Salesians are called to bring God's love to the young. We act as bridges, linking two parties together: God and the young. But it's quite a feat since in order to be a bridge, we ought to have a solid grounding on both.
I was told, a number of times, that the decisive factor in the process of Don Bosco's canonization refers to the devil's advocate asking "In all the various ministries Don Bosco initiated when he was alive, when did he pray?" But the intervention of a learned man in the cloth put things in the right perspective "But with all the ministries Don Bosco did, when did he not pray?"
It is easy to make use of this analogy to forget about praying and just immerse ourselves in various apostolates. But it is noteworthy to mention that when Don Bosco had all those apostolates, he had already perfected the craft of the living liturgy.
My novice master, quoting the code of canon law, told us that the main duty of the religious is to pray. The church expects it from us.
And even if we can write awe-inspiring compositions.
We can deliver beautiful talks.
We can counsel worried souls.
We can feed empty stomach.
We can take care of orphans.
We can touch people's lives.
We can teach students.
We can instill patriotism.
We can build tall edifices.
And yet, if we do not pray, we do not contribute to the mission of the Church.