Chris Valentino sdb
LONAVLA, AUGUST 20, 2008: People generally get the impression that spirituality, God – realization and reflective capability are the exclusive preserve of the priests, nuns and others who have been immensely blessed by Divine Providence. Here, at Maria Ashiana, De-Addiction and Therapeutic Community, a branch of Shelter Don Bosco, the Staff and boys are all out to prove otherwise. With this determined resolve, the 'Monthly Recollection' was held on Monday, August 18. The preacher for the day was Sr. Sushma, of Auxilium Convent Lonavla. Speaking to boys who were ‘all ears’, Sr. Sushma dwelt on the key topics of Happiness, Joy and Contentment. She drove home the message that “happiness is for each of us to discover. We are called to live happily, make others happy with our words and deeds, while finding satisfaction and contentment in all our situations.” Sr. Sushma also highlighted in her talk the importance of Faith and Trust. Drawing on her experiences in Gujarat and other apostolic activity, she posed questions and riddles for the boys to reflect upon. The gracious blessings bestowed on each person by Divine Providence and the manner in which different people have responded was a real eye-opener for the boys and the staff. Quoting examples from the lives of Mother Mary, Don Bosco, Bl. Theresa of Kolkatta, while requesting the boys to think about the various benefactors and well-wishers of Maria Ashiana, Sr. Sushma succeeded in stirring up deep reflection and inspiring thoughts. Each boy also made a list of things that made him happy and how he would make this a possibility in his daily living. The activities that preceded this Recollection, namely, the Marian Month, the Independence Day Celebrations and the Mission National Flag had been days of hectic and frenzied routine. This Monthly Recollection was therefore a welcome break from the normal schedule as much as it helped the boys to go deeper into themselves and recollect the purpose for which they are here and think ahead for their future.