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What is the Spirit saying through the young?

16/09/2011: Spain

What is the Spirit saying through the Marist youth meeting for several days in Spain and representing many other thousands of youth of the world over?
Such is the question behind my attentive listening. Here is something I have learned from our youth:

  • They feel themselves youth among many other youth; they are happy to live their Christian life as believers from the Marist charism; they wish to be involved in the construction of a Church with a Marial face.
  • With grateful hearts, they love what they have received and are receiving within the framework of the Marist Institute, and precisely because of this, they desire that we encourage even more strongly the evangelization of children and young people, and that we give them all the place that belongs to them.
  • They dream of a different world and they are seriously committed to its  transformation, through education,  pastoral accompaniment, defence of the rights of children, adolescents and youth, safeguarding the planet.
  • They seemed to me fully international, valuing the richness of cultural diversity and communicating among themselves beyond the language barriers. In the  simple and transparent sharing of their personal stories, they appreciated the sacred value of each person.
  • They want to follow up this initiative of the Marist Institute; so they dream of an International Youth Team which could also promote and accompany similar ventures in the future.
  • I listened to the message some of the youth delivered through their silence, reminding me that there are continents which should take place in the front ranks and be better heard in society, in the Church and among us.

Briefly, what is the Spirit saying me, what is It saying us through the Marist youth?

  • That the charism of Champagnat is alive and that it is the a source of inspiration for thousands of young people on the five continents; that the Marist mission is as relevant as it was 200 years ago. For this, "we must have brothers", and we must also have lay Marists – men and women – who wish to carry on the dream of Marcellin.
  • That we must continue to promote and reinforce the evangelization of children and youth, especially through the MYM.
  • That we must accord children and young people all the place that belongs to them, so that they may be protagonists of their own story, and not simply passive recipients of our actions.
  • That our horizon, like that of Jesus, is the construction of the Kingdom of God, with clear signs of our preference for children and youth in a situation of marginalisation.
  • That we are invited to be more present among the young, welcoming them and listening to them: their energy, enthusiasm, joy… are a blessing for us all.
  • That the Marist Institute must be capable of setting out in search of new spaces of interior growth, at the side of so many young people thirsty for spirituality.
  • That, as Marists, it is demanded of us to present, in a particular manner, a  special way of being Church, in Mary’s way: the Pentecost community which, in the diversity of languages, is capable of making itself understood; an open, accepting community, which offers without imposing; which serves without looking for honours or recognition.

Mary, our good and tender Mother, thank you for your discreet but efficacious presence, all through these days of grace. Blessed are the young people who, gathered here or elsewhere in the world, joyfully bear your name. May they be sowers of the good news around them, committed Christians and active citizens, as Champagnat desired.

We place the Marist Institute in your hands, sure that you will continue to do everything among us.

______________________

Br. Emili Turú - Superior General
International Marist Youth Meeting
Buitrago, Spain - 15 August 2011

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