Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

April 13, 2009

Easter Week Thoughts - on Youth and Vocation

Well, I am on an Easter high, that's for sure.  I had such a beautiful Triduum and Easter Sunday.  I want to blog on the experience of three different Eucharists: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, but that post will have to wait for another day.  God is so good to have filled me with so many things to meditate on. 

Today I am preparing lessons for my students as we begin to wind down the year, and I just finished glancing over an interview with Pope John Paul II in which he is asked, "Is there really hope for the young?"  I thought it might prompt some discussion: 

What is youth?  It is not only a period of life that corresponds to a certain number of years, it is also a time given by Providence to every person and given to him as a responsibility.  During that time he searches for answers to basic questions; he searches not only for the meaning of life but also for a concrete way to go about living his life.   

If at every state of his life man desires to be his own person...during his youth he desires it even more strongly.  The desire to be one's own person, however, must not be understood as a license to do anything, without exception...

Clearly then, the fundamental problem of youth is profoundly personal.  In life, youth is when we come to know ourselves.  It is also a time of communion.  Young people know they must live for and with others, they know that their life has meaning to the extent that it becomes a free gift for others.  Here is the origin of all vocations - whether to priesthood or religious life, or to marriage and family.

But are those who are single are still at the origin of their vocations?  That doesn't seem universal to me.  How do we as single, lay, Catholic women use this time, responsibly, as the late pontiff insists?  This is the time to discern not only in our heads and hearts, but to actively discern our vocations through becoming gifts for others wherever we find ourselves.  What do you think?  Are we still in the origin if we do not yet have answers?  Or do we not know how far along we are if we do not even know the destination?  Do we assign ourselves a destination and wind up losing our way?   

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