DON BOSCO DAY BY DAY
DO NOT TURN BACK
Naturally, we must be on guard lest we lose our vocation, by turning back from the path already taken. “Can a vocation be lost?” you will ask. It certainly can. A vocation is the precious pearl mentioned in the Gospel. A man goes in search of it, finds it, and in order to have it he sells all he possesses. If one owns a pearl or a diamond, he guards it jealously. If instead, he should foolishly throw it into the sea or trample it underfoot or, unmindful of its minute size, drop it in the sand of loose soil or even throw it into a deep puddle to be lost in the mud, this brilliant, costly gem would be gone. No one would sympathize with a man who foolishly lost his treasure. We must, therefore, hold our vocation dear. The fathers of the Church refer to it as the pearl hidden in the religious life, the pearl that belongs to the religious who carefully observes his rule. We would incur God’s wrath if we were to show contempt for this most precious treasure and cast it away.
Then, too, we must love seclusion and be wary of exhibiting it to the world. We must keep it safely guarded or we shall lose it. If the owner of a silver or gold coin of great value were to go into a public square and shout: “Look what I have!” some pickpocket would immediately try to snatch it away. But if he says nothing about it and carefully carries it with him, no one will be the wiser, and he will not risk losing his treasure. We should do the same; let us carefully guard our religious vocation lest the devil, who seeks only our ruin, be given a chance to make us lose it. Furthermore, let us not seek advice from those who might dissuade us from our vocation. At times we even ought to conceal it from our parents, if possible, especially when we must make a decision, because a man’s enemies are those of his own household. But above all, we must not be worldly minded and fond of sensible affections or family attachrnents. (BM XII, 412-413)
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
1. If a man owns a pearl he should guard it jealously.
2. Am I of the kind who have poverty only in word.
3. Senses have to be curbed.