On April 2, Pope Francis released his newest apostolic exhortation, Christus Vivit (“Christ is Alive”). The document is a response to the 2018 Ordinary Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. It’s a lengthy text, full of inspiring words, and I’ve pulled out a few that touched my own heart. While addressed to young people specifically, the pope also penned the document to “the entire people of God,” and his words are pertinent to all.
I highly recommend reading the full document, which is available digitally on the Vatican website (vatican.va) or in paperback from osvcatholicbookstore.com. Now, I will let Pope Francis speak for himself.
— “If the years of your youth are to serve their purpose in life, they must be a time of generous commitment, whole-hearted dedication, and sacrifices that are difficult but ultimately fruitful” (No. 108).
— “If you are young in years, but feel weak, weary or disillusioned, ask Jesus to renew you” (No. 109).
— “The one who fills us with his grace, the one who liberates us, transforms us, heals and consoles us is someone fully alive. He is the Christ, risen from the dead, filled with supernatural life and energy, robed in boundless light. … Alive, he can be present in your life at every moment, to fill it with light and to take away all sorrow and solitude” (Nos. 124-125).
— “Ask the Holy Spirit each day to help you experience anew the great message. Why not? You have nothing to lose, and he can change your life, fill it with light and lead it along a better path” (No. 131).
— “Youth is a blessed time for the young and a grace for the Church and for the world. It is joy, a song of hope and a blessing. Making the most of our youthful years entails seeing this season of life as worthwhile in itself, and not simply as a brief prelude to adulthood” (No. 135).
— “Keep following your hopes and dreams. But be careful about one temptation that can hold us back. It is anxiety. Anxiety can work against us by making us give up whenever we do not see instant results. Our best dreams are only attained through hope, patience and commitment, and not in haste. At the same time, we should not be hesitant, afraid to take chances or make mistakes” (No. 142).
— “Dear young people, make the most of these years of your youth. Don’t observe life from a balcony. Don’t confuse happiness with an armchair, or live your life behind a screen. … Give yourselves over to the best of life!” (No. 143).
— “Above all, in one way or another, fight for the common good, serve the poor, be protagonists of the revolution of charity and service, capable of resisting the pathologies of consumerism and superficial individualism” (No. 174).
— “If we journey together, young and old, we can be firmly rooted in the present, and from here, revisit the past and look to the future” (No. 199).
Gretchen R. Crowe is editorial director for periodicals at Our Sunday Visitor. Follow her on Twitter @GretchenOSV.