Holiness – a Gift Available For All
Don Bosco’s understanding of holiness was influenced by his devotion to St. Francis de Sales, defined as: ‘a gift from God which is available to all, no matter what their circumstances or age’.
In the Salesian tradition, people offer themselves over to Jesus in faith, hope and love. This involves daily choices, striving for a life that is lived with love, serenity and patience, together with an acceptance of the trials and joys of each day.
Holiness is accepted as the celebration of the human condition as loved by God, and a belief in the goodness of each person.
Christian Charity at Heart
Salesians believe that the Christian faith is not something to be lived alone – recognising that all Christians are people who share a common cause of Jesus – and who come together to form Church.
Don Bosco summed up the purpose of Salesian work as:
to help and do good to our neighbours, especially educating young people, bringing them up during their most dangerous years, instructing them in sciences and arts and guiding them in the practice of Religion and virtue.Pope Francis, World Youth Day, Panama, 2019
Meeting Jesus in Shared Sacraments
The Salesian tradition says that celebrating the sacraments lets us recognise the debt we owe to our loving creator, God – as our salvation, and our promise of eternal happiness and fulfilment. It is through the sacraments that we experience God’s voice and His life-giving grace.
The word meditation itself has the same Greek root as medicine which points to our ability to attend to or to take care of. It follows that meditation is the effort we make to attend to something, to allow something to become our focus. However, when we speak of meditation within the Christian tradition we are not speaking about attending to something but attending to someone. We are inviting the Holy Spirit to help us to be present to Jesus who leads us to the Father. In this way, we allow ourselves to be loved by God and transformed by the experience. Even when we feel nothing is happening, God is always gazing at us, loving us and seeking to unite with us. God’s self-communication is the essence of Christian mediation. We are simply being invited to respond by giving God permission to love us. Let it be done to me: fiat.
Inviting God In Prayer
Salesian prayer is simple, open to all, and speaks to life itself. It expresses a sense of celebration and seeks to involve the young in the joy of meeting Jesus through experiencing his Spirit. It encourages us to invite God into our moments of silence, and into our everyday situations.