Hajja Salesjana July-September 2022

Editor’s Note: During this year 2022, we mark the 400th anniversary since the birth of St. Francis de Sales in Heaven in 1622 at Lyon. As a Salesian Family, we know that his spirituality deeply marked Don Bosco and consequently us Salesians, his sons. Infact our name derives from him and not from Don Bosco! Throughout this year, you will be able to read the following article by Rev. Dr. Eunan McDonnell SDB, Provincial of Ireland, who is an expert in the field pertaining to this great Saint and his very practical spirituality. I trust that you may find this article, split in our four Ħajja Salesjana issues for 2022, inspiring and helpful to your faith and relationship with the true King of Hearts, the Lord Jesus Christ! Prayer as friendship with Christ Following in the tradition of St Teresa of Avila, St Francis sees prayer very much as friendship with Christ, 1 for God is the ‘friend of the human heart.’ 2 To create this friendship we need not only time for prayer, but also, an awareness that certain lifestyles either facilitate or hinder prayer. The Salesian tradition of spiritual guidance highly recommends Scripture as a privileged means through which we encounter the person of Jesus. This Teresian focus on the person of Jesus, proposed by St Francis, requires “often turning your eyes on him in meditation [so that] you will learn his ways and form your actions after the pattern of his.” 3 Devasia writes, “Salesian meditation is a regular, systematic training of the attention to turn inward and dwell continuously on a single focus, Jesus. The aim is to become so absorbed with the person of Jesus that after many years of meditation and contemplation we totally forget ourselves.” 4 The role of delight or complacence is essential to this understanding of meditation that we are learning to rejoice in the mystery that is Christ. St Francis de Sales often speaks of delight as the way in which the mind releases itself to be caught up in the mystery. Guidelines for meditating heart to heart Influenced by his own experience of the Spiritual Exercises, St Francis de Sales offers By Rev. Dr. Eunan McDonnell sdb 10 Lulju - Settembru 2022 hajja