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Shine, Listen and Do not fear

Dear friends,

we have lived through a summer full of important events for the Universal Church, such as the World Youth Day in Lisbon, and for our Salesian Family, such as the happy surprising appointment of our Rector Major, Don Angel, as Cardinal by Pope Francis, an appointment that will be made official in the consistory of 30th September.

So many events and at the same time so many gifts that the Lord bestows on His people on their journey, through the Holy Spirit and the mediation of those who place themselves with trust and availability at His service.

In his homily on 6th August at World Youth Day, Pope Francis showed young people how to walk their way in the world and in everyday life through three words: shine, listen and dare.

‘Shine’ because - says the Pope – “today we need a little light, a flash of light that gives us hope to face so many obscurities that assail us in life, so many daily setbacks, to face them with the light of the resurrection of Jesus. For, He is the light that does not fade, He is the light that shines even in darkness”.

‘Listen’ because “all there is to do in life lies in this word: Listen to Jesus. The whole secret lies here...Because He has words of eternal life for us, He reveals that God is Father, He is love. He shows us the path of love.”

‘Don't be afraid’ because “to you, young people, who sometimes think you can’t make it - a bit of pessimism assails you at times; to you, young people, who are tempted at this time to become discouraged, to judge yourselves as perhaps inadequate or to hide your pain by masking it with a smile; to you, young people, who want to change the world - and it is good that you want to change the world - and who want to fight for justice and peace; to you, young people, who put effort and imagination into your lives, but it seems to you that it is not enough; to you, young people, whom the Church and the world need like the earth needs rain; to you, young people, who are the present and the future; yes, to you, young people, Jesus says today: Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid!”

These words addressed to young people are a cue for all of us, and as Salesian Family they also show us how to live the appointment of Rector Major Don Angel as Cardinal. It is an opportunity as sons and daughters of Don Bosco to shine with hope, an event to be lived by listening to the will of the Lord and His word and finally entrusting ourselves without fear, thanking our Rector Major for his availability and obedience.

We have recently lived the memory of Saint Maximilian Kolbe who in his writings reminds us “God is everything: He alone is infinite, most wise, most clement Lord, creator and Father, beginning and end, wisdom, power and love.

Everything that exists outside of God has value in so far as it relates to Him, who is the creator of all things, the redeemer of men, the ultimate end of all creations. He manifests His will to us and draws us to Himself through His representatives on earth, wanting to use us to draw other souls to Himself and unite them in perfect charity. Consider, brother, how great, by God's mercy, is the dignity of our condition. Through the way of obedience, we overcome the limits of our littleness, and conform ourselves to the divine will which guides us to act righteously by its infinite wisdom and prudence. By adhering to this divine will which no creature can resist, we become stronger than all.”

And again, St. Maximilian reminds us how to let Mary help us on our way: “All these things we will obtain more easily through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin whom God, in his goodness, has made dispenser of His mercy. There is no doubt that Mary's will is the same as God's will. By consecrating ourselves to her, we become in her hands instruments of divine mercy, as she was in God's hands. Let us therefore allow ourselves to be guided by her, let us be led by the hand, calm and safe under her guidance. Mary will think of everything for us, she will provide for everything, and by banishing all anxieties and difficulties she will promptly come to the aid of our corporal and spiritual needs.”

So let us pray for Don Angel and his new service in the Church, as we, as Salesian Family, prepare to live this new pastoral year, which will lead us to the 9th International Congress of Mary Help of Christians at Fatima, for which registration will soon open.

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