Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Points of Reference
“For lack of guidance a people falls…” Proverbs 11: 14a
Did you know that the Pope cares so much about you, a teen-ager, that He writes and says things specifically for YOU? Did you know that in almost every official papal visit to a country there is an audience with youth as part of it? Did you know that every year the Holy Father writes a special letter just for you? Well, he does.
And just last month, in preparation for World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain in 2011, he wrote a very powerful—yet easy to read and understand—letter just for young people. If you want to read the whole thing (approximately 6 pages) you can go to the Vatican web site. I’d like to focus on just one or two sentences in the first section. The Holy Father says,
“…it is vital to have roots, a solid foundation! This is particularly true today. Many people have no stable points of reference on which to build their lives, and so they end up deeply insecure. There is a growing mentality of relativism, which holds that everything is equally valid, that truth and absolute points of reference do not exist. But this way of thinking does not lead to true freedom, but rather to instability, confusion and blind conformity to the fads of the moment. As young people, you are entitled to receive from previous generations solid points of reference to help you make choices and on which to build your lives…”.
Isn’t this awesome? How many people your age (or older) are wandering around insecure, confused or simply mindlessly conforming to whatever the latest trends might be? And are these people happy? I’m sure on the outside they try to look like the life of the party, but deep down, they are miserable. When we live our lives without a solid foundation, stable points of reference and guidance from God, then we are not able to see the big picture, we are not able to make sense of life and we certainly can’t be happy and fulfilled. In fact, all we do is spend our lives trying to fill the void with things that will just continue to leave us more and more empty, insecure and confused.
But the Good News is that there is Truth and there are absolute points of reference on which to build our lives. And Jesus has given us the Church to guide us through this life to the next. Our lives have the potential of greatness because we can know our purpose and live it with God’s grace. I know that sometimes during the teen years life can seem overwhelming, confusing and stressful, even with these points of reference, but think of how difficult it would be without them? So each young person reading this that does have these points of reference and this foundation, has an obligation to spread this hope and this surety to your friends. They are counting on you. And so is the Holy Father.
Dear Jesus, thank You for giving me the foundation of Truth, the stability of absolute points of reference and the guidance of Your Church. Please give me the grace to recognize these things in the midst of our secular, relativistic culture, that I may live in this freedom and hope and share it with others. Amen.