VDB, world, 14 February 2023 -- Among the most heart-touching testimonies of the 2023 EAO Salesian Family Spirituality Days were the 16 minute VDB (Volunteers of Don Bosco) sharing about the 'Living as Yeast in the Human Family'. VDB personal testimony from different countries and their Rule of Life (Constitutions). Due to their 'reserve' as ordinary lay people consecrated to God, this is another beautiful step in sharing their vocation through social media. We are grateful for their contribution and pray that they may inspire more young women to be attracted by this 'Yeast-Like' way of Christian life and mission. For the VDB indeed, their whole life is mission!
Here are a few snapshots from their sharing, where their Constitutions are always 'matched' by the very personal life experience sharing of the VDB members.
Prayer helps us to see the reality of our lives in light of the gospel. It thus becomes the nourishment of hope in faith, opens our hearts to fraternity, and helps us take responsibility for building the Kingdom of God.
After terrible genocide in her own country, one of our sisters took in girls from the street into her home and started to take care of their upbringing herself. When one girl refused to leave her own brother on the street, our VDB sister asked her own father to take them into his home and raise them. In this way, she provided care for more than 28 youths. Her house is very modest, but one can feel the familiar spirit and the love therein. Children are encouraged to pray, work and love, all in a joyful spirit. There were years where they had nothing to eat and this was not easy. She spends a lot of time in adoration from which she draws strength for her life. This, together with the daily reading of the gospel and the love of the children, is where she gets her strength and love to continue with her calling.
Generosity - Poverty
The love for Christ, who became poor although he was rich, leads us to share his poverty, to be able to better love God and our brothers and sisters.
One VDB member is the only child of very rich parents. She sold a magnificent large house on a lake, sold all her valuables and with the proceeds she has been leading projects to build houses for poor families in Asia and Latin America. She herself lives in a modest apartment.
Another VDB is a medical doctor who has been working for decades in a poor region in Africa where, in addition to working in a hospital, she has set up a home for several abandoned children. Despite the dangers and limitations to her physical strength, she wants to be with her people, just as she has adopted them in her heart when she left a promising career in Italy.
Expectation of the Universal Church
This inspiring video sharing includes also a few words of Pope Francis to Secular Institutes addressed last February 25, 2022:
"You are called to experience all the precarious or the provisional, and all the beauty of the absolute in ordinary life on the streets where people walk, where fatigue and pain are greatest, where rights are disregarded, where war divides peoples, where dignity is denied. This is where, as Jesus showed us, God continues to give us his gift of salvation. You are there. You are called to be there to bear witness to God's goodness and tenderness with daily gestures of love. The prayerful encounter with Jesus fills your heart with his peace and love, which you can give to others."
Let us be inspired by the humble, truly Yeast-like daily VDB members witness to Jesus in the most ordinary of lives!
- Resources: Boscolink: SF Spirituality Days, 2023-Jan 13 - VDB Sharing
- SF-EAO English YouTube channel (2023: EAO Salesian Spirituality Days) 16 minutes
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