Saturday, December 24, 2011

Recommendations on Vacation

Before anything else, Merry  Christmas!
Fr. Joe, our seminary catechist asked me to synthesize some valuable inputs of Don Bosco for our seminarians who will be home for vacation. I'm posting this set of recommendations not only for the benefit of some of my seminarian friends , but also for any ordinary students, Bosconians in particular, who may find them useful.

Now, let's hear from Don Bosco himself:

I don’t recall anyone returning from home to tell me he had behaved better at home than the Oratory, nor do I recall anyone telling me that his vacation had brought him spiritual advantage. On the contrary, every year, I have often had to deplore many falls from grace.

These will make for a true vacation, and, more importantly, a sinless vacation.

• As soon as you get home, greet your parents, hug them and give them my most heartfelt regards. Respect and obey your parents; do all you can to make them happy.

• Then, visit your parish priest, give him my regards. Ask him if there is anything you can do around the church while on vacation.

• The word vacation, from the Latin verb vacare means “to be busy, to be occupied.” You may not be occupied with school, but you should continue to be occupied with work, study or prayer.

• Keep yourselves always busy and live in God’s presence. Don’t waste your time at home, and, whatever you may do, always remember that Our Lord sees you.

• While home with your family, help your dad and mom, give them some help: clean the house, set the table, maintain your garden… keep yourself forever busy!

• Play games with your family: cards, chess, any game you find relaxing.

• Sleep also a little longer but avoid the “noonday devil.” (Ps 90, 6)

• Be moderate in eating, don’t overeat.

• As long as there are books to read, read!

• Read to learn, not just for pleasure. Read useful books.

• Endeavor to live as good Christians, as you do here at the Oratory:
o Serve Holy Mass every morning. If you can’t, attend Mass devoutly.
o To receive Jesus in better disposition, spend some time in meditation.

• Avoid bad books and bad companions.

• Avoid laziness.

• Avoid idleness.

Culled from pp. 335 -345 of the Biographical Memoirs XIII