TO SALESIANS, YOUNG PEOPLE, PARENTS, EDUCATORS, ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF DON BOSCO’S BIRTHDAY
Colle Don Bosco, 16 August 2003
My dear Conferes, Young people, Parents, Educators
I am writing to you from the ‘Hill of Beatitudes’, the place of the young John Bosco’s dream, on the occasion of the anniversary of his birth. 188 years have passed since that day on which God chose to give the Church and the world that marvellous gift of a man who consecrated his whole life to the young through education, so as to make ‘honest citizens and good Christians’ of them, and to teach them to be always happy. From that time on, thousands upon thousands of people have found in Don Bosco a father, friend and model, and have drawn upon his charism, his mission and his spirituality, inspiration, vision, motivation and energy, in order to bring ‘God’s dream’ into reality.
I am happy to be able to address myself to you, as the successor of Don Bosco, to announce to you what he himself would have announced today: ‘God’s dream’ is our sanctification!
Communities of consecrated persons, young people, parents, educators, all of us are called to form a family that is a ‘home and school of communion’, where we can develop those values that help us to mature as pesons, to bring to fruition the potential in every man and woman to the point where we live – as Don Bosco used put it – as ‘honest citizens and good Christians’.
For parents, the pressing appeal is that of turning your gaze upon Mamma Margaret, that simple, wise woman who knew how to offer trust to her sons, communicating to them those human values that are the foundation of any spiritual growth, such as being in touch with reality, work, responsibility, honesty, solidarity, respect for the other, and above all a sense of God, of His presence and His goodness; the source, centre and summit of life.
Today there is no doubt how important the role was that Mamma Margaret played in young John’s life: for his essential self-esteem, his education, for his religious sense, his openness to the needs of others, for that pedagogical genius which characterized the entire life of our beloved father Don Bosco
At a time when families are going through a difficult crisis as a result of an ever more secularised and individualist view of things privileging one’s own good, one’s own interests, one’s own self-realization, the = Becchi Home is a school where we can learn the difficult but indispensible art of education of our children; a school which, like the home at Nazareth, provides growth in age, wisdom and grace in the sight of God and human beings (cf. Lk 2,40.52). This is the message of Becchi for you, dear parents.
For young people, Colle Don Bosco – leftly called by John Paul II during the beatification of Laura Vicuña, the ‘Hill of Youthful Beatitudes’ – reminds us that God wants good things for you, indeed He wants you to be happy now and in eternity. And since He wants you to be happy, He offers you in the Gospel a programme of life from which you can draw your identity, your meaning of life, your mission in the world, your vocation. In fact. The Beatitudes are a programme of happiness, hence the word that is so often repeated: “Happy are you...”
A happiness that consists in putting God at the centre of your life, as an absolute value from which all other values take thier meaning and in which they find their left order. A happiness that certainly doesn’t coincide with what the world thinks, but which is seen to be authentic and long-lasting from the moment that Jesus gained victory on the Cross over sin and death, and was risen for evermore. A happiness like that of Blessed Laura Vicuña, like Zeferino Namancur