S+L logo

The Young: Beach Glass Masterpieces

November 4, 2014
Fr. Mike Pace
He intrigued me. A tall man with an athletic build. His unhurried gaze fixed intensely on the shore line. His back bent low as if to reverence the pebbles on the beach. Occasionally he extends his hand to pick up an obviously - to him at least - exceptional find. On more than one occasion I observed this ritual. Today, I asked him what it was about. I learned that Stan is an artist who makes jewelry from “beach glass” - ordinary, broken fragments of glass made beautiful by years of rough and tumble transformation amidst the waves and pebbles. Where others saw just ordinary stones on a beach, Stan discerned unexpected treasures, the makings of his next masterpiece.
Stan reminded me of Don Bosco, whose birthday bicentennial we celebrate on August 16, 2015. The beach glass of Don Bosco’s seeking was young people. He sought the human development and eternal salvation of ordinary, broken youth, often discarded or unnoticed, unappreciated or misunderstood, frightened and insecure, always hungry for purpose, love, meaning and a reason to live. He offered them a rough and humble transformation through genuine relationships, friendship with Jesus, trust in the grace of the sacraments, the value of diligent work, responsible service and wholesome recreation.
Even after a near fatal illness provoked by his excessive zeal in the service of the young and the poor, Don Bosco made this pledge to those who prayed him back to health: “For you I study, for you I work, for you I am ready even to give my life”.Mike-Pace-Beach-Glass
However rough a young life might appear, Don Bosco teaches me to reverence it with a bow and to contemplate it with the eyes of the Master Artist, Jesus. In the name of Jesus, Don Bosco gathered the young, welcomed them and dedicated his entire life to them. Where others saw just ordinary kids in the streets, Don Bosco discerned unexpected treasures, the makings of his next masterpiece. Calling forth their human giftedness he allows them to shine with their unique likeness unto God. Don Bosco intrigues me.
Written by Father Michael Pace SDB, Pastor, guest blogger. 
Related posts
SLHour: From Star Wars to Superman
What do Luke Skywalker, Superman and Jesus have in common? This week we speak with author Jim Papandrea about Christ figures in science fiction. Billy Chan has a ‘confession’ to make for D ...read more
Understanding Oscar Romero, Part. 1
A short reflection on Ocar Romero’s influence, legacy, and what he represents for millions of Latin Americans to commemorate his Feast Day on March 24. ...read more
Romero’s Transformation
A brief summary and reflection on the transformation of Archbishop Oscar Romero, as we await his canonization. ...read more
This weekend, the Pope will make a quick trip to the town where St. Padre Pio was born and lived his life, and where his work continues to mark the year of the 50th anniversary of St. Padre Pio’s de ...read more
Gauging The Francis Impact
Read Sebastian Gomes' reflection on Pope Francis. What are his greatest accomplishments? What opportunities have been missed? ...read more