158. Many young people are concerned about their bodies, trying to build up physical strength or improve their appearance. Others work to develop their talents and knowledge, so as to feel more sure of themselves. Some aim higher, seeking to become more involved and to grow spiritually. Saint John said: “I write to you, young people, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you” (1 Jn 2:14).
Body, mind, or spirit? Human beings judge adulthood almost entirely on the first two. Even people of faith make such judgments base don physical maturity and intellectual accomplishment. These are not mutually exclusive to the spiritual life. Pope Francis clearly leans on the spiritual with a WWJD question for any particular circumstance:
Seeking the Lord, keeping his word, entrusting our life to him and growing in the virtues: all these things make young hearts strong. That is why you need to stay connected to Jesus, to “remain online” with him, since you will not grow happy and holy by your own efforts and intelligence alone. Just as you try not to lose your connection to the internet, make sure that you stay connected to the Lord. That means not cutting off dialogue, listening to him, sharing your life with him and, whenever you aren’t sure what you should do, asking him: “Jesus, what would you do in my place?”.[Cf. Meeting with Young People in the National Shrine of Maipú, Santiago de Chile (17 January 2018): L’Osservatore Romano, 19 January 2018, 7]
The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site.
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