AA12: On Young People

AA12 begins with a bit of misplaced optimism, I think, with regard to political importance. But the rest seems spot on: Young persons exert very important influence in modern society. There has been a radical change in the circumstances of their lives, their mental attitudes, and their relationships with their own families. Frequently they move too quickly into a new social and economic status. While their social and even their political importance is growing from day to day, they seem to be unable to cope adequately with their new responsibilities.

If young people are influential, then something is asked of them with regard to their “apostolic activity” in the world. Can the natural qualities of youth be suitable for this? AA thinks so:

If this zeal is imbued with the spirit of Christ and is inspired by obedience and love for the Church, it can be expected to be very fruitful.

Peer ministry is important.

They should become the first to carry on the apostolate directly to other young persons, concentrating their apostolic efforts within their own circle, according to the needs of the social environment in which they live.

Bridge the generation gap, AA says. Does anybody even try these days?

Adults ought to engage in such friendly discussion with young people that both age groups, overcoming the age barrier, may become better acquainted and share the special benefits each generation can offer the other. Adults should stimulate young persons first by good example to take part in the apostolate and, if the opportunity presents itself, by offering them effective advice and willing assistance. By the same token young people should cultivate toward adults respect and trust, and although they are naturally attracted to novelties, they should duly appreciate praiseworthy traditions.

Thoughts, especially from any youth ministers in the crowd?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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