Rome. It all began with a Hail Mary. From the day when Don Bosco met Bartholomew Garelli on December 8, 1841, the feast of the Immaculate Conception became the Birthday of the Oratory for the entire Salesian Family! There are 173 candles that we will light this year! The Oratory has come a long way!
Re-reading with faith the history of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and of the Salesian Family, we see that Mary has been the Inspirer of the enterprise and also the Mother of our community vocation and the Teacher of our spirituality. (C 4) Our personal call and our formation has in her a model, guide, and educator. In her we find a living presence and the help to direct our life decisively to Christ and make our relationship with Him ever more authentic. (C 79)
Mary, the first disciple of her beloved Son, is the incomparable model of the sequela in love of God and in service to our neighbour. Marys daring and determination indicate to us as consecrated women, the attitudes to adopt in our charismatic mission, collaborating to promote a culture of life, favour quality communication, and express service to the poor from the perspective of solidarity.
Promote a culture of life. The Mother who generates life makes Elizabeths womb leap with her visit. She teaches us how to reawaken, to give hope again especially in situations where the factors of impoverishment are more evident: the need for dignity of many young lives that have been violated, the thirst of many young people for spirituality, the lack of love that is at the root of sexual consumerism, violence, and relativism. Within the charism that specifies our consecration, we are called to take care and to accompany life, to be promoters of humanization united to those who share a plan of life founded on the value and dignity of the person.
Favour quality communication. Like that of Mary and Elizabeth, who leave contemplative silence to communicate together their joy at the Saviours presence, that God is on the side of the weak, of the defenceless, of those who expect salvation from Him alone. A true, full communication needs to be lived by us as the expression of a spirituality of communion. This spirituality, generated in the womb of the Trinity, is manifested in the style of reciprocity lived in the dynamics of acceptance and of donation, of care and of solicitude. It is necessary to look with compassion at our world, marked by a thousand contradictions, but that also offers unheard of opportunities. The new frontiers of communication multiply the possibilities of knowledge and of encounter. On-line Sites provide a new way of evangelizing through the knowledgeable and intelligent use of modern electronic means. The planet of the Internet, as a new power that impacts culture and life habits, asks us to make the effort to elaborate the multiplicity of information offered with an attitude of thoughtfulness and critical discernment.
Express service to the poor from the perspective of solidarity. The Church looks at Mary as the teacher of unconditional sequela and assiduous service (LG 3). From her we learn that service is the offering of self and follows paths of solidarity along the streets of the world. Mary is a foreseeing woman, able to recognize needs and respond to them, asking Jesus and anticipating His hour, as happened at Cana. Living in the Lords temple, seeking His face, living the spirituality of communion, form the root of closeness expressed as charity and solidarity that make us a companion. Defence of Gods rights asks us to be aware of the situations that call for our solidarity, to know the causes that produce them, and to collaborate in organizing hope, making ourselves the voice for everyones rights.
The mission that calls us today, following Marys example, demands that we know how to re-elaborate our identity continually in order to be faithful to God and to history, to be missionaries of hope and joy in the Church and in the world.