Category Archives: Don Bosco

The word ‘Salesian’ is synonymous with commitment

It is with lots of enthusiasm that I read this statement, “The word ‘Salesian’ is synonymous with commitment,” of Jorge Arevalo, Deputy Director for Education of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. Looking at the great Salesian work all over the world anyone could easily agree with it. However my take on this is ……. and it did raise few questions in my mind.

Thinking of a glorious past, are we living in a utopian world?

(It is very true that we need to acknowledge the glorious past and thank the Lord for the same but we just should not be stuck with the past alone, rather we need to be in the present facing the challenges of the time.)

Not that we Salesians do not work today, but we still need to work, for and with youth

The Snake and the Rosary: Dream of St. John Bosco

rosary02I want to tell you a dream I had some nights ago, most probably on the eve of the Assumption. I dreamed that I was at my brother’s home at Castelnuovo d’ Asti with all my boys. While they were at play, a total stranger came up to me and asked me to go with him. He took me to a meadow alongside the playground and pointed to a huge, ugly snake, over twenty feet long, coiled in the grass. Continue reading The Snake and the Rosary: Dream of St. John Bosco

The Dream of Ten Diamonds: A Vision to the Future

Don Rinaldi calls the august personage in the dream of Don Bosco on 10, September 1881 at San Benigno Canavese as “the Model of the True Salesian”. The dream which is popularly known the dream of ten diamonds can easily be understood in three parts.

In Scene I the august personage portrays the ideal Salesian. The front of his mantle is adorned with five diamonds, three on the breast representing Faith, Hope and Charity, and two at shoulder level for Work and Temperance. On the back of the garment are another five diamonds: they stand for Obedience, Poverty, Reward, Chastity and Fasting.

In Scene II the august personage depicts the model completely debased. The mantle “is faded, moth-eaten and torn. Where the diamonds, had been, the cloth was in tatters and eaten away by grubs”. This depressing scene portrays “the ruin, the antithesis of the true Salesian”.

In Scene III there is a handsome young man of imposing and charming mien, dressed in white garments delicately worked in gold and silver thread. His message to the Salesians is to “listen, take heed and be strong and courageous; to bear witness in their words and lives, to be prudent in accepting and training the new generation, and to see to the healthy growth of the Congregation”.

Significances of the Dream:

  • The dream presents a deft, personalized and dramatic exposition of Salesian spirituality.
  • The special characteristics presented in the dream must be seen as an authoritative identikit of a true Salesian,
  • Don Bosco tells us that as long as we cherish these characteristics the future of our vocation in the Church is assured; however, if we neglect them the Congregation will face total extinction.
  • It is a dream offered to every Salesian because he is a Salesian and there is no reference to the young.

 

Prayer

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“Prayer means lifting up our hearts to God and engaging with him through holy thoughts and devout sentiments. Therefore every thought about God and every glance towards him is prayer when joined with pious sentiments. Whoever thinks of theLord and his infinite perfection and feels a sense of joy, veneration, love, admiration is praying. Whoever considers the great benefits from his Creator, Father and the One who has preserved him, and feels a sense of gratitude, is praying. whoever, amidst danger of his innocence and virtue, is aware of his own weakness and asks God to help him, is praying, and finally whoever is contrite of heart and turns to God, remembering that he has insulted his Father, offended his Judge and lost his greatest good, and then begs pardon and promises to amend his behaviour is praying.”

St. John Bosco

St. John Bosco, Teachings on Spiritual Life: An Anthology (Bengaluru: KJC Publications, 2013), 116.