I heard many a sermon conclude that the rich young man mentioned in the gospels, lived a very sad life. I have my own doubts. Somehow I have a feeling that he lived a happy life, may not be a very fulfilled one but surely not a sad one. The reason is simple: he asks the Lord for what more he could do, besides the charity he was already doing. This very request implies that he had the good will and the guts to reach out to others. But the fact that Jesus recognized in him the capacity to do more, and therefore the challenge to take a step further, does not discount the truth that he continued the good deeds he was already used to. This is a perfect example of the proverb: Good is the enemy of the best!
In a way I am glad that the Ratio clearly states that young men willing to join the Salesian Congregation ought to be more than just good. They need to show an abundance of positive characteristics in order to be promoted as novices and professed Salesians. Now that’s a very bright signpost we cannot afford to ignore, lest we end up living and sharing a challenging mission with mediocre confreres. I always tell the aspirants and younger Salesians, that being good is not enough. To be worthy sons of Don Bosco means to be the best of who and what I can be… nothing but the best!