Don Bosco based his approach to prayer on St Francis de Sales’ vision of a loving and saving God. He modelled his prayer in a down to earth, loving kindness for the young, which reflected his deep faith in God’s presence. Six words capture this style.
Salesian prayer engages the heart as well as the head. It also moves a person towards change and to see things differently.
There is an energy and joy about Salesian prayer that renews and challenges life and leads to hope in the future. It is active and practical.
Salesian prayer avoids long and complicated words and prayers in favour of genuine heart to heart conversation with God as Father.
At the heart of Salesian prayer is an awareness of God’s presence as a dependable mystery at the centre of each person and their relationships. Touching and trusting that presence is the purpose of Salesian prayer.
Salesian prayer is not an escape from life. Salesian prayer sifts life experience for God’s presence and celebrates it in personal prayer, in scripture and in sacraments. Prayer opens up an awareness of God in ordinary life and joins the inner and outer life into one story of love.
Salesian prayer focuses on the good and helps it grow. It does not dwell too long on sadness or failure but sees these as stepping stones to greater trust. Salesian prayer does not stop at the cross but moves though it to resurrection and celebration.
Together these words spell out the word “mystic” because Salesian prayer leads towards a practical mysticism that links life and the Spirit.