AUSTRALIA’S bishops have told the nation’s Catholic youth that being a Christian today is not easy but have urged them to take up the challenge.
The call is contained in a pastoral letter to young Catholics of Australia, written as a follow up to the strong faith witness by young people during the Jubilee Year 2000. It was released last week.
Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee for the Laity, Bishop Peter Connors of Ballarat said the bishops were aware young people were searching for some sort of spiritual meaning in their lives and had an overwhelming sense of social conscience.
‘We, the bishops of Australia, would like to help young people find that God is the answer,’ he said.
‘To be a young Australian today involves both blessing and challenge,’ the bishops say. ‘On the one hand, you are living in a land of great promise and hope …
‘On the other hand our nation also knows suffering and sin. Many of you, your friends or families have no doubt been touched personally by problems such as racism, alcoholism, drug addiction, child abuse, unemployment, family breakdown and suicide.
‘We share your concerns and urge you to acknowledge that whatever practical solutions may be sought, ultimately the answer to these concerns is found in Christ Jesus …
As the youthful heart of the Church be young people of prayer … Meet Christ in your local community of faith, in Scripture, the sacraments and in works of charity.
‘Consider the support and strength you can receive from involvement in youth groups and the sacraments, as well as the help you can give to other young people. Do not despair in times of failure, but seek God’s healing and forgiveness, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.’
The letter will be available through schools and youth networks and on the Australian Catholic bishops’ Web site www.catholic.org.au
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