148. Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân, when imprisoned in a concentration camp, refused to do nothing but await the day when he would be set free. He chose “to live the present moment, filling it to the brim with love”. He decided: “I will seize the occasions that present themselves every day; I will accomplish ordinary actions in an extraordinary way”.[Five Loaves and Two Fish, Pauline Books and Media, 2003, pp. 9, 13]
As you work to achieve your dreams, make the most of each day and do your best to let each moment brim with love. This youthful day may well be your last, and so it is worth the effort to live it as enthusiastically and fully as possible.
When life is hard, there’s an impulse to withdraw from suffering and obstacles, and live for the end of the assault. The bishops of Switzerland are quoted here.
149. This can also be applied to times of difficulty, that have to be fully experienced if we are to learn the message they can teach us. In the words of the Swiss Bishops: “God is there where we thought he had abandoned us and there was no further hope of salvation. It is a paradox, but for many Christians, suffering and darkness have become… places of encounter with God”.[Conférence Des Évéques Suisses, Prendre le temps: pour toi, pour moi, pour nous, 2 February 2018]
And a final word for those whose life experiences are marked by a difficulty most others do not face:
The desire to live fully and experience new things is also felt by many young people with physical, mental and sensory disabilities. Even though they may not always be able to have the same experiences as others, they possess amazing resources and abilities that are often far above average. The Lord Jesus grants them other gifts, which the community is called to recognize and appreciate, so that they can discover his plan of love for each of them.
The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site.
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