The event saw the participation of six Salesian experts on the subject and members of the Dicastery for Formation. It began with sharing personal experiences of meditations carried out by the participants from the time of the novitiate to today. "How were we started upon meditation? Who taught us to meditate? How do we currently meditate in our communities?" These were some of the questions the team began to address.
Although all Salesians begin learning meditation during the novitiate, most do not know the Salesian form of mental prayer. There is a marked confusion between meditation, spiritual reading and other methods of meditation.
Meditation was of vital importance to Don Bosco, who considered it an important path for the holiness of his Salesians. In this sense one can also observe a charismatic continuity in the messages of the Rectors Major, especially Fr Filippo Rinaldi and Fr Pietro Ricaldone, who invited Salesians to practice meditation routinely in order to grow in Salesian identity. Fr Rinaldi said that a few days before his death Don Bosco wanted to confess and he managed to say only one word: "meditation". This was the inheritance that the Founder left to his Salesians.
"For us mental prayer is an indispensable form of prayer," say Salesian Constitutions. "This strengthens our intimacy with God, saves us from routine, keeps our hearts free and supports one's dedication to others. For Don Bosco it is a guarantee of joyful perseverance in the vocation." For the Salesians, therefore, the time has come to ask oneself before God: "What are the motivations of Salesian life?"
The seminar offered three days of meditation, reflection and prayer, inviting the Congregation to continue its reflection upon the subject. At the same time, initiatives have emerged that shall be converted into guidelines. The fruits of meditation will have to be seen in the transformation that takes place in the life of each Salesian.
The first notes and conclusions of this seminar were transmitted by Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation, to all the Provincials and to the Provincial Delegates for formation. The Proceedings of this seminar are also available on the Internet at: https://formazionesdb.org