Without the others we cannot be ourselves

Thursday 10 March 2022
Without the others we cannot be ourselves

What would a child be without its parents or team mates? What would a sports team be without other teams to play against? Or a writer without readers? Or an artist without fans? No, perhaps they would not lose their personal dignity, but nor would they achieve the fullness of life that can be theirs thanks to the grace of God.

"We are a family", we constantly say at Salesian Family gatherings. "Feeling at home" is not just taking part in and enjoying a celebration. "Being family" means to belong, taking on and taking care of things concerning others, and not being able to live without other family members. Without the others, we cannot be ourselves. Without the other Groups we cannot understand ourselves as SDBs, FMAs, SCs or any other of the thirty-two Groups that make up the Salesian Family. 

It is not “us” and “the others”, as if we were just neighbours in an apartment block. The Salesian Family is a common home, a school of life, a spiritual community, a place of acceptance and encounter, a common mission, a living part of Christ’s Church and of all of humanity, with its variety of branches, all sprung from a single trunk, and its variety of charisms born of the great and profound charism shaped in Don Bosco’s heart.

This is true. We have not exhausted the possibilities of being a family. We need to apply the “already” and “not yet” here as well. We live in hope. We are enlightened by the desire, this expectation of something – the family in its fullness – that we will never fully achieve. So what should we be doing? Living the “already”, growing in the “already”, opening ourselves ever more to the “already” of all the other groups, because without the others, we cannot be ourselves.


Fr Joan Lluís Playà     


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