My dear John, you have put on the priestly habit. I feel all the happiness that any mother could feel in her son's good fortune. Do remember this, however: it's not the habit that honours your state, but the practice of virtue. If you should ever begin to doubt your vocation, then - for heaven's sake! - do not dishounour this habit. Put it aside immediately. I would much rather have a poor farmer for a son, than a priest who neglects his duties.I wish every one of us re-reads these powerful words or hear these words every now and then. There was a time when young men feared joining the Salesian way life for fear of not being to live up to the religious fervour. Today I have a feeling some join, precisely because they do not fear anything: they join because they really do not want to live to that spirit. Just do something and float along! That poor farm lady knew very well what it meant to be a Priest; no wonder Don Bosco had no doubts as to what he wanted from his Salesians - as he demanded of himself!
Friday, 15 January 2010
Living up to the demands of our vocation
For our Spiritual Reading this evening we read that section of the autobiography of Don Bosco (Memoirs of the Oratory of St Francis de Sales), wherein he speaks about the conversation he had with his mother prior to his departure to join the seminary: