DON BOSCO DAY BY DAY
THE HARVEST IS GREAT (4)
There is one more thing I have to tell you, and it is the most important of all. Although I urge you to be steadfast in your vocation or to enter the Salesian congregation, I will not have anyone who does not have a vocation try to join. Realizing the great good we can accomplish, I tell you how abundant the harvest is and how pressing is the need of workers in order that those who hear an inner voice saying, “In the Salesian congregation you will more easily assure your own salvation and that of many others,” may know what the situation is, and may be encouraged to enter. However, I want all others to follow their own calling.
What I strongly desire and insist upon is that in all plans and callings you may be a “lamp set aflame and burning bright” as the Gospel says Un 5:3 1). I hold nothing against a young man who wishes to enter a seminary and become a diocesan priest. What I aim at, what I insist upon and will keep insisting upon to my last breath, is that seminarians be holy seminarians and priests be holy priests. He who wishes to share in the Lord’s heritage by choosing the clerical state must not concern himself with worldly matters but should think only of saving souls. This is what I ask: that all of you, priests especially, be a light to illumine all about you, not a darkness to deceive them. But this light is to shine not just in words but in deeds. Let each of us strive to adorn the heart with that charity which would make him sacrifice his own life to save souls and be indifferent to material gain when it is a matter of doing good.
Be not slaves to gluttony and intemperance which lead many people and regretfully, even priests to ruin. If you want to work in the Lord’s vineyard in any position, you must acquire self-control, especially in drinking. A genuine evangelical laborer, wherever he is, willingly takes part in services of worship, promoting them, and enhancing their solemnity. If it is a novena, he shows his joy, performs special decorations and invites others to do likewise. (BM XII, 462-463)
1. May you be a lamp set aflame and burning bright.
2. Shine not just in words but in deeds.
3. I must adorn my heart with charity.