“ Don Bosco is one of
the most complete and absolute men the world has ever known,” Said Joergensen.
“St.John Bosco! His
name is the embodiment of grace and apostolate!
From a little hamlet in Piedmont, he has
carried into the farthest corners of the world the conquests of Christ’s
love”. Said John XXIII. It is with a note of happiness and contentment
that we begin our search for the most vibrant of all saints, St. John
Bosco. It is all the more surprising that
some of these words of appreciation come not from ordinary souls, but from great men
and saints in history. It is also good to note the place each of them has given
to St. John Bosco as we await the casket containing the relics of St. John
Bosco in our provinces.
As we constantly reflect these years on returning to Don
Bosco, it is good to reminisce the real moments of Divine intervention. God has
intervened in history through so many
prophets and saints in such a way that
they brought newer solutions to our human and spiritual problems. The Church has always accepted fresh thinking in view of giving a new lease
of life for the faithful people who keep searching for meaning. “It serves the best interests of the Church
for institutes to have their own special characters and aims.
Therefore the spirit and aim of each founder should be faithfully
accepted and retained, along with the sound traditions of each institute –
for all these together constitute the rich patrimony of an institute”. (PC 2B)
“ From the very infancy of the Church there have existed men
and women who strove to follow Christ with greater liberty, and to imitate him
more closely, by the practice of the evangelical counsels. Each in his own way, they have led lives
dedicated to God. Under the inspiration
of the Holy spirit, many of them pursued solitary lives, or founded religious
families. The Church has by virtue of
her authority, gladly accepted and
approved these forms of religious life.
Thus, in keeping with the divine plan, a wonderful variety of religious communities came into
existence. This variety has contributed
very much towards making the church equipped for every good work , prepared for
the work of the ministry of building up of the Body of Christ. Above all, adorned by the various gifts of her children, she has
become radiant like a bride made beautiful for her spouse, and thus manifest
through her, the manifold wisdom of God”.
As we will be receiving the relic of Don Bosco we must once
again renew our faith in the mission of Don Bosco, moved not by sentimentality,
but by the deep conviction that it was the Holy Spirit who inspired him to
rekindle in the Church a new concern for the world of the youth, specially of
the poor and the abandoned. An awareness
of our belonging to the Salesian family that came as a result of a great intervention
from God, should fill us with joy. We
share in Don Bosco’s Charism and walk along the new path he has opened in the
Church for us.
Don Bosco had received an extraordinary charism: only when
we understand the importance of this statement can we also understand the
commitment of the first generation of Salesians in their work. They saw it as expressly willed by God. Their efforts towards sanctity, their
tireless zeal and their spirit of sacrifice sprang from their conviction that God had called them to work
with Him for the salvation of souls, especially the souls of the young. “We must take care of youth in a special way, and
particularly poor and abandoned youth” (XVII,49) – there was a short of divine
urgency in this commitment.
And what about out own reactions when we consider this
divine intervention, this marvel of God’s love for the young?
“Don Bosco is typical of a great founder: he is both an
idealist and a realist; he dares everything, but is prudent; he seeks nothing
for himself; he is not an agitator and still less a fabricator of a jumble of
enterprises; he is the builder of solid realities”. Said Daniel Rops, speaking
about Don Bosco’s real Character.
Can we understand the intervention God in our lives. Can we understand what his promptings
are for our life today? How does he want us respond to the needs of the young today? Where do you think is the real problem in fulfilling the dream of Don Bosco for the youth today.
There are so many things that may prove God’s
intervention in our lives: renewing oneself, starting a new
organization, giving a new orientation etc. In all this, ‘ are we creating a
new meaning for others to come close to
God?,’ is the underlying principle.