The Theology and Ministry Program of the School of Humanities invites you to the online oral defense of the M.A. Thesis entitled “’LIVE, JESUS, IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER’: Offering a New Perspective to Teaching the Lasallian Prayer with Karl Rahner’s Concept of Grace” by Br. LUIS ANGELO E. ENRIQUEZ, F.S.C. on 11 October 2023, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. The Board of Examiners is composed of Fr. Salvador Agualada, Jr., C.M.F., S.T.D. (Second Reader/Principal Examiner), Fr. Jose Mario Francisco, S.J., S.T.L., Ph.D., and Fr. Manuel Francisco, S.J., S.T.D. The M.A. Thesis Adviser is Fr. Arnel Aquino, S.J., S.T.D. The defense is being held in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Theological Studies with a field of specialization in Systematic Theology. It is open to the public.
Abstract: “Live, Jesus, in our hearts” is the invocation that the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, founded by Saint John Baptist de La Salle, would say upon rising, to which the rest of the Brothers present would respond “Forever!” Although originally intended to be a simple greeting of the De La Salle Brothers to each other at the beginning of their day, the invocation found its way from the Brothers’ quarters to the school community. Today, this invocation is said by the worldwide Lasallian Community to end their prayers. The invocation underlines and grounds the rest of the Lasallian prayer.
After having taken courses in Theological Anthropology at Loyola School of Theology, with a particular interest in the theology of Grace, it is observed that the three parts of the Lasallian prayer share significant points with Karl Rahner’s assertions on the abiding presence of God, the importance of a Christian’s relationship with Jesus Christ, and the presentation of grace, that is, God’s self-communication.
For far too long, grace has been understood as mainly an antithesis to sin, or a “thing” or “power” or “reward” from God which depends on our merit. This understanding leaves out the reality of grace being God’s indwelling presence. Rahner’s ressourcement on grace as God’s self-communication recovers the reality of grace as God’s indwelling—precisely what “Live, Jesus, in our hearts” proclaims and affirms.
This thesis aims to present similarities between the Lasallian prayer with the three selected assertions of Karl Rahner, with particular interest in how his concept of grace as God’s self communication can enrich the said prayer. In effect, this research aims to recover the Lasallian understanding of grace otherwise clearly affirmed by our Lasallian prayer so that, hopefully, “Live, Jesus, in our hearts forever,” does not remain to be an ending to prayer, but a living prayer that does not end.