Saint John Baptiste de la Salle: Zeal for the Salvation of Souls to Effect God’s Glory

The collect for today’s feast of Saint John Baptiste de la Salle is a beautiful one:

Deus, qui, ad christiánam páuperum eruditiónem et ad iuvéntam in via veritátis firmándam, sanctum Ioánnem Baptístam Confessórem excitásti, et novam per eum in Ecclésia famíliam collegísti: concéde propítius; ut eius intercessióne et exémplo, stúdio glóriæ tuæ in animárum salúte fervéntes, eius in cœlis corónæ partícipes fíeri valeámus.

Here is a translation: 

O God, Who raised up the holy Confessor John Baptist for the Christian education of the poor and to strengthen youth in the way of truth, and through him formed a new family in the Church, graciously grant by his intercession and example that we, striving to save souls out of zeal for Your glory, may be found worthy to share his heavenly crown.

What especially caught my eye while praying the divine office this morning is that, in this collect, we ask that through Saint John’s intercession and example we may strive to effect God’s glory by means of saving souls. Too often we speak of “God’s glory and the salvation of souls” as if they were separate realities, but zeal for God’s glory and zeal for the salvation of souls are clearly conjoined in the mind of the Church. While they are distinct realities, and while there is a hierarchy to them, that the primary goal (God’s glory) is effected by means of the secondary goal (the salvation of souls) is what keeps them duly ordered and not remotely in opposition to one another. 

That which effects God’s glory is good for the salvation of souls. That which is good for the salvation of souls effects God’s glory. Let us never put asunder what God has joined together. To Him be the glory!