Monday 15 December 2014

Multiple identities

Multiple identities - not something new, really. When I go up to take a photo with a celebrity, for example, which identity is predominant? The Salesian-consecrated-priestly identity, or simply the curiosity and thrill of being at a public event and close up to a celebrity? The Rector Major was clearly being Rector Major when he interacted with Patti Smith to thank her in the name of the youngsters who would never be able to thank her, and when he remarked about her remarkable ability to create a contemplative silence around her. Patti Smith, I had the impression, was simply and totally herself when she stood before us on the stage, and that, I think, accounted for the powerful impression she had. John Paul II was another such: a powerful presence that could reach out and touch thousands of people before him, simply because he was all there. Don Bosco: everywhere the priest, whether in Florence or in Valdocco, with the high and mighty or with his poor boys. And Jesus? classic case of multiple identity - and total harmony. All there.

A contemporary challenge to contemporary Salesians: to be completely what we are, every time, every where. 

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