Salesian Charism (V+J)
The wisdom of St. Francis de Sales has been bequeathed to us in the tradition of Salesian Christian Humanism. It is a wisdom guided always and everywhere by love, imbued with an imperturbable optimism, lived with characteristic humility and gentleness, expressed in words of inspired common sense, and proffered for all in a universal call to holiness [cf. Wendy Wright, "François de Sales: Gentleness and Civility," 1984].
The motto "Live Jesus!" (V+J ... from the French, "Vive Jesus") encapsulates the Salesian approach to life, wherein our aim should be to live every moment of our lives with the same humility, gentleness, and charity as Jesus did.In this way, others will see the Savior walking on earth once again! As a young student, Francis de Sales would write these initials at the top of his notebook pages as a reminder that this is how he should live. Later, he concludes his masterful Treatise on the Love of God with these words: "But that we may live in your eternal love, O Savior of our souls, we eternally sing, 'Live, Jesus! Jesus, I love! Live, Jesus whom I love! Jesus, I love, Jesus who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen."
The legacy of Salesian Christian Humanism offers a vision of the world founded on a deep appreciation of the love that God has showered upon us through the gifts of creation and human life, particularly in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. St. Francis de Sales believed that beauty and goodness are the hallmarks of our world, as gifts born from God's deep and abiding love for each one of us. Enabled and ennobled by this love, human beings are capable of much more than might well be imagined. They are capable of living a true life of devotion in the midst of worldly pursuits. They are capable of giving birth, through faith, to a new culture of life and of love [cf. ► Thomas Dailey, Praying with Francis de Sales, 1997, p.13].
The Salesian Center for Faith and Culture finds its inspiration, its motivation, and its direction in this Christian Humanistic vision. Through particular projects, the Center sponsors direct research into the many facets of Salesian Spirituality that can continue to have an impact on our modern world. Moreover, the Center brings this spiritual wisdom to bear upon all its programs and activities, so that every area of teaching and learning, and every person participating in or influenced by the life of this institution, might be imbued with the spirit of our university's patron.