"You are the hope of the Church and of the world, you are my hope." These words, pronounced by St. John Paul II on October 22, 1978, at the beginning of his pontificate, resonate even more intensely today, when we are in what I would call a "crisis of faith."
In other times in history, when Christians were forbidden to go to church, to visit the Lord in the Tabernacle or to receive the Sacraments, did they stand idly by and do nothing, shut themselves up in their homes and watch their faith deteriorate little by little, content to watch Mass on television, in the best of cases? Quite the opposite! In those difficult times, even in the midst of wars or horrible persecutions, Christians turned to the Lord with more faith, with more confidence. They knew that the real life is the life in Heaven, so they were not afraid— or even if they were— they risked their lives to have the Food that would help them reach this goal, for they knew that it would be of no use to have all the riches in the world or perfect health if the life of their soul was lost. The desire and need for God was palpable in them, for they recognized that He was the One who ruled and directed history, the ONLY One who could bring men out of the situation they were living in.
All this should be a wake-up call for all of us, since this phenomenon is bringing to light how our society (and especially the Christians) is falling into a lamentable mediocrity. So I encourage you, young people, and anyone else reading this article, to keep going to church and encourage others to do the same. Don't be afraid to propose in your parish various initiatives such as hours of adoration to keep vigil with the Lord who is in the Tabernacle. There is so much that can be done... We need Jesus Christ!
The truth is that we don’t lack good examples, and it is not that they are examples of people who lived hundreds of years ago, from other times when things were different; NO, they are young people like us, young students, young people of today. In Syria, for example, Christians have already lived through many years of war, and not only war, but bloody religious persecution. However, they have not abandoned the Lord, nor have they considered leaving the spiritual life; every time they go to Mass— and they go whenever they can— they risk not returning alive, because on the way to the church they may be hit by a bomb.
On July 28, 2013, while World Youth Day was being held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), in one of the cities in Syria most affected by the war, Aleppo, instead of lamenting and feeling sorry that they had not been able to be with the Pope and the rest of the world's youth, and despite being in the midst of war, the young people got together to hold their own World Youth Day. At the end, they consecrated themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are running circles around us!
YOUNG PEOPLE, IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP FROM YOUR SLEEP, IT'S TIME TO GET MOVING! If, as St. John Paul II said, we are the hope of the Church, let us get to work and use all our strength and all the gifts the Lord has given us to bring Christ back to the world.
My name is Maria Aguado. I am from Valencia, Spain, and I am a member of the Home of the Mother. I grew up in a Catholic family: we prayed the Rosary as a family and went to daily Mass and weekly reunions with the Home of the Mother.
I always lived "my parents' faith," and did everything because I had it clear that that was how it had to be in my house. There came a moment when I rebelled against God because I did not want to do what He was asking me: consecrate myself to Him as a Servant Sister of the Home of the Mother (the consecrated feminine branch of the institution). This rebellion led me to a faith crisis. Realizing what I was falling into, I asked the Lord to please give me the strength to love Him again and to recover the faith I had culpably lost.
I'm not thankful for what happened, because it was a hard time in which I know the Lord suffered a lot. But, I think that it caused me to take the step to leave behind the "the faith of my parents" and decide to live totally for the Lord.
It's a process, but even though I have a lot of failures, I am happy to do his will and have the opportunity to encourage other young people to live their faith in total surrender.