Hajja Salesjana January-March 2020

H AJJA S ALESJANA 10 of our work. Even temporal work, conducted on supernatural principles, demands the existence of interior life for its full fruitfulness. “Whoever lives in me and I in him, will yield much fruit” (John 15:5). Only such work can change us inwardly. Any neglect in our interior life because of too much work is reflected in the quality of our work, for the lack of personal virtue becomes visible in it, and this lack can bring all our acts to nothing. The most attractive ideas will not help then; if the link between the interior life and the active disappears, the act being performed will fail, as so many acts have failed. The history of the various religious orders has plenty to teach us on this question. On the other hand, the union of these two paths leading to one act forms in us — with the help of work — virtues that are very useful and fruitful in personal work, and all the more so in collective work. In our usual daily business we sometimes recognize a springlike breath of joy in work that is suddenly going “like a house on fire.” What is happening? Maybe our prayers have gone better? Or maybe God has smiled on us more expressively and we were able to catch that smile: hence this joy and cheerfulness in our work, creating an atmosphere of readiness and ease of cooperation. It is certainly impossible not to appreciate the needs of human nature, which can express themselves in daily suffering. But there is always “the Spirit that quickens.” From these laws it is easy to deduce the fourth. Active work does not excuse neglect of the interior life It sometimes happens that our spiritual activities suffer because of too much work dictated by the love of our neighbor. But this sad necessity must not become the rule. Every type of active work is a duty added to one that already exists, which ought to be preserved in its entirety. Active work demands even more watchfulness and concentration on the interior life. This is the problem that presented itself to Cardinal Ferrari in his essentially social work; the numerous apostolic tasks that scattered the members of the Society of St. Paul seemed to multiply endlessly under his very eyes. He understood then that, if one is to fulfill one’s duties, one has to have the help of the Spirit of God, and that it is vital to rearrange one’s occupations in such a way that it is never necessary to drop prayer. And so the members of the Society filled all their wanderings Photo: Afonso Coutinho from www.unsplash.com Photo: Hannah Busing from www.unsplash.com