Friday, March 20, 2009

Making ourselves loved

Several years ago, I joined a group of high school students in an out-of-town immersion. I was not supposed to be there but the request coming from the department to assist its third year students who would undergo the summer immersion changed things.

Since the school year was over and I was free from any scholastic obligation, I gladly agreed to go.

May 6, a red-letter day in the seminary, came and I was out of the community. I was in the height of the immersion. I got a text message from my brother assistant. I thought it was a 'happy feast day' greeting. But my world crumbled when I read the message "Donnie, you have chocolate in your drawer and it is filled with ants."

I don't know what to say, but prudently, I recall texting him this message: "I'm sorry. I'll clean it once I returned. Happy feast day, brodz."

I am a big fan of the Preventive System. In fact, I'm conscious of the practical things I know about it especially when I assist students. But it loses its value if those who enforce it--Salesians especially—seem to police.

Of course, I committed a mistake in putting chocolates in my drawer; it was not supposed to be that way. But the SMS message communicated various messages to me except love.

A presence of Salesian matters when it radiates the love of the Good Shepherd, and not of a police officer, who is keen to wait for people to commit mistake so that he could apprehend them.

And when a Salesian becomes a living image of the Good Shepherd, he does not have to worry about the amount of love coming from the young.

It will come.

In a truckload.