Thursday, 8 February 2007

The first question

Fr Julian's appraisal of the Holy Father's message to young people lifts our spirits; today we need a spirituality which literally does that. Pope Benedict is giving great life to the whole Church, not just to the young.
While I was preparing the shortened version of John Paul II's "Letter to young people" I was struck by the way in which he was building up the spiritual life of the young in the midst of a hugely secular environment.

Friendship is itself something which happens in freedom. The most natural friendship is the friendship we have with Christ, for Christ is the one who approaches us in utter freedom. A relationship with him is like no other for with Him we can emerge as persons - people whose identity and task in life are closely aligned.

This is how John Paul II describes the beginning of friendship with Christ:

Around you, you hear all kinds of words. But only Christ speaks words that stand the test of time and remain for all eternity. The time of life that you are living calls for decisive choices on your part: decisions about the direction of your studies, about work, about your role in society and in the Church. It is important to realise that among the many questions surfacing in your minds, the decisive ones are not about “what”. The basic question is “who”: “who” am I to go to, “who” am I to follow, “to whom” should I entrust my life? (JPII, Homily for the Conclusion of World Youth
Day, Rome, 2000)

Of all the contacts and friendships we have, one relationship stands out because in it there opens up a dialogue that concerns the whole of my life. Ask yourself: who do I spend time with? Who are my special friends? What do I talk about with them? What other questions exist in my heart that are not expressed in those friendships?

The great treasure of a young person is that he or she can be open to an encounter with Christ as the whole plan of his or her life is emerging. And in that encounter there begins a school of faith – founded in friendship. A friendship which will “give meaning and shape to [his or her] entire life.” (Rome, 2000)
“To whom should I entrust my life?” This is the fundamental question of friendship.

No comments: