Young People, Faith and Vocation Discernment

In spite of the great and numerous advancements we have seen in all spheres of life today, the restlessness in the human heart has also increased proportionately. This growing sense of hopelessness and void is also felt among church goers and particularly among young people. The development of faith in young people, needs careful discernment and guidance in the area of life’s vocation. Over the centuries the Church has been entrusted with a sacred deposit of faith, whereby it has never lost its vision of hope and joy even in the most difficult of times. This deposit of faith passed down through Scripture and Tradition, is surprisingly even more relevant today, as it issues a clarion call to young people in this very challenging and urgent period of history.

Handing on the torch of faith, St. Paul writing to Timothy recalls,

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and now I am sure dwells in you. (2 Timothy 1: 5)

Timothy or any Christian child, with proper faith nurturing, possesses in their growing years one of the greatest blessings in life. Godly Christian parents produce godly children in faith. This is achieved by transmitting a strong knowledge of faith. Timothy’s grandmother and mother were staunch believers who were faithful and devout. Sometimes one parent may not even be a believer like Timothy’s dad (cf. Acts 16:1). Yet Timothy received ample faith, primarily through the study of scriptures from his earliest days. “…and how from infancy you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ”(2 Tim 3: 15). 

In this article, we wish to offer some suggestions which parents and teachers on the one hand, and young people on the other, can take note of in the application of Scripture to the faith development of young people. It is hoped that these reflections will assist young people as they discern how God is leading them to a vocation as disciples who seek to follow Jesus more faithfully in their way of life.

Two areas where parents and teachers can apply scripture in the development of faith and discernment to their children.

1. Starting them young for their ultimate future.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn away from it (Proverbs 22:6).

Any training is difficult at that time but later it will produce fruit. “Now discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). This faith training which leads to growth in discernment is crucial for developing the young person. It exposes the modern counterculture of death which is hardly any improvement for life and its future. The young people are faced with a superficial lifestyle without dealing seriously with the root problems of a narcissistic society. A culture where faith is not at its centre degenerates inevitably into chaos and crisis. Without a positive environment of faith and the teaching of scripture instilled upon the young, the backlash of a culture of death, will keep the young in a state of stupor and uncertainty.

Donald C. Coggan sums up the human condition that needs teaching and guidance; “I go through life as a transient on his way to eternity, made up in the image of God but with the image debased, needing to be taught how to meditate, to worship, to think.” The training of faith teaches the young how to endure difficulties and pain. This is especially rewarding when the crisis of life hits them. Faith that comes from suffering helps them to recognize the strength they need to endure the trials of life that must come. We rejoice greatly in our suffering because it produces endurance, and endurance produces character (Romans 5:3).

2. Rooting their children in faith

The first seven chapters of the book of Proverbs exhorts children to listen to their father. Listen my children to your father’s instruction (Proverbs 1:8; 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1; 7:1). There is a godly wisdom that is handed down to a child by parents and by no other means. The child can never acquire this on its own. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5) Submission to an elder and to a life of faith is the foundation of all learning. (cf. Ephesians 6:1)Creating a teachable spirit upon the young is the quintessence of a successful parent.  And how from infancy you have known the sacred scriptures that are able to instruct you and save you through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15)

Teaching faith is crucial because the so called “logical world” cannot provide adequate answers about the true purpose of life. This aspect of faith comes from a proper explanation of the scriptures (cf. Romans 10:17).To inspire and reinforce faith, repetition and focus are needed because of the godless existence of an environment of faithlessness. We live in a state that does not value prayer, faith and reflection. Distraction is the order of the day. As the human mind receives thousands of stimuli, both positive and negative, the natural ability of the brain is enhanced when, with singleness of purpose, young people centre their attention upon a desired object of study. (Dr. Richard J. Forster, Celebration of Discipline. The discipline of study.)The task is to root the child with constant links to a life and teaching of faith.

Much of today’s culture is a mirror of the worst features of an older, sick society. The pseudo-liberation eroticism, elements of sadomasochism and sexist advertisement in much of the underground press is part of the perversion of the old order and an expression of death. (Arthur G. Gish, Beyond the Rat Race, New Canaan, CT: Keats, 1973).Consequently, negative elements watched through the internet and media repeatedly trains the inner mind in destructive thought patterns.

A life which is rooted in faith, explains that it is that very sense of faith that stirs the conscience that has been sullied and shamed by the sinful deed (Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, A Religious and Political Analysis, Tradition Magazine, Vol 27. No. 3, Spring 1993, p. 31) “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up”(Deuteronomy 6:7).

Two areas young people can apply scripture to their development of faith and discernment of vocation.

Paul begins a series of strong charges directed to Timothy and all young people. He reminds the young person of the aspects of developing the gift of faith that he or she receives.

1. Rekindle the gift of God

For this reason, I remind you to rekindle, (fan into flame) the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6)     

What is this gift of God? It refers to the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit to equip a young person in faith to be of service. Some may have the gift to teach catechism, another to be part of a choir and yet another to work among the poor. Pope Benedict reminds us that even these noble talents are nothing without the gift of faith which enables us to experience the risen Christ. It is not enough to be a good person, even to the point of working for the eradication of evil and injustice. In the words of Pope Benedict, “indeed many Christians dedicate their lives to those who are lonely, marginalized or excluded…but it’s through faith that we recognize the risen Christ in those who ask for our love”. (Article No.14 Motu Proprio Data- Porta Fidei, Apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI for the indiction of the year of faith)Hence, faith expresses itself through love, not just by a show of activity (cf. Gal 5:6).

St. Paul uses the word “stir up” or “fan into flame” (Greek: anazopureo), it means to keep blazing and to keep the flame of the fire burning. It could also mean to rekindle or to re-stir the flame, indicating that the flame could be dying out. Sometimes a young person needs to be re-stirred and rekindled. “Zeal is required to stir up the gift of God for it lies within our power to kindle or to quench grace. By laziness and carelessness, it is extinguished, and by attentiveness and diligence it is kept aflame”(St. John Chrysostom, homilies on 2 Timothy 1).

Pope St. John Paul II, speaking on reaching out to fellow Catholics as a means to a “New Evangelization,” calls young people not to be afraid to use new methods of witnessing to the unchanging truth of the gospel. Timothy may have been a good fellow, even a kind and loyal Christian, but Paul is reminding him to keep his spiritual gifts blazing and burning to the hottest degree possible. It echoes the apocalyptic reprimand, “Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16).

The idea of “stirring up” (Greek: anazopureo)is in the present tense, which means it is progressive and a continuous action. The young person is to keep stirring up his gifts, never letting its flame lose its intensity. Never slacking or losing zeal. Every young person anointed with the Holy Spirit at Confirmation possesses a very special grace. God has gifted him or her with a special vocation in faith. The young person must therefore do exactly what God has gifted them to do.

2. In the spirit of power, love and self-control

“God has not given us a spirit of timidity but rather a spirit of power and of love and self-control.” (2 Tim 1:7)

Too often young people fear standing up for Jesus and his Church not because they do not love God but because they fear ridicule. One may feel the embarrassment of being called “holy”. Mockery and criticism follow if a mistake occurs. Opposition from elders that “You are not mature enough” or being abused for standing up for justice reinforces these fears. Every young person at one time or another will experience such an obstacle when witnessing to their faith. (cf. 1 Tim 4:12) It is precisely for this reason the Holy Spirit infuses power into the heart of the young person to face the strain of difficulties and trials. Power to take on a job and do it well. Power to be confident in proclaiming Jesus both in deed and word. Power to withstand the temptations of darkness and sin (cf. Micah 3:8).I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power in your inner being (Ephesians 3:16; Acts 1:8: 4:33)

Paul is quick to add love into any gift of the Holy Spirit so that it will be well executed in a wise and mature manner. “Follow the manner of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts” (1 Cor 14:1). The kind of love that Paul speaks about is “agape”love. (Greek: unconditional sacrificial love) Agape love is God’s love. God alone possesses it therefore only God alone can infuse it through the Holy Spirit, “…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).

To make it complete, the Holy Spirit infuses self-discipline (Greek: sophronismou))meaning, a disciplined character (1 Tim 1::7) with self-control which is the final fruit of the spirit (cf. Gal 5:22)Self-control is the mastery over one’s mind, heart and actions despite the opposition.(cf. Rom 8:5-7; cf. 1 Thess 5:6-7 cf.  Hebrews 12:7; cf. 1 Pet 1:13)Self-control makes a mockery of the superficiality of our age. It bares opens the immaturity and the curse of instant satisfaction which results in a vicious cycle of a hangover, shame and destruction. It calls young people to move beyond surface living into what is genuine and meaningful. For the many young people who are in bondage caused by pornography, fornication, drugs and drinking; scripture has strong warnings on the condition of their soul. “They are blots and blemishes, reveling in the pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable, they are experts of greed- an accursed brood” (2 Peter 2: 13b- 14).Even for the lukewarm and self-confident, St. Augustine cautions, “we are lost when we are satisfied with our condition.”

Self-control and spiritual disciplines are not simply for saints or sinners but rather are the ordinary means of seeking liberation. The church calls this abstinence or penance. Dr. Richard J. Forster in his work ‘Celebration of Discipline’ emphasizes: “Self-control is not some means to terminate liberation but rather on the contrary it results in dancing, singing even shouting a ‘Yes’ with fists in the air as a result of triumphant victory.  It is not some dull drudgery aimed at exterminating laughter from the face of the earth. It is certainly not for the coward and the weak but for the humble and the honest”. Thomas Merton encourages the young when he says, “But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything but beginners all our life!” (Merton, Contemplative Prayer)

Conclusion

Therefore, if any young person like Timothy be guided by faith and is willing to respond to the stirring of the gifts, inevitably the young person will develop and progress in his capacity to discern what is true “agape” love and the mastery of self-control.

The testimony of hundreds of case studies have proven that the young can be victorious in their struggle against the dark world of sin and shame. (Rabbi Basil F. Herring, “Choice Diminished Behaviour and Religious and Communal Policy,” in Yitzchok Berger and David Shatz (edts), Judaism, Science and Moral Responsibility: Orthodox Forum, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield (2006),pp. 162, 168 )It is to these young ones who are willing to plunge into sacred scriptures, whom none else can instruct better but one willing to keep the word of God in his heart. (cf. Psalm 119:9-11)

Ultimately it is the young people that Pope Francis sees as the future of our humanity with the vision of faith enkindled in their hearts.Pope Francis, in his message for World Mission Day 2017 states, that young people are the hope of mission.

The person of Jesus Christ and the Good News he proclaims continue to attract many young people to a vocation as disciples, following in the footsteps of their Divine Master.With courage and enthusiasm, they seek ways to put themselves at the service of humanity. “There are many young people who offer their solidarity in the face of the evils of the world and engage in various forms of militancy and volunteering … How beautiful it is to see that young people are street preachers, joyfully bringing Jesus to every street, every town square and every corner of the earth!”  (Message of Pope Francis, for World Mission Day 2017- Mission at the heart of the Christian Faith-106)

Questions for reflection

  1. Who are the elders, mentors and heroes in your life that have shown you the beauty of faith and scripture?
  2. What is the primary requirement for a young person embarking on the faith journey?
  3. Do you agree that the discipline of self- control is essential to counter a culture of death? Why?
  4. How can I pursue a life of joy, strength and purpose as a young person?

Suggested books for further reading

  1. Loyola, St. Ignatius. The Spiritual Exercises, Robert Backhouse, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1989 (May). A programme of spiritual exercises, including examination of conscience, meditation, and other methods of prayer with guidance on adaption to individual needs and difficulties.
  2. Sales, St. Francis de, An Introduction to the Devout life, London: Hodder and Stoughton,
  3. Much of this material is the result of counsel Francis grace to a single individual. Mdm. Louise Charmoisy, in the early seventeen century. It covers a wide variety of spiritual matters for those seeking to deepen their devotional life.
  4. Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, Life Together. Translated by John W. Doberstein. London. SCM Press. 1954. Powerful insights into the life of service, solitude and confession.

2018年圣经主日文告
年轻人、信仰和圣召分辨

尽管今天我们看到各个生活领域中无数巨大的进展,人们心中的不安感也相应地增加了。教会信众,特别是年轻人,都感受到这种越来越无望和虚无的紧逼压力。在年轻人信仰成长的人生圣召领域,需要谨慎分辨和指引。几个世纪以来,教会一直被赋予信仰的神圣遗产,即使在最艰难的时期,它也从未失去希望和喜乐的愿景。这种由圣经和传统传承下来的信仰遗产,在今天更显贴切,因为它在这个深具挑战性的历史时期向年轻人发出了号角声。

在提到信德时,圣保禄写给弟茂德的书信提及:“我记得你那毫无虚伪的信德,这信德首先存在你外祖母罗依和你母亲欧尼刻的心中,我深信也存在你的心中。”(弟后1:5)

无论是弟茂德或任何基督徒子女,只要有正规的信仰培育,他们在成长的岁月就拥有生命中最大的祝福之一。虔敬的基督徒父母在信仰中孕育虔敬的儿女,这通过传递强大的信仰知识得以实现。弟茂德的祖母和母亲都是忠信和虔诚的坚定信徒。有时候,其中一名家长甚至可能不是信徒,如同弟茂德的父亲(参阅宗16:1)。然而,弟茂德主要凭着他年幼学习的圣经中获得相当的信德。“你自幼便通晓了圣经,这圣经能使你凭着那在基督耶稣内的信德,获得得救的智慧”(弟后3:15)

在这篇文章中,我们愿意提供一些建议,帮助父母和师长,去辅引年轻人的信仰成长中善用圣经。在分辨上主旨意,看看祂如何引领青年成为门徒时,希望这些省思能够帮助他们,更加忠信地跟随耶稣。

在孩子的信仰成长和分辨中,家长和老师可以在这两方面善用圣经:

1.准备未来,从小开始

“你教导孩童应行的道路,待他年老时也不会离弃。”(箴22:6)那时期的任何训练都是艰难的,但他最终会结出果实。“固然各种惩戒,在当时似乎不是乐事,而是苦事;可是,以后却给那些这样受训练的人,结出义德的和平果实。”(希12:11)这种加强识辨能力的信德培训对于培养年轻人是至关重要的。它揭露了,对生活和未来几乎不会有任何改善的现代反死亡文化。年轻人面对肤浅的生活方式,却没有认真面对自恋社会的根本问题。不是以信仰为核心的文化,无可避免地陷入混乱和危机之中。如果没有积极的信仰环境,同时向年轻人灌输圣经教导,死亡文化的反弹将使他们处于麻木和不确定状态中。

Donald C. Coggan总结人类需要教导和指引的状况; “我在生命中度过了一段短暂,并以上主的肖像构成的永恒之旅。随着肖像重要性的削弱,我需要学习如何默想、敬拜和思考。”信德的培训教导年轻人如何忍受困难和痛苦。当生命危机来袭时,这尤其有益。来自苦难的信德帮助他们领悟到,他们需要力量来承受必须面对的生命考验

2.教导孩子,扎根信德

箴言前七章恳请孩子听命于他们的父亲。“我儿,你应听你父亲的教训。”(箴1:8;2:1;3:1;4:1;5:1;6:1;7:1)有一种虔敬的智慧,孩子永远无法自行获得,只能由父母传递给孩子,别无他法。“你应全心信赖上主,总不要依赖自己的聪明。”(箴3:5)服从长辈和信德生命是一切学习的根基。(参阅弗6:1)在年轻人身上创建一颗受教的心灵,是成功父母的精髓。“你自幼便通晓了圣经,这圣经能使你凭着那在基督耶稣内的信德,获得得救的智慧。”(弟后3:15)

传授信仰至关重要,因为所谓的“逻辑世界”无法对生活的真正目的提供满意的答案。这方面的信仰来自圣经的正确诠释(参阅罗10:17)。为了启发和加强信仰,重复和专注是必要的,因为无信仰环境中否定神明的存在。我们处在一个不重视祈祷、信仰和省思的状态。人类大脑接收成千上万,正面和负面的刺激,干扰是例常之事;当年轻人将注意力集中在所希望研究的项目,这个单一的目的上,大脑的自然能力将随之增强。(Dr. Richard J. foster, Celebration of Discipline. The discipline of study)传授信仰是为了让孩子的生活与信仰的教导持续相联系。

今日文化大部分是反映陈旧、病态社会最糟征状的一面明镜。大多地下新闻媒体中,充斥着伪解放性色情主义、施虐受虐狂和性别歧视广告的内容,是扭曲旧秩序和表达死亡的一部分。(Arthur G. Gish, beyond the Rat Race, New Canaan, CT: Keats, 1973)。因此,消极因素通过互联网和媒体,反复以破坏性思维模式训练内心思想。

一个扎根信仰的生命阐明了,真正的信德体现如何激起被罪恶行为所玷污和羞辱的良知(Rabbi Hillel Goldberg,A Religious and Political Analysis, Tradition magazine, Vol 27. No.3, Spring 1993,p.31) “将这些话灌输给你的子女。不论你住在家里、或在路上行走、或卧或立,常应讲论这些话。“(申6:7)。

在信仰成长和圣召分辨中,年轻人可以在这两方面善用圣经:

保禄开始向弟茂德和所有年轻人发出一系列强烈的指控。他提醒年轻人发挥他们所领受的信仰恩赐。

1.炽燃天主的恩赐

“为了这个缘故,我提醒你把天主藉我的覆手所赋予你的恩赐,再炽燃起来”(弟后1:6)

什么是天主的恩赐?它指的是圣神的属灵恩赐;装备拥有信仰的年轻人去服务。有些人可能有教授教理的恩赐、有的可以成为合唱团的一员、而有的可以服务穷人。教宗本笃十六世提醒我们,如果信仰的恩赐无法使人体验复活的基督,那么即使拥有高尚的才能也都不算什么。单是成为一个好人是不够的,即使是达到为消除邪恶和不公正而努力不懈的程度。用教宗本笃十六世的话说:“的确,许多基督徒将生命奉献给那些孤独,被边缘化或被排斥的人…但是,通过信仰,我们在那些需要我们爱的人身上认出复活的基督。” (Article No. 14 Motu Proprio Data-Porta fidei, Apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI for the indication of the year of faith)因此,唯有以爱德行事的信德,才算什么,不仅是表面行为(参阅迦5:6) 。

圣保禄使用“激起”或“扇入火焰”(希腊语:Anazopureo)的词语,它意味着保持炽烈并保持火焰持续燃烧。这也可能意味着重新炽燃或重新激起火焰,显示火焰也会有熄灭的可能。有时候,一个年轻人需要重新被激起和重新点燃。“要激起上主的恩赐需要那存在我们内的热情,藉以点燃或施行恩典。因着怠懈和粗心,它被熄灭,但是因着勤奋和细心,它持续燃烧。”(金口圣若望,弟后1章的证道)。

圣教宗若望保禄二世在讲论向天主教徒进行“新福传”时,呼吁年轻人不要害怕使用新的方法来见证福音的不变真理。弟茂德可能是个好人,甚至是个善良和忠诚的基督徒,但保禄提醒他,应使他的属灵恩赐持续炽烈并燃烧到最热程度。默示的谴责迴声响起:“你既然是温的,也不冷,也不热;我必要从我口中把你吐出去。”(默3:16)。

“激起”(希腊语:Anazopureo)的概念是现在式的,意味着它是前进和持续的行动。年轻人要不断地激起他的恩赐,绝不让火焰的强度削弱,绝不松弛或失去热情。每个年轻人在坚振时领受圣神傅油的特别恩典,天主恩赐他们信德的特别圣召。因此,年轻人必须遵照天主所恩赐的行事。

2.大能、爱德和慎重之神

“天主所赐给我们的,并非怯懦之神,而是大能、爱德和慎重之神。”(弟后1:7)

年轻人常害怕挺身维护耶稣和教会,不是因为不爱天主,而是害怕被嘲笑。他们可能会因为被称“圣洁”而感到尴尬;如果发生错误,将受到嘲笑和批评;或遭到长辈反呛“你还不够成熟”或因伸张正义的行为被滥用。这些都使恐惧加剧。每个年轻人在某个时刻都会在见证信仰时,遭到这样的障碍。(参阅弟前4:12)正是因为这个原因,圣神将大能倾注在年轻人心中,以面对困难和考验。使他们有能力承担工作并将它做好;有自信的能力以言以行宣扬耶稣;有能力抵挡黑暗和罪恶的试探(参看米3:8)。“求他依照他丰富的光荣,藉着他的圣神,以大能坚固你们内在的人。”(弗3:16;宗1:8,4:33)

保禄敏于将爱注入圣神所有恩赐中,好让它能以明智和成熟的方式执行。 “你们要追求爱,但也要渴慕神恩。”(格前14:1)。保禄谈到的那种爱是“爱加倍”的爱(博爱 )(希腊语:无条件牺牲的爱)。博爱是天主的爱,唯独天主拥有它,因此只有天主才能将它经由圣神倾注,“……在爱中生活,就如基督爱了我们,且为我们把自己交出,献于天主作为馨香的供物和祭品。”(弗5:2)。

为使爱满全,圣神倾注节制(希腊语:Sophronismou),意即一个有纪律的品格(弟前1:7),这是圣神果实的最后一个(迦5:22 )。节制征服了人的思想,心灵和行为。 (参阅罗8:5-7;撒前5:6-7,希12:7; 伯后1:13)。节制嘲弄我们的肤浅时代。它揭开了未成熟和瞬间满足感的诅咒,导致了宿醉、羞耻和破坏的恶性循环。它呼吁年轻人从表面生活转向真正有意义的生活。对于许多因色情,淫乱,毒品和饮酒而受到束缚的年轻人,圣经对他们灵魂的状况给予强烈的警告。“他们是些污秽肮脏的人;当他们同你们宴乐时,纵情于淫乐;他们满眼邪色,犯罪不嬮,勾引意志薄弱的人;他们的心习惯了贪吝,真是些应受咒骂的人。”(伯后2:13b-14)。甚至对于不冷不热和自信的人,圣奥斯定也严警,“当我们对自己的状况感到满意时,我们就会迷失方向。”

节制和灵修纪律不仅是为圣人或罪人,而是寻求解放的基本方法。教会称之为斋戒或刻苦。Dr. Richard J. Foster强调:“节制不是终止解放的一种方法,相反,它会让你手舞足蹈、歌唱,甚至举拳高喊“太好了”表示胜利。它并不是什么沉闷苦差,旨在让笑声从地球表面消失。它肯定不是为了懦夫和弱者,而是谦卑和诚实的人”( Celebration of Discipline)。多默牟顿这么鼓励年轻人:“让我们相信一个事实,即我们终生都是初学者。”(牟顿,沉思的祈祷)

总结

因此,如果任何年轻人如同弟茂德,接受信仰指导,并且愿意回应被激起的恩赐,那么年轻人必将成长,并有能力辨别什么是真正的“博爱”,以及驾驭节制。

数百个案例的见证,证明年轻人可以在黑暗世界的罪恶、羞耻的挣扎中取得胜利。(Rabbi Basil F. Herring, “Choice Diminished Behaviour and Religious and Communal Policy,”in Yitzchok Berger and Davis Shatz(edts), Judaism, Science and moral Responsibilty: Orthodox Forum, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield (2006), pp.162,168)。是这些年轻人愿意沉浸于圣经中,任谁都无法给予更好的指示,唯有个人本身愿意将天主的话语置于心中。 (参阅咏119:9-11)

最终,正是这些心中点燃着信仰愿景的年轻人,被教宗方济各视为我们人类的未来。教宗方济各在2017年世界传教日的讯息中指出,年轻人是使命的希望。

耶稣基督和祂所宣讲的福音,继续吸引许多年轻人成为门徒,跟随他们神圣师傅的脚步。他们怀着勇气和热忱,尽力为人服务。“有许多年轻人在面对世界的邪恶时表现出团结一致,并且参与各种形式的战斗和志愿活动…看到年轻人是街头传教士,快乐地将耶稣带到大街小巷、每个城镇广场和地球的各个角落,这是多么美妙的事啊!”(教宗方济各于2017年世界传教日讯息-基督徒信仰中心的使命-106)

撰写:马新汶主教团圣经区域委员会

翻译:新加坡《海星报》

省思问题:

  • 谁在你的生命中,是曾经指引你信仰和圣经之美的长者、导师和英雄?
  • 为一个年轻人,踏上信仰旅程的基本条件是什么?
  • 你是否同意,节制的纪律对于抵制死亡文化是至关重要的?为什么?
  • 身为年轻人。我该如何寻求一个充满喜乐、力量和意义的生命?

推荐进一步阅读的书籍

  1. Loyola, St. Ignatius. The Spiritual Exercises, Robert Backhouse, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1989 (May). A programme of spiritual exercises, including examination of conscience, meditation, and other methods of prayer with guidance on adaption to individual needs and difficulties.
  2. Sales, St. Francis de, An Introduction to the Devout life, London: Hodder and Stoughton,
  3. Much of this material is the result of counsel Francis grace to a single individual. Mdm. Louise Charmoisy, in the early seventeen century. It covers a wide variety of spiritual matters for those seeking to deepen their devotional life.
  4. Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, Life Together. Translated by John W. Doberstein. London. SCM Press. 1954. Powerful insights into the life of service, solitude and confession.