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Spiritual Development for our Youth
By Vunda Moutchia

Most of us youth in today's fast moving world are easily thrown off by difficulties and worries. Some of us use it as an excuse to turn their backs on God and stay away from the Church. They often wonder why they should have to go through all what they are experiencing if God truly loves and cares for them.

Of course, the Lord cares for each and every one of us. He allows everything that happens in our lives for a reason. This is my strong conviction. All we need is time, trust and patience to realize that God is a God of mercy Who is good all the time. He never wavers. He is always true to His Word.

The youth play a very important part in our Church. Over the years, the Holy Fathers have dedicated much to see that this generation is not left out. For the young are the leaders of tomorrow, not only in the Church but also in the society at large. Scripture reminds young adults to "Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth." This counsel from Ecclesiastes 12:1 sets the pace for this brief reflection of what it means to be young and be faithful to God.

In the midst of the troubles of life that shake our faith also lie the mysteries of the divine - "the painful experience of the Cross". In his Message of the Holy Father to the Youth of the World on the Occasion of the 15th World Youth Day, Blessed John Paul II has this to say:
"Dear young people, faced with these great mysteries, learn to lift your hearts in an attitude of contemplation. Stop and look with wonder at the infant Mary brought into the world, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger: the infant is God himself who has come among us. Look at Jesus of Nazareth, received by some and scorned by others, despised and rejected: He is the Saviour of all. Adore Christ, our Redeemer, who ransoms us and frees us from sin and death: He is the living God, the source of Life" (3).

True! Christ came to save us from sin. He won salvation for us by taking sin upon Himself and using it as the raw material for our redemption. He did this as the Letter to the Hebrews tells us so that we too can now offer our own sacrifice as part of His eternal offering, through Him, with Him and in Him. As young adults, we face many distractions in our faith, especially with the advent of new technological developments in a fast growing circularized society. But we always have the Cross as our reminder. Each time we sign ourselves in the course of each day, be it when we pray at home, before or after meals, at Mass or wherever we find ourselves, the Lord blesses and strengthens us.

We have the Holy Scriptures and the Sacraments to help us through. God speaks to us, not only through His Word, but also via the events in our lives. Our sufferings, worries, difficulties and our most down moments. He equally ministers to us in the happy moments we share with others. We should therefore learn to listen. For most of us, prayer is talking to God. We often miss out on the listening part. We should not try to find Him in the hustle and bustle of our lives, in the high tech gadgets or in the fast moving world. He is rather present in a special way in the gentle breeze that blows in the pains of others, in the illnesses of others, in the hunger or thirst of a neighbor or friend, in the needy. Whatever we do for others, we do for Christ.

God answers all prayers. There are three basic answers to which we must learn to be open to: "yes", "no" and "wait". We would always prefer the first one, deny the second one and never even think of the third one. Since we like the "yes" so much, why do we always use the "no" against His will for us or the "wait", I am not yet ready? Baptism as we know takes away original sin. But it does not take away our human weakness. Christ won salvation for us, but He did not take the Cross away from our lives. Carrying it is a continuous task if we want to follow Him faithfully. As youth and young adults, we should learn to embrace the Cross and draw inspiration therefrom.

In his message, the Holy Father reminds us that
"Fifteen years ago, at the close of the Holy Year of the Redemption, I entrusted to you a great wooden Cross, asking you to carry it across the world as a sign of the love which the Lord Jesus has for mankind and to proclaim to everyone that only in Christ who died and is risen is there salvation and redemption. Since that day, carried by generous hands and hearts, the Cross has made a long, uninterrupted pilgrimage across the continents, to demonstrate that the Cross walks with young people and young people walk with the Cross" (1).

Like Our Blessed Mother, let us learn to abandon ourselves to the Will of God, and "walk with the Cross ", even without knowing the consequences. We have every guarantee that He never fails. While on earth, Christ was always in communion with the Father. Mary was the same with her Son and with the Father through Him. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to give us the grace to know the Son so that we can also know and love the Father and selflessly accept His Will for us. By so doing, we will be able to positively build the Body of Christ here on earth, so that at the end of time, we are called from this life, we would be worth of the eternal communion in the love of the Trinity.

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Front Page

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