Luke then adds that Jesus “grew in wisdom, age and grace before God and men” (cf. Yet the times are changing, leading us to ask: What are today’s young people really like? 114. With Jesus, on the other hand, our hearts experience a security that is firmly rooted and enduring. Just as you try not to lose your connection to the internet, make sure that you stay connected to the Lord. A school that becomes a “bunker”, protecting its students from errors “from without” is a caricature of this tendency. Youth is a blessed time for the young and a grace for the Church and for the world. At the same time, it gives us a share in his own life and love. Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium (8 December 2017), 4: AAS 110 (2018), 7-8. How many times should I forgive and start over? [89] EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF RWANDA, Letter of the Catholic Bishops of Rwanda for Christians in the Extraordinary Year of Reconciliation, Kigali (18 January 2018), 17. Don’t let that happen to you! He missed the opportunity of what surely would have been a great friendship. You must repeat this always: I am not up for sale; I do not have a price. If, as a result of our own simple and at times costly efforts, we can find points of agreement amid conflict, build bridges and make peace for the benefit of all, then we will experience the miracle of the culture of encounter. For in the end I realized That the blossoms on the tree Draw life from what lies buried beneath”.[61]. “What I know is that God makes stories. 253. 0000002557 00000 n 1. This does not mean having to agree with everything adults say or approving all their actions. A sign of this willingness to listen is the time we are ready to spare for others. Rather, it is about living the present to the full, spending our energies on good things, cultivating fraternity, following Jesus and making the most of life’s little joys as gifts of God’s love. At times, in the attempt to develop a pure and perfect youth ministry, marked by abstract ideas, protected from the world and free of every flaw, we can turn the Gospel into a dull, meaningless and unattractive proposition. But he will show me a direction in life, for he is my Creator and I need to listen to his voice, so that, like clay in the hands of a potter, I can let myself be shaped and guided by him. Realize that there is beauty in the labourer who returns home grimy and unkempt, but with the joy of having earned food for his family. By this gift, and by the certainty of this call, you can go forward with assurance; you have nothing to fear; you can face everything together!”[142], 261. Sometimes mentors are put on a pedestal, and when they fall, it may have a devastating impact on young people’s ability to continue to engage with the Church. In this way, you will contribute greatly to something fundamental: preventing these atrocities from being repeated. In discerning your vocation, do not dismiss the possibility of devoting yourself to God in the priesthood, the religious life or in other forms of consecration. “No one is worse than one who is grudging to himself” (Sir 14:6). His relationships were those of a young person who shared fully in the life of his family and his people. A concrete dream who is a person, running through our veins, thrilling our hearts and making them dance”. Christ commands! SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 8. I have let myself be inspired by the wealth of reflections and conversations that emerged from last year’s Synod. Still, it must not be thought that Jesus was a withdrawn adolescent or a self-absorbed youth. Social engagement and direct contact with the poor remain fundamental ways of finding or deepening one’s faith and the discernment of one’s vocation… It was also noted that the young are prepared to enter political life so as to build the common good”.[91]. You can become what God your Creator knows you are, if only you realize that you are called to something greater. That is why it is always better to live the faith together and to show our love by living in community and sharing with other young people our affection, our time, our faith and our troubles. Those of us who are no longer young need to find ways of keeping close to the voices and concerns of young people. Without the wisdom of discernment, we can easily become prey to every passing trend”. For example, while adults often worry about having everything properly planned, with regular meetings and fixed times, most young people today have little interest in this kind of pastoral approach. [64] Address at the Opening of the XXXIV World Youth Day in Panama (24 January 2019): L’Osservatore Romano, 26 January 2019, 12. Dear young friends, do not let them exploit your youth to promote a shallow life that confuses beauty with appearances. The reverse of the fabric may look messy with its tangled threads – the events of our life – and maybe this is the side we dwell on when we doubt. “We can tell fearful young people that anxiety about the future can be overcome”. It is a matter of listening to someone who is sharing his very self in what he says. 134. Dear young people, “you are priceless! One is the development of the kerygma, the foundational experience of encounter with God through Christ’s death and resurrection. The Synod recognized that “albeit in a different way from earlier generations, social commitment is a specific feature of today’s young people. This can also be applied to times of difficulty, that have to be fully experienced if we are to learn the message they can teach us. These masters of manipulation also use another tactic: the cult of youth, which dismisses all that is not young as contemptible and outmoded. Ceferino died in 1905. [8] Hence we can understand why, when he returned from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, his parents readily thought that, as a twelve-year-old boy (cf. 59. The Synod Fathers acknowledged with sorrow that “many young people today live in war zones and experience violence in countless different forms: kidnapping, extortion, organized crime, human trafficking, slavery and sexual exploitation, wartime rape, and so forth. The Lord cannot fail in his promise to provide the Church with shepherds, for without them she would not be able to live and carry out her mission. Even more realistic questions then follow: Do I have the abilities needed to offer this kind of service? Certainly they need to he helped and guided, but at the same time left free to develop new approaches, with creativity and a certain audacity. Saint Basil the Great, writing to young people, used the effort demanded by athletics to illustrate the value of self-sacrifice as a means of growth in virtue: “These men endure sufferings beyond number, they use many means to build their strength, they sweat constantly as they train... in a word, they so discipline themselves that their whole life prior to the contest is but a preparation for it... How then can we, who have been promised rewards so wondrous in number and in splendour that no tongue can recount them, even think of winning them if we do nothing other than spend our lives in leisure and make but half-hearted efforts?”[123]. The experience of friendship teaches us to be open, understanding and caring towards others, to come out of our own comfortable isolation and to share our lives with others. [62] Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (19 March 2018), 140. Young people intensely feel the call to love; they dream of meeting the right person with whom they can form a family and build a life together. vv. Together, we can learn from one another, warm hearts, inspire minds with the light of the Gospel, and lend new strength to our hands. If in your heart you can learn to appreciate the beauty of this message, if you are willing to encounter the Lord, if you are willing to let him love you and save you, if you can make friends with him and start to talk to him, the living Christ, about the realities of your life, then you will have a profound experience capable of sustaining your entire Christian life. 140. Let us draw upon some of the richness of the sacred Scriptures, since they often speak of young people and of how the Lord draws near to encounter them. What is going on in their lives? Whatever you do, do not become the sorry sight of an abandoned vehicle! In our times, “advances in the sciences and in biomedical technologies have powerfully influenced perceptions about the body, leading to the idea that it is open to unlimited modification. The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive! What promise is present in my heart that I can take up? Don’t let yourselves be robbed of a great love. Christus Vivit. We also see how a certain kind of advertising teaches young people to be perpetually dissatisfied and contributes to the throwaway culture, in which young people themselves end up being discarded. Can I weep when I see a child who is starving, on drugs or on the street, homeless, abandoned, mistreated or exploited as a slave by society? Because the worst fall, and pay attention to this, the worst fall, the one that can ruin our lives, is when we stay down and do not allow ourselves to be helped up”.[67]. [79] CONFÉRENCE DES ÉVÊQUES SUISSES, Prendre le temps: pour toi, pour moi, pour nous, 2 February 2018. 210. 200. 107. You are the ones who hold the future! Our world is filled with beauty! The young Ruth was a model of generosity in remaining beside her Young people have so much strength; they are able to look ahead with hope. Many young people have come to appreciate silence and closeness to God. [157], 284. A mentor should believe wholeheartedly in a young person’s ability to participate in the life of the Church. 148. In the life of each young person, this “being there for others” normally has to do with two basic issues: forming a new family and working. I think of Saint John of the Cross, who wrote in his Spiritual Canticle that everyone should benefit from his spiritual advice “in his or her own way”,[87] for the one God wishes to manifest his grace “to some in one way and to others in another”.[88]. He is the source of youth at its best. Don’t go through life anaesthetized or approach the world like tourists. 0000017826 00000 n Don’t stand aloof, but immerse yourselves in the reality of life, as Jesus did”. “We can remind today’s young people, who have their own blend of heroic ambitions and insecurities, that a life without love is an arid life”. Those who are single, even if not by their own choice, can offer a particular witness to that vocation through their own path of personal growth. Young people today are the first to have to effect this synthesis between what is personal, what is distinctive to their respective cultures, and what is global. 0000009345 00000 n [54] Address at the Opening of the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (3 October 2018): L’Osservatore Romano, 5 October 2018, 8. También se refiere a la juventud como un tiempo de sueños y elecciones que puede estar iluminado por el evangelio y la amistad con Jesús. In these three truths – God loves you; Christ is your Saviour; he is alive – we see God the Father and Jesus. Dominic died in 1857 at fourteen years of age, saying: “What a wondrous thing I am experiencing!”. Hurts you have experienced might tempt you to withdraw from others, to turn in on yourself and to nurse feelings of anger, but never stop listening to God’s call to forgiveness. 146. Young people, do not let the world draw you only into things that are wrong and superficial. Along these lines, the Synod sought to renew the Church’s commitment “against all discrimination and violence on sexual grounds”. He was a catechist and assisted the missionaries. [36] “Moreover, in some youth circles, there is a growing fascination with risk-taking behaviour as a means of self-exploration, seeking powerful emotions and gaining attention… These realities, to which young generations are exposed, are an obstacle to their serene growth in maturity”.[37]. Instead, let yourself be loved by God, for he loves you just as you are. 0000002739 00000 n God lights up stars to help us keep walking: “The stars shine in their watches, and are glad; he calls them and they say: ‘Here we are!’” (Bar 3:34-35). 24. Joseph, for example, was one of the youngest of his family (cf. In this way they do not bring forth the gifts the Lord has given them; they do not offer the world those unique personal talents that God has given to each of them. If this is the case, we can stop complaining and look to the future, for with him this is always possible. Yet this image reflects, in a chilling way, what many young people experience when they graduate from certain educational institutions: an insurmountable disconnect between what they were taught and the world in which they live. Youth missions, which usually take place during school holidays after a period of preparation, can lead to a renewed experience of faith and even serious thoughts about a vocation. For young adults, this experience is highly fluid because they move from job to job and even from career to career. Each age has its beauty, and the years of our youth need to be marked by shared ideals, hopes and dreams, great horizons that we can contemplate together. 295. Contemplate his blood poured out with such great love, and let yourself be cleansed by it. Youth ministry, as traditionally carried out, has been significantly affected by … Nonetheless, young people also express “an explicit desire to discuss questions concerning the difference between male and female identity, reciprocity between men and women, and homosexuality”. Everything else will come in time, and even failures in life can be an invaluable way of experiencing that friendship, which will never be lost. This may demand that they look not to their own superficial wishes and desires, but rather to what is most pleasing to the Lord, to his plans for their life. 76. 184. [160] ROMANO GUARDINI, Die Lebensalter. 0000768728 00000 n Some young men and women were able to move forward because they heard that divine promise. Whenever you are enthused about life in common, you are capable of great sacrifices for others and for the community. Christus Vivit Study Guide for Small Groups or Personal Study October 3, 2019 Fr. Saint Paul said that his life was one of complete trust in that self-sacrificing love: “I now live by faith in the Son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). It is said that he spoke constantly of Christ and tried to convert his companions, to the point that he was ordered to renounce his faith. May all young people who are suffering feel the closeness of a Christian community that can reflect those words by its actions, its embrace and its concrete help. 201. 132. 209. 212. 182. [34], 82. Give yourselves over to the best of life! We can navigate simultaneously on two or more screens and interact at the same time with two or three virtual scenarios. 91. As Saint Augustine says: “Sing, but continue on your journey. Digital media can expose people to the risk of addiction, isolation and gradual loss of contact with concrete reality, blocking the development of authentic interpersonal relationships. In some young people, we can see a desire for God, albeit still vague and far from knowledge of the God of revelation. [110] EDUARDO PIRONIO, Message to Young Argentinians at the National Youth Meeting in Cordoba, (12-15 September 1985), 2. In other places still, Christian communities, and young people who belong to them, experience persecution”. Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ (24 May 2015), 145: AAS 107 (2015), 906. When he asks something of you, or simply makes you face life’s challenges, he is hoping that you will make room for him to push you, to help you grow. 166. It would be a serious mistake to think that in youth ministry “the kerygma should give way to a supposedly more ‘solid’ formation. Thérèse lived the little way of complete trust in the Lord’s love and determined to fan with her prayers the fire of love burning in the heart of the Church. Let us steer clear of young people who think that adults represent a meaningless past, and those adults who always think they know how young people should act. “It is to learn to feel connected to others by more than merely utilitarian and practical bonds, to be united in such a way as to feel that our life is a bit more human. Yet today the stress and quick pace of a world constantly bombarding us with stimuli can leave no room for that interior silence in which we can perceive Jesus’ gaze and hear his call. [122] Some Fathers of the Church used the example of the training of athletes to encourage the young to develop their strength and to overcome idleness and boredom. [85] Adult life, with its securities and comforts, can risk shrinking that horizon and losing that youthful excitement. That is the siren song of a future without roots and origins. “So often in life, we waste time asking ourselves: ‘Who am I?’ You can keep asking, ‘Who am I?’ for the rest of your lives. Perhaps your experience of fatherhood has not been the best. Il vit, le Christ, notre espérance et il est la plus belle jeunesse de ce monde. 0000018557 00000 n Please, do not leave it to others to be protagonists of change. There can be no turning back. As for outreach, I trust that young people themselves know how best to find appealing ways to come together. 31. “Where does Jesus send us? v. 13), and he came to experience the bitterness of loneliness and poverty (cf. Don’t let this happen to you, because the maelstrom of this world can drive you to take a route without real meaning, without direction, without clear goals, and thus thwart many of your efforts. This helps us to grow in the virtue of prudence and to give an overall direction to our life through concrete choices, in the serene awareness of both our gifts and our limitations”. At times, the hurt felt by some young people is heart-rending, a pain too deep for words. They should respect the freedom that comes with a young person’s process of discernment and equip them with tools to do so well. Their example shows what the young are capable of, when they open themselves up to encounter Christ”.[20]. 14-16). These include a fresh experience of the kerygma, wide-ranging dialogue, interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches, the promotion of a culture of encounter, the urgency of creating networks and an option in favour of those who are least, those whom society discards. Jer 1:7), and added: “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you” (Jer 1:8). You are priceless. And when you arrive where we have not yet reached, have the patience to wait for us”.[164]. Mt 2:19-23). Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth” (Jer 1:6). The Synod noted that in the area of work, young people can “experience forms of exclusion and marginalization, of which the first and most serious is youth unemployment, which in some countries reaches exorbitant levels. 266. 160. He got involved. This kind of listening seeks to discern their ultimate intention, the intention that definitively decides the meaning of their life. But the Lord told him not to say that (cf. 16:6-7). Nor is this the only sin of the members of the Church; her long history is not without its shadows. 0000001403 00000 n Though it is primarily written to young people, it also speaks directly to all of us who share faith and ministry with the young. Christ is alive! 53. Very often, they come to realize that there they receive much more than what they give. He is the one who quietly opens hearts to receive that message. In the end, good discernment is a path of freedom that brings to full fruit what is unique in each person, something so personal that only God knows it. I envision elders as a permanent choir of a great spiritual sanctuary, where prayers of supplication and songs of praise support the larger community that works and struggles in the field of life”. He became a Salesian seminarian, filled with the desire to return to his tribe, bringing Jesus Christ to them. If we hold fast to him, we will have life, and be protected from the threats of death and violence that may assail us in life. They will come, and in a much more beautiful and meaningful way, if you let yourself be prompted by the Holy Spirit. The Church has an important role as a point of reference for the young members of these divided families. To respond to our vocation, we need to foster and develop all that we are. It is passion, passionate love. [43] For many people, immersion in the virtual world has brought about a kind of “digital migration”, involving withdrawal from their families and their cultural and religious values, and entrance into a world of loneliness and of self-invention, with the result that they feel rootless even while remaining physically in one place. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who died in 1925, “was a young man filled with a joy that swept everything along with it, a joy that also overcame many difficulties in his life”. When we listen to others in this way, at a certain moment we ourselves have to disappear in order to let the other person follow the path he or she has discovered. 173. When the Lord awakens a vocation, he thinks not only of what you already are, but of what you will one day be, in his company and in that of others. 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