Most of the Bosconians I know could very well relate with the naughty General Mickey more than the perpetually holy Savio. I can perfectly understand the reason why. Dominic, they perceive, must have been groomed right from the very start to become a saint.
General Mickey, on the other hand, had to find his way towards the greater scheme of holiness. It was not an easy feat for him to turn his back on his former life; to leave a life of sin did not happen in a snap. He agonized over the past evils he committed.
Mickey Magone figured into my consciousness when I read in that classic orange book entitled “Don Bosco: Spiritual Director of Young People,” that he made six resolutions to prepare himself to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady.
- To detach my heart from all earthly things so as to give it completely to Mary.
- To make a general confession in order to ensure a peaceful conscience at the hour of my death.
- To skip breakfast every morning as a penance for my sins and to recite the Seven joys of Mary to merit her assistance at the last hours of my life.
- To go to communion every day provided my confessor advises it.
- To tell my companions an anecdote in honor of Mary each day.
- To place this sheet at the feet of Our Lady’s statue and, with this act, to consecrate myself completely to her and for the future, I wish to be entirely hers until the very last moments of my life.
All of these were approved by his confessor except for the first part of the third resolution, that is, to skip breakfast every morning as an act of penance for his sins.
First, you see in these resolutions the awareness of Magone of the reality of death.
At a very young age, he did not consider death morbid. In fact, he welcomed the idea of it. He longed for it to happen. He embraced it. And when it finally came, instead of it conquering him, he conquered ‘it.’
Second, we see here an image of a young person who desired greatness, not through the use of force and might, but through his submission to the will of the Father.
Third, Magone took advantage of the sacraments, particularly confession and communion, to attain holiness.
And finally, he allowed Mary to be his guide.
Magone died more than 100 years ago. But he lives on in that orange book, and in the many young people who continue to believe and declare, through their words and deeds, that God is still in charge after all.
This is an entry in the book Thoughts from the Seedbed. You can download it here for free.