JESSICA Langrell said her role model is Mary, the Mother of God.
“She is the model of purity, humility, true femininity and real love,” the 19-year-old said, adding, “Jesus Christ himself is the perfect example of (a) man fully alive.”
So devoted is Jessica to holiness she signs emails and letters with her name and “IMHM+SMA” – saying it depicts her “personal devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and personal devotion to St Michael the Archangel”.
With such esteemed role models Jessica’s “life mission” is to be a witness of purity.
“I am so passionate in reference to young people and the issues regarding morality because it’s the biggest struggles and challenges that young people face today and there is a desperate need to address it,” the sister to Pat Langrell, well known through Sydney’s Theology on Tap, said.
The philosophy and theology student at Notre Dame University, Sydney, said her parents were also esteemed role models of purity and certain faith.
“Mum and Dad have always played such an integral role in the lives of each of us kids and have put the development of their relationship with us at the utmost importance,” she said.
“Through this we have grown as a family of best friends and they have engraved in us a strong, confident and devotional relationship with God and our faith and the desire to share it with others.”
With Pat now ministering among youth in New York, Jessica has continued to help organise Theology on Tap.
As such, and still in her teens, she witnesses firsthand the struggles of today’s youth.
“I have experienced the pressures of teenage relationships, seen the effects of an over-sexualised culture and media industry with a prime focus on the immediate, short-term, self-satisfaction which is un-genuine and simply unsatisfying,” she said.
“Through my faith and my family, I have been an undeserving witness to the beauty of true, honest and genuine relationships that are fulfilling and selfless, which is exactly what all young people are thirsting for – real love.”
That “real love” Jessica said was often misrepresented. “Unfortunately most of the time we (youth) are forced with the wrong and deceiving solutions,” she said.
“I believe young people need and deserve the real, truthful answer they are stripped of, and those of us who have been blessed with this understanding have a duty and responsibility to make it known to all.”
Jessica offered one main practical tip for other young and young adults – prayer.
“Pray, pray, pray,” she said emphatically.
“We are so blessed as Cath-olics to have an all merciful God who thirsts for our daily conversion and wants to give us the graces to combat the pressures and struggles we face. Sometimes it takes a humble request to quench a personal struggle.”
Then she added more tips.
“I would also say it’s helpful to seek friends who are like-minded in terms of sexual morality and be sure to be active and get involved in good, genuine fun,” Jessica said.
“It’s impossible not to be influenced by the people we spend our time with, the movies we watch, the music we listen to … so we all individually need to make a concerted and courageous effort to live by the morals we stand by.”
With the misuse of alcohol and drugs often known to most and often seen played out in the media, Jessica said she has seen the harm done “first hand”.
“Yes I have seen the effects first hand and also the effect of good fun without drugs and alcohol and it plays a big role in my desire to counteract the issue,” she said.
“Obviously it’s a serious issue in terms of young people today and it doesn’t help when the ‘role models’ presented in the media – whether it be high-profile sports players, politicians or music stars – are misusing them.”
Closely involved with RISE (Restoring Integrity and Sex-ual Ethics), Jessica explains its impetus.
“RISE is the new generation who genuinely believe that romantic relationships are properly oriented toward marriage and that sex belongs in marriage, not outside it – and we want to show how this is the better way for all young people of Australia,” she said.
“We do not want hook-ups – instead we aspire to a way of life that is pure, chaste and satisfying that results in strong marriages and healthy families and in the end, a culture that flourishes.
“In saying this we need to unite in the media. We are calling young people to join us and the prayers of everyone – to open your eyes, and then your minds and hearts, to the needs of us young people who struggle to lead chaste lives despite our immersion in the culture of promiscuity.”
In terms of her own vocation Jessica said she is “open to the will of God”.
“I am open to … the way He has prepared for me,” Jessica said.
“As a student at the moment I’m striving to serve Christ by addressing the needs of those around me and pray that I will have the strength to say ‘fiat’ whenever God calls on me.”
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