SAINT JOHN BOSCO, PRIEST
Prayer vid + 2nd Reading (Divine Office)
St. John Bosco (1815-1888) founded the Salesian Society, named in honor of St. Francis de Sales, and the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians. His lifework was the welfare of young boys and girls, hence his title, “Apostle of Youth.” He had no formal system or theory of education. His methods centered on persuasion, authentic religiosity, and love for young people. He was an enlightened educator and innovator.
Let us pray for all the Salesians and the youth in general. Below you have the 2nd reading of today’s Office of readings. God bless! Fr. Rolly A.
From a letter by Saint John Bosco, priest
I have always laboured out of love
First of all, if we wish to appear concerned about the true happiness of our foster children and if we would move them to fulfil their duties, you must never forget that you are taking the place of the parents of these beloved young people. I have always laboured lovingly for them, and carried out my priestly duties with zeal. And the whole Salesian society has done this with me.
My sons, in my long experience very often I had to be convinced of this great truth. It is easier to become angry than to restrain oneself, and to threaten a boy than to persuade him. Yes, indeed, it is more fitting to be persistent in punishing our own impatience and pride than to correct the boys. We must be firm but kind, and be patient with them.
I give you as a model the charity of Paul which he showed to his new converts. They often reduced him to tears and entreaties when he found them lacking docility and even opposing his loving efforts.
See that no one finds you motivated by impetuosity or wilfulness. It is difficult to keep calm when administering punishment, but this must be done if we are to keep ourselves from showing off our authority or spilling out our anger.
Let us regard those boys over whom we have some authority as our own sons. Let us place ourselves in their service. Let us be ashamed to assume an attitude of superiority. Let us not rule over them except for the purpose of serving them better.
This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles. He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity. He treated sinners with a kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalised, and still others to hope for God’s mercy. And so he bade us to be gentle and humble of heart.
They are our sons, and so in correcting their mistakes we must lay aside all anger and restrain it so firmly that it is extinguished entirely.
There must be no hostility in our minds, no contempt in our eyes, no insult on our lips. We must use mercy for the present and have hope for the future, as is fitting for true fathers who are eager for real correction and improvement.
In serious matters it is better to beg God humbly than to send forth a flood of words that will only offend the listeners and have no effect on those who are guilty.
℟. The people were bringing little children to Jesus, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this, he said to them,* Let the children come to me; do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.
℣. Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.* Let the children come to me; do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.
Let us pray.
We praise you, Lord, for calling Saint John Bosco to be a loving father and prudent guide of the young. Give us his fervent zeal for souls and enable us to live for you alone. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.