It is evident that Francis both respects young people and has confidence in their capacity to respond to their personal encounter with Christ. Francis rejects the notion that young people have to wait to be adults to act.
You, dear young people, are not the future but the now of God. He invites you and
calls you in your communities and cities to go out and find your grandparents, your elders;
to stand up and with them to speak out and realize the dream that the Lord has dreamed for you.
It is clear each time Francis speaks to youth that he wants them to see themselves as God does, as God’s Beloved. Without love, nothing is possible. The encounter with Christ inspires us to be those who love.
Not tomorrow but now, for wherever your treasure is, there will your heart also be (cf. Mt 6:21).
Whatever you fall in love with, it will win over not only your imagination, it will affect everything.
It will be what makes you get up in the morning, what keeps you going at times of fatigue, what
will break open your hearts and fill you with wonder, joy and gratitude. Realize that you have a
mission and fall in love; that will decide everything (cf. PEDRO ARRUPE, S.J., Nada es más práctico). We may possess everything, but if we lack the passion of love, we will have nothing.
Let us allow the Lord to make us fall in love!
We who accompany young people within the cultures of Sacred Heart Schools can hear the echo of Mother Stuart’s words in Francis’ urging young people to recognize their mission:
We must remember that each one of our children is destined for a mission in life.
Neither we nor they can know what it is, but we must know and make them believe
that each one has a mission in life and that she is bound to find out what it is, that there
is some special work for God which will remain undone unless she does it, some place in
life which no one else can fill.
This mission is to be people of loving action. We educators and parents might want to adopt the prayer of Father Arrupe as we work together on behalf of the children and youth who have been entrusted to us.
Falling In Love With God
Nothing is more practical than finding God,
that is, than falling in love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you
out of bed in the morning,
what you will do with your evenings,
how you will spend your weekends
what you read, who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you
with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
~ Pedro Arrupe, SJ