Soren Kierkegaard writes, “Real Christian life consists in the daily process of becoming a Christian.” He means to say that the foundation of Christian life is based on the argument that one is not yet a Christian. While instructing his boys on the question of faith, Don Bosco once narrated to them an incident that occurred in the life of King Louis IX of France. King Louis IX was talking with one of his ambassadors about the affairs of his state. The latter who was a great sycophant said to the King, “Your Majesty, I rejoice that you were born in the noblest kingdom.” To this remark the King replied, “This is not my true glory, but rather, the fact that I was born in the true faith, and I prefer to be called Louis De Poissy because that is the town where I was baptized.” What Don Bosco wanted to communicate to his boys was that St. Louis was someone who valued his Catholic faith above all else. While addressing the youth gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Pope Francis reminded them to uphold the values of faith, generosity and fraternity. It was a passionate call to renew themselves in faith, sacrificial love and a life of fraternity.
Dear confreres, I am sure we have had a fresh look at the spirituality of the empty tomb during these days of the Easter Season. I hope that this has led us to a positive experience of spiritual renewal and reawakening. Franklin D. Roosevelt in one of his last speeches inviting the nation to greater commitment and fidelity said, “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” In this context we are all well aware that today quite a few nations and cultures of our world are paying a heavy price for having forgotten their roots and identity, with the triumph of subjectivity, by the imprisonment of God in a ghetto and the banishment of the sense of the sacred from the civic society and the life of the state. May the inspiring words of Roosevelt constantly reverberate in our hearts: “I ask you to keep up your faith” – faith in God first and foremost, in oneself and others. Then the God of peace will dwell within us and we will become effective instruments of His peace in a world marred by violence and indifference, by our sharing of the gift of peace that the Risen Lord has brought us. We shall not abandon ourselves to despair for “we are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song”.