Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Try to do a little bit of good everyday"

In his letter "Seeing and Serving Christ in Men ", Fr. Flavio Peloso teaches the core of the Charity of Don Orione and recalls a very sparing story: Don Orione taught how to see God every day.

The charity towards the neighbour is the best known characteristic of Don Orione, seen, however and above all, as apostolate and less as spirituality. We are more used to seeing charity towards the neighbour as an effect of the experience of God and less as a cause of the experience of God: way and pedagogy to God, precisely because it is “seeing and serving Christ in men[1]. This is typical of the orionine pedagogy of holiness[2].
I would like to recall it through a significant event.
During the work of rescue following the Marsica earthquake (1915), a top official of the Ministry of the Interior, Ernesto Campese, went to see Don Orione:
“In fact, I was sent with trainloads of goods to Avezzano and I was struck by this worn out priest, who rushed here and there, bringing hope everywhere. I wished to speak with him, and, having approached him as he was passing, he invited me to follow him. But how fast he walked! To keep up with him, I tripped on a board in the ruins, and I could not avoid swearing. Don Orione turned to look at me; but, how odd! He was looking at me like my mother used to when, as a boy, I was naughty. Then he asked me: “Where are we in the matter of religion?” I replied: “A clean slate” and he: “Do you wish to get to see God?” I said: “Well! If he shows himself!” Don Orione said: “Try to do a little bit of good everyday[3].
Charity makes you see God. This is the third way of the pedagogy of the orionine holiness.

    You can read the whole letter on the following link:

[1]Seeing and Feeling Christ in Men”, The Restless Apostle 121 and Writings 63, 227; “Serving in Men the Son of Man” The Restless Ap. P.132 and Writings 97, 251. The expression is repeated with many variations; the most frequent (more than 100 times) is:” Christ in the poor
[2] With us orionines, a course of spirituality can be done not only is a house of Retreat or in the silence of a church, but also spending a few hours in a Little Cottolengo, or in the confessional, or among young people.
[3] Summarium, p.540. Ernesto Campese, who narrates this event, later became a faithful benefactor of the Congregation to which he left all his possessions, including his Rome town house, in via Maratta, 2a.

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