On the Go with St. Dom Bosco
The model for every Christian is Jesus Christ. The Christian must pray as Jesus Christ prayed on the mountain, with devotion, humility, and confidence. The Christian must help the poor, the ignorant, and the little ones as Jesus Christ did.
Your baptism was the moment when you became the object of the very special love of God. You were able to look up to Heaven and say: "God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, is also my God. He is my Father; He loves me and wants me to call Him by this name."
Jesus, my Savior, calls me His brother (sister), and, as His brother (sister), I belong to Him, to His merits, to His Passion, to His death, to His glory, and to His dignity.
The true Christian must say with the Apostle Paul: "It is not I who live, but it is Jesus Christ who lives in me." Whosoever will follow Jesus Christ will certainly be glorified one day with Jesus Christ in Heaven and will reign with Him in eternity.
Be brave and have confidence in the compassion of God. Your sins may be many but know that if you repent His mercy will surpass them. He will always be good and merciful, and, like a tender father, He will welcome us lovingly whenever we return to Him.
It is common enough for (us) who forget past injuries for a while, only to remember them again at the smallest provocation. Not so with the Lord. He goes so far as to say that if a sinner repents, He wants to forget his sins as though they had never been committed.
Almsgiving, although sadly neglected by men, is a very effective way to reach Heaven. By alms, I mean any charitable act on behalf of one's neighbor for the love of God. In the Scriptures, God declares that almsgiving obtains the remission of sins, even though they may be numerous.
Although you sacrifice willingly, please remember that Jesus Christ Himself made a sacrifice infinitely greater, and we will never approach the offering He has made of Himself for us. Let us rejoice! Those who strive to be like Him, who do their best to save souls, may remain at peace with regard to their eternal salvation.
The Lord gave and took away as He pleased. Be ever blessed His holy name! At any rate, it is a consolation that the sun will shine again after the storm.
If you want a few matches with which to strike some sparks, I recommend exclamations before the Blessed Sacrament. Bear in mind that the trials, the sufferings, and the aridity of our days will add up to many fragrant roses for eternity.
God demands more patience in your relations with others, particularly with members of your household, greater confidence in His goodness, more serenity of spirit. Be at peace!
Let us worship God in all things, in consolation as well as in affliction, and let us be certain that He is a good Father who does not permit crosses to be heavier than we can bear.
Courage! God will accomplish what we are unable to do. True enough, there are many thorns; yet, with all your skills, can't you take the shears of patience and trust - and snap off their tips?
During the day we practice what we have resolved to do in the morning. We also have to bestir ourselves to expressions of love, gratitude, and humility toward God, ask Him for as many graces as (we) may need. Let us always remember that God is our Father, and we are His children.
In the evening before going to bed, let us examine whether we have carried out our resolutions on a particular fault, whether we progressed or suffered losses. If we have been remiss in keeping our resolutions, let us renew them on the following day, until we shall have acquired this virtue or overcome that vice or flaw.
Love one another; comfort one another; correct one another; never give way to envy or rancor against one another. Rather, let the benefit of one be the benefit of all, let the sufferings and trials of one be shared by all, and let everyone try to heal, or at least alleviate, the suffering of another.
Say a kind word whenever possible, particularly when comforting the afflicted, or when helping them overcome some difficulty, or when doing something for them - whether in health or in sickness.
O blessed Cross (I'm carrying), although you are somewhat troublesome right now, it won't be long before you will bring me a crown of roses in eternity.
Do that which is good, perform good deeds, work tirelessly for the Lord, and do it all willingly. Don't waste your time. Perform good deeds, a great many, because you will never regret them.
In matters of great importance always lift your mind to God before making a decision. When reports reach you, hear all the information, do your best to clarify the issues, and listen to all parties before judging. Often enough, certain matters that look like boulders at first turn out to be only straws.
Never demand anything which you feel may be above the strength or ability of a subordinate lest your demand be ignored. Contrive to avoid repugnant orders; try your best to consider the inclination and talents of those under your command by assigning tasks accordingly.
When the devil comes to annoy you in your work, do the same to him with mortification, an exclamatory prayer, and a good deed done for love of God.
Let not the sun ever set on your anger, or recall the memory of forgiven offenses, to remember the pain of past injuries. "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." Let us forgive by completely forgetting everything that happened in the past.
Up to now we have always walked on safe ground. We cannot go wrong; it is Mary who guides us.
I shall repeat with the apostle of the gentiles that your love and mercy have gone to extremes. I shall say that you have loved me above all measure.
Oh, with what love, with what tenderness does God embrace a sinner who returns to Him! The good shepherd finds the sheep, carries it on his shoulders, takes it back home, and calls his friends to share the good news.
Among divine things, the most divine is to cooperate with God in the salvation of souls.
A tender love for one's neighbor is one of the greatest and most excellent gifts the divine bounty bestows on men.
Let us work for Heaven and may the Lord always keep us on the path of virtue.
Carry on, courage! God is with us.
Courage! Go ahead! Always go ahead!
Taken from The Spiritual Writings of
Saint John Bosco (Ed. Joseph Aubry).
New Rochelle, NY: Salesiana Publishers, 2006.