April 4

1863: How can I rest, the devil never does

On Holy Saturday worn out by long hours of confession, Don Bosco fainted in the sacristy. On regaining consciousness, he sipped some milk and resumed his work. His boys insisted: “Why don’t you take a break for a change?”… “How can I rest”, he replied “when the devil never does?” He nevertheless used to remark to his young clerics, “There is a limit to what a man can do. Nobody should overwork himself lest he be prematurely worn out and become useless and be done for, just when he ought to be at the peak of his powers.” (BM VII, 245)

1869: Bad confessions

Don Bosco saw in a dream that some of his boys, while waiting their turn for confession, had a noose around their neck and a huge hideous cat tightly clinging to the noose. He turned to one of those large cats which was hiding several nooses in its paws and asked him how he roped the boys into making bad confessions. Writhing hideously the monster answered: “With the first noose I make the boys conceal their sins in confession.” “And with the second?” “I make them confess without true sorrow.” “And with the third.” “I wont tell you!” “You had better tell…. “With the third noose I keep them from making a firm resolution and carrying out their confessor’s advice.” (BM IX, 280)

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