Italy – SF Spirituality Days 2022: "Do not be afraid of interiority because it brings children closer to God"

17 January 2022

(ANS - Turin) - “Every community is Cana of Galilee,” said the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in his homily at the conclusion of the 40th edition of the Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family. Starting from the commentary on the Gospel which commemorates what happened between Mary and her son, with the disciples also present at the wedding banquet, he remarked that “God is always at work where men and women spend their time, and this also in the Salesian Family.”

The Blessed Mother is central to this dynamic, but she does not ask Jesus for anything in particular: she presents a problem and waits for Him to work as He shall best assess. “This teaches us to pray in the right way. Let us entrust needs and distressing situations to the Lord, and He will intervene.” Just as in Nazareth Mary remained awaiting events, so too in Cana. “She does not want to assert her will before God. So we too must not present our will and our desires, however important they may be, but let God decide what He must do.” It is the attitude of St. Francis de Sales, explored in the Days, the entrustment to God and to His goodness: “Any answer will be my good.”

This affects relationships between people, and for believers, it becomes “richness and diversity of gifts: each receives something for the common good”: the community becomes a mirror of the Father's kindness. “This does not arise from an optimistic attitude, but from a discovery made possible by faith.” The Rector Major warned that “when jealousy, envy, backbiting, rivalry emerge, it is because we are struck by blindness; they constitute an insult to God.” We must overcome these limits, enjoy the variety of gifts and put them in dialogue. “And let's remember,” concluded Fr A.F. Artime, “that the poorest are awaiting us!”

This is the thought that is close to the heart of the 10h Successor of Don Bosco, which he summarized in the Conclusions of the final session of the Days with reference to the theme of spirituality: “One fruit of this moment is the growth of interiority. We are not afraid to look for it; it does not keep us from doing things well. With more interiority, we shall have more presence of God among the children. It is an investment in life, which becomes more robust and solid.” The theme of the Strenna, “Do all through love, nothing through constraint,” and gratitude to God for the gift of St. Francis de Sales, are truly a source of profound inspiration. “This year will be a wonderful opportunity to warm the heart,” concluded the Rector Major.

These Days were the beginning, thanks to the 150 present at Valdocco but also to the more than 10,000 people participating online from around the world. Among the latter, 1,600 followed the live broadcasts in Arabic translations, carried out for the first time at this annual event. This was underlined by Fr Alejandro Guevara, World Spiritual Animator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians and Coordinator of the event, who explained that these connections were given by the Salesian communities, but also by Christians of the various rites living in the Arab countries. Add to this the simultaneous translation in other 7 languages of the Far East, from Thai to Korean, broadcast and shared thanks to the commitment of the Salesians of the Philippines.

With thanks to the host of people who worked behind and in front of the scenes for the success of the Spirituality Days, the Rector Major gave recognition of sympathy to Elena Scavino, from ADMA, and to Carlo Amodio, from the Valdocco Oratory, who presented the interventions in the assembly moments.

The photos from the last day are also available on ANSFlickr


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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