Reflections on Strenna 2023, Pt. V

SYM Corner 02.01.23

By Fr. Lou Molinelli, SDB, Province Delegate of Youth Ministry

As he spoke to the Salesian Family after the canonization of St. Artémides Zatti, Pope Francis reminded us, "...the Salesians are the great educators of the heart, of love, of affection, of social life; great educators of the heart." The gift of the lay charism lived in the Salesian Family leads us to be present among the young as signs and witnesses. We are called to promote the Gospel and its values in the world for the establishment of the Kingdom of God here and now. In this way, we model our patron, St. Francis de Sales. He believed that each person is called by God, no matter their state in life. Each person is to "...flourish in the garden in which they were placed by the Lord, to the point of being fully holy."

St. Francis de Sales gives us a life program for growing in holiness that the Rector Major summarizes for us:

  • Crossing the secular city (living in the world knowing our final destination);
  • Looking after our inner self; Combining the desire for perfection with every state in life; and
  • Finding a center that does not separate itself from the world but teaches us how to live in it, appreciate it, and learn how to take the right distance from it.

The call of each Christian, then, is to work to discern what path the Lord is calling them to walk so God can bring out the best in them. That is why each vocation, each person’s call, is a very holy and valued one. Only when we give ourselves to our vocation and live generously in the world the grace of God can we grow to be truly holy.

Fr. Ángel points to Don Bosco himself as our model. Don Bosco was a priest of the Archdiocese of Turin who founded two religious Congregations and two lay associations. He knew how to involve many people in the work for the young while immersing himself intensely in the world in which he lived. He had to overcome many challenges and difficulties, but his faith and zeal bore much fruit for the Kingdom of God.

Thus, the challenge for us is to be that leaven in the world like Don Bosco. We must live the vocation to which God has called us fully and work for the sanctification of the world. We must give ourselves totally to our Salesian calling to be signs and bearers of God’s love for the young. This call is for all of us—consecrated and lay! The many and varied ways of living in the Salesian Family form the tapestry of life which bring the young to Christ. Let us rejoice in so great a gift!

February 1, 2023 - 8:30am

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