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Lent reflection: A mouthpiece for the Word of God

 StrennaSYMConfronto2017RM 500


During Lent, we are reflecting on the Rector Major's Strenna for 2019, 'Holiness for you too', presenting extracts from his commentary on the Strenna, and thoughts on holiness from members of the Salesian Family, along with scripture readings and prayers for you to pray and reflect on during each week of the Lenten season.

This week, we hear from Sue, Youth Ministry Animator for our Province.


Holiness in the office of youth ministry is grounded yet often not tangible. It is the daily response to the Lord in serving the volunteers and in turn walking with the young.


Holiness, for me, is being ready and available to be used as a mouthpiece for the Word of God to reach others. The small joys in the journey are seeing the young respond to the Lord they hear calling them through this service.

I personally prefer however to say with the Rector Major: "What is important is to be holy, not to be declared as such." It is a journey here, and always on fresh ground.


Sue McDonald
Salesian Youth Ministry Animator

Sue is pictured above (front row right) Sue with members of Salesian Youth Ministry and the Rector Major


The Strenna Cartoon:


 Fr Ángel on the Strenna


The call to holiness is a familiar part of our Salesian tradition (St Francis de Sales). The appeal of Pope Francis attracts attention above all on account of the force and determination with which he maintains that holiness is a call addressed to everyone, not just to the few, insofar as it corresponds to God’s fundamental plan for us. It is aimed, therefore, at ordinary people, at those people whom we accompany in their ordinary daily lives, consisting in the simple things typical of ordinary people.


The goal of holiness and the invitation, almost tender, to achieve it is also the great message of Don Bosco, the pivot on which hinges his whole spiritual proposal and his life witness.


The holiness that Don Bosco proposes is easy and pleasant, but also strong, as he suggests. In Dominic Savio’s declaration: “I want to become a saint, I must become a saint. I can have no peace until I become a saint,” one can hear much – if not everything – of what Don Bosco knew how to convey to him, following the sermon in which Dominic had heard these encouraging words: “It is God’s will that each one should become a saint; it is easy to become a saint; there is a great reward waiting in heaven for those who try to become saint [sic].” Don Bosco himself continued writing that this talk was like a spark that set into a consuming blaze the love of God in Dominic Savio’s heart.


In the wisdom of Don Bosco, who curbed Dominic’s desire for penance and recommended to him instead fidelity in his life of prayer, in his studies, and in duties done well, and diligence in recreation (and we can also say in the whole area of relationships in life), there emerges the awareness, typically Salesian, of the universal call to holiness.



2 Timothy 1: 7-10

God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control.

So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to our Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but share in my hardships for the sake of the gospel, relying on the power of God
who has saved us and called us to be holy - not because of anything we ourselves had done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time, but it has been revealed only by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus. He has abolished death, and he has brought to light immortality and life through the gospel.



Dear Lord


You loved me before I was born, and you called me to be holy.

Give me the vision to find ways to share your love.

Help me to be a mouthpiece for your Word in what I do and in what I say,

And when it's hard to do the right thing,

Strengthen the Spirit of love in me.






Last modified on Wednesday, 13 March 2019 13:48