Posts Tagged 'World Youth Day'

The Gift of Youthful Fidelity

When Pope Benedict XVI met with young women religious at World Youth Day last week, he said, among many other beautiful things, that “the Church needs your youthful fidelity, rooted and built up in Christ.” It seems like such a simple statement, an obvious reality. But as I have sat with this since last week, I have been struck by his use of the word need.

I have the privilege of spending lots of time with young women who are either contemplating a religious vocation or have recently begun the formation process in religious life. I experience their “youthful fidelity” on a daily basis, and it is always—always—a source of inspiration and encouragement to me. There is a freshness and a vitality to their love for Christ that rekindles my own “first love” and reminds me of just why I have committed myself to Christ in the service of the Church for a lifetime. I think the Pope was 100% on-target with his use of the word “need.” The Church does need the witness of youthful fidelity to Christ, as a confirmation that boldly proclaims that all we have been promised by God is trustworthy…and that God is worth the gift of our lives!

The Holy Father went on to say to young women religious: “Your lives must testify to the personal encounter with Christ which has nourished your consecration, and to all the transforming power of that encounter.” It all starts with a personal relationship with Christ…and from there, if we remain open to his love, he can transform all that is fearful within us to trust, all that is anxious within us to courage, all that is doubtful within us to deep, deep faith. May the Christ who knows each of us so personally, through the power of his Spirit, fill you this day with the love of his Heart.

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World Youth Day

“Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith”

The theme for World Youth Day 2011, taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians (2:7), is rather striking. If you take a moment to read the passages of scripture that come just before and after this verse, you can see that St. Paul is warning his readers and encouraging them to be determined believers in Jesus Christ. As one who believes in Jesus Christ, you will experience persons who will want to “deceive you by specious arguments (2:4), or to “captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ (2:8).” Using the gifts of Faith, Hope and Love that you received in Baptism are powers of the soul that can be excercised against deception. Faith is a light that shines in our minds to see the truth; hope is striving for the good we do not yet possess and enduring hardship to reach that good, and love – of God and for God – is the reason why we believe and hope in Jesus Christ.

The powers identified by Paul will tempt us to believe something less than what is true, or to love what is not trully good for us. Making a spiritual pilgrimage to Madrid, Spain will strengthen each of us to recognize and commit ourselves to Jesus Christ, who is the Way, Truth and Life, in our lives. May your pilgrimage make you firm in faith!

USCCB Vocations Fair at World Youth Day!

If you’re planning to attend World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain, plan to join us at our Vocations Fair. Read more here.



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