A Curious Contradiction: Weekly Message for 10-9-2018

Dear Digital Pilgrims, pax Christi:

The Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment is well underway.  Our prayers are with the Holy Father and all the participants. Young people are and always have been a source of hope for the future.  It seems so obvious, but the future of the Church and the human family is, literally, in their hearts, minds, and hands.

While the Synod unfolds, we have a chance to reflect on a curious contradiction in today’s world.  On the one hand, today’s popular culture tends to glorify youth by continually flooding us with images associating true happiness with the buoyancy, beauty, and strength of the young.  Yet, on the other hand, many members of the older generations simultaneously deprecate the younger generations, pessimistically sneering at their supposed immaturity and corruption.

What about you?  What do you expect from the young people in your life?  

When we look at how Christ interacted with young people, and how young people have contributed to the life of the Church throughout the ages, we find a truer vision than either of those offered by today’s culture.  We find a vision full of possibilities, a vision of young people who have lived heroic lives of faith, courage, and Christlike love. It is to some of these heroic youth that we turned in our most recent Retreat Guide: Faithful Unto Death: A Retreat Guide on Heroic Youth, prepared with the current Synod in mind.

St. Agnes and St. José Luis Sánchez del Rio – the main focus of the Retreat Guide’s meditations – are two young people from very different times and places who shared a common love and a common courage.  They are shining examples of what happens when young men and women truly decide to make Jesus the center of their lives.

As we all join our hearts and minds to the Synod of Bishops during these weeks, I encourage you to take some time to pray through this new Retreat Guide, maybe even watch it together with some young people.  Let Christ’s vision of a faith-filled young life color your imagination and inspire you to renewed hope as we all continue forward on our own faith-journeys.

God bless you!

 In Him, Fr John Bartunek, LC, SThD

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  1. A fair amount of controversy has surrounded this synod, rather like the 2014 synod on the family. Archbishop Chaput, for example, has concerns that the LI was packed by left leaning bishops, and was not the product of a discerning and questioning youth.I’m fairly certain that these concerns are shared by prelates such as Raymond Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Muller, strong defenders of the Catholic faith. I’ll await the outcome and, of course, will pray for the synod to be infused by the Holy Spirit.

  2. I was frustrated to learn, from a recent article in the UK Catholic Herald. that the university evangelical group CCO, was denied the opportunity to participate in this Synod. I believe that decision requires some explanation. Kevin

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