Saturday, December 19, 2015

St. Don Bosco, a role model for mothers and all souls

By God's grace I was able to find and purchase an old book called "Don Bosco: A Spiritual Portrait" by Edna Beyer Phelan. Her approach to giving the reader a thorough understanding of Don Bosco's life, spirituality, and ways is surperb. I highly recommend the book to anyone who loves children and wants to be holy, to all teachers, especially.

But as a mother, a homeschooling parent, and a catechism teacher this book has been marvelous. It awakens in me an awarness of my role to model virtue and instruct in truth always. To strive to be conscious of my words so they are encouraging, yet honest. But also, that it is important not only to my soul, but to the souls I interact with, that I seek to be pure and holy. None of this is possible without the Blessed Mother's unique examle and help, as Mother, Teaching Parent, and Catechist of all God's children. When she shares her gifts with her children, the impossible happens. Don Bosco proved this repeatedly in his life.

From the early years of his life the Blessed Mother gave guidance in the extraordinary degree. She not only pointed out his mission, but more amazingly....he followed with singular purpose to carry out God's will which she had shown him. Huge undertakings were achieved through his faith: children converted, Churches built, a school for boys accomplished, a new order for educating, and extended missionary work. Countless miracles occurred, not because he was great, but because he allowed God and Mary to work in his life. He set himself aside completely for God's will to be done for his and for others' sanctification. So it is not a surprise that Don Bosco taught, "This is the will of God, your sanctification." And, "It is God's will that we should be saints; it is quit easy to become a saint...Do your duty joyously." 

Don Bosco joyously lived what he taught and God shined countless graces out of Don Bosco for all to see and seek for themselves. The qualities that stood out to me were his desire to please God unselfishly in joy and suffering;  his prayerfulness in work, in play, and trials; his love of the Church from the Pope to priests to the Sacraments; his teaching others to love the Church as well; his love of Mary, Help of Christians, and his advice to talk about her daily to show gratitude for her help and to encourage others to have devotion to her; his dedication to duty even in trials and sickness; his complete trust in God; his self awareness of the impact of personal actions and beliefs on others; and his sorrow of sin with the awareness of the importance to avoid sin, especially impurity. All this, and more, calls me to climb the ladder to God in motherhood. What else did he do, but mother all those boys!? And I have been given only just a few children to raise and instruct, so it is all the mor essential to do well. What more important task is there than to be holy and hand on holiness in truth to the young in our care?

I thank the author of this book. For her spiritual life was well formed in order to communicate such a rich life as that of St. Don Bosco. I thank Don Bosco for his example and influence on so many souls, even to this day. I thank Mary, Help of Christians, for her complete sharing of all God's gifts with those who aak her. And above all I thank God for "all He has done for us." 

Please, Lord, do not let this little one go astray; nor the little ones in her care. Bring us closer to you. Amen. 

What Saints have been a model for your motherhood? 

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