ran were meant to be restricted to the certified poor. Anyone who could pay a fee for education was supposed to go to the Little Schools or to the Writing Masters and their for-profit establishments. This hostility — in suits, harassment, and even violence — would continue in Paris for at least the next 15 years. Back in Reims, meanwhile, other difficulties appeared. The 16 Brothers there were cut in half because of defections. Others continued to oppose the work or tried to control it according to their own vision.

Some devoted Brothers fell ill and died through overwork, and De La Salle himself underwent a long sickness that brought him near death. The prognosis for the new community and its work seemed suddenly bleak. In response to this crisis, De La Salle purchased property outside of Paris, at a place called Vaugirard, and brought all the Brothers there for an extended retreat wherein he rekindled their fervor.

In , the first assembly to be known as a General Chapter was held. At the end of the assembly, for the first time ever, perpetual vows of obedience, stability, and association for the educational service of the poor were taken by De La Salle and 12 chosen Brothers. Again De La Salle, despite his wish for a Brother to have the office, was elected Superior twice, as he made them vote again.

De La Salle and the Brothers began to fortify their Society, strengthening and expanding the already flourishing schools and communities, and providing for the young candidates asking to join. Between and , many new schools opened, others closed, and different legal battles with opponents to this new means of providing education for the poor raged on.