St. John Bosco
Last Christmas I received a very small gift. It was not even wrapped in a Christmas wrapper; just in a manila paper. I did not feel any excitement when I received it. I thought to myself: “Ay kini ra? Ka gamay!” (this is it? So small!) I haven’t seen yet what’s inside, I was already complaining. I forgot the first rule in receiving gifts: one should not complain. After all, its free!
But the small gift in an ordinary wrapper proved to be the most meaningful and practical gift I received last Christmas. It was a small keychain-LED torchlight with a compass. Press the compass to put on the flashlight. And its solar powered! Its useful especially at night and during brown-outs. The symbols is clear: every person needs a flashlight and a compass in his or her journey of life.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. John Bosco. He was a flashlight and a compass to so many youth who met him in their life. Even today, for those who follow his teachings, he is still a reliable flashlight and compass because he is powered by Jesus and Mary.
I would like to share some of the things Don Bosco taught to his youngsters as means to lead a good life. Here are 3 Practical Means to be good Christians and upright citizens:
1. Have a Strong Conviction that God loves the young exceedingly!
Tell yourself: God loves me! Exceedingly!
Don Bosco wrote: “what ought to excite us to love and serve God is the great love which He has for us… Since our Lord loves you so much, you should form the sincere resolution to correspond with His love by doing whatever pleases Him, and by avoiding whatever might offend Him!”
2. The Salvation of your soul depends greatly upon the time of our youth!
That means: Now na! Karon na – dili ugma!
Don Bosco explains: “But some of you may argue: if we commence to serve God now, we shall become sad and depress! I answer, that this is not true. He who serves the devil is miserable, even if he pretends to be happy… Courage then my dear friends, employ your time virtuously and I assure you that your heart will always be happy and contented. You will experience as a consequence how sweet and pleasing it is to serve the Lord.”
3. The first virtue of youth is Obedience.
The greatest virtue of Jesus is obedience: to God in heaven and to his parents on earth. Thus tell yourself: “I will learn to obey just like Jesus!”
Last January 16, a Japanese – Hiroo Onada – died in a Tokyo Hospital at 91 years old. This guy was a very obedient soldier. He fought in the Philippines during World War II he did not surrender in 1945. For 30 years, he spent his life as a guerilla fighter in a war that was long over due. He did not surrender because he was awaiting orders from a superior officer. The Japanese government had to locate his commanding officer to relieved him of his duty. He finally surrendered on March 1974 – giving up his sword, his rifle with 500 rounds of ammunition and some hand grenades. Indeed this is a lesson of obedience!
Don Bosco taught: “Allow yourselves to be guided by those who have charge of your education and the welfare of your soul..” Morever, the saint said: “It is God’s will for you to be a saint!”
Let us ask this saint who loves young people exceedingly the grace to live wisely in this world amidst a lot of falsehood and deception that brings unhappiness to us in this life.Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.